Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2016 TM
144MX BETTER THAN THE 2015 TM 144MX?
A: We wouldn’t know. Why? We did not get a chance
to test last year’s 2015 model. In fact, we haven’t tested a
TM 144MX since 2013 because of issues with the American
importers and the TM factory. There have been problems
with the euro/dollar exchange rate, delivery times, price
margins and changes in importers. But now there is a new
TM importer ( www.tmracing-usa.com), and he is setting
things right. What we can tell you is that the bike has
vastly improved since our last test.
Q: WHAT CHANGES DID TM MAKE TO THE
144MX FOR 2016?
A: For 2016 TM revamped the whole kit and caboodle.
The engine has a new crank, cylinder, servo cable, power
valve timing, ignition mapping and exhaust system. The
chassis also got a major makeover with a new frame, shock
linkage, gas tank, suspension settings and brakes.
Q: WHAT IS THE DISPLACEMENT
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TM 144MX AND
A: You would probably subtract 144cc from 150cc to
arrive at a 6cc difference, right? In truth, the KTM 150SX is
really 143.99cc, and the TM 144MX is really 143.30cc. Back
before 2009 there was no KTM 150SX; it too was called a
KTM 144SX. So, why did KTM round up to 150SX? All in
the name of marketing. Maybe it rolls off the tongue better
or looks better on paper, but either way, the KTM and the
TM are both 144s—except for the 0.69cc variation. The bore
and stroke dimensions, however, are quite different. The
TM 144MX has a 56mm x 58.2mm bore and stroke, while
the KTM 150SX is 58mm x 54.5mm.
Q: CAN YOU TURN A TM 144MX INTO A
TM 125MX LIKE YOU CAN TURN A 150SX INTO
A: No. You can say that KTM took the path of least
resistance in making the KTM 150SX, because KTM
used the same stroke as on the 125SX and just bolted
on a bigger jug and piston. The downside of building an
over-square engine is that the KTM 150SX has an awk-ward-enough powerband that most MXA test riders prefer
to race the KTM 125SX over the KTM 150SX. Pushing the
oversize 58mm piston with such a short stroke produces a
punchy style of power. The upside is that you can slip on
a KTM 125SX cylinder and piston and turn a 150SX into a
125SX in an hour. With that being said, we give kudos to
TM for making completely different engines for its 125 and
144 models—even if you can’t swap top-end parts back and