TM is known for their high-horsepower two-strokes. This 2017 TM 300MX engine lived up to the TM name. It had a 250cc powerband with 300cc power. The addition of a Pro Circuit pipe and VHM cylinder head made this bike race-ready.
TM distributor Ralf Schmidt offers the Ohlins TTX shock as
an option when you buy a new TM. It just costs a bit more.
What are we getting at? After all the TMs we have tested throughout the years, we realized we wanted the bike
to adjust to us, not the other way around. Bottom line: we
wanted it to feel like a Japanese-made bike, because that is
what we are accustomed to and have grown to like.
Ralf Schmidt, who has been the TM importer for the
last few years, has learned to change his ways. He is from
Holland, where the men have an average height of 6 feet.
The first TMs he had us test had super-tall bars, mellow
powerbands and rigid suspension. We really felt uncomfortable with the setup, and Ralf was dumbfounded that we
didn’t like what he and the European crowd preferred. Ralf
has grown to understand the American way and adapted
to what the USA racers want. So, to satisfy MXA, he built
us a 2017 TM 300MX two-stroke that didn’t feel like a TM,
at least for the most part. It felt like what we have become
accustomed to dimensionally—a Japanese bike.
How? It didn’t take much at all. He first threw the old
ape-hanger handlebars out the window and replaced them
with Renthal 999 Twin Walls, which is the lowest bar bend
Renthal makes. He put on an Ohlins TTX rear shock, which
is a TM factory option, and that was sent out to GPM suspension, as were the rigid Kayaba forks, to get a plusher
setup. The 13-tooth countershaft sprocket was switched
out to a 14-tooth to broaden the power from gear to gear.
The modifications to the engine were nothing more than
bolt-on power. Why? Because a Pro Circuit pipe and VHM
cylinder head were all that was needed to give us the
pony power we wanted. The powerband of this project TM
300MX was unlike most 300cc machines. On Glen Helen’s
hills, the TM 300MX had a long powerband that kept on
pulling. You didn’t have to short-shift due to a short sign-off
as with most 300s. It felt like a 250cc two-stroke powerband with incredible power.
The only thing Ralf didn’t have time for was cutting the