The exotic, Italian-made TM two-stroke is the off-road equivalent of a Bimota, finished wi
For as long as motocross bikes have existed, enduro competitors and trail riders have adapted them for off-road use. Plenty of manufacturers sell ready-made enduros, but few still offer them in the lightweight and potent two-stroke variety. The TM EN 250 2T is an excellent example of a wolf- in-sheep’s-clothing conversion.
The basic specifications of the TM 250 MX were changed very little to create the EN. But the changes are important ones, and would be very expensive to engineer yourself. The internal engine specs are all MX, but a different pipe and a change from a Keihin PWM to a PWK carburetor smooth power delivery for off-road use. The ignition has provisions for powering a headlight and taillight, and mass added to the crank gives a bit more flywheel effect. The middle three transmission gears are the same as on the MX bike, but first is a bit lower and fifth is much taller. Naturally, there is an 18-inch rear wheel for flat-tire prevention and a kickstand for convenience. Fuel capacity remains 2.3 gallons, but the EN’s tank is natural in color so you can see when you’re running low.
They say: “Handmade to perform.”
We say: “Really perform!”
Comprehending how a machine this moto-centric has an “EN” enduro designation is easier if you understand what an “enduro” is in Europe. Virtually all of the scoring comes from special-test times on motocross courses, technical natural terrain and grass tracks. The distance between special tests—known as “transfer” sections—isn’t timed and often includes public roads.
It’s no small compliment to say the TM feels like a Honda motocrosser, and its aluminum frame looks similar as well. Where other off-road bikes feature relaxed front-end geometry, the TM has a steep fork and quick handling. The suspension is softer than motocross settings but still quite firm, and as on the motocrosser the rear end feels better sorted than the front. Engine power is crisp and thrust is energetic, but it chugs down surprisingly well for low-traction situations. Handling is nimble, and the bike feels extremely light. You don’t really feel the jump from first gear to second, but fifth is almost like an overdrive sixth. For most riders the gap won’t be an issue, and will in fact be welcome for transfer sections.
The EN is mostly easy to work on, except for the fact that TM uses a variety of fastener types and sizes that can make maintenance tedious. But a big part of the TM ownership experience is having a bike that’s unique. Like many Italian exotics, the EN’s fit and finish are impeccable, and its exotic appearance draws crowds whether in motion on the trail or parked in the back of a truck. For any enduro rider looking for a bike that could pull double-duty on a motocross track, the TM is certainly one to consider.
|Price ||$8318 |
|Engine type ||l-c two-stroke single |
|Displacement ||249cc |
|Transmission ||5-speed |
|Frame ||Aluminum perimeter |
|Front suspension ||Marzocchi 50mm fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping |
|Rear suspension ||Öhlins shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping |
|Front brake ||Brembo two-piston caliper, 270mm disc |
|Rear brake ||Nissin one-piston caliper, 245mm disc |
|Front tire ||80/100-21 Michelin |
|Rear tire ||140/80-18 Michelin |
|Seat height ||37.5 in. |
|Fuel capacity ||2.3 gal. |
|Claimed curb weight ||236 lbs. |
|Contact ||www.tmmotorcyclesusa.com |
|Verdict ||4 out of 5 stars |
Enduro-ready European uniqueness without the quirkiness.