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Black-swan

2017 tm en 300 fi review

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2 hours ago, Black-swan said:

Checked the valves, no adjustment needed. Problems please see lower down in this post. 

Yes, the fitment and finish on them isn't all its cracked up to be. We had to grind back the filler cap slightly as it was sharp edged and cutting into the plastic tank. Had to adjust the kickstart boss as well. Lots of pits in some of the internal cast parts. Battery started to rub on the frame so have had to sort that. Plastic armouring melted onto the engine/ rads which I have since replaced. 

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Haha, he caught quite a few this summer, suplimented his diet well! 

Hi, the TM handles better and has better suspension than the 350 husky/ KTM, and is not short on power in comparison. Better build quality but not as perfect as some like to make out. I don't have experience with beta 4 strokes, their 2 strokes have electrical issues, poor quality plastics and fitment and I am not a fan of Sachs suspension. Uk support with the TM has been really good, I'm not sure how much dealer support you would get in the us? Resale value is also low on TM bikes, the engine parts are more expensive than other brands. Good points they are beautiful bikes, nice compenant parts, a lot more race orientated out of the box than some of the other brands, handle well and have really good suspension.

 

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So I rode the bike at a really muddy enduro at the start of September. Completed my 6th lap, the bike started to sound different, the clutch felt very light and there appeared to be no oil in the sight glass. I stopped the bike and retired. I checked the bike for coolant/ oil level etc before starting the race, everything was as it should be.

The clutch pack had become glazed and the bike required a new clutch pack at 40 hours. The bike had lost around 200ml of coolant at the race. However, after changing the oil and filter and putting the correct amount of oil in the bike, there was still an issue with reading the oil level in the sight glass. The sight glass would fill up with oil after filling the bike initially, but upon running the bike all the oil would gradually drain out of the sight glass and the engine would start to sound laboured. Switching the bike off, the oil would not return to the sight glass, even when left overnight. You could add extra oil, it would appear in the sight glass, then get pumped away after running the engine and not return. 

We stripped the clutch and side casing off the the bike, but could not find what was causing the issue. The two way oil pump seemed fine, seals all in place etc. 

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Changing the oil a few times made no difference, so we sent the bike to tmuk to resolve the issue. Turns out there is a plastic cam chain silencer in the top of the engine on the rocker cover, this had melted, gone down the side of the engine and blocked one of the two internal engine oil filters, hence why the clutch wasn't getting lubricated and no oil was appearing in the sight glass once the bike was run. The plastic had cooled and blocked the filter, the cases had to be split to replace it. They said this part has been in TM 4 stroke engines since 2000 and this was the first time they have ever seen this happen. It shouldn't have happened, defective batch of plastic??? At any rate, thankfully the rest of the engine was still getting lubrication and is all in great condition.Tmuk were excellent and really helped to resolve this issue. 

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To try to address potential overheating problems I have got a universal trail tech rad fan to go on the bike and some engine ice, hopefully this will help her run better and cooler! I have also got a G2 quick throttle for the bike on the fastest pull cam I could get, as the standard tubes rotation really puts your body out of position, the throttle tube is great quality and the service was great. This has really improved the ride and made the bike even more responsive to input. Just stuck tubliss on the rear and a Michelin ac10, it's been 6 weeks since I could ride the bike due to the aforementioned problems, looking forward to getting out again!

 

Sorry to hear about the troubles, but good to see the great TM dealer support and the problem is corrected!  Having a quality dealer is everything. That is part of the reason I am considering TM and Beta (my dealer carries both, along with Husky too).  He has been so helpful, quick to respond to emails, and get my bike in and out on short notice.  Seems consistent with smaller dealers, not the big box dealers.  So to sum it up, TM dealer support in California is great, whether in the north or south.  

In terms of power delivery, is there a comparison you could make to the TM?  When I rode the Beta 350 I enjoyed that you could grab a handful of throttle and it would want to rip your arms off like the 250/300 Beta 2-strokes.  Although the 350 doesn't have the torque of my 480, it still has enough, especially with some light feathering of clutch and throttle.  Anyhow, sorry for all the questions, but like mentioned the reviews that are available to read are pretty general, non-comparison based.  Thanks!

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6 hours ago, VTMTcowboy said:

Sorry to hear about the troubles, but good to see the great TM dealer support and the problem is corrected!  Having a quality dealer is everything. That is part of the reason I am considering TM and Beta (my dealer carries both, along with Husky too).  He has been so helpful, quick to respond to emails, and get my bike in and out on short notice.  Seems consistent with smaller dealers, not the big box dealers.  So to sum it up, TM dealer support in California is great, whether in the north or south.  

In terms of power delivery, is there a comparison you could make to the TM?  When I rode the Beta 350 I enjoyed that you could grab a handful of throttle and it would want to rip your arms off like the 250/300 Beta 2-strokes.  Although the 350 doesn't have the torque of my 480, it still has enough, especially with some light feathering of clutch and throttle.  Anyhow, sorry for all the questions, but like mentioned the reviews that are available to read are pretty general, non-comparison based.  Thanks!

The TM has racey power, it is smooth but winds up to a strong top end. Not a lot of torque, but enough bottom end for anything technical, this also gives the bike a light feel. The bike likes to be revved out rather than cruise in the mid range in my opinion. I rode an older sherco 300f model, the TM has sharper power and is better for racing, desert style riding and Mx, sherco, beta, husky, KTM have the edge in the woods with slightly softer suspension and power delivery in some cases. It isn't as powerful as the 300rr I had, or least not as hard hitting, but for a small bore four stroke it is pretty impressive and I don't think you'd be disappointed with the power delivery.

I have been lucky with support, if you have dealer support where you are that is great, the bike has had quite a few niggles and it has been handy to have a knowledge base to draw from. 

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12 hours ago, Black-swan said:

The TM has racey power, it is smooth but winds up to a strong top end. Not a lot of torque, but enough bottom end for anything technical, this also gives the bike a light feel. The bike likes to be revved out rather than cruise in the mid range in my opinion. I rode an older sherco 300f model, the TM has sharper power and is better for racing, desert style riding and Mx, sherco, beta, husky, KTM have the edge in the woods with slightly softer suspension and power delivery in some cases. It isn't as powerful as the 300rr I had, or least not as hard hitting, but for a small bore four stroke it is pretty impressive and I don't think you'd be disappointed with the power delivery.

I have been lucky with support, if you have dealer support where you are that is great, the bike has had quite a few niggles and it has been handy to have a knowledge base to draw from. 

Thanks for the report!  Yeah from everything I've read, the current model TMs are a representation of the last years TM Factory race bikes, which is really cool.  I mainly was curious about the "hit" of the motor because I read a review from Dirt Bike Magazine about the new Sherco Factory SEF 300 and the author noted a big hit in the mid-range of the motor (compared to the 250), something normally synonymous with the 450 mx bikes and 2-strokes.  Although I recognize the Sherco and TM are two completely different bikes, they are in the same category of race ready enduro GP style bikes; so its good to know the TM has a smoother power delivery.  Thanks again for the input and look forward to seeing more pictures and reading more of your reviews on the TM!     

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My partner recently helped me install a trail tech fan, he came up with the idea of inserting the digital clock into the rad shroud, it looks pretty cool and is well out of the way of my legs. We have set it to 80c, hopefully she won't be melting internal engine parts anymore! The fan looks to be really good quality, was easy to fit (universal kit) and seems very accurate. 

The bike was struggling to start and then would stall after a while of running, it just wouldn't idle. Turns out the fuse for the clock was burnt out, replacing this seemed to do the trick. I will have to check all the wiring again and apply some silicone grease to the connectors. 

Been doing more trials lately, hopefully will get around to doing some enduro riding again soon. 

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Edited by Black-swan

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On 11/3/2018 at 10:40 AM, Black-swan said:

My partner recently helped me install a trail tech fan, he came up with the idea of inserting the digital clock into the rad shroud, it looks pretty cool and is well out of the way of my legs. We have set it to 80c, hopefully she won't be melting internal engine parts anymore! The fan looks to be really good quality, was easy to fit (universal kit) and seems very accurate. 

The bike was struggling to start and then would stall after a while of running, it just wouldn't idle. Turns out the fuse for the clock was burnt out, replacing this seemed to do the trick. I will have to check all the wiring again and apply some silicone grease to the connectors. 

Been doing more trials lately, hopefully will get around to doing some enduro riding again soon. 

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I like the fan install. I found the electrics on the tm's not to be that great, I always got mine with the race wiring loom, no clocks, switch gear, or indicators, just the basics

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Interesting to see how you are getting on with the TM. 

 

TM always been known for quality issues even though they look like a quality bike. I have had one in my garage at one point.

My mate took off his clutch cover once and could not get it back on cause it expanded. Removed the shock and found it nearly impossible to get back on without rubbing the frame. Seen the 4ts give numerous head issues and gearbox, all tms seem to eat clutch plates and 2ts just like to loose compression totally. I have seen many a new TM engines fail. It is very rare you see a TM owner do a full race season without any bike issues. 

Ktm, husky,Beta, sherco just seem to be built better and don't give as many issues. 

TM support however is great. I don't mean to bash TM as I really like the bikes and passion behind them but people just need to be aware that they are a total exotic and you will have issues :) 

Edited by Neomxdave

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6 hours ago, Neomxdave said:

Interesting to see how you are getting on with the TM. 

 

TM always been known for quality issues even though they look like a quality bike. I have had one in my garage at one point.

My mate took off his clutch cover once and could not get it back on cause it expanded. Removed the shock and found it nearly impossible to get back on without rubbing the frame. Seen the 4ts give numerous head issues and gearbox, all tms seem to eat clutch plates and 2ts just like to loose compression totally. I have seen many a new TM engines fail. It is very rare you see a TM owner do a full race season without any bike issues. 

Ktm, husky,Beta, sherco just seem to be built better and don't give as many issues. 

TM support however is great. I don't mean to bash TM as I really like the bikes and passion behind them but people just need to be aware that they are a total exotic and you will have issues :) 

I wish someone had told me of the quality issues before I bought the bike, could only find good reports at the time. It is not any better quality wise than the other brands, but it rides really well, an off-road Ducati I suppose. 

The issues I've had summed up:

Nuetral light wrongly wired up on the dash

Armour for the wiring melted against the frame

Radiator bent at welded tab on the frame

Melted cam chain silencer blocked 1 of the internal oil filters leading to clutch failure at 30 hours

Poor casting, smashed clutch casing. Internal parts have holes/ poor quality casting

Exhaust keeps dropping down onto and wearing into water pump cover

Exhaust rubs against the rear shock spring, had to knock in the exhaust 

Poor running at times at low rpm, sputtering and wanting to stall 

Plastics don't line up that well with the seat 

Battery was rubbing against the frame 

Yes TM support has been really good, parts are pretty expensive though. The bike rides well, handles and has good suspension. I've sorted a lot of issues, I'll stick with the bike for now 

Edited by Black-swan

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As an owner of multiple TM's and knowing other TM owners, I am surprised to hear about quality issues.  Without a doubt, TM's strong point is handling, and I would say reliability (meaning, I count on it to finish a race) is second.  Yes, alignment of TM parts has often been suspect and requires some effort.  

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18 hours ago, Neomxdave said:

Interesting to see how you are getting on with the TM. 

 

TM always been known for quality issues even though they look like a quality bike. I have had one in my garage at one point.

My mate took off his clutch cover once and could not get it back on cause it expanded. Removed the shock and found it nearly impossible to get back on without rubbing the frame. Seen the 4ts give numerous head issues and gearbox, all tms seem to eat clutch plates and 2ts just like to loose compression totally. I have seen many a new TM engines fail. It is very rare you see a TM owner do a full race season without any bike issues. 

Ktm, husky,Beta, sherco just seem to be built better and don't give as many issues. 

TM support however is great. I don't mean to bash TM as I really like the bikes and passion behind them but people just need to be aware that they are a total exotic and you will have issues :) 

I've raced three complete seasons on a TM144EN. Midway through this season I decided to replace the clutch friction disks and pop in a new piston, out of guilt more than necessity. I have had no mechanical failures, and replaced no parts aside from personal preference (jetting, gearing) or wear (brake pads).

I do not care for the standard switchgear, so I replaced it with simpler SICASS hardware. The handlebars got swapped out for Flexxbars. Graphics by COR, tires by Michelin, pipe and spark arrestor by ProCircuit. The cases look a little cobby but I haven't had any leaks. Not a superfan of the spherical exhaust spigot. The aluminum frame, like all aluminum frames, drags oxide into the plastic.

This is my go-to bike when there is tight terrain mixed with faster trail.

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Fitted my new clutch cover from sm project Italy, it's a lot thicker than the standard clutch cover, unfortunately this means the rear brake pedal rubs and catches on the cover using the standard bolt. I've had to add washers and a longer bolt to space out the pedal away from the clutch cover. Looks cool though.

I've also put on a new rear tail light assembly from polisport, looks a lot better than the standard unit.

The fan worked well and the bike ran better in the woods last ride, really nice piece of kit.

So hopefully all will be well moving forward

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On 12/7/2018 at 7:38 PM, doctorchopper said:

Thanks, lots of nice bling on there!

 

Went to an enduro training day today, the bike performed really well. I've drained 20cc out of each fork in total, and the forks work really well. The bike didn't have any stuttering problems at low revs, ran like a watch and had bags of torque in really wet conditions. Tackled some difficult climbs too, really good bike. Had a chance to try a tx300 too, a lot smaller than the TM and more compact, air forks were as good as the kybs, it had similar torque and smoothness to the TM.

 

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Thanks for the info this post or tho not for the model I’m interested in buying as I want a 144en 2019 but I have been blinkered into thinking this will be a perfect bike out the box unlike countless ktm and husky’s I’ve owned have been (I’m also in the uk)

the reason I wanted a TM was to try something different and not have to deal with the usual crap bolts and finish etc on the current KTm and  Husky’s, so to hear it’s not a roses is certainly something to think about as I would be pretty gutted to lay down 7k on something that wasn’t pretty much perfect 

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16 hours ago, Burger72 said:

Thanks for the info this post or tho not for the model I’m interested in buying as I want a 144en 2019 but I have been blinkered into thinking this will be a perfect bike out the box unlike countless ktm and husky’s I’ve owned have been (I’m also in the uk)

the reason I wanted a TM was to try something different and not have to deal with the usual crap bolts and finish etc on the current KTm and  Husky’s, so to hear it’s not a roses is certainly something to think about as I would be pretty gutted to lay down 7k on something that wasn’t pretty much perfect 

Bike or brand doesn't exist!

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