We have had two TMs in the last (16) months - a 2017 TM 300 Enduro 2-stroke and a 2018 TM 250 EN 4-stroke. Leading up to the TMs, we had a stable of KTMs, Italian Husqvarnas, Yamahas, Kawasakis, Hondas, etc. and in my opinion, the only applicable generalization about TM is "the TM is not for everyone." In other words, it will not be appreciated nor consumed by the masses for a number of reasons including,but not limited to, the fact that their hand-crafted production run is relatively low in comparison to the mass-produced production line of KTMs and Universal Jap bikes of the world.
In response to the common denominator questions we get at the track:
"Is it hard to get parts?"
- NO. My son hit a tree WFO in third gear and bent the bar and an obscure bushing in the bar clamps...and broke his foot. I had all parts, including bolts, the next day...THE NEXT DAY, which is must faster than I used to get from my KTM dealer or any online KTM supplier.
"What about support?"
- Awesome. You will find the dealers and the distributor to be incredibly passionate about the TMs and that translates into an old-school customer experience. Ever get a response to your email at midnight from your KTM or Yamaha rep? Yeah, didn't think so...
"In regards to the reliability and quality, I heard the PV this and then there was this one post about..."
- Quality is second to none. When you maintain a TM, you will note the quality of each component and the craftsmanship shows. I have no doubt there have been unfortunate experiences in certain realms but I would suggest you try to qualify them. For instance, I bought a brand new KTM 250F and within the first two hours, it dropped a valve, ergo, all KTMs suck? I don't think so...You will find way more testimonies to the long life expectancy of a TM than the inverse.
"Are there aftermarket parts?"
- Some. If you look at the TM Gravity Racing website, you will see a sample of the aftermarket parts available for the TM. In comparison to the aftermarket parts available for the mass-produced brands, the selection pales in comparison for two reasons: first, as noted by many of the magazines, the TM is as close to a factory bike as the amateur can get without spending a million dollars. Look at the podium at Lorettas, look at the European GP and Enduros...those guys are running relatively stock TMs. In other words, what else do you need? Second, the production runs are low. If you are an aftermarket producer, would you produce a widget for a market of 10,000 or a market of 1,500? On the TM, I changed the seat cover and the tires and my kid took second in state in the Enduro series. On the KTMs we had, I was piping, valving suspension, offsets, breaking hubs, clutch slave protectors, pegs, levers, shift levers, blah, blah, blah, and the list goes on and on...if you like to tinker and fit your bike with the latest bling, do not buy a TM - if you would rather spend more time on the track than in the garage, buy a TM.
"What about resale value? I heard there was this TM that sat on the floor in....."
-Who cares? Again, the TM is not for everyone which means you have a smaller resale market. Then again, my local big-time dealer has brand a new 2015 and a 2016 YZ on the floor and every KTM I bought, was brand new and a year old. And when I sell my used dirt bikes, I never expect to get more than 50% of what I paid. It's a used dirt bike...
In summary, I believe the magazines do a reasonable job of summarizing the demographic of the TM buyer - they are not for everyone. Most TM buyers have owned just about everything else and are not looking to repeat the same old experience gleaned from the same-old same-old. If you look at a TM in person and the first thing that comes to mind is one of the aforementioned inquiries, then the TM is not for you. If you look at a TM in person for the first time and you immediately think, "Wow, look at that!" then the TM is for you.