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2010 TM 125 MX – First Impression

by JohnNicholas on 01/10/2010

Unlike the major manufacturers, TM Racing is not resting on their laurels for the two-stroke market. TM continues to improve their machines to ensure that racers have choices.

The look, fit and finish of the TM is reminiscent of a factory works bike. Only the very best parts and components are used to build the TM racers.

The attention to detail that TM lavishes on their machines is not limited to the obvious flashy bits and pieces. TM Racing builds their own proprietary frames, swing arm, triple clamps and billet hubs. Plus there is an excellent reason for every component that TM sources for their machines, they much live up to the rigors and abuse of racing.

TM’s are not very well-known in the USA. There are a few reasons for this, but mostly because the TM Racing factory decided to limit the yearly production of TM’s. Over the past decade or so, there have been quite a few different distributors in the USA and their efforts were not well-received.

Up until now. Up North in Canada there has been one distributor for TM Racing over the past 10 years, Barker Bros. Cycles. The head of Barker Brothers is Dan Barker who has a passion for these machines that is second to none. For 2010 and beyond he has been granted the rights to distribute the bikes in the USA.

Dan has put together a team of associates in the USA to help him get the bikes in front of the off-road motorcycling public. He has supplied these associates with brand new 2010 TM Racing machines to be shown to and tested by interested racers.

This unusual test ride arrangement is outside the norm for any manufacturer. But as Dan Barker observes, how else could interested folks make a decision on which bike was best without getting to ride it?

I know which way I’d prefer to make a decision.

One of the folks that Dan has entrusted with a brand new 2010 TM Racing machine was us here at Two Stroke Motocross. We have a 125 MX  model for those on the East Coast to test and try out for themselves. If you’re on the East coast and want to set up a test ride, please contact Dan, and we’ll do our very best to accommodate you.

In order to bring you an unbiased test impression of the machine, you will not hear my opinion on this machine. This is done for a few reasons, but mostly because I have a “vested” interest in this machine. This would be unfair to you the esteemed readers of this web site.

I have dedicated many hours of my personal time to bring you the truth as I’ve found it. By giving my opinion on a machine, especially when I could benefit from it, would be against everything I believe in. And what I’ve considered an unfair practice from the rest of the mainstream motorcycle media and industry.

You should have the opportunity to make your own decision based on un-biased testing.

To that end I secured the help of some of my racing friends to test the bike. None has taken to this idea to heart as much as Mike Leavitt. Mike is an extremely talented Pro racer from the local area who has a great deal of racing and testing experience.

When I mentioned that I would be getting a TM Racing machine, Mike was very interested in testing it. We set a date to take the bike to an indoor arena for initial testing. What I didn’t know is that Mike had invited his friend Paul Sanders from IV Films to shoot video of the bike and ask Mike some questions.

Here are the results of Paul’s work…

There will be much more testing in the future, with feedback from many other people. This will allow you to decide if a TM Racing machine is for you. Of course if at all possible, I suggest you test ride one for yourself before making a purchasing decision.

From the impressions from the other racers that tried the machine out, this is an expert style machine. It responds well to a heavy throttle hand, aggressive racing and tap dancing on the shift lever. At least that is the impression of the 125 two-stroke.

When new, the suspension is stiff and needs to be adjusted. It is very sensitive to small clicker adjustments, so take your time, make the changes and test again.

A few testers expressed an uneasiness with the feel of the machine. Noting that the front end felt like it was “under” the bike, giving it a stink bug feel. These impressions were made before many adjustments were made to the machine. Mike felt that the sag needed to be lowered, so we borrowed some tools to adjust, which made a significant difference.

One test racer, Devin, took a couple lap test. He currently races a YZF250, but owns a 2005 KX125 which has a full Pro Circuit motor. He felt that the stock TM was way faster than than his modified KX.

Don’t let marketing hype, paid advertisements or riding impressions by people that have a vested interest in selling you something. Get information based on testing from people you know, trust and from your own experience.

Just something to keep in mind when basing purchasing decisions on other racers. What bike do they currently ride? Two-stroke? Four-stroke? What brand machine? What size? Who are they sponsored by? What are their preferences? What is their skill level? Does any of this stuff match you and your riding ability? This could make a huge difference as to whether the testers experience will mean anything to you, please don’t take this lightly.

Honestly yours is the only opinion that counts!

Photos of the bike are located here –