Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.
The FAQ page of the TM User Advice section gives the most common answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding your TM Racing machine, many of these answers can also be found in your TM Racing user manual.
“Where can I get spare parts for my TM Racing machine?”
From your TM Racing dealer. Your TM Racing dealer will have in stock most of the common day-to-day parts required to keep your TM Racing machine in perfect condition, your TM Racing dealer also has direct access to the TM UK spare parts inventory, an inventory unmatched by any other TM Racing importer in Europe. TM UK and it’s staff have worked hard and invested greatly over the past 20 years to achieve the largest stock of genuine TM Racing spare parts outside of the TM Racing Factory, TM UK can supply virtually any part required on a next day service, in the rare event of low stock TM UK can receive parts from the TM Racing factory in Italy the very next working day. If you are having trouble locating parts for your TM Racing machine please contact TM UK for assistance in finding your nearest TM Racing supplier.
The TM Racing dealer list can be found on the home page
“I am having trouble locating a parts manual or technical information on my older TM Racing machine”
No problem, on the TM UK website there is a Technical Section and a User Advice section both filled with information on your TM Racing machine, please click on the following link to go to the TM UK Technical section where you can find parts manuals, owner manuals, set-up sheets, updates and a whole host of information.
If you are still having trouble locating what you would like please contact your TM Racing dealer or TM UK.
“What is the running-in procedure for my new TM Racing machine ?”
There is a whole section on this process in your TM user manual that covers the ‘first operation’ of your TM Racing 2 or 4 Stroke machine. The method applied by many motorsport technicians is to firstly fully prepare your machine for its initial run by checking engine fluid levels and that all of the operating controls are functioning correctly.
Note: Please be aware to find a venue for your first ride that has suitable conditions, a deep sand track or incredible wet muddy track is not ideal to ‘run’ a bike in as the stresses on your new engine will be too great as this early stage of operation, also make sure you have the necessary tools and oils (and an oil filter for 4-Strokes) required to do an oil change.
Secondly, once you are ready to ride and are suitably attired in your safety wear start the machine, allow the machine to warm up on the stand as described in the ‘starting procedure’ in the TM User Advice section of this website. Once the machine has warmed sufficiently it is time for your first ride, allow the engine to work, do not ‘tickle’ the engine around at very low rpm’s, allow the engine to run freely using the gears and keep the rpm’s sensible (no over-revving) but do give the engine some 3/4 throttle applications where possible (straight lines) allowing the engine to decelerate on its own (engine brake) to again increase better ring seal.
NOTE: Running the engine too gently will not help your new TM machines performance or longevity, low rpm’s and the avoidance of putting the engine under any acceleration load will not be of benefit, ring seal will not be achieved correctly and engine components may in fact be ‘glazed’ (the adhesion of burned oil residue) as opposed to them ‘wearing’ correctly and creating the correct amount of friction necessary to actually achieve ‘run-in’. The biggest part of the run-in process will be completed in the first 30 minutes use and any particles of material will now be contained in your engine oil, at this stage it is advised that, once the engine has cooled sufficiently, the oil be changed immediately following the oil change procedure to remove these particles.
After the first ride is it advisable to check the machine over thoroughly, checking all fluid levels, all component and fixings, the wheels, spokes, brake disc fixings and final drive components before returning to the track for second ride. For the second again allow the engine to warm before riding, this time you can increase the rpm’s a little more, when the engine begins to ‘free-up’ it will be felt as the engine response will sharpen, once more avoid low rpm’s and extensive high rpm during this ride, allow the engine to work using the gearbox and again keep the rpm’s used to a sensible level for another 20-30 minutes, no over-revving on 2-Strokes and no engine rpm limiting (‘hitting the limiter’) on the 4-Strokes. For subsequent rides gradually increase the rpm’s and the workable load on the machine, as previously said, the responsiveness and the willingness of the engine to rev more freely will be felt as the run time elapses. It is advisable to complete another oil change after 2 hours use. After a few hours of running the engine break-in procedure should be complete and the engine will be operating at its best, prior to any competition use a final oil and filter change is advisable to remove any further particles that may have been deposited into the oil circulation system and to thoroughly check your TM Racing machine following the basic maintenance guide on the TM User Advice section of this website.
“My 2-Stroke competition MX or Enduro TM Racing machine is… very smoky and oil is exiting the silencer, is ‘fouling’ spark plugs, is hesitant, is feeling under-powered ?”
Your machine is running excessively ‘rich’, the fuel/oil mixture being introduced to the engine is too large and the engine is unable to cleanly burn this quantity efficiently.
Firstly make sure you mixed your fresh fuel with the correct ratio of premix oil, have the correct spark plug fitted to the machine, that the air filter is not saturated with filter oil reducing airflow or has any restrictions in the inlet system.
Check the jetting specifications, fuel mixture set-up, float height, needle clip position and needle designation in your carburettor comply with your TM Racing user manual, or with assistance from your TM Racing dealer.
NOTE: Please remember that as the temperature and conditions change so will your fuelling, cold temperatures and conditions that put a higher load on the machine (sand, wet heavy mud) will require a richer setting, warmer temperatures and harder, firmer conditions will require a ‘leaner’ setting. If you are a novice rider and are riding the machine at less than the optimum performance possible the jetting may also require alterations to allow the bike to run ‘cleaner’ at the speed you are running at. Please refer to your TM dealer for in depth advice on jetting your machine correctly, with little understanding of this area it is very easy to make changes that can vastly effect the running of your TM Racing machine and lead to engine component damage. Note: a silencer that has become saturated in unburnt oil residue will need to have it’s packing material replaced, saturated packing material will not absorb noise and will lead to bad engine running.
“My 2-Stroke competition MX or Enduro TM Racing machine….is running hot, is making a ‘rattly tinging sound’ from the exhaust at higher rpm’s, has a very dry, light coloured silencer exit and a very purple coloured pipe, has a light coloured spark plug colour ?”
Your bike is running dangerously lean, the amount of fuel being introduced into your engine is too little and/or the amount of air entering the engine is too great, the noise being heard at high rpm’s is pinking (pre-ignition) often referred to as ‘detonation’, the fuel/air mix is too small and the control of the burn speed has been lost, the mixture is being ignited too early in the combustion process, this leads to massive heat build up and component failure, stop using the machine immediately and remedy the cause of this problem, the engine will also need to be examined for damage to the internal components from the excessive heat.
The most likely cause is incorrect jetting, other causes include, poor quality fuel and/or the wrong grade, blocked carburettor jets from poor maintenance, increased air flow from a leak, possibly in the ignition side crank-seal, the carburettor manifolds being damaged or not fastened correctly or maybe a damaged air filter element. Detonation can also be caused by running an engine with too high a compression ratio or squish measurement, a failing ignition system which is not advancing the spark timing correctly or poorly adjusted static timing position of the stator plate. The best form of action with this type of occurrence is to return the machine to your TM Racing dealer for analysis.
NOTE: Please remember that as the temperature and conditions change so will your fueling, cold temperatures and conditions that put a higher load on the machine (sand, wet heavy mud) will require a richer setting, warmer temperatures and harder, firmer conditions will require a ‘leaner’ setting. Please refer to your TM dealer for in depth advice on jetting your machine correctly, with little understanding of this area it is very easy to make changes that can vastly effect the running of your TM Racing machine and lead to engine component damage.
“My TM Racing machine is becoming harder to start….why?”
Poor engine ignition can be down to numerous factors, poor fuel quality or the wrong grade, a dirty carburettor with blocked jets or a general fueling/mixture problem, a failing spark plug or an electrical problem occurring, low compression due to excessive piston and ring wear, on 4-Stroke machines poor valve sealing due to dirt particles entering the combustion and damaging the valve seat or poorly adjusted valve clearances.
Try to eliminate/exclude the first of the problems above following your TM Racing user manual or from advice on the User Advice section on this website, alternatively have the machined checked by your TM Racing dealer immediately
“The suspension on my brand new TM Racing machine feels very stiff…why?”
Like all new TM Racing machines your machine also comes engineered to compete at the highest levels of competition, the forks fitted to TM Racing machines, made by Marzocchi, are designed with performance in mind and are built accordingly, when new, as with all things engineered to good tolerances, the forks will require a break-in period for them to start to perform at their best, this could be anything from 4-8 hours of use depending on the conditions that the machine has been subjected to. For the initial running in period of the machines engine it is advised that you set the forks to a softer compression setting, this will allow greater travel of the components and in turn will aid the break-in process. Likewise the shock absorber will require the same break-in period although due to the frequency that the shock works this break-in period will be reduced to between 3-6 hours of use. Do not attempt alteration to these components or change spring ratings until they have reached the upper limit of their break-in time, until they have been allowed time to break-in and settle to their normal operating tolerances the change of any components may actually be giving you misleading information. Once the machines suspension has completed the break-in process adjustments may then be made to your requirements, spring ratings and oils specifics may then be changed to suit your weight and riding style.
“On my TM Racing machine which adjusters do what on my fork and shock absorber and how do I set the ‘sag’ of my shock?”
As a general rule the forks have the compression adjuster, which adjust the ‘stiffness’ or rate at which the fork compresses, at the top of the fork leg and the rebound adjuster, which adjusts the rate at which the fork re-extends / rebounds after being compressed, at the bottom of the fork leg. To increases stiffness (comp) or slow the rebound rate the screws must be turned clockwise, to soften or decrease the stiffness (comp) and to accelerate the rebound speed the screws must be turned anti-clockwise.
NOTE: Each fork leg has the same adjusters for compression and rebound top and bottom, the settings on both legs must be identical to ensure continuity of the fork under working conditions.
The shock absorber has its compression adjusters, which adjust the ‘stiffness’ or rate at which the shock compresses, at the top and the rebound adjuster, which adjust the speed at which the shock re-extends / rebounds, at the bottom in the form a knurled black plastic wheel on the lower shaft of the shock. To increase the stiffness (comp) or slow the rebound rate the screws must be turned clockwise, to soften or decrease the stiffness (comp) and to accelerate the rebound speed the screws must be turned anti-clockwise. Note: the Ohlins shock absorber and TM Racing shock absorber also have a ‘High-Speed’ adjuster encircling the compression adjuster in the shape of a 17mm/14mm hex, this will come preset from the TM Racing factory and should only be adjusted by persons with knowledge and experience of adjusting suspension components.
Sag, the ‘sag’ is the measurement that the bike compresses, firstly under its own weight and secondly under the weight of both the machine and rider and you will require three different measurements for you to find out whether your machine is sprung correctly for your weight. To start with the bike is best sat on a stand with the wheels off the ground so a verification measurement can be taken, there are specific tools available for measuring the sag but for the most a tape measure and two reference points will suffice, these reference points could the rear wheel spindle securing nut on the swinging arm and a fixing bolt for the silencer to the sub-frame. Once you have a measurement you will need the bike to be removed from the stand and placed on the ground with the suspension supporting the machines weight, compress the shock and then let the shock ‘rebound’ and settle into it’s neutral resting position, measure the distance again using the same 2 reference points, the difference should be the two measurements should be between 25mm-30mm less, if not the spring will need to be adjusted to get to this figure by either ‘winding’ the spring up or down as required. To alter the spring tension place the bike back on the stand and loosen the locking collar on the top of the spring, this must be released in order for you to manually rotate the spring pre-load adjuster up or down the threaded portion of the shock to increase or decrease spring tension, this process can be done with a firm grip by hand as the tension on the spring should not be that great. Once you have adjusted the ‘static’ / resting sag you can then check that the ‘rider sag’ is within tolerated limits, with the bike removed from the stand the rider, wearing his complete racing kit, should sit on the machine in his ‘normal’ position, now measure the distance between your two reference points once more, the difference between this last measurement and the first (bike sat on a stand unloaded) should be between 100mm-110mm less now that the resting sag is correct. If the measurement is more than 100mm-110mm difference the spring is too soft and you will require a firmer spring, likewise if the measurement is less the spring is too hard and you will require a softer spring. For more information on springs ratings and for the purchase and fitment of a new spring please contact your TM Racing dealer.
I have drained the engine oil / gearbox oil from my TM Racing machine and it very milky / grey looking in colour…why?
The reason that 4-Stroke engine oil may appear ‘milky’ looking in colour or 2-Stroke gearbox oil ‘grey’ in colour is due to water contamination. The primary causes for this condition is water penetrating the engine via one of the breather hoses during the cleaning and washing process, if the bike has been led on its side to gain access to the bottom of the machine for better cleaning water may have inadvertently been forced into a breather pipe, this water has then entered the engine once the engine has run the water has tried to mix with the oil as it circulates. Another cause for this could be a faulty water pump seal allowing ‘coolant’ into the engine oil, nearly all coolants are water based and can therefore cause corrosion to the internal parts of the engine leading to water pump seal failure and / or damage to the water pump shaft that the seal runs on, this can be verified by the loss of coolant in the cooling circuit. For any seal failures the seal must be replaced immediately, even if only suspected it is advised as a precautionary measure to replace the seal and inspect the shaft for damage / corrosion before operating the machine again.
NOTE: It is advised that a good quality aluminium safe coolant that contains engine corrosion inhibitors be used to further reduce corrosion and maintain a healthy cooling circuit.
Any contaminated engine / gearbox oils should be replaced before further engine running, it is advised that the oil filter be replaced on 4-Stroke machines and that all engines should be ‘flushed’ by allowing the fresh oil to be run up to temperature and the drained once more, this is achieved by starting the engine and allowing it to run for several minutes circulating the fresh oil around the engine and its internal components, once drained replace with more fresh oil, this process will help to remove any other moisture in the engine and the heat of the engine will help to remove any residual moisture. Please ensure that you adhere to the oil changing procedure in your TM Racing user manual and dispose of your used engine oil correctly.
“On my older model year TM Racing 2-Stroke machine my throttle sticks occasionally….why?”
When was the last time you cleaned the inside of the throttle housing and tube and checked for wear, cleaned the inside of the carburettor properly or even removed the carburettor top and examined the slide and needle for wear, when did you last check the throttle cable for frays or even lubricate it or replace it ?
The answer to this question is in the reply above, maintainance, or lack of.
Sticking throttles are generally down to parts being dirty, damaged, worn and just plain tired out. Throttle cables should be replaced periodically, as with all components on an off-road machine they operate in a terribly dirty enviroment and are susceptacle to dirt and water ingress, wear and corrosion. The entire throttle system should be cleaned periodically, more if the machine is being used in continously poor conditions, cables should be lubricated and if any wear of the nipples or fraying of the cables us found it should be replaced with a new cable immediately. The throttle housing and tube should be cleaned properly and the area if the handlebars that the throttle tube rotates on should be clean and smooth, also check the mounting hole for the cable nipple in the throttle housing as these will also wear over time allowing the nipple to move and catch on the throttle housing. The top of the carburettor should also be removed periodically and the slide checked for any wear and likewise the needle, the carburettor needle is very delicate and can also be damaged if you are forceful or heavy handed when assembling / dissasembling the carb, it can be scratched and bent, both will lead to a sticking throttle, be careful. Any parts that are worn or damaged should be replaced immediately with new parts supplied from your TM Racing dealer. When draining your carburettor please pay attention not to over-tighten the drain bung, over-tightening of this component will lead to its mating face (where the o’ring sits) being distorted, this distortion will allow the ‘sump’ area of the drain bung to rise further in the carburettor and this will eventually lead it to touch the main jet housing inside the carburettor, this contact will wear away the bung and small fragments of aluminium will get vacuumed into the main jet with the fuel stream entering the engine, this can lead to the needle trapping in the main jet sticking the throttle open and will also allow these small fragments to enter your engine, if your drain bung is showing signs of distortion on marking internally replace it immediately and clean out the carburettor thoroughly before re-starting your machine.
NOTE: Do not grease any parts of the throttle system, this will only make matters worse as grease in this environment will only attract further dirt and particles to the components, A light coating of a water repellent will suffice, the cables can be oiled with a specific light oil however the water repellent spray is preferred. Please ensure any components disassembled or replaced are re-fitted correctly, it is advised that you thoroughly check the operation of the system fully before attempting to start or ride your TM Racing machine.
For any more information you may require please refer to your user manual or your local TM Racing dealer.
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