Bike Review

Triumph Transitions to Terrafirma with the TF250X

Author: David Hogan

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The brand-new TF250X from Triumph has landed in Australia, ready to challenge the best in the 250 class from its first turn in the dirt.

Triumph meets the Dirt with a brand new edition to the Triumph motorcycle family. The first Dirtbike for Triumph. The TF250X is here and ready to make its mark in the Australian dirt.

Triumph is a name etched in motorcycle history, and its origins date back to 1902. Triumph has been producing motorcycles for over 120 years. Something that not many other brands can even come close to. But despite the Triumph lineage, many modern-day motorcyclists have never really got up close and personal with the brand as it’s predominately a road bike and adventure bike brand that for whatever reason has a perceived older clientele on board. Until Triumph launched into the dirtbike scene.

Triumph has undertaken a 5-year project to build a dirtbike and open its doors to younger, highly adrenaline-charged and Dirt mad enthusiastic clients.

Listen to more of the details of the Triumph TF250X and the launch via the Always Moto Podcast


So how do you as a small, family-owned business from the UK with a strong history in road-based Motorcycles and in recent times provided engines for the Moto 2 class in MotoGP start a dirtbike project build?

You hire the best dirtbike rider in history, Ricky Carmichael. Along with a selection of other extremely impressive racers from around the world and across disciplines in the dirt to advise you on the feel, the power, the performance and the durability needs of a 250cc Motocross bike. Ivan Cervantes, 5x World Enduro Champ, Clement Desalle 3 x vice world Champion.

But you don’t stop with just top-level riders. Triumph also hired AMA Hall of Famer Dave Arnold who is renowned for his chassis development ability and Dudley Cramond who has 25 years of experience in building race-winning engines. Couple that with the data they have from the Moto 2 engine builds in Moto GP and you expect this brand-new motorcycle to be exceptional from the first wheel it turns in dirt.

Now don’t be fooled. This Triumph TF250X is 100% a Triumph. It’s not a fruit-coloured bike in a Batman-coloured outfit. “This bike is 100 per cent Triumph, conceived, designed, developed and manufactured by our world-leading chassis and engine teams, with expert support from our racing champions. We started with a blank sheet of paper and began an all-new ground-up design, including a new engine, new chassis and new electronics,” said Triumph Motorcycles’ Chief Product Manager, Steve Sargent.

Triumph set some pretty high marks for this build and on all accounts has delivered. The TF250X has hit the World Supercross and Motocross stage in 2024 and already gained impressive results. This bike is now on the floor at your Australian Dealership and boosts class-leading power-to-weight ratio and the highest specification components.

So what is the TF250X coming out of the gate and onto the dirt with in 2024?

Alloy Frame
The unique aluminium chassis has a high-strength, lightweight spine frame with twin cradles, designed for the optimum balance of performance, mass and flexibility. The total weight of the bike will see the new TF 250-X set a new benchmark for the best power-to-weight ratio in the category. It also delivers a high level of tunability to suit different riders and styles. 

Class Leading 47hp at 13,500rpm
Triumph has developed an all-new performance racing powertrain – a competition four-stroke single, that is ultra-compact and super-light. With a forged aluminium piston and titanium valves, the engine also has diamond-like carbon low-friction coatings, lightweight magnesium covers and an Exedy Belleville clutch. 

Weighing only 104kg fully fueled

Along with a host of premium brands and specification top-tier componentry including

KYB suspension front and rear
Brembo Brakes
Pro Taper ACF Bars
ODI Grips
Pirelli Tyres
Exedy Clutch
Twin Air dual-stage air filter
Galfer Discs
DID Rims.
Not to Mention Triumph’s Electronics.

The left-sided controls as standard enable Launch Control, Quick Shift, Traction Control and two engine maps all at the press of a button and within reach whilst your hand is still in race mode on the handlebars.

With the accessories from Triumph particularly the Wifi module to allow connection of the Triumph MX Tune Pro app. The bike can be quickly customised to any rider level and or track condition at a few taps of your phone trackside.

The MX Tune Pro app enables riders to use real-time user-selectable mapping, a real-time engine sensor dashboard and live diagnostic functionality, through a controlled, programmable engine management system.  

Triumph in bringing this dirtbike to market in Australia has also made some substantial steps to ensure its success and encourage a positive customer impression of the brand. Triumph Australia has a list of 30 dealers nationwide and is growing that list to ensure all areas of the nation are adequately accessible for a local dealership.

Each Triumph Dealership will have a parts and accessory range that will ensure when you need a part for your Triumph. You will be able to get the part. This is also supported by their online parts platform that will show which dealer has stock of which part and link you to that dealer for purchase and delivery ASAP.

But what about the Bike and the ride experience from the Triumph TF250X?

For the Australian Media launch, we were invited to a private track on the Central Coast of NSW. A track that was very impressive for a backyard track and has great sandy soil that really rutted up nicely throughout the day and held up well following the recent 100+mm rain in the area only a few days prior.

The first impression of the TF250X as you lay eyes on it is one of difference, yet familiar. That feeling stays with you as you delve further into the bike and ride experience. As you look closer you notice all the premium brands across the usual areas. But you also see the Triumph details, different, yet familiar. The bike looks like a dirt bike. It doesn’t stand out with an obvious “Oh what’s that sticking out the side of the motor” or that is around the wrong side situation like new bikes of decades past. It is a dirtbike, a true dirtbike for the dirtbike enthusiast.

The Bike is distinct in the Triumph colours. The unmistakable black and racing yellow is a classic look. The white rear guard is ok, I think I’d prefer more black and yellow but you know this bike stands out from the rest of the field.

As you swing a leg over. I, like others, was expecting the bike to feel similar to some other bike, or I guess, feel completely like nothing else. But it doesn’t. It is its own feeling. For me as a picky bugger about just about everything. I was surprised to find that everything felt natural. An almost instant comfort with the rider triangle, the layout of the bike, the front-to-back and side-to-side feel of the weight, Its width, the peg height from the ground and honestly best of all, a seat that was somewhat pleasant to put your hind quarter on. Again. The bike is different, yet familiar. Because it feels like a dirtbike should.

The lightweight design was very evident in all aspects of track time.

On Track, the bike is a 250 weapon. Like most 250cc four strokes, It loves to be reved. Low in the rev range and up a gear is not where this bike likes to play. It wants high RPMs and the right gear at the right time to let it blow your wig back. Having ridden some 250s in recent times. This one caught my eye early with its speed. It is the fastest stock 250 four-stroke I have gotten on!

Now the track for the test was a little deep and had some slower u-turn-type turns that left you going down multiple gears to get into that higher rev range for exit. If this type of track was the common setting for the TF250X I would be going up a tooth or two on the rear sprocket to just help it out a little in this area. The Standard 13-48 gearing could use a tweak in this setting.

The lightweight design was very evident in all aspects of track time. The Chassis feel adds to the overall light feel and maneuverability of the bike. At high speed the bike is stable. At low speed, the bike turns. Somehow the Triumph engineers have made the bike work in both areas very well. Again. Different, yet familiar because a Dirtbike should do that right?

Having ridden some 250s in recent times. This one caught my eye early with its speed. It is the fastest stock 250 four-stroke I have gotten on!

Now impressively, in stock trim. I made zero adjustments to achieve this feeling. If you have read any of my previous bike tests, I have always needed to adjust sag, fork height and clickers to get a somewhat comfortable feel on a stock bike. These aspects I always refer to as just personal preference. I have a particular way I like my bike to be set up that enables me to feel comfortable and ride fast. This is usually a neutral front-to-back feel. Maybe a bike more back high to allow a sharp turning machine. As for the Suspension. Even on my personal bikes with KYB. I make a lot of adjustments to get comfortable. The Triumph, however. I made none of these from stock. The bike was set at 102mm rider sag for my weight of 80ish KG gear up. So I didn’t adjust it. The standard clicker position in the mid-range also worked just fine. The front-to-back feel of this bike is very neutral and will suit a lot of riders straight out of the box.

Now I will tell you that at some point in the musical chairs of bikes that day. I got on one of the test bikes and the rear felt low and soft. One rider had softened the low-speed compression and it was very noticeable. But with a return to the standard position of a total of 3 clicks. The standard bike feeling returned. Telling me that the bike is going to be very easy to notice adjustments on. So if you make a bad change or a good change. You will know all about it very quickly.

In other areas, the bike is extremely good. The Brembo brakes and Galfer discs gave a very positive stopping power. Much like other Brembo-using manufacturers.

The Pro Taper bars were very much in a neutral to straight bend that is much to my liking. Surprisingly, the lock on ODi grips which I’m usually not a fan of did not seem out of place in the time spent on the TF250X during the launch. But remember these are all very simple changes if you are someone with sensitive hands like myself normally.

For many, the advent of Map switches and Traction control has been a helping hand to improve lap times and reduce crashes. I have not been a fan of the electronic controls that modern bikes are all now seemingly standard with. Maybe I’m getting old? But the Triumph has a feature I had not experienced before.

Quick Shift mode. Now this mode can be turned on at any point in your ride. Once set. It stays on until you turn it off. Even through multiple bike stoppages where the engine is switched off. Quick shift is available to assist your gear shifts between the 2nd to 5th gears. Now for anyone who has ever tried to flat-shift a bike. It is a skill that can easily be messed up from time to time. But with the Quick Shift mode enabled. Every gear shift is as smooth as butter. The slight electronic drop in revs that allows the change of gears works extremely well and gave me the confidence to make that later upshift when heading to a jump face that I might have avoided and just rev’d the bike out further on to avoid an untimely Endonesia experience. Well worth a test for anyone who gets on a Triumph.

On Track, the bike is a 250 weapon. Like most 250cc four strokes, It loves to be reved.


Now Triumph has a range of Performance accessories available for the TF250X, something I would love to get some more testing time with. But things like a full Titanium Akrapovic Exhaust, XTrig holeshot devices, Performance Gripper seat and seat cover, Athena LC-GPA launch control module with LED engine lights etc and additional Maps suitable for the Exhaust allow for very simple bolt-on performance gains. Not that this bike needs anything where it counts.

With the feel of this TF250X and the success it is already having in the world of motocross and supercross. The anticipated TF450X and an Enduro range in my opinion can not get here soon enough. Although as per Triumph’s messaging at this stage. You will have to wait until much later in 2024 before you hear any more about these future offerings. Probably because they are busy getting the right. So they can outdo the impression that the TF250X has left on those who have ridden it so far.

The TF 250-X will start from $14,250 rideaway and orders can be placed at Triumph dealers now, with bikes available for delivery from May. For more information or to find your local dealer, visit the Triumph Australia website

Specifications

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
TypeSingle cylinder 4-Stroke DOHC
Capacity249.95cc
Bore78mm
Stroke52.3mm
Compression ratio14.4
SystemDell’Orto EFI
ExhaustSingle silencer
Final drive13/48
ClutchWet, multi-plate Belleville spring
Gearbox5-speed
  

CHASSIS
FrameAluminium, spine
SwingarmAluminium fabrication
Front wheel21″ x 1.6″
Rear wheel19″ x 1.85″
Front tyre80/100 – 21
Rear tyre100/90 – 19
Front suspensionKYB 48mm coil spring fork, compression/rebound adjustment, 310mm travel
Rear suspensionKYB coil, compression adjustment (H and L Speed), rebound adjustment, 305mm travel
Front brakeBrembo twin 24mm piston, 260mm disc
Rear brakeBrembo single 26mm piston, 220mm disc
Instrument display and functionsHour meter, multifunction switch cubes
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width handlebars836mm
Height1270mm
Seat height960mm
Wheelbase1492mm
Rake27.4º
Trail116mm
Wet weight104kg
Tank capacity7.0L

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