It seems that the world has become infatuated with being some sort of gourmet chef. Critiquing meals to the nth degree. This doesn’t have enough salt, too much pepper, the cumin is overpowering…..and on and on. It’s as though we act as if Gordon Ramsay is over our shoulders cursing us out over every last detail.
I completely understand the mindset. I remember as an early teen being engrossed with “Good Eats” with Alton Brown, and whatever other cooking shows were on the early Food Network channel. I love making a great tasting dish, and I love seeing friends and family being comforted by a great dish. My issue on this subject though comes in when all this minutia gets sucked into riding, camping, and traveling. While the two can be combined (riding & food), why do we feel the need to complicate
I feel like folks have the Instagram mindset that their picture has to portray their life as so much better than someone else’s. My dish is better than yours, ergo my ride trip is better than yours……I WIN! Sadly this is such bullshit and only detracts from the real reasons for getting out, riding, and being one with the elements.
I may be a bit of a simpleton at times when it comes to camping, but in the day of having 8000 different, crappy, overly bitter IPA’s to choose from, it seems we forget that the cheapest beer may be the most refreshing after a long ride. No it may not be glamorous to serve yourself or a guest a High Life, but give it a try some time…..it may surprise you.
Same goes for a post ride meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and chances are if you’re riding in the continental USA, you likely will have stopped for fuel recent enough to also stock up on an evenings meal. So below is a simple meal for you to give a go. Nothing fancy, but it’ll go a long way and allow you the time to focus on what matters, and that’s spending time Out There (wherever that may be), and if you’re riding with a friend, lover, or enemy…..get to know them more with conversation not related to “can you taste the safron infused rice?”
Keep it simple: Canned Ravioli, Beer, and a morning coffee alternative can easily suffice.
I was recently asked what I’ve been doing to have some of the issues I’ve seen. Much is likely self inflicted, I’ve got some riding friends who say I put some hurt on my bikes. I don’t 100% agree, but what yah gonna do. My reply to the question was asked follows …. I’ve used it the same way I used my KTM 350 for nearly 4 years. Except in 4 years, 200 hours and 6000+ miles (including far more racing and street use), the KTM didn’t have a single issue this thing has had in under 30 hours of use. I’ve personally ridden the TSE offroad 3 times. I know Navin put however many hours on it before I got it, but still nowhere near the accumulated hours on my last bike.
First time, I put maybe 45 minutes on the bike before the rear fender assembly exploded due to caked on mud and me riding a very intermediate MX track with a license plate on the bike.
Second time, the bike randomly stalled on me on a moderately aggressive MX track, I assume my bad for somehow getting gunk in the carb. Fork seals also went that day and I should note that even at this stage my front brake was already inconsistent. I had one crash here on an endurocross tire when I lost arm strength and momentum and tipped over, though I don’t recall it hitting the side, and I don’t recall (or see in any of my pictures) of a failed subframe at this stage. I’ll go through my reference pictures to see if something pops up.
Third time, you can watch the video because it was my race. I noted earlier at what time the shifter gave up the ghost. If you want, you can watch before that and see if I did something. Maybe I looked at it wrong, or attempted to shift too quickly, I don’t know. Things you don’t think about when you’re racing, and in the past 8 years of racing, not once ever thought about. There’s the brake issues as well, though as I’ve been perfectly open about, the failing fork seal likely attributed to my lack of front brake feel, but the rears were inexcusable.
I got the messages from GPX regarding the plastics. I was curious on their cost as yeah I had saw that the OEM Husky stuff comes in at a heft 440$ (with new associated hardware). A tough and bitter pill to swallow on a bike that is rapidly & continually pushing North. My issue with the GPX stock parts is what I’ve noted before. The manufacturer may have copied the Husqvarna stuff, but they skipped over the critical details, which to me are make or break. Every single threaded insert on the GPX appears as though it is a round turned part, presumably with knurling. Many threads so far have seemed undersized (causing bolts to get stuck in them), and my personal guess is that they are not molded in, but likely heat staked in post-molding. I can’t confirm 100%, but given that many are in blind hole areas, overmolding that can be tricky. Doable, but tricky. Why they didn’t use hex stock, or add some sort of undercut detail to help retain the threaded inserts, I don’t know (related to whether or not they’re molded in vs heat staked). I have my assumption.
Threaded inserts aside, you then have the exact material makeup. I assure you that as many metals you know about, there are 10x as many plastics. Each plastic just like metals can have different flexes, rigidity, slip, all that stuff. I can’t say on the subframe how it matches to the OEM Husqvarna parts, but with absolute certainty the material used for the fenders is different. Not only is it different, but key areas where they should have molded in pieces of aluminum for added strength was not done. Again, I assume to hit a price point and the possibility of not understanding the importance of these things.
I’m appreciative of the fact that GPX has these parts in stock and at prices lower than the Husky parts that were copied. Unfortunately as I’m finding (and apparently alone in this), but the low price is proving the old man saying of “buy once, cry once”. As I noted earlier as well, I’m getting to the point of being ready to toss in the towel and admitting that this is not the right bike for me at this time. Unfortunately (for me) GPX has kicked the price of a new 2019 down so low that resale on these is (assuming) sub 4000$ range, given a new one can be had for $4500. Kinda wild considering that the bike was just released less than 6 months ago? It’s sadly putting this closer to the territory of a disposable item. It’s a shame as there was (is) much potential for this.
But like you said, I’m 1 of 700 of these. Maybe I got an oddball, or the first off the line. I don’t know. Maybe I just have crap luck with bikes and needed to perpetuate my Buy High, Sell Low Mantra. Like the Yin\Yang, maybe I’m just on the downside of that.
I’ll be getting this one buttoned back up, and contemplating whether or not I take it to the Brushpoppers event and how I am going to move forward from here on out. As I said above, there is much potential, but for me at this time, it just may not be the right fit.
All that aside, has anyone had any feedback regarding the oil injection pulley not lining up to per the DT230 manual? 3 bolts & a twist of the grip to check. Maybe something changed along the way, but the only thing I have to go off of is the DT230 manual.
An addendum to this is that I still praise the tse suspension. The motor is an absolute pleasure. At the price point these bikes are very hard to beat. I’ve likely had some first run teething issues and some self inflicted problems as noted.
First of all….What is it? The TSE250R is the 2 Stroke Big Bike offering from US Based company GPX Moto. GPX Moto is a subsidiary of USA MotorToys who also owns Pitster Pro (small bikes). The TSE250R is in essence a Yamaha DT230 motor packaged into a 2017 Husqvarna TC Chassis. The manufacturer (in China) apparently bought tooling from Yamaha for the engine, and so far as I know or can tell, the frame, plastics, etc are Husky replicas. GPX opted on this bike to adapt a CRF450 front fender and a 2015 Yamaha WR450F headlight.
After a bit of time in transit, and getting my lights wired up, I finally got to fire up the TSE250R for some test riding. Keep in mind that the bulk of my riding has been on the street. I’m in the middle of flatlandia IL, so very few places to actually ride off-road.
Despite most of my riding being street oriented, it gives a little different perspective from others. Traditional 2 Stroke engines conjure images of vibrations and the tingling feeling in your hands as they’ve been buzzed to oblivion. The powerplant of the TSE250R goes a long way to address this issue. The TSE250R engine, initially a Yamaha engine is one that is counterbalanced. This counterbalancer smooths out engine vibrations to a degree that on the street, you’re feeling more vibration from the knobby tires than the engine itself.
Right side of engine showing expansion chamber and oil injection pump area.
Now this is not to say that the engine does not feel like a 2 Stroke. In just about every sense, it does. There is the ring ding ding of the expansion chamber (which is double walled and sound deadened for noise reduction). The power kicks in with a bit of revs and tapers off smoothly. The state of tune on this is for overall power spread. You’re not getting a massive hit with this engine. Riding on the street really exacerbates this as you feel the revs taper off quick as you’re clicking through the gears.
Stock gearing on the TSE250R is 12/52. Comparing this to the original Yamaha this motor was in, and this is incredibly short. Original DT230 bike ran 16/55 gearing. This variance though shows just how wide and versatile the transmission in this engine is. With the TSE250R’s oem gearing, you can comfortably cruise on the street at 60mph. At these revs, the engine is turning a calculated 7000 RPM. Despite how high these revs are, as noted earlier, the bike is oddly smooth. Same setup dropped into some light off-roading and the bike immediately feels far more at home.
The brakes on the bike appear to be very similar to the Brembos commonly found on KTM and other Euro bike manufacturers. However the brakes on the GPX are not Brembo. This is not a major concern though as the brakes feel very positive, have great grab and when asked, will lock up the wheels. Time will tell on how they hold up, but initial impressions are very positive.
My time spent off-road has been minimal, but this is where the TSE250R motor is shining. The engine pulls in a very linear fashion. While a big hit of a more racey 2 Stroke may be exhilarating, wider and linear is excellent for off-road. A quick stab of the clutch quickly picks the engine up onto the pipe, but still smooth, tractable. In a small ravine, 2nd gear hopped the front wheel over a water eroded rut with ease. Rolling back down and to jump out, on the gas, the bike roosted out with a slight jump. Landing and immediately accelerating off to the edge of my property.
A downside to the bike so far has been with regards to throttle and throttle response. Coming from a Fuel Injected 4T, with an ultra light throttle, I miss the immediate response. Fuel Injection provides absolutely crisp throttle response. In comparison, the carburetor dulls these responses and even with “perfect” jetting on a given day, it’ll be slightly off the next. That is what it is. I appreciate its simplicity, but if you’ve been spending time on an injected bike, you’ll feel the difference. The other downfall is the throttle is on the heavy side. This isn’t carburetor related, but moreso that the bike has mechanical Oil Injection. For this to function (for those not familiar with 70’s 2 Stroke bikes), the throttle cable splits off in a Y, with one end terminating at the carburetor and the other at the oil injection pump. The more throttle, the more oil. Consequently you end up with spring returns in both the carburetor as well as the oil pump, giving a slightly heavier throttle pull.
The main thing I’m anxious to test more on is with regards to suspension and chassis. The TSE250R is setup with FastAce suspension. The bit I did test on my property felt very compliant. Despite running tires at silly high pressure (24psi for road use), the tires kept firmly planted on the ground. Looking where I wanted to go, the bike didn’t think twice about tipping down into the turn and following through. Steering is incredibly light with great feel. Turning radius does feel somewhat limited, though this may only be an issue if you’re going full trials mode with your riding.
I noted the downside above regarding throttle pull, and while I’d like to say that is my only complaint, I feel there are a couple others that can be noted. One is that there are hints of the “Chinesium” on the bike. These details can be seen in add-on type areas. For example, the front fender is off of a modern Honda CRF450R. The triple clamps appear to be KTM Replicas. Instead of adjusting tooling for the lower triple clamp to directly mate with the Honda based front fender, they chose to make a steel adapter to fit the Honda fender to the KTM clamp. Yes, it works, however this adds weight and extra complexity. This is the same for how other extra parts add on notably around the dash and extra brackets for mounting a number plate vs the supplied headlight.
My greatest real concern on this is the fact that everything so far on the bike appears to be a replica, or I guess say it how you will, a knockoff. I found this out as myself and others online were beginning to rejet their bikes for use and weather. The carburetor is supposed to be a Mikuni TM30 carburetor. After digging in, it is apparent that the carburetor too is a replica of the original Mikuni. This can cause issues if you’re looking to use OEM Mikuni components. Main Jets from Mikuni for this carburetor are a very goofy thread size. M5.3 x 0.9. The manufacturer of this carb opted to thread the needle jet (where main jet threads into) with the more common M5x0.8. They also size their jets differently from Mikuni. Not major issues, but it can throw some complication in the mix.
As things stand, it’s hard to say how you can beat the value of this bike. New from GPX, the TSE250R hits the bank for $5600 (+Shipping). Compared to a new KTM, you’re saving around $3000. Long term is obviously a work in progress and you won’t have to twist my arm to do my part to put this bike through a torture test. Simply put so far on this is that if you’re OK with being a sort of beta tester for a first line of bikes from GPX, then you very little chance of being disappointed with the bike. I know I’m looking forward to what else GPX has in the works.
For more pictures and detail views, check the following gallery:
Lord have mercy, Day 2 in Moab would prove to be a body buster. If you’ve been to Moab, you’ll know that you don’t have to ride very long distances to put some hurt on your body. Day 2 found us riding a relatively short distance, but on some of the gnarlier stuff that Moab had to offer. The day was going to be John T, Brian, and myself. In a group of 2 or 3, you can really knock out some rides. Brian was only in town for a short time, so he was looking to get some riding in. I can’t blame him. When you drive 1300+ miles to a location to ride, you want to ride…..and ride….and ride.
First one must gear up for the ride:
So that is what we would do. What to do first though? First up was decided that we would ride a section none of us had ridden before. Close by, and some of the reviews said “if wet…..don’t attempt”. Silly jeepers can’t handle rocks apparently. We decided as well that we would ride Steelbender North to South, so that we’d be closer to more riding after the section was done. From what I recall of the beginning, the trail was a good mix of sand, and rocks. Some moderate obstacles were in along the way, but nothing that was unmanageable. This section of the ride, it was early, I was mildly tired, and thus resulted in me taking minimal pictures.
Somewhere along the way of Steelbender, Brian offered up his 500 to me. I was intrigued to try his bike for a couple reasons. One was that I wanted to see what I was missing with having the 350 instead of the 500. Two, Brian had some fancy re-valved forks on the bike. I want to say Pro-Action 3 way valving, but I may be wrong here. Three, Brian runs a steering damping (Scotts) and I run nothing on my 350. Anyways….I was glad I got to see the difference.
Power wise, there is a pretty easy comparison. The 500 has the power of the 350, but from 0 revs on up. I know it has more, but it was smooth, linear, and while it could rip your arms out, you didn’t have the feeling like it was constantly going to run away from you. The 350, you gotta be up in the Revs to be pulling all its power. On top of that, with the 13/48 gearing I was running, you could feel the slight lack in pep vs riding back at sea level at home. Suspension wise, while I felt that the re-valved forks were good, I didn’t think it’d be worth spending the money to get my forks reworked. If I were racing AA on a weekly basis, yeah the OEM fork valving needs help, but for the 99%…the stock valving is pretty darned good (spring rates aside). The steering damper is another thing, well I had no idea I was testing a bike with one. So in that regard, I didn’t notice any ill effects. Brian stated that he loves his, though only had it due to it being on the bike when he got it. Again, I suppose it could help, but the prices on those……
Bike testing aside, once back on the 350, I felt back at home, though down on power. I missed that, and realized that if I had to have 1 machine, that the 500 would for sure be it. We meandered along the trail, enjoying some nice overcast sky.
Brian and John discussing the trail thus far:The bulk of the trail looked like this:
That last pic is a bit of a lie. Yeah, just about everything in Moab is 2-track, since its all Jeep created (motorcycle specific areas excluded). What you just don’t get is how you go from a flowing sandy 2 track section, to knee high rock boulders in the middle of the trail, requiring instant clutch work with a healthy dose of body english to not go bashing your rims like a bowling ball into rock ledges.
Some of those rocky things behind me:
You can see John T coming down a bit of these rocks here:
As we worked our way to the end of Steelbender, it was apparent why going the opposite direction of us would have been a PITA. There’s one bad hill climb, that if wet, would be nearly impassible. At the end of the trail is a nice creek crossing, which had some depth to it due to recent rains. We had a small crowd (2 ladies walking their dogs), so we all did our best to not drown any bikes. Success was had, with us working our way West out of the area to intersect with 191 and decide our next course of action.
Enter…..Behind the Rocks:
We saw we were close to Behind The Rocks, and I secretly saw that it connected with the back entrance to Pritchett Canyon, so I was all for doing this. The pic above shows what is the first obstacle to get into Behind the Rocks. After Brian and myself worked our way up Guardian Hill….we pulled out the lawnchairs and watch John. This climb is one of those commit, and line selection. The added difficulty being that at the top, it’s all sand, which gets really kills your grip along the way. If you have a hard time with balancing….this one could prove difficult.
I snagged a quick video of “helping” John :lol3
Brian has some good video leading up to Guardian Hill, as well as all of our climbs up it. Sweet word these videos don’t do this place justice:
Looking back at that video….I see I was of 0 help with getting John and his bike up the hill. Woops :lol3. Behind the rocks though, would prove to be a great combination of sandy stuff where you can just rail the bike, combined with technical rocks, and some wicked climbs and descents. We found ourselves on a quick little off-shoot, which was a nice place to stop for a quick snack break. Good time for some of the peanutbutter balls my wife makes for me:
Then how can you NOT like stuff like this?
Along the way, you end up at an absolutely gnarly downhill. There is a go-around, but Brian and I felt we were up for the challenge. I missed taking some pics at the top, so I’ll do my best to describe it. This downhill had several lines to get down it. The main issue though with most of the lines is that at the end of each, there was a 4-5′ drop you had to do. I’m not one to shy away from such dangers, but figured I’d choose to most conservative approach of the available lines. Brian chose to be Mr. HotRod & do one where he jumps off at the end. My video….which he makes it look like you’re rolling off a curb at Starbucks:
Brian’s full video, you can get a bit better grasp of what you’re dealing with:
From here, you work your way down, around, and through the woods….to White Knuckle Hill we go. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but soon understood why it was called that. I began riding down, to realize that the route I’d chosen…..well, wasn’t the best. Luckily I was able to stop, reposition, and square of the direction I wanted to go. I did capture a nice pic while I scouted my lines:
As soon as I got down, I saw John & Brian scouting a much different route….one that appeared to have less ledges\etc.
At this point, we weren’t far from the end of Behind The Rocks, and were seeing the sign for Pritchett Canyon. It was decided we’d better eat a snack before heading on, as we’d been told that Pritchett Canyon is one of the hardest trails in the Moab area.
I suppose it’s possible that they could be right (trail goes down off that ledge…)
As with last year, a trip to Moab, Utah was planned for early\mid Spring. This year however is absolutely terrible timing. Two days after I’m set to come back from the trip, I’ve got a trade show with my shop. I find out that we’ve also hired a sales & marketing intern, so this adds in the prep work needed for the trip. Oh yah……I’m also a couple months in on building a new house. I’m not swinging the hammers, but I still have the feeling of “I should just stay home”. Yet, I’m living in a basement, with my moto crap on borrowed space as well in my parents basement, so stick with the plan and get in some bucket list rides I missed last year.
The plan was to leave Thursday April 28th and get home Saturday May 7th. Factor in 24 hours of driving, which gives us roughly 7 days of riding, or something like that. Still fuzzy and all that. Last year there were 3 of us driving out together, meeting up with some guys from a local Meetup group. This year was just myself and John T, who I’m sure I pissed off plenty before the trip with my himhawing about saving pennies for the house, my current work load, and my consideration of selling my KTM 350, to which he kindly referred to as”the most fking incredible bike ever”. Other than that, our riding plans were “get there and ride”. I had some ulterior motives and longed to do 5 Miles of Hell, and the Kokopelli Trail with visiting Top of The World along the way. Aside from that, the plan was to ride a lot and get home with bodies & bikes in the same condition as when they left.
The cast of characters for this year:
Amazingly enough, we stuck rather well to the initial plan. John arrived at my parents place where I said goodbye to my wife and dog. We began loading up the back of my truck with Johns 350 (his bike is precious and needs a Rekluse and can’t get dirt on it :D), followed by piling in all our crap, ending with my 350 sitting neatly on the hitch hauler. All this was packed into my extended cab Chevy Colorado, which at this point had less than 5,000 miles on it. Why I suggested taking it is beyond me, but hey….it’s more fun than an F150 :lol3
All loaded up, we got out the door @ 5:32pm CST. Next stop….Moab!