Like a lot of riders, I've always had a strange fascination with TM motorcycles. There's something about trick, limited-run off-road bikes that really grabs my attention, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't admire those lightning-fast Italians on their mysteriously blue (formerly pink) steeds. In fact, I spent two seasons as an amateur racer aboard full-size TM 80s (a 125cc chassis with an 80cc engine in it, much to the rulebook-twisting frustration of my local AMA referee, I might add), and my experience with the bikes was definitely a positive one. It's safe to say that most riders don't have anything against TMs, but perhaps due to apprehension or just a general distrust of the unfamiliar bikes the brand hasn't seemed to gain much traction in the U.S.Some Dirt Rider readers have been vocal about the lack of TM tests in recent years, yet the distributorship has changed hands several times as of late. However, Motoman Distributing recently regained the import duties, and TM could not have found a better partner. As the importer for TM from 1994 through 2006, Motoman's Pete Vetrano not only knows TMs inside and out and races them often, but he also has a strategy for making these machines more accessible to the average rider. Working to make the brand a force in the USA by increasing parts availability and expanding TM's dealer network, Vetrano's vision is certain to breathe new life into this high-interest exotic bike.It has been a number of years since a TM has seen the inside of the Dirt Rider shop, and because of this our testers were eager to shake the bike down over the course of a few days. In this case, the bike was a shiny new TM EN 250 two-stroke, and after a brief warm-up and break-in on a motocross track we took the EN straight out to the high desert just outside of Barstow, California.Probably the first thing you notice after swinging a leg over the TM is that the bike is paper thin. The shrouds, tank, seat and sidepanels have a skinny nature that lends itself to an altogether diminutive feel, despite the fact that the EN weighs in at around 225 pounds without gas (more on weight in a minute). The stock handlebar is fairly high, and the seat is as hard as a rock when brand new. But overall, the ergonomics of the TM don't feel overly foreign, certainly more KTM-familiar than Husqvarna-odd. In truth, the TM 250 actually borrows components from several other machines, such as the late-CR250R fork guards and YZ250-style exhaust, so it's not entirely alien in construction and feel. On the contrary, some parts--the rear sprocket being a prime example--are TM-specific and not as easily replaceable as one would hope. The second thing you notice about the Italian beauty is the lack of electric starting; it seems that we are all getting just a little too used to this luxury!In the desert, the torque-filled feel of the motor allows the rider to rip through high-speed trails a gear high, using a higher-gear lug that feels 50cc more potent than the 250's true designation. The top-end of the power is sufficient and winds up smoothly, but the bike really shines in low-to-mid applications where the torque produces a smooth rush of power. Much like the standard "ring-ting-ting-ting-ting" of a good ol' 500cc two-stroke, the TM 250's piston can be felt making each revolution through the cylinder, though it doesn't push back on deceleration nor does it feel too slow-revving to enjoy. We didn't have anything to complain about regarding the stock gearing, and the five-speed transmission actually covers a very wide spread, thanks to a fifth gear that is like an overdrive, without the gaps usually found in a five-speed; the torque of the motor really helps.Following the desert run we tested the TM on our usual mix of single-track trails, and again we came away impressed with the makeup of the motor. The power has a chunky feel with a bigger flywheel taste to it, and on slower trails this again allows for a higher gear selection. Down in that first third of the throttle, the TM easily feels more powerful than your standard 300cc two-stroke. Thanks to the VForce3 reed valve and the crisp stock jetting, the power comes on hard like an MXer if you're a gear low, with impressive acceleration. There is zero tendency to stall, and traction on the big 140 rear Michelin was solid. Overall, the motor on this bike can be thrown into the "way better than we expected" category.