Get the Flash Player to see this player.Based out of Livermore, Calif., TBM Racing builds professional quality aftermarket products for personal watercraft. Though known primarily for designing and building components for stand-up skis, TBM Racing has jumped headfirst into the runabout market with its new tunable ride plate for the Kawasaki Ultra 250X and Ultra LX.
“It’s been in development a year, year and a half since the Ultra came out,” says TBM Racing owner Tim Bushman. “Our main focus just stepping into the runabout market is handling. Anything we’ve made for the Ultra 250 and any runabout in the future will be fully tunable and fully adjustable.”
Unlike some ride plates that offer increased speed at the cost of handling, Bushman says his product doesn’t have the same compromise.
“What we did with our plate, we have the best of both worlds,” says Bushman. “We have a deeper channel in the center of the plate – you get about a two mile an hour gain in top speed. When doing that, the ski will not turn as well. So what we did to overcome that problem was we have an adjustable, automatically dropping trim tab.
“As you turn the handlebars the nozzle pushes the trim tab down progressively, causing the nose of the ski to settle in the water. The ski just turns phenomenally, better than stock, even with the increase in top speed in the straight line.”
According to Bushman, he wanted to be able to stop consumers from having to buy multiple products for the same machine.
“We want them to have some options, whether they’re using the ski for off-shore or closed course or just going out and having fun on the weekends,” says Bushman.
Bushman says the TBM ride plate offers more versatility and adjustability, so no matter what type of riding the customer is doing or what the water condition is the plate still provides a boost in performance.
“If you’re in rough water you have an adjuster on the plate,” says Bushman. “With the turn of a set screw, without having to take the plate off, you adjust the ride attitude of the ski. We also have a lever override kit, where you pull a clutch lever or trim lever on the handlebars and you can adjust the ride height of the ski with a two-finger operation at full throttle.”
As a racer himself, Bushman knows the importance of quality products. He started TBM Racing in 2003 because he was frustrated by what he calls the poor quality of aftermarket products. His main goal was to provide his customers with professional caliber products, rather than lower-priced products that merely resemble race parts.
“I will not claim to have the cheapest price, yet I will claim to have the highest quality parts on the market,” Bushman says in a mission statement on his website. “If I wouldn’t run it on my personal race ski I will not sell it.”
When it comes to his new ride plate, Bushman doesn’t think anything else on the market can compare.
“We feel that this is the best and most innovative ride plate ever made for a personal watercraft.”
The TBM Racing tunable ride plate for the Kawasaki Ultra 250X and Ultra LX retails for $389.95 and is available on the official TBM Racing website.