Yamaha R125 Motorcycle: Review and specifications

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Yamaha R125 specifications

Back in the olden days, Yamaha had a reputation for making powerful 125s. From the (unrestricted) air-cooled RD125DX two-stroke twin of the 1970s, through to the amazing-when-derestricted TZR125 of the 1990s, the tuning fork folks knew how to get the most from an eighth of a liter. They’ve done it again with the new R125. Amazingly, the new bike has a fully-fledged variable inlet valve system in its little four-valve cylinder head. The single overhead camshaft has two intake cam profiles – one high-speed and one low-speed.

The intake valves are operated by a two-piece rocker arm, with one follower on each cam profile. Below 7400rpm, only the low-speed cam profile follower operates the valves, giving great torque and efficiency. Over 7400rpm, an ECU-controlled solenoid moves a pin which locks the two-part rocker arm together and letting the high-speed follower take over. So the valves are opened for more lift and duration, giving great peak power. Okay, the total output is still limited to 15bhp; this is still a learner legal bike, of course. But on the road, the little Yam feels by far the best of all the 125s I’ve ridden in recent times.

Yamaha R125 Motorcycle Review

The engine has a proper power curve and actually feels like a ‘real’ powerplant. On the Tarmac of our test location just outside Valencia, the R125 hit an indicated 130kph easily enough – nearly 80mph in old money. Engine apart, the rest of the R125 also gets top marks. The steel Deltabox frame, alloy swingarm, USD forks, and radial four-piston front caliper definitely make it the class leader in the learner sports bike sector… and a worthy successor to the likes of the RD125 and the TZR.

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