Yamaha YZF-R125 Review
What Is It?
The 2014 Yamaha YZF-R125 is a premium learner friendly sports bike which is a major upgrade over the original 2008 model. It saw a large re-design in 2019.
Engine: 125 cc Single Cylinder, 15 bhp
Economy: 90 mpg, 230 miles
Top Speed: 80 mph
Seat Height: 825 mm
Wet Weight: 140 kg
What Is It Like?
|✓||R6 big bike feel and stylish looks, good suspension, cheap to run, build quality, nippy|
|×||Headlight, screen, plastic tank, not pillion friendly, top speed, reasonably expensive to buy|
This was the first ever bike I had ever ridden before my boyfriend encouraged me to take a CBT with him (he also has a YZF R-125).
It has been very forgiving when I've shifted gears badly or stalled multiple times while getting used to how far out the clutch is. Though due to the power you have to use every gear to its fullest to get on dual carriageways, though I find it does 80mph easily, though this may be due to my size I have heard others mention they struggle to push 75mph.
I love my R-125 and wouldn't ask for anything other, although I have thought to myself maybe I shouldn't have gotten a brand new one for my first ever bike (I get annoyed whenever I find a little scratch).
The seating position can be very uncomfortable on long rides (I have bad hips, knees and back). I expected to be hunched over as it is a sports bike, but on rides my shoulders can be quite tense and my wrists hurt, also every now and then I have to stretch out my legs relieve my hips and knees from being bent for the whole ride (this is usually if the journey is 1 hour plus).
I also found that the screws rounded easily, when changing my screen and undoing the plastic screws they just rounded as well as some holding on the fairings. It can also be very heavy especially with a full tank of petrol.
I can't find many bad points about the YZF R-125, my love for this bike grows with every ride!
What I have upgraded/added on:
Double bubble screen (blue tinted) - this makes such a big difference when riding from the standard screen, I was surprised.
Silver YZF R-125 Tank pad - mostly to hide the scratch from my jackets belt on the first day I ever rode it home from the dealership (I was not happy). Also to prevent further damage.
Yamaha Crash bungs on the boomerang fairings- these were more of a 'just incase' to decrease the probability of any damage if anything happened.
I am hoping to upgrade the clutch and front brake levers to shorter ones, as well as tint the headlights blue and upgrade the standard bulbs to brighter ones, as well as change the tail tidy and upgrade the indicators to LED ones (standard are quite bulky in my opinion).
- Surprisingly quick.
- Has the looks of an R6. (I have been asked multiple times what size my bike is)
- Amazing mpg.
- Upside down forks.
- Very forgiving to new riders.
- Digital screen.
- Quite heavy to move. (I'm only little)
- Plastic tank.
- Seating position can be uncomfortable on long rides. (aching/tense shoulders and wrists)
- Stock tail is not attractive.
- Standard windscreen is useless.
- Geraldine R, 2018
How Does It Compare?
The Second Opinion
After recently deciding to get back on a motorbike, after roughly 25 years, looking for a new bike was not an easy choice. Last time I rode everything at the time screamed its guts out leaving billowing clouds of two stroke behind.
The surprise was there are loads of great learner legal 125s out there, albeit not many suitable for a 6 ft 3 tall man. After trying several for size and dismissing them for their size I tried the Yamaha YZF-R125 and was pleasantly surprised at the size of it. Several weeks of searching landed me with a beautiful 2017 model in Yamaha blue and silver with the added bonus of a number plate of YZF as well.
First experience of riding it, well like a dream, nice and smooth with no rattles and everything feels nice and tight as it should. Handling is great, loves the twists and turns of Dartmoor and certainly turns heads where ever I ride. Brakes stop you on the proverbial six pence so lots of confidence in them.
Fuel economy. Well its a 4 stroke 125 and as expected seems to go for ever without worrying about filling up.
Build quality is exceptional as you would expect from anything with the Yamaha badge and I can see with care the bike looking pristine for a long time. The digital display is great, everything works and is easy to read, all controls easy to reach and feel nice to the touch.
Early days still but very very impressed apart from two things which to be fair probably are not the bikes fault and me being picky they are are below:
- Top speed is not as quick as I would have expected probably reaching 75 at a push but carrying a 6 ft 3 20 stone man then what can I expect?
- Headlight is not the brightest but easily rectified with better bulbs.
- Whilst I have not added anything to the bike myself apart from new bulbs she can fitted with the tail tidy and R&G tank grips.
Who is it aimed at? Learners one hundred one cent, a great bike with fantastic looks. Would I buy again? Hell yes. This bike will more than keep me happy while I am doing the full test and beyond.
Will I sell when I pass? Not a chance. This little bike has earned its place in the family, will become the wife's learner bike and a daily commuter for me.
- John B, 2018
More Yamaha YZF-R125 Reviews
The Yamaha YZF-R125 2014 is a brilliant bike for riders who are just getting started or for people who are just a bit taller than others (not me then). So what is it like you may ask, considering this is a review then you can bet I'm going to tell you!
The bike is a beautiful one to both look at and to ride with a top speed of between 80mph - 92mph with the wind behind you. So yes, that makes it one of the fastest 125cc learner legal motorbikes on the market. Coming in at £4,999 RRP it is not the cheapest motorbike out there, but don't let that turn you away because it has a lot to offer.
Now I know reading all of that can be a bit much so in short here are the key features of this bike:
- Digital display
- Resembles the R6 and sports big bike looks
- Comfortable seat
- Upside down fork
- Great MPG
- User friendly and forgiving for new riders
- Fast acceleration and top speed
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Fuel injection
Now as we all know we have to be fair so here are some of the drawbacks to this otherwise lovely machine:
- Pillion seat is uncomfortable
- Tank is Plastic
- Screen is useless unless you are a smurf
- Stock exhaust is a bit unsightly
- Stock tail is just ugly
- If you are less than 5'4" you may struggle to ride this
In conclusion the YZF-R125 is a great learner bike. It is a good competitor for the Honda CBR125 and to be completely honest, it looks better. It is a good all round motorbike whether it be used for the daily commute to work, learning to ride or just going out and having fun with what it has to offer. My final verdict is that it is a great bike and if you have the money and are looking for a brand new 125 then this is the bike I recommend.
- Ryan (Life Dash Cams), 2017