that a 250cc four-stroke has a better, broader and more usable powerband than a 125cc two-stroke. When you put millions of dollars worth of four-stroke development up against a new white fender or a downsized front brake clamp, the outcome is predestined. MXA’s bike tests did hurt Yamaha YZ125 sales, but we tried to warn Yamaha that benign neglect was a bad policy. In fact, way back in 2009, MXA asked Yamaha to build a 150cc version of the YZ125. Our reasoning was that since 125cc two-strokes had been legislated to the edge of extinction, Yamaha should pursue the entry-level market with a bike that was better suited to play riding and professional practice racing. We told Yamaha that KTM sold three times as many KTM 150SXs as they did 125SXs and that small-bore, two-stroke sales would be better served by a bike with three more horsepower to deal with changing track designs and the desires of riders. Yamaha refused on the grounds that distributors in other countries would not sign off on a YZ150. Q: WHAT CHANGES HAS YAMAHA MADE TO THE YZ125 SINCE 2005? A: Here is a very brief history of Yamaha YZ125 development. 2005 YZ125: The 2005 Yamaha YZ125 is the acorn from which the 2013 YZ125 grew. It was the first YZ125 with an aluminum frame, and it weighed 4. 5 pounds less than the 2004’s steel frame. The Kayaba forks were copies of Showa’s Twin-Chamber forks. We called them “Showabas.” 2006 YZ125: The greatest change in YZ history came in 2006 when Yamaha introduced its SSS suspension components to replace 2005’s Showabas. Not only was SSS a revelation, but the shock had an 18mm shock shaft instead of a 16mm shaft, Kashima-coated internals, a 30- percent-larger reservoir and a titanium shock spring. 2007 YZ125: Changes to the 2007 YZ125 were minimal and limited to tapered stanchions, aluminum spacers and collars, and Pro Taper oversize bars. 2008 YZ125: The 2008 YZ125 borrowed the front brake caliper, fork stanchions, lower fork bracket and chainguide from the YZ250F. There was a new reed valve, and the fork spring rate was upped from 0.41 to 0.42 kg/mm. 2009 YZ125: The big ballyhoos of 2009 were the lightweight, aluminum, front brake-cable holder; textured seat cover; and Dunlop 742F front tire. 2010 YZ125: BNG. 2011 YZ125: The 2011 model got the global-spec mods that made every YZ125 in the world the same. They included a 75mm-longer silencer and perf-core size increase (from 27mm to 30mm). The long-standing 410 main jet was replaced with a 430, and the 6BFY42-3 needle was swapped out for a 6BFY43-3 needle. 2012 YZ125: BNG (Bold New Graphics). 2013 YZ125: A white rear fender was added, along with new tank graphics.
2013 YAMAHA YZ125
2013 Yamaha YZ125: Over the years the YZ125 has seen
only modest updates and 2013 is as modest as they come.
The white rear fender and new radiator shroud graphics are
the only changes between 2012 and 2013.