Q: IS THE 2013 YZ125 FASTER THAN THE 2012 YZ125? A: It can’t be faster than the 2012 model (or the 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 or 2007 models for that matter) because it has the same engine. It might even be a little slower thanks to the global-spec changes. Q: HOW MUCH HORSEPOWER DOES THE 2013 YZ125 MAKE? A: It makes 34.01 horsepower. Q: HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO THE KTM 125SX AND KTM 150SX? A: At 34.01 horsepower, the YZ125 is only six-tenths of a horsepower off of the KTM 125SX, which peaks at 34. 66 at 11,200 rpm. Surprisingly, for an engine that hasn’t seen a serious mod in six years, the YZ125 holds its own. It never beats the 2013 KTM 125SX at any point on the curve and actually gives up several horsepower to the KTM in the middle (from 6000 rpm to 8400 rpm), but it sticks with it on top. As for the 150SX, it hits 38. 83 horsepower at 11, 100 rpm. It is faster, stronger, broader and easier to ride. Q: WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE INSTALLED A YZ144 KIT? A: With Yamaha’s $859.95 GYTR big-bore 144cc kit, the YZ125 gains two more horsepower in the meat of the powerband, and, best of all, it doesn’t lose any top-end power. The GYTR YZ144 kit includes a brand-new, nickel- carbide-plated Athena cylinder; cylinder head; 58mm piston with rings, pins, clips and gaskets; modified Power Valves; O-rings; and complete instructions. Best of all, it fits all 2005 through 2013 Yamaha YZ125 models. The downside is that it still can’t match the KTM 150SX pony for pony, and the price tag ($859.95, plus splitting the cases) makes it expensive. Q: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE THE 2013 YAMAHA YZ125? A: Once you adapt to the all-or-nothing riding tactics of successful 125 two-stroke racing, you under- stand why they used to sell one million offroad bikes back in the glory days of two-strokes (as opposed to 70,000 today). It is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. The best tactic is to lock your right wrist, slap at the clutch with your left hand, tap dance on the shifter with your left toe, and disconnect your frontal lobe. This is why motocross became popular so many years ago. Even when you are going slow, you feel like you couldn’t go any faster. A 125cc two-stroke makes small tracks seem big, big tracks feel like the Bonneville Salt Flats and mid-sized jumps seem like Supercross triples. You don’t have to wrestle with it, at 199 pounds, but if you did you’d win. We have seen YZ125 riders beat a field full of 250 four- strokes. Heck, we’ve seen them run down a pack of 450s. But, even if you don’t beat them, you’ll have fun trying. Q: WHAT ARE THE BEST YZ125 HOP-UPS?
Aged: The YZ125 engine may be old, but it’s still competitive.
Plus, it can be rebuilt by a monkey with a screwdriver.
Hidden secret: Believe it or not, the YZ125 comes stock with
an uber-expensive titanium shock spring.