Ancient mariner: No one is denying that this is an old engine, but it still makes competitive power and has hop-up potential.
(1) Price. At $6290, the YZ125 is $160 cheaper than
the KTM 125SX ($6450) and $1200 cheaper than a 2014
Yamaha YZ250F ($7490).
( 2) Suspension. We absolutely love Yamaha’s SSS
( 3) Weight. At under 200 pounds, the YZ125 is 23
pounds lighter than a CRF250 and 25 pounds lighter than
a KX250F. Weight is important to consider when many
young riders aren’t strong enough to lift their own body
( 4) Repair costs. A top-end kit from Wiseco (piston,
rings, gaskets, piston pin, wrist pins and clips) costs
( 5) History. It’s a shame that Yamaha doesn’t see the
value in retaining its connection to the heritage, legends,
traditions and lifestyle of Yamaha’s racing reputation.
Dropping their primary link to motocross racing and
stagnating on two-stroke development doesn’t build
consumer support. If we expect the sport to grow by
selling heavier, complicated and expensive four-strokes,
we are going to learn a sad lesson in marketing 101.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: If it’s worth doing, isn’t it worth doing right? We
appreciate that Yamaha still makes 125cc two-strokes,
but we can’t help but wonder how great the YZ125
would be if it hadn’t suffered eight years of benign
Reeds. We run a Boyesen RAD valve to broaden the
power. The $179.95 RAD valve is a complete replacement
reed block and valve assembly. Boyesen can be reached
at www.boyesen.com or at (800) 441-1177.
Porting. A ported YZ125 (with head mods) is a potent
high-rpm weapon. The cost to port the cylinder and mill
the head is typically around $329.95. Contact
Pro Circuit at www.procircuit.com.
Gearing. Before you buy a pipe, port the engine or
slip on aftermarket reeds, gear the YZ125 down. Adding
one tooth will perk up second gear, get you to third gear
sooner and make the overall ratios between the six
gears more user-friendly.
Pipe. Exhaust pipes are an easy way to add power.
They add about 2 horsepower to a 125 and cost one-third
of what four-stroke exhaust systems cost. FMF and Pro
Circuit YZ125 pipes cost less than $250.
Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Look. We don’t mind giving up horsepower, speed
or technology to the other guys on the starting line, but
why does our brand-new $6200 bike look eight years old?
( 2) Gearing. Gear it down. Now!
Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?
A: The like list: