since the late 1990s. They have found the recipe for 125
success—incredible suspension, a broad powerband, a
balanced chassis and a close-ratio six-speed gearbox.
While it’s true that Yamaha has not kept pace with KTM
in terms of updates and development, it’s inconsequential as long as the final product is superior. We cannot
punish a bike based on the fact that it doesn’t have the
latest technology. Judged on its merits alone, the Yamaha
YZ125 won the 2015 “MXA 125cc Two-Stroke Shootout.”
( 2) KTM 125SX. KTM is solving the riddles that
have plagued its two-stroke lineup in past years, though
there are still several glaring bugaboos that need to be
addressed. The engine is too focused on top-end power,
and the suspension lacks forgiveness. These are areas
of utmost importance for a displacement predicated on
riders making the transition from the minicycle ranks.
Having said that, KTM will likely unveil all-new
two-strokes for 2016. Is KTM dominance forthcoming?
We can’t wait to find out.
( 3) Husqvarna TC125. The TC125 didn’t finish in last
place so much as it finished a very close third in a field
of excellent two-strokes. In some ways, the Husqvarna
was better than the KTM, but neither Austrian bike
could keep the Yamaha YZ125 in sight (except at 10,000
rpm). The Husqvarna TC125 has a few shortcomings that
need to be addressed (the suspension, the worst seat
cover known to man, and a flawed airbox design) before
it can be considered in the same realm as the YZ125. ❏