YAMAHA SR125 (1982-2003) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"One of the oldest 125 cruiser type motorcycles on the roads today"

Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding

"One of the oldest 125 cruiser type motorcycles on the roads today"

  • At a glance
  • 124cc  -  12 bhp
  • 65 mpg  -  130 miles range
  • Medium seat height (740mm)
  • Suitable for A1 licence

Overall Rating 2 out of 5

The Yamaha SR125 is one of the oldest 125 cruiser type motorcycles on the roads today. It first appeared in the UK way back in 1982, was withdrawn in 1986, then returned in 1991. It's an ideal CBT motorcycle, but beyond a training school car park the Yamaha SR125 feels slow and outdated in almost every way.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

With everything feeling low and light, the Yamaha SR125 is a novice motorcycle which you can master very quickly. The front disc brake works OK, but the suspension is on the soft side and the motorcycle soon feels like a mini bouncy castle if you try and corner at all rapidly. 

Engine 1 out of 5

The Yamaha SR125 struggles to maintain its speed in 5th gear - any kind of headwind or incline will see you prodding 4th gear to keep it above 50mph. The SR125's engine is reliable, but it's so sluggish it's hard to believe Yamaha's claim that produces 12bhp.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Yamaha SR125's motor is one of those understressed units (also features in the TW125 Yam ) that just keeps plodding along for years. The rest of the Yamaha SR125 can look a bit tatty after a few winters and corrosion can get at the exhaust and chassis components all too easily. There's a fully-enclosed chain however.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Yamaha SR125s go for about £400-£900 secondhand, which considering the SR125 once cost a whopping two grand brand new, is a fair price for a basic learner/cruiser motorcycle. Watch out for ex-training school models with bent forks, broken indicators, levers and dented exhausts - there's plenty about. Find a Yamaha SR125 for sale

Insurance group: 4 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

With the Yamaha SR125 you do get fuel, neutral and temperature warning lights, which some 125 learner motorcycles lack, but otherwise the Yamaha SR125 is a basic mode of transport, with few frills. Nice comfy seat though, plus grabrail and electric start, even going back to the 1991 models.

Owners' Reviews

11 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA SR125 (1982-2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.1 out of 5
Equipment 2.7 out of 5
4 out of 5

1997 SR 125

14 August 2013 by Urkey89

I bought this bike in May 2013 with many problems. It was SORN, had a copper nut in place of the left, rear wheel spacer. Seized front brake and a caliper in rough condition and no chain. Now it is August 2013 and I have got my cbt, MOT,... Read more insurance and tax. I managed to completely overhaul the front brake. Now I know this doesn't sound much but I have literally just started my level 3 NVQ in motorcycle maintenance and repair. I did all this so I could get to and from college/work. I have been extreamly pleased with how after about a year of not being started after a bit of tlc and petrol it fired after a few turns. Really pleased with the ride comfort. The cost of a full tank from empty for me was £13 plus some change about 50p. I will post further about how good the consumption is. But so far so good. Hope this helps Lee

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

sr 125

24 March 2013 by ross1234

i can see alot of you saying you can only get your SR`s to around 65 at the most iv had mine to 73mph on a flat streight road with tail wind, and can even manage to keep up with my friends cbf off the line most of the time, the reliability of this... Read more bike is probably the best i know of, providing its kept in the right way, i know its not the quickest of bikes for top speed compared to the cbf yzf ect but you can always buy new parts for the bike including sprockets with 2 less teeth ect, i gave it a 4 overall because its not the best looking of bikes but thats because its an older model and not exactly sporty haha, but the best learner bike you can buy for your money and will last you a very long time....almost bulletproof !

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

my wee 125

30 April 2012 by david1991

this is my current bike till August when my restriction is up its fantastic value for money and can reach 65 at a push. very lightweight and easy to manoeuvre Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
2 out of 5

poop

27 January 2012 by davdamos

my first (and current) bike. cheap to buy and run, only one idiot light works (the neautral light), and it's slow. sometimes it revs freely and feels ok, but most of the time it feels restricted in every gear and usually tops out at 50mph. tried... Read more larger front cog, but still tops out at 50mph. i'm only 10stone too, so it's not good. can't wait to get rid for a faster, better handling bike

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
4 out of 5

was my first road bike

01 July 2011 by bikerbit

what the hell can only do 55mph bull had it at 65 and I aint a small guy. 130 mile tank range that is the biggest bull of all honestly double that and add some more I have no idea where you's got these figures from seriously I admit the engine was... Read more gutless and took a lot of pre planning and work to get it to top speed and slightest hill and it drops and I think it was more 9-10 bhp to be honest but it was one of the most indestructible bikes I have ever owned mines was a 1984 model which I got for a song and a dance in good condition. The thing was a tank came off it hit things with it the lot while learning and it kept going :) an to be honest think it had a bigger tank than 10 litres think it was more like 12and 1 for reserve

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

(very) Cheap and Cheerful!

07 October 2010 by Anonymous

I've had my little SR-125 for 6 months now, and use it nearly every day. I chose this bike as I am a shorty, and find it really easy to handle. Yes, she's definitely NOT the fastest thing on two wheels, but great for city riding and I'm getting about... Read more 100mpg, so who can complain? She has occasionally made it to about 65mph, but it can't be described as comfortable! I will miss my wee bike when I can eventually afford to do my full test...

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Built for comfort not for speed!

11 February 2010 by pilkol

Got mine when i was 17 after doing my cbt on one. Basic is all i can really say, ok reliable it may be but gutless with it the honda cityfly i did my licence training on felt like it had double the power. ride and handling, well the bike came with... Read more a square back tyre. Fair enought i payed £450 for mine few years back and expect to pay double now.

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

I love PRU

13 June 2009 by hains82

I've had my SR125 (PRU) for about three years now. She has never let me down and always starts, even in the coldest weather. I got her as with rising petrol prices, I couldn't afford to line Gordon Browns pocket anymore. As has already been... Read more mentioned, it has all the power of a LadyShave and with a top speed of 55mph, won't forgive you for trying to make it go any faster. Side wind can be a bit scary as the slightest gust will blow you all over the shop. I'm 16 stone and it still carries my bulk without any problems. It's an ideal starter bike as it's low maintainence and easy to repair and isn't too hard to handle. It's a good little all-rounder with a relatively comfortable ride. I hope to get a bigger bike soon, but won't get rid of my PRU as she has become my dependable friend.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Train and Intrainablity

22 March 2009 by garnet69frost

Fantastic little runner particularly round town, I had mine for 2 years when I was learning to ride and just after i passed my test. I found it VERY forgiving bike considering mine got little care, occasionally diesel in the tank rather than petrol... Read more and the oil level was allowed to drop way below the minimum mark. But all that aside I used to ride mine 150 miles to visit family and it if I stayed about 55-60 mph I could get at least 130+ miles out of 1 tank of petrol. Although I could get her to 70- slightly less economic. All that said I discovered the problem with a bike like this, the first time I encountered a small amount of wind- in stronger wind it was like trying to balance a surf board on a pole because it is so light. And it feels like your bones are rattling as much as the bike when you push it to higher speeds. It is a nippy little bike good for short commuting and town/city life is its natural habitat. but longer journeys will quickly take their toll on the bike. All in all I regretted the day I sold mine, it was dependable, reliable, if a little too light and if you do a lot of longer journeys these will take their toll if the bike especially if isn't looked after. But still ideal starter and short commuter bike who occasionally does longer journeys and has few maintenance skills.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

The Cheese Sandwich of Bikes

02 June 2008 by mike247

Took my early lessons on the SR125. It's the cheese sandwich of bikes. Chances are given the choice you would take anything else on the menu but when it's take it or leave it, you take it. Nevertheless it does the job and is as forgiving as Jesus... Read more himself. Don't want to use the clutch? No problem, just give the foot pedal a kick and off you go into another gear. However, anyone over 15 stone will feel like an elephant sitting on a skateboard, but for that 1st gentle low risk introduction to motorcycling, you really need a forgiving pile of metal that can fall over, crash into fences, get thrashed a thousand times and get up again smiling, and thats the SR125 for you. As for top speed when pushed very, very hard it will scream its way north of 50-55 but then the slightest gust of side wind will make you soil your trousers. I think I made it to 60-62, just, not that you dare look down for a second to check as it feels like an Apollo rocket going into orbit when when you have lived inside large cars for 20 years. Anyway as you will already know, that first glorious, terrifying experience on a motorbike is almost as good as sex and if you have to eat a cheese sandwich to get it then fine. Goodbye poker and beer, hello the open road.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
Read all 11 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1982
Year discontinued 2003
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 4 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 12 bhp
Max torque 9.8 ft-lb
Top speed 55 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 23 secs
Average fuel consumption 65 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Specification
Engine size 124cc
Engine type 2v, single, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tube cradle
Fuel capacity 10 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 104kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 245mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 3.00 x 17
Rear tyre size 3.50 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

1982: Yamaha SR125 launched in UK.
1986: Yamaha SR125 deleted from UK line-up.
1991: Yamaha SR125 returns.
1995: Drum front brake replaced by disc.
1999: Front disc gets new two-piston caliper.
2003: Yamaha SR125 discontinued. 

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha SR125 motorcycle review - Riding