The beam/cradle hybrid chassis is great and combined with the Yamaha XT125R’s wide bars you can sling this motorcycle about like a terrier with a soft toy. The only limiting factors are the tall, narrow tyres. The XT125R's brakes are fine – striking a balance between usable bite and new-user friendliness.
The Yamaha XT125R's motor has just 12.5bhp rather than the full 15bhp legal limit Yamaha ‘unleash’ in the identically-engined YBR125. Why? Who knows, but the SOHC air-cooled single tries its hardest all the same. This motorcycle is helped particularly by its low weight – just 111kg. The Yamaha XT125R is cheeky enough in its allotted element, namely the town, but it can bustle along OK along light trails providing the going’s not too sticky.
Yamahas enjoy some of the best build quality in the 125 sector – they’re nicely screwed together and well-finished and the XT125R is typical of the breed.
The Yamaha XT125R is cheap to buy new, coming in around the same price as Honda’s super-popular CBR125RR. But do you really want to be dropping so much cash on a motorcycle you’re realistically only going to have for a year or two at most? Secondhand DTs are cheaper, offer more bang for your buck and cost less to repair if the motor goes pop. Running costs are higher for the stroker, though. Find a Yamaha XT125R for sale
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The Yamaha XT125R is well presented and well equipped, with the exhaust tucked high up out of harm’s way and a bash plate to protect the motorcycle's sump. The bars are sadly made of bend-o-matic monkey metal and even gentle drops wreck them.