YAMAHA YBR125 (2005-on) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Gentle, easy going and practical, it'll see you through your test"

Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Riding

"Gentle, easy going and practical, it'll see you through your test"

  • At a glance
  • 124cc  -  10 bhp
  • 90 mpg  -  240 miles range
  • Medium seat height (760mm)
  • Suitable for A1 licence
  • £2,599

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Not the most stylish kid on the block but, as budget, basic learners go, the Yamaha YBR125 offers pretty good value for money. Gentle, easy going and practical, it’ll see you through your test and, if you want, beyond. The Yamaha YBR125 is best as a city ride, there’s enough poke to wind you through rush hour traffic and the handling’s not bad either.

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Yamaha YBR125’s very light and boasts surprisingly good handling. Nothing too mad: it’s just forgiving and easy to practice your cornering on. The suspension’s basic but effective while the Yamaha YBR125's brakes are good, especially at the front. It even sounds pretty fruity.  There’s kick, as well as electric, start.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Yamaha YBR125's air-cooled four stroke is pretty nippy, with enough power to propel you around town or along easy A roads at a fairly decent pace. The Yamaha YBR125's top whack’s around 70mph but cruising at 55mph is infinitely more comfortable. Smooth fuel injection helps you along and there’s a choke (under the tank, unfortunately) for those cold starts.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Yamaha YBR125 is build-to-a-budget and, to an extent, it shows. Owners talk of dodgy indicator wiring and occasionally sticky gearboxes but, overall, they seem happy, especially when the Yamaha YBR125 costs so little to buy. The engine’s solid, proven and reliable.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Cheap to buy, very cheap to insure and fuel consumption’s astonishing. Things rarely go wrong with Yamaha YBR125s but, if they do, parts are inexpensive and easy to find plus the Yamaha YBR125 is simple to work on yourself, saving even more money. Up against the likes of Honda’s legendary CG125 (which is the same price). Find a Yamaha YBR125 for sale

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

Analogue clocks and a fuel gauge make up the Yamaha YBR125's basic but useful dash; there’s a centrestand, luggage rack and a grabrail for pillions. The seat on the Yamaha YBR125 is pretty comfy, even over distance, but the mirror stalks are a bit short for decent rear vision. Cast alloy wheels look smart and there’s an aftermarket screen available from Yamaha for when the elements get too much.

Owners' Reviews

30 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA YBR125 (2005-on) 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 4.0 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.0 out of 5
Engine 3.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 3.7 out of 5
4 out of 5

Super little bike

12 July 2014 by mrjaybee

Bought my 07 black fuel injected version recently. Also have a GSXR750 and was looking for a little workhorse to see me through commuting and generally getting from a to b which the ybr does well. Unlike so many of the more modern 125's it doesnt... Read more pretend to be anything it isnt. I can see the appeal of the YZF's for the younger folk but as now headin for 50 that isnt a priority. It isnt going to win any beauty contests or drag strip duels but hey it was never designed too. The little motor starts on the button everytime, pulls along happily and if any of of my prev 6 Yamahas are anything to go by then shouldnt be issues with reliability. The rear tyre width does make me smile and at the same time harks me back to my old '76 Fizzy. Smashin little thing, great economy and on the plus side it doesnt come with a Honda badge attached.. recommended

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

very good value and fin

02 June 2014 by Valko

Very good value for money bought 56 plate with broken signals a dent on the tank and broken clutch lever for £600. 30 minutes and spending about 50 pounds later I've got it fixed including the upgrade of the head lamp with better one. I am 6 foot and... Read more six and a half stones and have to say it is a little low for me. However it handles perfectly and the ride and the sound are big fun. Cheap and reliable plus on A road is a real joy to ride. The engine is stretching itself over 60 mph. And I like the classic look as well. It is a fair bike not pretending to be something else.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 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
5 out of 5

Great learner bike

17 January 2014 by Anonymous45

The YBR is a great learner or commuter bike. Handling is comfortable and forgiving, great for learning. Really nippy at low speeds and will ride comfortably on a straight road at 65-70 MPH. It's also a lot of fun to ride, because of its ease and... Read more smoothness. Have personally gotten ~127 MPG myself, so great on fuel efficiency. Had a problem with the fuel pump last summer (manufacturing fault - wont start on hot days / under the sun) but replaced the pump with an aftermarket part for around £30 and has worked perfectly ever since! Stock headlight is quite dim, but it's a simple job to replace the stock bulb with a equivalent wattage (35/35w) halogen or xenon bulb which is much brighter, and costs £5. Great value for money, you won't be disappointed!

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

super bike

02 November 2013 by yam125er

After cbt i purchased an 06 ybr to learn on, used regular and was impressed by everything. Totally reliable, great fun, very cheap to run and easy to ride. Have now passed test and got a 600, but refuse to part with my ybr. Highly recommend. Read more

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

Great first bike!

11 August 2013 by Anonymous45

Brilliant first choice, great condition second hand one can be picked up for under £1200 if you look hard enough. Very reliable, great handling and cornering, recommend Michelin Pilot Sporty tires or similar for better grip and stability. Highly... Read more recommend for any learner or A1 licence holder.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 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
4 out of 5

Nippy runabout

06 June 2013 by Morgan86

My third bike and 2nd 125, nippy around town and out on the big roads, bit of a sticky neutral gear( can be false sometimes),great value and really forgiving. not as much pull as a twin 125 like a Honda varadero but once up to speed pulls well. Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 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

Nippy runabout

06 June 2013 by Morgan86

My third bike and 2nd 125, nippy around town and out on the big roads, bit of a sticky neutral gear( can be false sometimes),great value and really forgiving. not as much pull as a twin 125 like a Honda varadero but once up to speed pulls well. Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 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

Great starter bike

25 December 2012 by gconneely92

Haven't got a bad thing to say about this bike, no point calling it slow as most learner 125's are but what a fantastic learner bike it is. Cheap to run, insure, fun to ride and looks fairly stylish for a naked bike. Upgrade the rear tyre as the... Read more factory fitted one is a bit cheap and nasty however

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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

The perfect introduction

14 June 2012 by kingofallspades

I bought my 09 plate YBR125 when I passed my CBT. I was entirely new to biking at the time (I am thoroughly converted!) and didn't have any expectations. The bike is extremely forgiving on the rider and the pocket! Zips through the traffic, turns on... Read more sixpence and solid brakes. Roughly 260 miles to a tank. I put in £8-9 every six weeks and that is without riding efficiently! Easy to maintain! I was scared to do anything at first (so got stung by the dealers). Doesn't drink oil, rubber & chain last forever. Don't worry about dropping it! Nothing really breaks unless you hit something solid! Due to the age, parts are easy to obtain (not that I've needed any!). The only fault is the bulb supplied! UK winter time that bulb is as useful as hilding your phone! Recommendations: Michelin Pilot Sporty (If you want grip or speed) Sava Tyres (Will last longer! Only slightly less grip) Iridium spark plugs (lasts longer and increases range) Bosch Cap bulb (unless you don't ride at night!) Tutoro Oiler (if you go far enough, otherwise get down on your knee's and spray!) Holds it's value better than the YZF-R125 and (in my opinion) matches it for performance!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 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
3 out of 5

Fine, for a while...

13 April 2012 by Anonymous

I bought a 56 plate YBR125 when I passed my CBT to get used to commuting into London with gears prior to taking/passing my DAS 8 months or so later. Ideally I wanted a Honda Varadero 125, but these are incredibly expensive for a 125, so not worth... Read more it unless you plan to keep for a long time. Also considered Honda's CG125, however, as these are no longer made, there were hard to come by + prices were over-inflated. Firstly, worth noting that I'm relatively large for a bike of this size (6'4" +16.5/17stone) and my YBR was the carb model, not the later fuel injection one. Predictably, I looked like a toad sitting on a matchbox when riding it, but what was more of an issue was the lack of power. Not sure how much this was down to my size, but the YBR was slower off from the lights than everything bar London cabs and pizza delivery bikes! Whilst you don't buy a 125 for its speed, I found the lack of acceleration got me in a few sticky situations where I didn't have the grunt to get out of the way of tight spots created by some of London's less competent drivers! I also never managed to get the bike over 50mph (my 50cc Aprillia scooter from 10+ years ago did 60mph!). Also, as others have mentioned, the very narrow wheels/tires and unsubstantial suspension for my weight made the bike very unstable over bad road surfaces and pot holes. This, coupled with the bike's light weight, made it pretty hard to hold on to in strong cross winds too. Having said all of the above, the YBR was peanuts to insure, would do 90mpg around town and never really let me down. Maintenance-wise, it just needed a couple of oil changes and regular drive chain adjustment. Finally, if you're going to by a YBR, make sure you take it out for a long test ride to check the clutch operation. Many of them have a common idiosyncrasy where the clutch cable (which goes over the engine) stretches when warm causing a snatchy take off in 1st and 2nd gear. Although I replaced the cable and frequently lubed and adjusted it, this issue was never fully rectified. Again, this issue may have been exacerbated by my weight. In summary, I would say that this bike is fine as a stopgap between CBT and DAS or if you’re a lot lighter than me. They also don’t seem to lose value – I practically got the money I spent buying it from a dealer back when trading it in against a Yamaha MT-03. I wouldn’t, however, recommend this bike if you’re large and planning to ride it for a long time – if this is how you’re intending on using your 125, it’s probably worth stumping up the extra cash for a Varadero.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 30 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued -
New price £2,599
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 4 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 10 bhp
Max torque 7 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 19 secs
Average fuel consumption 90 mpg
Tank range 240 miles
Specification
Engine size 124cc
Engine type 2v single cylinder, 5 gears
Frame type Steel diamond
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Seat height 760mm
Bike weight 113kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 245mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 2.75 x 18
Rear tyre size 90/90 x 18

History & Versions

Model history

2005: Yamaha YBR125 launched. No changes since.

 

Other versions

None.

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  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
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  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha YBR125 motorcycle review - Riding
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