YAMAHA YZF-R125 (2008-on) Review

Published: 16 May 2008

"Combines the Honda's easy-going ride with a little bit more poke and grown up looks"

Yamaha YZF-R125 review action

"Combines the Honda's easy-going ride with a little bit more poke and grown up looks"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Since 2004, Honda has had the learner sports bike market sewn up – the CBR125R flew out of showrooms faster than its larger capacity counterparts. Yamaha’s range had a gap for a 125 sport motorcycle, and the YZF-R125 fills that gap by combining the Honda’s easy-going ride with a little bit more poke and grown up looks – it’s actually slightly bigger than the YZF-R6 that inspired its styling!

 

Watch Yamaha's YZF-R125 take on the Honda CBR125 and Aprilia's RS125

Watch the first ride of Yamaha's YZF-R125

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

For a motorcycle that costs a shade less than £3000, has a steel frame and unadjustable basic suspension, the Yamaha YZF-R125’s bloody good. The forks and shock have controlled damping which allows you to chuck the bike around back roads, but they’re not jarring on rough city streets.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Yamaha YZF-R125’s all-new engine has a longer stroke than other 125 motorcycles to give more torque, but it’s still no arm-ripper. Instead, the YZF-R125 gives flexibility two-stroke rivals like the Aprilia RS125 can only dream of. The Yamaha will crawl along at walking pace with the clutch fully engaged, and opening the throttle will give smooth drive right to the redline. It’s good for an indicated 80mph, which will satisfy most riders stepping up from a moped.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Yamaha YZF-R125 is built in Europe, and although it doesn’t have a top-level finish, it looks sturdy enough. Previous Yamaha/Minarelli engines have been strong, and there’s nothing to suggest this new water-cooled lump will be anything different.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

The Yamaha YZF-R125’s is a great introduction to sports bikes without the drawbacks of two-stroke rivals – but so is the Honda CBR125R for £300 less – if you pay RRP, which many don’t. The Yamaha is better suited to larger riders, is more composed when you thrash it and looks better, but otherwise they offer the same thing. It’s your decision whether it’s worth the extra. Find a Yamaha R125 for sale

Insurance group: 6 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Yamaha YZF-R125’s digital dash, Brembo brakes, under-slung GP-style exhaust and a proper sized R6-inspired body is the stuff of wet dreams when you’re 17. The full-size body makes it reasonably comfortable too – the footpegs aren’t too high, the handlebars are mounted on the fork tops so your wrists don’t take a pounding and the seat isn’t massively hard either. The seat is reasonably high though – shorties may be more comfortable on the Honda.

Owners' Reviews

32 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA YZF-R125 (2008-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.

Review your YAMAHA YZF-R125 (2008-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.0 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
5 out of 5

A beast.

13 January 2017 by YamahaGeez

It's best features are the looks, style, brakes and sound of the bike with a custom exhaust, who would ever know a 125cc would spit flames! It's worst features are the plastics/fairings can brake very easily and there is no aftermarket mirrors and... Read more the stock ones are huge.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I can ride the bike for about 2 and a half hours before I need a brake as the bike position can be uncomfortable for long periods of time. Brembo brakes are great and work fantastically. Very good all round bike.
Engine
5 out of 5
Can get about 75mph maxed out on it with the stock exhaust but with custom about 83mph, and at least 100mph downhill.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Very well built, strong and good parts. Never had any serious issues with it however there is some corrosion near the engine.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
£120 (Roughly) for a full service on this bike and £30 for M.O.T, this is very affordable. Pay £5-15 every two weeks for petrol, which is amazing.
Equipment
5 out of 5
MUST get the Carbon GP Danmoto exhaust for this bike, sounds amazing, nice, loud and spits flames!
Buying experience

I paid £1150 for a 2009 version of the bike with 4500miles. Needed about £400 worth of repairs and decided to get a custom paint job and exhaust, All in all around £2000.

4 out of 5

R125 2015 ABS

24 November 2016 by OrchMan92

very comfortable ride, sporty looks but not too sporty in the way of riding position, which is perfect if youre like me and have legs equivalent to the size of the boom over the top of wembley stadium. Nubuck seat makes it easy to dry off after rain,... Read more as opposed to my last bike that soaked it up like a sponge.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I have to give the brakes 5/5, especially with the ABS, because i am very confident this has saved my life on more than one occasion where lorries have been pulling out from blind corners (as they do) Ride quality is very good. stable and comfortable. Suspension is a little soft for my liking, but i think this can be adjusted.
Engine
4 out of 5
for a 125, and someone of my weight (quite a substantial amount!) its bloody quick! very easy to ride in low gear, very stable on uneven roads. in higher revs, its extremely agile. I have had no problem carrying speeds of 70mph on a flat road (again for the weight, impressive!) Only downside of the engine is it now makes a horrendous and quick clicking noise when its running at about 6000rpm
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
excellent build quality. most of the bike is made of plastic, so does not rust or corrode if left out in the rain too many times. reliability is up there with the best of 125's (which i believe this is). only downside is the battery life. I left the ignition on whilst i unchained the bike from outside my house (all of about 15 seconds). By the time tried to start it, the battery wasn't strong enough to start. Occasionally the clock resets itself for no apparent reason too.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
LCD display is brilliant. Digital rev counter and speed, digital fuel guage, engine temperature. for a 125, the coolest feature is the changeable trip computer, showing ride time, average speed, distance until/since service. I've never seen this on a 125 before. Clock is useful, apart from when it resets itself!
4 out of 5

yamaha

23 June 2016 by yamahasam

the bike looks great and it has a smooth gearbox altho it has higher bars which make it less race focussed and it drinks engine oil like a dehydrated elephant, this is because of its small oil reservoir. But overall the bike is a great bit of kit for... Read more any 17 year old and with a good exhaust on it the bike it will growl..

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
its a 125cc don't expect it too whip you to the back of your seat when you give it some throttle but its still a quick bike for a 125 as it has a 15 horsepower engine and a top speed or around 80 mph.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
the bike transforms with a loud exhaust it sounds great and is really cool. I'd recommend getting a larger windscreen it looks better and keeps the wind of you're face better too. Finally a good crash protection kit pays off.
Buying experience

i bought it from an ebay seller and was very pleased...the risk paid off

5 out of 5

01 June 2016 by Tony Scott

A good bike ' very reliable and easy to ride ' I was so impressed it's the second one I'v had now :-) Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Front break very sharp and does not take much to lock up
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Standard tyres are not very good in wet
Buying experience

Bought from main dealer ' a good all round experience (CMC Nottingham)

4 out of 5

This bike is top quality

09 February 2016 by Luke Inch

the sound of the bike is nice only if you buy a custom exhaust, whereas if you stay with the stock exhaust it doesn't sound the best. Read more

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
4 out of 5
change the stock exhaust and the bike will be better also the stock grips could be a little more stylish because they aren't the most appealing
Buying experience

I bought my bike through a dealer and the deal went smoothly and quickly.

5 out of 5

Awesome starter bike!

15 December 2015 by Derbyshire Dave

This has been my 1st bike, being 6'5" and 17stone, I should have picked a trails/adventurer bike, having said that I've wanted a sports looking bike for the past 17 years (that's right 40 year old born again biker) and this bike ROCKS. I have since... Read more passed my test and rode numerous bikes but i have to say she'll always be a favourite. Best features - looks, handling, sound (when kitted with a turbo kit exhaust she's LOUD! sounds better than an R6 and they're pretty much the same size.) Worst features - NO CLOCK!!!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brakes and outstanding! Nuff said. Ride quality is excellent... some may say they are a bit unforgiving.... well I say to them what are you expecting from a bike? Ride quality is as good as an MT07 simple.
Engine
5 out of 5
I could sit here and whinge about the top end... but I'd be an idiot. Top end 70mph (and she gets there quick! Filter through traffic and land yourself at the heas of traffic and youll leave them standing all day long) unless you show her a hill then you're gonna have to start dropping gears and ringing her neck.... but it is a 125, so don't whinge.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Mines done 15k miles and never missed a beat, starts 1st time every time, had an issue one day in the wet when she'd cut when coming to a stop however a full service sorted this. Everything about this bike screams quality, you may pay more than CBR buts it's bloody worth it for the looks.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Cost me £65 to purchase oil filter, air filter (K&N) spark plug (NGK Iridium), heavy duty chain and sprockets, from the Internet and fitted myself.... why pay a garage £100's when it's and easy job. As for MPG mine would return 225miles to a tank.....and I put 4k miles on her in a year and always returned the same. Once you've got over buying a YZF R125 it's a cheap cheap cheap bike to run.... and they hold their price!
Equipment
4 out of 5
The ONLY thing this bike is lacking... is a dam clock! And it's that annoying I've scored it a 4.
Buying experience

Buy private if you can.... garages are there simply to make money. If you do buy from a dealer do your research and take your mobile... when bartering a price show them cheaper examples... it's a buyers market and there are 100's of these bikes out there.... NEVER pay the asking price.

4 out of 5

Great first buy

20 August 2014 by Nickko18

I have had this bike for about a month now, I bought it sixth hand and it has 20,000 miles on the clock but it has been looked after well and was in great shape when I got it. I bought mine for £2500 and by god it was worth it. I would say that this... Read more bike really is the premier 125 out there. It gets a solid 14.6 bhp which is right on the limit of 15 bhp. Its acceleration is really fantastic at the low end, I personally have reached 80 mph on it. The riding position is very comfortable and I have done a 100 mile journey on it with no problems. It also handles well in the rain I have ridden in all different types of rain on it. Finally its mpg is really quite impressive I was commuting it daily and it lasted 7 days before I needed to fill it up. Overall a great bike.

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

yamaha yzf r125

08 November 2013 by alexjames134

fantastic bike, have enjoyed riding it. i have taken mine up to 78mph Read more

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

Not just for 17 year olds

23 August 2013 by wagend

Just spent a year with this bike while on my CBT. I'm in my mid 20s and finally free of parents and girlfriends stopping me getting a bike and the YZF R-125 has been fantastic as an induction to biking. It looks great and feels quality and non bikers... Read more get very confused about the L plates -- even a copper asked me why I have L plates on a 600). The engine is as good as you will find on a 4 stroke 125, I've had no problems in the 3,000 miles I've done on what is now a 12,500 mile machine. I rode it through winter and kept on top of the cleaning and the finish is still great -- no furry bolts. The ride and handling are good but the suspension is a little squishy sometimes when pushed hard. The frame is much better and more rigid than other 125s I've ridden, giving a much more planted and secure feeling. Overall the only gripes I have with this bike is the poor(ish)fuel economy (around 55mpg for me - not horrific but the CBF125 will do 135mpg) and the price. It's bloody expensive new and secondhand prices are still high but as long as you can afford the initial outlay it will give you the means to jump on a bigger bike without too much expense once you've passed your test.

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

Great

12 June 2013 by jbyzf

Good bike, nice power, would like a little bit more top end but for a 125 what do you expect? only niggle is the lack of clock but this is easily remidied, lock it up well! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 32 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £4,349
Used price £1,800 to £4,700
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 6 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost £120
Performance
Max power 14.6 bhp
Max torque 9 ft-lb
Top speed 75 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 52 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 124cc
Engine type 4v four-stroke liquid-cooled single, six gears
Frame type Steel beam
Fuel capacity 13.8 litres
Seat height 818mm
Bike weight 127kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload only
Front brake Brembo two-piston sliding caliper, 292mm disc
Rear brake Single-piston caliper, 230mm disc
Front tyre size 100/80-17
Rear tyre size 130/70-17

History & Versions

Model history

2008: Yamaha YZF-R125 launched.

Other versions

None.

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