MCN has just completed the first road test of Yamaha’s new learner sportsbike, the YZF-R125.
Built to steal the massive sales figures off the Honda CBR125R, the R125 is an all-new liquid-cooled four-valve four-stroke motorcycle designed for European riders and styled as part of the R-series – from a distance you’ll struggle to tell the R125 from Yamaha’s own YZF-R6.
On a 50-mile ride on wet, dirty and busy Spanish roads the R125 proved to be easy to ride, confident on wet roads and ideal for cutting through mental inner city Spanish traffic – the same qualities that make the CBR125R a hit with teenagers.
On Valencia’s scale replica go-kart sized circuit of the MotoGP track, the Yamaha proved to be a nimble and sharp handling machine compared to the softer CBR125R.
No doubt the R125 will prove to be the better motorcycle when tested back-to-back with the CBR125R in the UK, but for the big bike feel and ride you pay big bike money – at £2999 on the road it costs £400 more than the CBR125R, which is a lot when you’re 17.
For most learners, the choice will come down to Dad’s credit card limit rather than which is the better motorcycle.