The MT package works perfectly. At 138kg it’s light enough to dodge between cars and get away with it. The 125 gets a sturdy 41mm KYB inverted fork and an improved rear monoshock, the springs are firm enough when piling on the gas and whacking in and out of tight corners and soft enough to soak up road imperfections. The 292mm front disc with a radialmounted caliper offers a strong, progressive bite, especially for a 125.
Yamaha says that the ergonomics give a sporty but relatively upright riding position, and certainly a more relaxed perch for the rider than the sportier YZF-R. While the engine and main chassis components are shared with the YZF-R, the MT features a new tank, seat and footrests to allow for a more upright riding position. The rider is positioned 42mm further forward, while seat height is reduced by 5mm to 820mm.
Tapered handlebars with large aluminium clamps also contribute towards the new street-focused ergonomics, being 100m higher and 35mm further back than the YZF-R125’s clip-ons.
The 15bhp motor packs a decent punch and begs to be screamed. Yamaha has thoughtfully included a shift light to aid those with eager throttle hands and nice touches like that add to the MT’s bragging rights. Get onto the motorway for a mini commute and the baby Yam sits poised and stable at 85mph. Yamaha reckons it will return 134mpg, which means 340 miles between fillups thanks to an 11% efficiency increase over last year’s model.
The liquid-cooled Minarelli engine has been used in the YZF-R125 since 2008 and has proved reliable in that time. The baby MT is put together incredibly well so problems should be minimal.
Our Yamaha MT-125 owners' reviews show a mainly problem-free experience, but the list price has caused some raised eyebrows in the past.
The MT-125 is essentially a naked version of Yamaha’s YZF-R125 except with an upright riding position and street fighter design, taking its styling cues from its MT-09 and 07 siblings. So we have an already great bike, peppered with upgraded components, for less money than the faired version… and naked. Who wouldn’t want that?
The MT gets a sharp LED headlight, beefed up by (fake) air intakes either side and a slick three-section digital dash with a host of functions including a clock, petrol gauge, trip time, mpg, distance to service and average speed – all controlled by a button on the right switchgear. Yamaha has done a clever job of making the 125 look like a big bike by including a bellypan, flicking up and shortening the tail unit and fitting wide bars for that hunched-over look.