YAMAHA MT-125 (2014 - 2019) Review
- Big bike stance
- Ride it with a CBT
- Good handling
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£80|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The 2014-2019 Yamaha MT-125 is the learner licence-friendly baby of a burgeoning model family. Designed to be the entry point for new riders before they move on to the A2 world of the Yamaha MT-03 and beyond. It was replaced by the 2020 Yamaha MT-125.
- Related: this bike appears in our Best 125cc Motorbikes article
- Related: how to pass your full UK motorbike licence
The MT-125 has everything you need at the 14.7bhp restricted licence point in your riding. First and foremost, it looks fantastic. Its beefy stature (for a 125) and aggressive road stance make it look like a bigger bike than it is. Underneath it's a naked version of the popular and racy 2008-2018 YZF-R125.
In a move aimed at attracting younger riders, Yamaha also included a three-section digital dash which displays a clock, petrol gauge, trip time, mpg, distance to service and average speed.
It's not just for new riders, though. A claimed mpg figure of 134 makes it a very attractive option for beating the traffic jams on your commute. It'll even cope with motorway speeds relatively well.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
|Engine type||liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve, single-cylinder|
|Fuel capacity||11.5 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm USD telescopic fork|
|Rear suspension||Linked monoshock|
|Front brake||292mm single disc|
|Rear brake||230mm single disc|
|Front tyre size||100/80-17|
|Rear tyre size||130/70-17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||134 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£21|
|Annual service cost||£80|
|Used price||£2,900 - £4,500|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||15 bhp|
|Max torque||9.15 ft-lb|
|Top speed||87 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||340 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2014: Model introduced
- 2020: Replaced by new Yamaha MT-125
- Yamaha MT-01 review
- Yamaha MT-03 review (2006-2016)
- Yamaha MT-03 review (2016-on)
- Yamaha MT-07 review (2014-2018)
- Yamaha MT-07 review (2018-on)
- Yamaha MT-09 review (2013-on)
- Yamaha MT-09 SR review (2014-on)
- Yamaha MT-09 SP review (2018-on)
- Yamaha MT-09 Tracer review (2015-2018)
- Yamaha MT-10 review (2016-on)
- Yamaha MT-10 SP review (2017-on)
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA MT-125 (2014 - 2019)
13 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA MT-125 (2014 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£80|
Perfect starter bike but can still do the London to Brighton run and back on half a tank!
City bike I’m going up a size to have just a touch more power. (London drivers are deadly)
It’s a little bike but solidly made excellent starter bike.
Low running costs. Kept well serviced.
Highly recommend it.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealership as a commuter bike got a great deal as it was the previous years model but first registration!
As learner tool this is a great bike, the best feature is a 'full size frame'. At 6' 2" I was crippled by a CB125 during the CBT. This fitted me really well, in fact better than the MT-07 I moved on to.
Not an experienced rider so really have nothing to compare to - I went for the ABS model specifically. Not worried about somewhat 'negative ' views of ABS equipped bikes on some forums / reviews
Its a 125 single, don't expect raging power bands and to be honest my very first ride in 100 yards I was thinking need more power. You won't be overtaking anything that is moving ( save for tractors or stationary traffic).
Had for a 18 months to gain experience before trading in - no issues in that time.
Had this too short a time to really build a picture of running costs -It was garaged and I live in the sticks and I am 50+ so it was cheap.
For me the size of the bike and its comfort
Buying experience: Dealer purchased from new, no hassle, delivered .
Annual servicing cost: £80
Love this bike. Am seriously thinking of keeping it after I've passed my full licence.
Nice and comfortable upright position. Absolute pleasure to ride. Breaks very good.
Great reaction from the throttle. Picks up decent acceleration from 0 to around 50 mph then will proceed from 50 mph to 70 mph a little slower but will get there. I've never needed more power on my daily commute. Also I get around 100mpg as well.
Fantastic bike absolutely love it. At 105kg I'm not exactly small. This thing shifts for a 125 and hasn't had an issue at all. It's a pleasure to ride and I look forward to my commute.
Buying experience: Used a dealer. Was a good experience.
Version: MT125 Anodised Red
I honestly cannot fault this bike. The comments and head turns are constant. The ride is impecable. Perfect leaner bike with great handling throttle and braking responses. Has this bike 2 years, done almost 20k miles serviced it once, still runs like a dream. Sits happily at 85 on the motorway. If I could put a 600cc engine in it and use it as my A2 bike i would!
Excellent little bike. Looks bigger than the usual 125. Just need a little ACF for those little bits that might rust. Mine is kept outside under a cover.
Bikes pretty good. After 45 mins my bum gets a little sore but I'm just over 15 stone, so a bit of a lump. Suspensions is a little firm over bumps too. Slight vibe in the bars.
Reliable so far but a few bits of rust after a year.
Excellent digital display. Would have been nice to a have a gear indicator as occasionally in second when I needed to be in first.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer
Version: mt 125 abs
Don't get me wrong it looks fantastic, bought brand new and hoping after the run in period the bike will loosen up. it vibrates terrible your hands feel like you been working a kango after a 50 mile jaunt, seriously lacks any go after 55mph is unable to hold anything above 60mph in 6 gear (which is a useless gear) and its first tank of fuel did 150 miles the second 180 but the 3rd has hit 220 miles which is nowhere near the claimed 134mpg average. I've come from an Aprilia rs4 125cc well known for being the slowest bike on the market but honestly it knocks socks off the MT 125 for grip performance and mpg so far.
comfy at 40mph 45mph low revs brakes very sharp and very good. depending on the ride I've lasted 10 mins before wanting to get off, other times I've done half hour but really does depend on the roads and speeds
considering its bang on the power limit for a 125cc god damn its terrible, but as I said hoping it will get better once it loosens up. its a fairly torquey engine4-8000rpm is pretty strong, its gutless and slow and juicy though.
nothings fallen off which is quite remarkable considering the vibrations through the foot pegs handle bars etc.
Poor mpg so far around 60 mpg!! not a cheap bike to buy at £4200
mpg computer (useless always read 99.9mpg which is totally inaccurate) three trip computers, abs brakes tool kit Michelin pilot tyres belly pan drl running light led rears, rear foot pegs (hasn't got enough oomph to carry a passenger) upside down forks, bike is pretty well equipped
Buying experience: JT Swansea Yamaha main dealer. Had no discount due to purchasing bike on PCP deal, did express my dislike to the bike after 200 miles, after paying £4200 for it they offered me £2800 to buy it back!!!!!!
Annual servicing cost: £100
A perfect learner bike.
Settled, dependable, great brakes.
Compared to the 3 other 125s I've ridden this is by far the smoothest and best behaved bike. In city traffic it might have a bit of a "blippy" throttle and forces you to compensate a bit on the clutch for smooth low-gear, low-speed riding.
Never had any issues. My previous Aprillia 125 had problems constantly.
A bit more expensive than other 125's but you can tell why it costs more when you try it out. Ultra smooth.
There is a decent amount of kit available. I've had success mounting some gear meant for the MT-03 and MT-07 as well. Get the Arrow exhausts.
Buying experience: No problems.
Annual servicing cost: £12
This bike is in difficult territory due to the price. If you paid £2000 for it you'd except the niggles and design faults. These bikes are predominantly aimed at newbie learners but with the price tag of an sv650 which leaves you expecting it to be good. And it is! if you forget the cons I mentioned. I'm an experienced rider and have many bigger bikes this was a mere tool for me to commute on for fuel and size purposes it's ideal. Personally I don't like the Matt paintwork it looks unfinished and means you can never polish it. If you're looking st this as a premium learner bike I wouldn't bother unless you are 6ft+ living in a smooth road city with straight roads and have lots of spare cash to blow. You'll get a decent Chinese bike for £1500 which will do the same job and you won't cringe so much when you throw it down the road. And when I say decent, the reason they get a slating from many owners is their lack of maintenance and the Yamaha requires the same so ask yourself why spend that extra cash on something that's far from perfect and does the same job? Save the rest to buy a bigger bike when you're bored of it (around 4 weeks). If you're an experienced rider like me and want it as a little workhorse it will do the job but also consider perhaps the crf250L?
Brakes are poor, clutch feels crap, too tall, I have a R1200GS adventure too and the pillion seat on the Mt is higher which is stupid for a 125 road bike and when riding it feels too top heavy because of this feels weird. The suspension is crap far too hard there may as well not be one. However does feel better 2-up (not that many people would use it 2-up! The tank filler is a stupid design petrol will always splash back over the tank. The top layer on the seats absorb water. The trip computer only goes to 99.9mpg on a bike that does 135 renders it pointless. Indicator display hard to see
Hasn't broken yet. The quality of paint and plastics could be better given the price
Obviously cheap to run but is it? When you take into consideration the price tag?!
Abs is optional extra! The trip computer does not work as it only goes to 99.9mpg on a bike which is averaging 130! Controls are fiddly and oh yea if you get a top box it sits over the pillion seat! What a load of crap!
Buying experience: Dealer was brilliant (though they were selling me a £4K 125cc bike)
Version: Yamaha MT-125 ABS
Annual servicing cost: £100
what can I say about the MT-125 it feels like a big bike and keeps hard in places as suspension is tuff.
The brakes on this bike after breaking into the bike they can feel spongy from time to time so I think it depends on the weather conditions more than anything. going round corners and using the back brake are very good and can help you maintain control.
ok if you want a powerful 125cc bike I would look at the YZF 125cc instead but this does have a bit more power than the Yamaha YBR 125cc motorbike. but if the wind is against you it can get annoying and slow you down but in the gear before the highest it can increase the speed in the wind.
It feels sturdy but you notice every bump in the road and feel every clunk with gear change. but with the sturdiness off the bike you know that it can take a knock or two.
The Value of the bike is very good I work 7 night shifts in a week and it normally costs me about £15 pounds a week to keep using. so compared to a car it definitely saves you money.
I think the best feature is the main dashboard having a fuel gauge, oil level, time and the rev counter plus you can change parts for trip time, fuel for MPH to the gallon kind thing.
Buying experience: very good bike finance but recommend a deposit for lower monthly cost.
Owned mine for just over 1000 miles from new, and 400+ of those were a round trip to Bristol in a weekend! Feels like a much bigger bike, and certainly more like a 'real' bike than my old CG!
I seem to struggle putting both feet flat on the floor sometimes even at six foot tall, but I put this down to having large thighs and preferring to sit back in the seat. As stated above it took me to Bristol and back without resulting in any real aches and pains beyond being cold!
For a little 125cc bike it loves hills, even with it's rider being the bike's weight again! I can hit 56mph fully loaded with the saddlebags and tankbag and it just maintains it! Master of Torque indeed!
Had next to no issues with parts and corrosion. Minor complaint about a crack in the plastic tank cover, but because it took so long for me to notice neither me nor the dealer could be certain if it came like that from factory. Doesn't seem to affect the bike itself.
Did 100 miles to half a tank at constant speeds of 65-75mph fully loaded up with one very heavy rider, a full tankbag and two full saddlebags. Reckon if I'd done it without the luggage and been 3-4 stone lighter it might have hit Yamaha's claimed 300-odd mpg!
Basic 125cc naked fun. The Michelin tyres mine came with are fantastic in the dry, and only lose traction slightly on ironworks in the wet round corners, which I put down to the shoulders still being fairly unworn as I don't have to face high speed cornering too often. Yamaha also offer handguards and deflectors as well as flyscreens, along with a bunch of cosmetic options. Personally I bought mine completely standard. I recommend the official tankbag, even at £100 because I had real difficulty fitting anything else.
Buying experience: Bought through dealer with a three-year finance plan and guaranteed value at the end to put as a deposit on my next one! £4200 is a lot nicer with a £1500 deposit and only having to pay the rest off at £70ish a month - including interest!
I went for this bike as it had received great reviews from magazines and websites so I ultimately decided to purchase this over other 125's on the market. This is the first bike I have owned so I do not have previous to compare it to but what I can say is that this bike is fantastic! It's a nippy thing that is good for 60mph with ease and capable of climbing higher to 80mph at a push. The LCD screen is visible in the brightest of sunlight and the gear change indicator is a nice touch too. The throttle response is very quick in the lower range and the handling is sublime. This bike has the same engine as the YZF-R125 and the combination of a quick 15BHP engine with a comfortable upright riding position allows for a great learning experience but also and most importantly, great fun. The one thing I would have liked to have had on this bike is a segment of the screen telling you what gear you are in. This is a 125 after all so learners could find this beneficial. I did not go for the ABS version as I feel it is a bit unnecessary on a 125cc. I would recommend this bike to anyone beginning to ride or requiring an economical and comfortable 125cc run around/commuter.
A great handling bike but it's only flaw is the rear suspension. Catch a bump or dip in the road and it's quite a jerk. Front brake is very good but the rear a little sluggish.
Very nippy. Great fun blapping up and down the gears too.
99.9mpg average on the screen as it goes no higher than this. Never fallen below!
Not much extra equipment to this bike but the LCD screen is great and the gear change indicator is good too.
Version: MT125 ABS
Annual servicing cost: £85
probably the best all rounder 125cc motorbike out there at the moment
done 70 miles between inverness and fort william alongside loch ness (not the best of roads at the best of times - especially in the rain) but didnt feel the need to stop once on the journey there or back. might not sound too impressive, but when doing between 50/70mph constantly on a bike when youre brand new to this like me, then i think thats quite an achievement. brakes worked like they are supposed too, good quality
seems to top out at 76mph with me, but then again im a "big" guy so the listed top speed might well be possible under the right conditions. wee engine just asks to be thrashed and taken to the limit in each gear
only downside i can find so far is the mirrors have a tendency to come loose and need tightened into place every 100/150 miles or so. everything else working as it should so far
not getting the 340miles to a tank yamaha claim is possible but then again, most cars/bikes will give a best possible scenario figure for mpg etc. delighted the first time i filled with petrol when the fuel light came on - £8.79 for a full tank that gave me around 260 miles before needing fuelled up again
looks just like a big bike - feels like the size of one too! even with 'L' plates on, still turns plenty of heads when riding through the town centre. led screen is a nice touch with the digital speedo, good way to break a noob into biking - looks like that layout may become more popular with bikes in the future
Buying experience: got the bike brand new from a dealer on a 0% finance deal over 2 years, wouldve had to been crazy not to take the deal up - small deposit + 23 easily affordable monthly payments and the bike is mine at the end of the deal for no extra cost than buying the bike outright
Annual servicing cost: £85
not bad for a hairdryer, only got 70mph so far 😀
first service just done, 85 quid
I've fitted acerbis hand guards & heated grips
Buying experience: Brought the ABS model just over £4000 I've been told I could have had a (proper) bike for that amount.....but you've gotta start somewhere.