YAMAHA SR125 (1982 - 2003) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£70|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Yamaha SR125 is one of the oldest 125 cruiser type motorcycles on the roads today. It first appeared in the UK way back in 1982, was withdrawn in 1986, then returned in 1991. It's an ideal CBT motorcycle, but beyond a training school car park the Yamaha SR125 feels slow and outdated in almost every way.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
With everything feeling low and light, the Yamaha SR125 is a novice motorcycle which you can master very quickly. The front disc brake works OK, but the suspension is on the soft side and the motorcycle soon feels like a mini bouncy castle if you try and corner at all rapidly.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Yamaha SR125 struggles to maintain its speed in 5th gear - any kind of headwind or incline will see you prodding 4th gear to keep it above 50mph. The SR125's engine is reliable, but it's so sluggish it's hard to believe Yamaha's claim that produces 12bhp.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Yamaha SR125's motor is one of those understressed units (also features in the TW125 Yam ) that just keeps plodding along for years. The rest of the Yamaha SR125 can look a bit tatty after a few winters and corrosion can get at the exhaust and chassis components all too easily. There's a fully-enclosed chain however.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Yamaha SR125s go for about £400-£900 secondhand, which considering the SR125 once cost a whopping two grand brand new, is a fair price for a basic learner/cruiser motorcycle. Watch out for ex-training school models with bent forks, broken indicators, levers and dented exhausts - there's plenty about. Find a Yamaha SR125 for sale
With the Yamaha SR125 you do get fuel, neutral and temperature warning lights, which some 125 learner motorcycles lack, but otherwise the Yamaha SR125 is a basic mode of transport, with few frills. Nice comfy seat though, plus grabrail and electric start, even going back to the 1991 models.
|Engine type||2v, single, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel tube cradle|
|Fuel capacity||10 litres|
|Front brake||245mm disc|
|Front tyre size||3.00 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||3.50 x 16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||65 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£20|
|Annual service cost||£70|
4 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||12 bhp|
|Max torque||9.8 ft-lb|
|Top speed||55 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||23 secs|
|Tank range||130 miles|
Model history & versions
1982: Yamaha SR125 launched in UK.
1986: Yamaha SR125 deleted from UK line-up.
1991: Yamaha SR125 returns.
1995: Drum front brake replaced by disc.
1999: Front disc gets new two-piston caliper.
2003: Yamaha SR125 discontinued.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA SR125 (1982 - 2003)
15 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA SR125 (1982 - 2003) 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:||£70|
When I bought this bike it was in a sorry state. Only paid £150. It would start and ride but the engine would frequently cut out when slowing down, it couldn't handle hills and a strong headwind would have the speed drop significantly. The only good thing about it was the seat was comfortable. After taking it to a mechanic and having him look it over thoroughly. I spent about £400 on original parts, Some new and some used. Then spent a long weekend taking it apart and installing the new parts. Which for a person who knew nothing about bikes was a good learning experience. I changed the carburetor, brake lines, exhaust, throttle cable, cleaned the entire engine inside and out and updated some of the wiring. Drained the tank, engine and brake resevoir and cleaned them too. All in all I spent £550 total on bike and parts And spent about 40 hours overhauling it myself. I'll admit my first impression of this bike was way off. When you get it fixed up nice and close to new again it goes like a bat out of hell. For an old bike that spent years in a storage container it now rides like it's new. Since it was fixed I've never had a problem with hills or strong winds slowing the bike down. The engine sounds beautiful (nothing like most 125's) and always starts first time. And no matter how hard I have ridden it, it just keeps on going. It's a stubborn thing that while I was riding with friends on their brand new 2014 onwards 125's sports bikes, just outmatched them. They have the acceleration but this bike just rides better and can go for longer at its top speed without struggling A couple of times on particularly good days in ideal conditions I have managed to coax about 70mph out of it which shocked me, I'll admit the engine was really struggling but it did it. Fuel consumption is good. For about £18 you can get almost 200 miles. And a big advantage of this bike is parts are cheap to get for the most part. And it can take all kinds of modifications if that's your thing. All in all its an excellent runner if you have the time and patience for it. Very reliable and it just keeps going. I would suggest it to anyone out there looking for a comfortable and reliable first bike.
Very comfortable to ride for long periods of time. Maximum I've ridden for was about 7 hours with a quick pit stop for fuel and even then it was still good. Brakes are excellent though a lot of people don't expect a rear drum brake but it works perfectly.
Keep it clean and well maintained and it will never let you down
When I first bought it the exhaust had a lot of rust but was quickly replaced. Front forks and engine are in very good condition.
My tax is about £1.20 a month and insurance £90 a year
The standard tyres for this bike work wonders in all weather's. Little bit on the skinny side but they work. I would suggest replacing the headlight bulbs with something a bit brighter. I would suggest to anyone getting one of these to buy a luggage rack (hard to find but the rack for a virago fits this aswell) and to replace the exhaust or buy a muffler. This bike likes to make some noise.
Buying experience: I bought mine through eBay from a private seller for £150
Annual servicing cost: £45
I would recommend to a Learner ,I have even seen Large Men on Them but for Me My Partner bought Me One for £300 off Ebay to learn on ,I could do anything on It but It was perfect because It was Low and I am Small .
I have Back problems but I used It all the Time to Shop on ,Rides out ,I managed to keep up with My Partner on His BMW and 400 Fireblade when within Speed Limits but He shot off when allowed ,I also went Pillion when He had His Bike Serviced ,came back on Mine ,but not comfortable for a Pillion ,gets Your Knees and not much room.
It is what It is a 125 ,I had no trouble on longer Rides ,not much acceleration,but It never let Me down .
There can be Rust problems but that can be said of any Bike in this Country,You just have to look after It with ACF etc ,You can obtain most spare parts quite cheaply ,the Starter Solenoid ? went on Mine but by that Time I had passed My Test and got a bigger Bike .No other problems at all .I have to say that the Chrome on the Wheels etc was unmarked and like New even though It was 1996.
Plus the MOT ,very cheap to Run and Maintain
This Bike was comfortable for Me and My Feet touched the Floor ,the Seat is Narrow and the Seat Height is great for Me ,can do U Turns ,handles well, Light ,had a New Tyre fitted when First bought ,no problem , a Top Box and Small Panniers are useful ,do not overload this Bike .
Buying experience: I had had Bikes stolen when I was learning and was giving up when My Partner at the Time bought One for £300 off Ebay ,It was all different Colours and the First Time I filled the Tank ,Petrol spilled and all the Paint on the Tank Ran ,not original Paint Work .I am having physical problems riding My Suzuki Savage LS 650 now and I am looking for another SR 125 or 500 I do not want to give up riding .
Annual servicing cost: £150
I've had my SR for two years now and I never fail to enjoy the ride! It might be slow, not reaching over 70 at all since I've had it, but for its age its no surprise! I got this as my first bike and I'll always have a soft spot for these models! Always getting compliments on it and really comfy ride, great for a first bike!
Great for long rides with the comfy seat, a little slow for busy rodes but around the country side its a perfect bike to ride on!
For a 125 its very slow, I think the highest I've got out of it being 63mph roughly. Not sure if this is because its 16 years old now or something else, but it does let the bike down a bit.
rust is a nightmare especially the exhaust! takes a lot of tlc but worth it in the end
Over the past 2 years I've had a few fixes done to it (nothing major) so haven't had to spend half as much as some of my friends with their bikes have! Just seems to power through!
I do find trying to get a tyre for them is a task (after hours of looking online I always end up just going to my mechanic) and I've had to take the middle stand off as it was hanging low and I was worried about it dragging on the road and causing an accident. The frame and exhaust is hard to keep rust free and a lot of hammerite paint is needed to keep it looking as good as it would of back in the day!
Buying experience: I payed around 450 for mine two years ago from a family relative and it is worth every penny
Annual servicing cost: £20
cheap and reliable, underpowered but gets to 55 fairly easily, and I've had 70 a few times. An enjoyable bike.
soft and spongey is how I'd describe the ride, bounces along and the brakes are ok for the bike a bit wooden though.
under powered but just keeps going
need to keep on top of the rust on chrome wheels and exhuast
Do the work yourself and all you have to do is change oil and filter and watch the sump plug it rounds off. Brakes look easy to do.
don't really need anything except a neutral light
Buying experience: paid £500 without mot, maybe a bit over priced but I got it mot'd easy enough and it just needed a clean up and oil
I bought this bike in May 2013 with many problems. It was SORN, had a copper nut in place of the left, rear wheel spacer. Seized front brake and a caliper in rough condition and no chain. Now it is August 2013 and I have got my cbt, MOT, insurance and tax. I managed to completely overhaul the front brake. Now I know this doesn't sound much but I have literally just started my level 3 NVQ in motorcycle maintenance and repair. I did all this so I could get to and from college/work. I have been extreamly pleased with how after about a year of not being started after a bit of tlc and petrol it fired after a few turns. Really pleased with the ride comfort. The cost of a full tank from empty for me was £13 plus some change about 50p. I will post further about how good the consumption is. But so far so good. Hope this helps Lee
i can see alot of you saying you can only get your SR`s to around 65 at the most iv had mine to 73mph on a flat streight road with tail wind, and can even manage to keep up with my friends cbf off the line most of the time, the reliability of this bike is probably the best i know of, providing its kept in the right way, i know its not the quickest of bikes for top speed compared to the cbf yzf ect but you can always buy new parts for the bike including sprockets with 2 less teeth ect, i gave it a 4 overall because its not the best looking of bikes but thats because its an older model and not exactly sporty haha, but the best learner bike you can buy for your money and will last you a very long time....almost bulletproof !
this is my current bike till August when my restriction is up its fantastic value for money and can reach 65 at a push. very lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
my first (and current) bike. cheap to buy and run, only one idiot light works (the neautral light), and it's slow. sometimes it revs freely and feels ok, but most of the time it feels restricted in every gear and usually tops out at 50mph. tried larger front cog, but still tops out at 50mph. i'm only 10stone too, so it's not good. can't wait to get rid for a faster, better handling bike
what the hell can only do 55mph bull had it at 65 and I aint a small guy. 130 mile tank range that is the biggest bull of all honestly double that and add some more I have no idea where you's got these figures from seriously I admit the engine was gutless and took a lot of pre planning and work to get it to top speed and slightest hill and it drops and I think it was more 9-10 bhp to be honest but it was one of the most indestructible bikes I have ever owned mines was a 1984 model which I got for a song and a dance in good condition. The thing was a tank came off it hit things with it the lot while learning and it kept going :) an to be honest think it had a bigger tank than 10 litres think it was more like 12and 1 for reserve
I've had my little SR-125 for 6 months now, and use it nearly every day. I chose this bike as I am a shorty, and find it really easy to handle. Yes, she's definitely NOT the fastest thing on two wheels, but great for city riding and I'm getting about 100mpg, so who can complain? She has occasionally made it to about 65mph, but it can't be described as comfortable! I will miss my wee bike when I can eventually afford to do my full test...
Got mine when i was 17 after doing my cbt on one. Basic is all i can really say, ok reliable it may be but gutless with it the honda cityfly i did my licence training on felt like it had double the power. ride and handling, well the bike came with a square back tyre. Fair enought i payed £450 for mine few years back and expect to pay double now.
I've had my SR125 (PRU) for about three years now. She has never let me down and always starts, even in the coldest weather. I got her as with rising petrol prices, I couldn't afford to line Gordon Browns pocket anymore. As has already been mentioned, it has all the power of a LadyShave and with a top speed of 55mph, won't forgive you for trying to make it go any faster. Side wind can be a bit scary as the slightest gust will blow you all over the shop. I'm 16 stone and it still carries my bulk without any problems. It's an ideal starter bike as it's low maintainence and easy to repair and isn't too hard to handle. It's a good little all-rounder with a relatively comfortable ride. I hope to get a bigger bike soon, but won't get rid of my PRU as she has become my dependable friend.
Fantastic little runner particularly round town, I had mine for 2 years when I was learning to ride and just after i passed my test. I found it VERY forgiving bike considering mine got little care, occasionally diesel in the tank rather than petrol and the oil level was allowed to drop way below the minimum mark. But all that aside I used to ride mine 150 miles to visit family and it if I stayed about 55-60 mph I could get at least 130+ miles out of 1 tank of petrol. Although I could get her to 70- slightly less economic. All that said I discovered the problem with a bike like this, the first time I encountered a small amount of wind- in stronger wind it was like trying to balance a surf board on a pole because it is so light. And it feels like your bones are rattling as much as the bike when you push it to higher speeds. It is a nippy little bike good for short commuting and town/city life is its natural habitat. but longer journeys will quickly take their toll on the bike. All in all I regretted the day I sold mine, it was dependable, reliable, if a little too light and if you do a lot of longer journeys these will take their toll if the bike especially if isn't looked after. But still ideal starter and short commuter bike who occasionally does longer journeys and has few maintenance skills.
Took my early lessons on the SR125. It's the cheese sandwich of bikes. Chances are given the choice you would take anything else on the menu but when it's take it or leave it, you take it. Nevertheless it does the job and is as forgiving as Jesus himself. Don't want to use the clutch? No problem, just give the foot pedal a kick and off you go into another gear. However, anyone over 15 stone will feel like an elephant sitting on a skateboard, but for that 1st gentle low risk introduction to motorcycling, you really need a forgiving pile of metal that can fall over, crash into fences, get thrashed a thousand times and get up again smiling, and thats the SR125 for you. As for top speed when pushed very, very hard it will scream its way north of 50-55 but then the slightest gust of side wind will make you soil your trousers. I think I made it to 60-62, just, not that you dare look down for a second to check as it feels like an Apollo rocket going into orbit when when you have lived inside large cars for 20 years. Anyway as you will already know, that first glorious, terrifying experience on a motorbike is almost as good as sex and if you have to eat a cheese sandwich to get it then fine. Goodbye poker and beer, hello the open road.
while I was training to ride, had it for around 3 months, sure I did more than 55mph on it though. Don't buy one to use past passing full test.