YAMAHA XV125 VIRAGO (1997 - 2004) Review


  • Learner-friendly cruiser from Yamaha
  • Can be ridden on only a CBT
  • Cheap to buy, run and insure

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 13 bhp
Seat height: Low (26.2 in / 665 mm)
Weight: Low (298 lbs / 135 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you're starting out on two wheels then the Yamaha XV125 Virago V-twin is one of the best made little motorbikes you can choose. Reliable motor, solid chassis, nice low seat and wide `bars give a feeling of confident control on the machine. Later XVS125 models have an extra 3bhp in the V-twin motor and the bike is 4kgs lighter than earlier Yamaha XV125 Viragos.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha XV125 Virago's chassis design is ideal for learner riders, with a low seat height, fairly long wheelbase and slow steering. The Yamaha XV125 Virago feels like a much bigger motorcycle and many novice riders like that. Suspension is soft, but this is a cruiser type machine.

Yamaha XV125 Virago 125 in red


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha XV125 Virago's SOHC V-twin is just that bit smoother, less buzzy than a typical 125cc single cylinder unit, although the XV125 engine only makes a sluggish 10bhp, so it struggles to crack 60mph. The Yamaha XV125 Virago is very good on fuel however, and 80mpg should be about average.

Yamaha XV125 Virago 125 engine

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

As soon as you sit on a Yamaha XV125 Virago you feel like the baby Yammy is a cut above many of the `internet bargain' cruisers currently available. The exhausts on the Yamaha XV125 Virago can corrode fairly easily, but otherwise it's a very durable bike.

Our Yamaha Virago 125 owners' reviews indicate nothing too concerning other than coils that can fail when wet. That's not too expensive to fix if it's a problem, however.

Yamaha XV125 Virago 125 should be perfectly reliable

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha XV125 Virago was an expensive motorcycle brand new, but they make an excellent used buy in the £1200-£1700 price range. At that price you can learn your biking skills on the Yamaha XV125 Virago for a year or two, do some commuting, then probably sell it on for a few hundred quid less than you paid. That's a sweet deal.

Yamaha XV125 Virago 125 brakes


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The later 2000 onwards Yamaha XVS125 Virago models have a bigger front disc brake, a larger fuel tank, nicer seat and generally look more polished, more modern cruisers than the earlier Yamaha XV125 Viragos.

Yamaha XV125 Virago 125 in black and red paint scheme


Engine size 124cc
Engine type 4 stroke, V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle type
Fuel capacity 11 litres
Seat height 665mm
Bike weight 135kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 260mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 3.00 x 18
Rear tyre size 130/90 x 15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 85 mpg
Annual road tax £22
Annual service cost £100
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 4 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 13 bhp
Max torque 12.8 ft-lb
Top speed 60 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 21 secs
Tank range 150 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 1997: Yamaha XV125 Virago Virago launched.
  • 2000: XVS125 replaces Yamaha XV125 Virago; tweaked XV125 motor in XVS250 chassis. 2004: XVS125 discontinued in UK.

Other versions

  • Yamaha XVS125 Virago Drag Star.

There's also the Yamaha Virago 535 - the most successful of all Viragos. The Yamaha Virago 250 was revealed in 1995.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XV125 VIRAGO (1997 - 2004)

2 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XV125 VIRAGO (1997 - 2004) 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 XV125 VIRAGO (1997 - 2004)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
4 out of 5 A great, reliable ride, you won't go wrong
23 February 2018 by Sam

Year: 2001

Annual servicing cost: £100

This is a great bike to ride, the suspension is nice and soft, the ride height is comfortable for people who are a bit shorter and a bit taller (I'm a 5ft 11" guy). Braking is good, it kicks in when it needs to, the position of the foot-pegs to seat is fantastic, it feels like you're riding an arm chair most of the time. My main gripe with this bike is the exhaust, it's a V Twin that has a 2-1-2 exhaust going on, both cylinders blow into the lower pipe which then splits back to the 2 end cans - on the rear cylinder is a balance pipe which corrodes easily and as such, I suggest getting some heat & water proof paint down there. As with many Japanese bikes, electrics can be an issue sometimes, so a good pair of HT leads and some HT lead caps to go over the coils does not go amiss.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Rides like a beast, stops on a dime.

Engine 5 out of 5

Smooth, reliable, but a little quiet.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Few issues that have been around a while, balance pipe corrodes and the coils get damp (and cut out) after a little while.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I service mine myself, it's easy to get to everything to change sprockets, chains etc.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Meh, not much in the way of equipment, only has a speedo, so no fuel gauge for you!

5 out of 5 great lil bike
16 February 2012 by pissedsid

great fun to use, turns heads,cheep to run,not as quick as other 125,s but its got a v twin so who cares. However don't buy a wreck as genuine parts are expensive. Ill miss this bike when I move up to something bigger

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Back to top