YAMAHA YBR125 (2005 - 2016) Review

Highlights

  • Basic and economical
  • Ride it with a CBT
  • Surprisingly good handling

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £80
Power: 10 bhp
Seat height: Low (29.9 in / 760 mm)
Weight: Low (249 lbs / 113 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £1,800 - £2,400

Overall rating

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

There is nothing at all wrong with basic and while the Yamaha YBR 125 is very much a budget commuter and certainly not a very flashy 125 like some modern alternatives, it fulfils its role in life brilliantly well.

In fact, so good is the YBR 125 and so loved by UK commuters, out of the 150,000 YBRs sold in Europe, 55,000 were to UK buyers! What makes it so popular? It just does all that is asked of it with no fuss, no drama, minimal financial expenditure in terms of fuel, maintenance or purchase value and almost total reliability.

Released in 2005 as a replacement for the ancient Yamaha SR125, which had run from 1982 until 2003, the YBR 125 brought with it more modern naked bike styling but with tried and tested technology to ensure reliability. Although it gained a few updates over the years including fuel-injection and even a bit more weather protection and a cruiser option, the YBR essentially remained the same until it was discontinued in 2016 and replaced by the YS125, which has continued the tradition of delivering frugal motoring to the masses.

Although a teenager looking to impress will almost certainly turn their nose up at the slightly dowdy YBR and look towards a bike with a touch more attitude and visual appeal, these buyers aren’t really the YBR’s core audience. YBRs are sold to those looking at hacking through an urban environment on a bike that will cost them a fraction of the price of public transport and also require very little home maintenance. If that sounds like you, after the cost of a CBT test you can take to the roads on a decent YBR for less than £1500.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The YBR isn’t a bike designed to destroy bends and with its twin shocks (which have preload adjustment) and spindly forks, not to mention its narrow 18-inch wheels, the Yamaha isn’t a brilliant handling bike. But it isn’t aimed at being such and where the YBR excels is in an urban environment.

A low 780mm seat height is reassuring for all sizes of riders and the soft suspension is ideal for soaking up jolts from potholes while the light 113kg dry weight means you can easily manhandle it in or out of parking bays and through gaps with minimal hassle. On the go the seat is fairly comfortable, the bars quite high and there is an option of a small nose fairing and even a cruiser-styled YBR (called the Custom and launched in 2008) if you want something a bit different.

When it comes to brakes the YBR is very much budget and while the one-piston sliding caliper grips a disc at the front, the rear has a drum brake, so obviously ABS wasn’t an option! Like the rest of the bike, the brakes are adequate but not outstanding however there isn’t really much you can do about it aside from change the pads. On the plus side, rebuilding the caliper is very cheap and easy to do should it be required. When buying used be wary of the rear drum brake as it is easy for the friction material to wear away unnoticed, causing damage to the drum itself.

Owners also report that the chrome on the forks sliders is poor, leading to pitting and rust forming, which can cause the seals to fail more regularly than expected.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The YBR 125’s air-cooled 124cc single overhead cam engine is incredibly basic and only has two valves, making it really cheap and easy to service. Not only that, it even has a kick start that sits alongside the electric start should you accidentally let the battery run flat!

Producing just 9.8bhp and 7ft.lb of torque it is pretty slow, sounds pathetic and struggles to clear much above 60mph (it also only has five gears) however is sips fuel and figures of between 100 and 120mpg are common. It is what it is and as long as you keep fairly close to its 3500 service intervals, which involve the valve clearances being checked every time, it is highly unlikely to ever go wrong. And even if it does in a major way, you can buy a whole new motor online for just £300 including postage.

The only real concerns that owners report are the exhaust rotting through, which can be replaced for as little as £80, and finish being a little poor with flaking paint quite common. If you want to service it yourself, a kit will set you back just £25 and includes oil, a spark plug and filters. As on all 125s, be wary when buying used of bikes with low oil levels as there is only 1.2 litres of it in a YBR and if it runs low it can lead to major engine damage.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Yes, the YBR is built to a budget, and yes, it is a bit dowdy, however its build quality isn’t horrific. There are a few stories about clutch cables stretching, fuel pumps failing and the occasional starter motor giving up but these are all very cheap and easy to rectify – which is key to life with a Yamaha YBR 125. If you are happy to get the spanners out, maybe valve clearances aside, everything is really easy to get to and swap if necessary.

The only real worry as such is the forks, which if they become pitted (the chrome isn’t great) are a bit more costly to get sorted. That said, you can buy a used set for £100 or brand new tubes for just £30, so even this is no major drama. When you are talking reliability, it seems the YBR 125 very seldom lets owners down and most start on the button (or kick if the battery is flat) every time.


Yamaha YBR 125 reader query: Clutch issue

Q. Just recently my YBR125 has started mucking around when it comes to shifting up from first to second. It will eventually go into gear, but only after several de-clutchings and an embarrassing 30 seconds on the road.

All the other changes are OK, up and down the range. It feels like I haven’t pulled the clutch in, yet occasionally it goes through fine. It all works perfectly when at a standstill.

The chain and sprockets are OK and the clutch is adjusted correctly and I haven’t dropped it or worked on that area of the bike.
Blake, MCN forums

A. It seems that the YBR is sensitive to clutch drag caused by the oil. If you go too long between changes or use oil that is a high viscosity that can cause problems, so give it an oil change and don't fill it to the maximum.

We've heard that play in the gearshift shaft can also cause problems, and some owners have made a spacer between the shift lever and engine case to force the shaft into a better position.


Yamaha YBR 125 reader query: revs won't drop

Q: I bought a 2005 Yamaha YBR 125 privately a few weeks ago, it didn’t tick over very well then but I thought it just needed a good service. It starts OK but after it’s warmed up and ready, if you throttle on and off the revs hang up at 3000rpm for a few seconds then slowly down drop down to a tickover around 1500rpm.

If the throttle stop screw is turned out any more it cuts out instead of ticking over. The carb, jets and air filter have been cleaned out, pilot air screw adjusted to 1 1/2 turns out, throttle cable adjusted OK and throttle slide sits down after closing the throttle.
Roy Wilson, email
 
A: It sounds like you have an air leak. You need to do a good visual check for cracked intake rubber; maybe the airbox trunking is off or has a clip missing.

If there’s nothing obvious, the next step is to get the bike hot and misbehaving and then spray the intake area with WD40. Spray the whole area with plenty of WD and once the engine sound changes put the straw onto the WD can and the more focused spray should enable you to pinpoint the air leak as the change in engine note is from it revving on more as it sucks the WD into the motor...But, if you are in any doubt about spraying inflammable liquid around a hot/running engine, get another pair of eyes on it or book it in.

Value vs rivals

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

If you are happy to put a bit of effort in, be that keeping it clean or some home DIY, there is no reason why running a YBR should cost much at all.

Yamaha YBR 125 specs mean it's reasonable to run

Servicing is cheap, economy is good, parts are plentiful and low cost and insurance is also next to nothing as generally its owners aren’t teenagers and are in their 20s with a bit of motoring history to reduce premiums. And the value of the bike is a similar story.

With a budget 125 such as the YBR they tend to drop in price until they hit a plateau and as long as it has an MOT and starts, that’s the lowest it will drop to. In the case of the YBR that’s about £1000, which will get you a well-used but running bike, but if you pay just £250-500 more you will get a far nicer example in a private sale. Considering you can get a brand new YS125 for £3000, don’t pay any more than £2300 for a YBR.

A top tip when buying used is to look at its recent MOT history to see if it has any advisories and then check if they have been fixed. Sometimes they are ignored by the owner and that can save you from a bill replacing items before the next MOT.


Group test: Yamaha YBR 125 vs Kymco Pulsar vs Honda CBF125

Yamaha YBR 125 vs Honda CBF125 vs Kymco Pulsar

There are few things in life that absolutely will not change with time. Vying to be first to wherever, or just the fastest L-plate rider on the road are just two of them. It was 30 years ago when I first got to grips with a bike on L-plates, and 21 years since I rode to the South of France on a restricted 125cc. Both events ended with a cricked neck and ripped shoulder muscles from riding flat on the tank.

I’m now 47, with a deep feeling of deja vu. On top of the Kymco Pulsar’s fuel tank is 15-stone of body mass. Beneath it is a Chinese-made single-cylinder 125cc four-stroke engine, and it’s revving its head off. I think the two are connected. Unlike my gonads, which, because of the vibration, are detached from their wiring and bouncing around inside their hairy holdall like bingo balls.

At an indicated 55mph the Pulsar is red-lining. When it hits an indicated 65mph the engine speed has moved to industrial sewing machine velocity and acceleration (joke) has hit a brick wall. The vibration has calmed, though. Either that or a black hole has formed in my undercrackers because of two high-speed particles colliding.

Meanwhile the Yamaha YBR125 and Honda CBF125 riders are bolt upright, and have extra speed to spare. They’re laughing at my struggle to overtake an empty HGV. The YBR and Honda then pull away from the Kymco – even though their speedos show the same recorded 65mph.

By the time 70mph shows they’re many yards ahead. Not long after this they’re out of sight and I’m alone fighting off the attentions of white van man with trailer in tow. Round one, motorway commuting, goes to the Japanese brands (although the Honda’s built in India and the Yamaha in China).

Maybe the Kymco will fare better on the speed-capped streets of London? Instant braking and supple forks make short work of town life, from the Honda rider’s point of view. The Yamaha forks have the same amount of lengthy travel as the Kymco, but the movement is more refined. The reason for the Kymco’s 1980s fork action is the single front brake. A dead feel at the lever combines with damp-like pad material/poor disc metal, so strong brake action only happens after a yard or so of heat build-up, or with a milkman’s finger grip on the lever.

All three bikes are light and agile to be steered into any gap. If only the riders were equally lightweight and slim, then moving alongside queues and the opposing flow of cars would be easier. Traffic-free bus lanes are cool as long as they don’t go uphill and the following bus driver isn’t sure where the next speed camera lies. Taxi drivers are a law unto themselves when it comes to bikes in their path. Lion and two-legged Scrub Hare spring to mind.

Short and slow-revving 125cc engines deliver lowly torque and power outputs and demand a million gearchanges in heavy traffic. This is not a problem with the Honda and Yamaha, but this Kymco Pulsar has a problem with too much play in the gear linkage, a lifeless gearshift selector and consequently an overheated clutch. No matter how hard the Kymco lever is stamped on, or lovingly tapped, second and first gears frustratingly play hide and seek far better than third and fourth. Plier teeth marks on the clutch cable sleeve suggest a fix of sorts has been tried and failed.

Needless to say I volunteer someone else to ride the Kymco the 74 miles back to MCN’s straw shack. Surprisingly, the Pulsar is a lot less cramped than the Yamaha which gives up (milder) vibes at high rpm. The ride home entails full throttle and much slipstreaming antics between the two Japanese machines – the Pulsar only gets wrenched throttle action trying to keep up. But, bless it, despite the irritating gearbox and lack of speed – and the anger vented upon it – the little Kymco completed its task.

The MCN verdict

The spindly feel of the chassis, cheap action of the component parts and lacklustre performance conspire against the Kymco to knock points off what could be a useful, cheap, across-town machine. The Yamaha and Honda aren’t streets ahead in performance, and all three bikes will easily fulfil the fun and experience criteria of motorcycling. But the Honda has the edge because it doesn’t look or feel like a cheap, entry-level, low-thrills machine that it is sold as. Try another view: if these bikes were beds the Kymco would be a slatted park bench, the Yamaha a blow-up single mattress, and the Honda a memory foam divan.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

While you get a fuel gauge, in terms of equipment the YBR is pretty limited. A nice touch is the fact a centre stand comes as standard to assist lubing and adjusting the chain but aside from that there isn’t much to get excited about – aside from the kickstart that sits alongside an electric start! But should there be? This is a budget commuter and that means basic is often better.

A lot of owners make their YBRs more practical and top boxes are very common alongside heated grips, screens, bar muffs and crash protection. As the YBR is so common, there are loads of aftermarket firms suppling replacement parts such as Yamaha YBR 125 exhausts, chain and sprockets, oil filters etc and if you want to save even more cash, online auction sites are full of used parts from YBR 125s that have been scrapped. A lot of owners upgrade the light bulbs as they are pathetic but that’s about it - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Specs

Engine size 124cc
Engine type 2v single cylinder, 5 gears
Frame type Steel diamond
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Seat height 760mm
Bike weight 113kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 245mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 2.75 x 18
Rear tyre size 90/90 x 18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 90 mpg
Annual road tax £21
Annual service cost £80
New price -
Used price £1,800 - £2,400
Insurance group 4 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 10 bhp
Max torque 7 ft-lb
Top speed 70 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 19 secs
Tank range 240 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2005: Yamaha YBR 125 launched. No changes since.
  • 2016: Yamaha YBR 125 goes off sale.

Other versions

None.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA YBR125 (2005 - 2016)

36 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA YBR125 (2005 - 2016) 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 YBR125 (2005 - 2016)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Engine: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £80
5 out of 5 Be A Better Biker
21 November 2020 by Push the envelope

Year: 2013

Annual servicing cost: £30

recommend this bike 100% best balanced bike for learning every time new rider makes a mistake the bike just corrects its self bad point every time it crashes it will brake the clocks it crashes often but it well still be good to ride home

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

100 miles because you need petrol you will not be tired

Engine 5 out of 5

it is only a 125 but has good power all the way to topend

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

this is a 2010 bike i got the bike in 2013 it lives in the garden unloved for 2 to 3 months at a time but never fails to start this bike is ten years old and still looks like a two year old bike and it has crashed a lot have other bikes this bike laughs at them

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

needing valves checked i can do this not counting petrol costs £30 a year

Equipment 4 out of 5

bigger fuel tank

Buying experience: got it from a trader asking price £1200 payed £1100

5 out of 5
10 April 2018 by Whwhw

Year: 2010

I have a 2010 YBR 125 and I changed the oil every 1500-2000 miles; I use Castrol Power 1 Race .. my bike has 18,750 miles on it and I've abused it somewhat - yet the engine does not burn oil or have any issues whatsoever. I also take my bike offroading and I do wheelies ... the YKR is absolutely bulletproof! Fact ... my friends have Hondas and Suzukis and Chinese bikes, and all theirs have had issues except mine ahaha ... how does a bike that cost less than £3000 new survive all this abuse? .. oh yeah, YAMAHA that's why.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Cheap commuter does well on a short run
28 January 2017 by Rich A

Year: 2007

Annual servicing cost: £50

Unless this is your first bike, performance is almost non existent. It is however a perfect short range commuter that is cheap to run.

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5

Its a 125 commuter bike! 40-50 miles and I have a numb bum. I bought this for a 10 mile commute into town where it spends the rest of the day outside. For this its perfect. If you want comfort pass your test and get a bigger bike. It doesn't even register on the same scale as my Honda ST1100!

Engine 3 out of 5

Remember its a 125 and its ok. Its the first fuel injected version so throttle response is jerky. Its happiest going no faster than 50mph. 60mph is pushing it. I'd stay off 70mph roads as any hill or headwind could reduce the speed down to 40mph. Not fun! Regularly get 100+mpg and the tank will take you over 250 miles if you're gentle. It starts on the button and immediately idles without hesitation.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Quality is quite poor. The finish is cheap and will corrode quickly in the winter. Exhausts rot but there are SS ones available at £200 plus. Apart from exhausts all other parts are cheap and easy to swap. The front sprocket cover screws tends to seize to the alternator cover. Freeing these on 2 bikes snapped the mount on the alternator cover.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

DIY. 1ltr oil change every 600 miles (strainer, no filter). Air filter and spark plug yearly.

Equipment 3 out of 5

A candle gives off more light than the headlight. Fortunately my roads are suitably lit. I have added LED strips on the forks to make me stand out more. Michelin Pilot sporty are the tyres to use. They last well give reasonable grip for a couple of rich tea biscuits. Added mirror extenders as I've been likened to Hagrid when astride this beast.

Buying experience: Bought privately for £800 with 12000 miles on the clock. I also bought a second as a spare.

5 out of 5 The only bike that I never want to sell
11 August 2016 by Kieron Wheeler

Year: 2009

Annual servicing cost: £200

Fido (named for the last 3 digits of the registration; FDO) is the only bike that I never want to sell. She had 30,000 miles on the clock when I bought her for £825. I've, since, added 10,000 miles to that and she's running fine. She's fantastic fun on twisty roads and can hold her own against most 125cc bikes, the YZF-R and CBR included, there is no better feeling than overtaking that one cocky bugger on his CBR who was laughing at you all day for having the "slow bike". All in all, I'd say that the YBR is a fantastic all rounder and is almost certainly better than almost any other 125 available now. I've used Fido in all weathers and I have to say; not once have I wanted more grip, I have had times when I've wished for a little more power and another gear, often when using A roads and dual carriageways but generally Fido keeps up with traffic well.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Good ride quality, have had some pain during journeys due to injuries from my crash but other than that absolutely perfect. The brakes are better than those on most other small bikes but the rear brake does need care as the design means that the pads and shoes can wear at one end, meaning that it can be metal on metal quite quickly. The brakes and suspension are both more than adequate for the tasks and allow the rider to have a bit of fun along twisty roads.

Engine 5 out of 5

Runs perfectly even after 40,000 miles. Has a good amount of power although, in the real world, you'll struggle to pass 55mph but it's enough. Smooth power delivery and a very forgiving throttle make the YBR a pleasant bike to ride and if you want to, the YBR is surprisingly fast along twisting back roads (if ridden properly), as many overly cocky showoffs have discovered to their misfortune, and I have kept up with bikes such as 750cc sport bikes albeit with some difficulty.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Had a slight problem, caused by the previous owner, the main crank bearing was ruined and took the camshaft and oil pump with it. £250 an all was fine. Very well built, I locked the back wheel up (I had only been on a geared bike for a week) and crashed into a barrier at 30mph, I broke a rib (despite my protective gear) the heat shield at the back of the exhaust turned on the screw. That was all the damage done. The only problem is the headlight bulb, which can blow on bumpy roads, however easily fixed with a halogen bulb replacement. Parts for the bike can be expensive though and costs can quickly add up, especially if you are buying genuine Yamaha parts. The adjustor bolts for chain tensioning can pull out of the brackets although this problem can be prevented by tightening the chain properly and taking care of the chain and sprockets. As with most bikes, pay attention to the front forks as they are expensive to replace (around £100 per stanchion, not including anything else) and can become pitted quite quickly.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Every spring I get the whole bike checked thorougly (just before I start riding properly) and then get the brakes, tyres, suspension, chain and sprockets checked just before winter. If I didn't do this then the costs would be fuel, oil and tax.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Everything you need. No fancy computers, no ABS, no traction control. Just you and the bike. The one piece of equipment I do have is a luggage rack, although I am looking to buy a small wind screen. The YBR is a bike made for teaching learners how to ride bikes properly and it benefits from the lack of assistance systems.

4 out of 5 Dorothy yes I named her Dorothy....
01 December 2015 by socks

Year: 2007

Annual servicing cost: £70

well what can I say about the Ybr 125, well its not the fastest and its not the best looking, but wow what a bike. I bought mine in 2010 and in the hopes it would see me through my test, well 5 years later, the old girls still going strong, 30,000 miles later, I will explain more below.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

the seat is good over long distances, went on a few trips from York to Scarborough on it no aching back, also the bike is very forgiving in the corners

Engine 5 out of 5

I have to give Dorothy (the bike yes I named her Dorothy) a five star for this section, I have abused it so much, hardly checked the oil, changed it about 3 times in the five years I have had it! never changed the air filter and road her through every thing the British weather could chuck at me, and it never missed a beat!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

yamaha what more can I say, if you need something that's fun and reliable then the ybr is for you

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

mpg is very good around 300 miles to a full tank, parts are cheep or second hand are even cheaper, also on ebay you can get an after market screen for around £45 keeps the wind of you. also another point i have to make is do not get a cheep make of sprocket and chain set, it will eat them and stretch it so bad, value for money got for a tad more and get a decent one, lasts so much longer!

Equipment 4 out of 5

its a 125 what more do you want, 1 fuel gauge check 2 rev counter check 3 lights check 4 horn check 5 centre stand and side stand double check, that's all you need, its going to get you for point A to point B

Buying experience: dealer £1300

5 out of 5 My first Bike- YBR125
21 August 2015 by YBRMark

Year: 2013

Annual servicing cost: £75

Brilliant first bike. I bought mine brand new (3 miles on the clock), and have put 14k+ on there in under 2 years. Its comfy, reliable and cheap to own. The only downside to this is that it's a small engine (124cc), and I'm a big bloke, so not quite as nippy on open roads as I want.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

I've grown into this bike (and probably grown out of it to be honest), and love it. The brakes stop me every time (and a few times that I've needed to really stomp on the back it's stopped me without throwing me!). The seat is comfy, and doesn't hurt even after a 350mile round trip. I ride about 20 miles each way to work, through traffic and on A roads, and it's great for that, but used to do a 45-50 mile blast each way, and never suffered, even in the cold and wet!

Engine 4 out of 5

For what it is, the YBR125 is brilliant. The engine is responsive, not too much vibration and easy to maintain.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

only 2 breakdowns have been totally my fault- I over tightened the clutch cable and it snapped (easy to replace, and it was my first ever "tinkering" with a bike), and the chain snapped after a winter of abuse from me. Nothing wrong mechanically at all. It starts first time every time, and leaves me smiling when I get off.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Well over due for a service, but they are cheap- about £50 if there's no work, up to £90 if it's a major fault. Never had either so far!

Equipment 3 out of 5

This bike comes with no equipment. But it's not supposed to. It's a first bike to give you a flavor of riding. It's not a tourer or an adventure bike. It has everything it needs, and nothing it doesn't.

Buying experience: I bought this from HGB in Ruislip, and would go back there for any bike in the future. The guys know what they are talking about and were happy to advise and give me tips.

4 out of 5 Super little bike
12 July 2014 by mrjaybee

Bought my 07 black fuel injected version recently. Also have a GSXR750 and was looking for a little workhorse to see me through commuting and generally getting from a to b which the ybr does well. Unlike so many of the more modern 125's it doesnt pretend to be anything it isnt. I can see the appeal of the YZF's for the younger folk but as now headin for 50 that isnt a priority. It isnt going to win any beauty contests or drag strip duels but hey it was never designed too. The little motor starts on the button everytime, pulls along happily and if any of of my prev 6 Yamahas are anything to go by then shouldnt be issues with reliability. The rear tyre width does make me smile and at the same time harks me back to my old '76 Fizzy. Smashin little thing, great economy and on the plus side it doesnt come with a Honda badge attached.. recommended

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 very good value and fin
02 June 2014 by Valko

Very good value for money bought 56 plate with broken signals a dent on the tank and broken clutch lever for £600. 30 minutes and spending about 50 pounds later I've got it fixed including the upgrade of the head lamp with better one. I am 6 foot and six and a half stones and have to say it is a little low for me. However it handles perfectly and the ride and the sound are big fun. Cheap and reliable plus on A road is a real joy to ride. The engine is stretching itself over 60 mph. And I like the classic look as well. It is a fair bike not pretending to be something else.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Great learner bike
17 January 2014 by Anonymous45

The YBR is a great learner or commuter bike. Handling is comfortable and forgiving, great for learning. Really nippy at low speeds and will ride comfortably on a straight road at 65-70 MPH. It's also a lot of fun to ride, because of its ease and smoothness. Have personally gotten ~127 MPG myself, so great on fuel efficiency. Had a problem with the fuel pump last summer (manufacturing fault - wont start on hot days / under the sun) but replaced the pump with an aftermarket part for around £30 and has worked perfectly ever since! Stock headlight is quite dim, but it's a simple job to replace the stock bulb with a equivalent wattage (35/35w) halogen or xenon bulb which is much brighter, and costs £5. Great value for money, you won't be disappointed!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 super bike
02 November 2013 by yam125er

After cbt i purchased an 06 ybr to learn on, used regular and was impressed by everything. Totally reliable, great fun, very cheap to run and easy to ride. Have now passed test and got a 600, but refuse to part with my ybr. Highly recommend.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Great first bike!
11 August 2013 by Anonymous45

Brilliant first choice, great condition second hand one can be picked up for under £1200 if you look hard enough. Very reliable, great handling and cornering, recommend Michelin Pilot Sporty tires or similar for better grip and stability. Highly recommend for any learner or A1 licence holder.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Nippy runabout
06 June 2013 by Morgan86

My third bike and 2nd 125, nippy around town and out on the big roads, bit of a sticky neutral gear( can be false sometimes),great value and really forgiving. not as much pull as a twin 125 like a Honda varadero but once up to speed pulls well.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Nippy runabout
06 June 2013 by Morgan86

My third bike and 2nd 125, nippy around town and out on the big roads, bit of a sticky neutral gear( can be false sometimes),great value and really forgiving. not as much pull as a twin 125 like a Honda varadero but once up to speed pulls well.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Great starter bike
25 December 2012 by gconneely92

Haven't got a bad thing to say about this bike, no point calling it slow as most learner 125's are but what a fantastic learner bike it is. Cheap to run, insure, fun to ride and looks fairly stylish for a naked bike. Upgrade the rear tyre as the factory fitted one is a bit cheap and nasty however

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 The perfect introduction
14 June 2012 by kingofallspades

I bought my 09 plate YBR125 when I passed my CBT. I was entirely new to biking at the time (I am thoroughly converted!) and didn't have any expectations. The bike is extremely forgiving on the rider and the pocket! Zips through the traffic, turns on sixpence and solid brakes. Roughly 260 miles to a tank. I put in £8-9 every six weeks and that is without riding efficiently! Easy to maintain! I was scared to do anything at first (so got stung by the dealers). Doesn't drink oil, rubber & chain last forever. Don't worry about dropping it! Nothing really breaks unless you hit something solid! Due to the age, parts are easy to obtain (not that I've needed any!). The only fault is the bulb supplied! UK winter time that bulb is as useful as hilding your phone! Recommendations: Michelin Pilot Sporty (If you want grip or speed) Sava Tyres (Will last longer! Only slightly less grip) Iridium spark plugs (lasts longer and increases range) Bosch Cap bulb (unless you don't ride at night!) Tutoro Oiler (if you go far enough, otherwise get down on your knee's and spray!) Holds it's value better than the YZF-R125 and (in my opinion) matches it for performance!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 Fine, for a while...
13 April 2012 by

I bought a 56 plate YBR125 when I passed my CBT to get used to commuting into London with gears prior to taking/passing my DAS 8 months or so later. Ideally I wanted a Honda Varadero 125, but these are incredibly expensive for a 125, so not worth it unless you plan to keep for a long time. Also considered Honda's CG125, however, as these are no longer made, there were hard to come by + prices were over-inflated. Firstly, worth noting that I'm relatively large for a bike of this size (6'4" +16.5/17stone) and my YBR was the carb model, not the later fuel injection one. Predictably, I looked like a toad sitting on a matchbox when riding it, but what was more of an issue was the lack of power. Not sure how much this was down to my size, but the YBR was slower off from the lights than everything bar London cabs and pizza delivery bikes! Whilst you don't buy a 125 for its speed, I found the lack of acceleration got me in a few sticky situations where I didn't have the grunt to get out of the way of tight spots created by some of London's less competent drivers! I also never managed to get the bike over 50mph (my 50cc Aprillia scooter from 10+ years ago did 60mph!). Also, as others have mentioned, the very narrow wheels/tires and unsubstantial suspension for my weight made the bike very unstable over bad road surfaces and pot holes. This, coupled with the bike's light weight, made it pretty hard to hold on to in strong cross winds too. Having said all of the above, the YBR was peanuts to insure, would do 90mpg around town and never really let me down. Maintenance-wise, it just needed a couple of oil changes and regular drive chain adjustment. Finally, if you're going to by a YBR, make sure you take it out for a long test ride to check the clutch operation. Many of them have a common idiosyncrasy where the clutch cable (which goes over the engine) stretches when warm causing a snatchy take off in 1st and 2nd gear. Although I replaced the cable and frequently lubed and adjusted it, this issue was never fully rectified. Again, this issue may have been exacerbated by my weight. In summary, I would say that this bike is fine as a stopgap between CBT and DAS or if you’re a lot lighter than me. They also don’t seem to lose value – I practically got the money I spent buying it from a dealer back when trading it in against a Yamaha MT-03. I wouldn’t, however, recommend this bike if you’re large and planning to ride it for a long time – if this is how you’re intending on using your 125, it’s probably worth stumping up the extra cash for a Varadero.

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Never put a foot wrong
21 March 2012 by Hopkins94

Had the bike for little over 6 months now after passing my cbt. Starts every time, enough poke to get away from the lights, if you want to rev it hard. But at the top end there is nothing, always wishing I had a quicker bike to be able to pull past the open backed truck which is limited to 60 mph. Cornering is good, stock tyres aren't great, would recommend changing them for Pirelli city demons for a load more grip. Servicing at regular intervals when brought with low mileage can be an unexpected cost, but insurance is v. Cheap. Long distance riding isn't bad. Once engine is warm will do 70 mph on a straight, 60 if not. Does really struggle up hills though, but it's a 125. Would defiantly recommend getting one if 17 and passed cbt. Lots of fun to be had.

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
1 out of 5 the tortoise of the 125's
30 October 2011 by heath9144

No wind protection so a slight breeze and your on the edge of the anorexic tyres, cheap build quality(Three out of four indicator caps fell off(£15 x 3 bill!), and I personally belive that anything that forces a lorry to overtake is dangerous on A & M roads and I faced atleast ten daunting overtakes a day!. 5 Weeks of hell! Only buy this bike if you plan on the occasional ride to the shops or low speed riding!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
4 out of 5 Reincarnated
16 October 2011 by IanUK

After about a 25 year break from motorcycling (family life took over) a change in my work circumstances meant I needed to look for an inexpensive commuter vehicle. Having spent my younger days on Honda's CB125 and then the legendary CB400F I was a little hesitant to get back on a lesser machine. Common sense took over, however, when I stumbled upon the YBR125. Not being a fan of scooters, and most of the larger bikes recently looking more like racing machines, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bike which "looked nice". Whilst it was second hand, with only 823 miles on the clock it was the closest I have ever come to a brand new bike. I find now that whilst working has become tedious, this is offset significantly by a fun journey at each end of the day. Not to mention, of course, the absolute convenience of using bus lanes..... DISLIKES - As I was originally after another 400F the power is somewhat limited. But that's about the only thing LIKES - The whole experience of biking, including wearing all the gear. Also it seems to be getting me close to 130 mpg. Sweet. Not had it long enough for any meaningful maintenance report, but judging from the things that other people report it would seem I have got myself a nice little workhorse. I have a strange feeling though that my lust for more power will fester inside me.......

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 brilliant first bike
13 September 2011 by lost4surf

I bought this bike after taking my CBT last year, and rode around for a year before finally taking my test. ive taken this little bike everywhere doing 200-300 miles in one go and it was my behind that suffered, the bike never put a foot wrong. its best cruising around 55mph and it struggles up hills, but then its a 125 what do you expect? the only major issue i had was when the battery died, luckily the kick start was easy to use. i loved this bike and would recommend it to anyone starting out it was so cheap to run and i had a lot of fun on it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Solid engine, Great price!
02 June 2010 by RaiRai125

I have been riding my YBR125 here in Manila, Philippines for about 1 year right now and did not encounter any issues with the bike. I have changed the sprocket and chain, used a combination of 15 teeth for the engine and 48 for the wheel sprocket and it hits about 115-120 kph, carburetor version. I also removed the foam filter and the throttle response is great! Changed tyres for more confident riding. It's now 11,500 kms and it is still running great! Oil change and tune up is the key for higher mileage.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 I like it!
17 March 2010 by Tim158

Mine's an 07, 5000 miles and still going strong. Just had the original tyres changed, which has improved it a lot. It's my first bike, so admittedly I don't have a lot to compare it to. I sat on this in a showroom after doing my CBT on a CG125 and was amazed at how much more comfortable it was, and particularly how my legs seemed to fit it where they were supposed to, as opposed to along the tank ridges on the CG. The only trouble I've had with the engine is where I've stalled it, then it likes to be turned off for a few seconds sometimes. And sometimes it wont't change gear when I've stopped at traffic lights, but rolling it slightly or getting into the right one before hand gets around this. I don't know if this is common to other bikes or not. Overall though, I'd definitely choose this bike again. My mate's just bought the new Honda 125 which he keeps telling me is better, but I don't believe him.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 brill bike
22 November 2009 by mweait

absolutly floorless i am riding around 1500 miles a month and it has neveer broke down never put foot worng well worth it

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5 Average
13 September 2009 by mammoth200

Bought mine back in '06 when they were still a carb engine, it ran fine up until the first service, but had a major issue with eating chains & sprockets despite keeping in perfect operating condition, a good learner bike, maxxed out at 60mph down a hill with the wind behind me, generally average middle of the road learner kit, but not so good for higher mileage as expected.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 8 months
19 August 2009 by firebirdharris

Had the bike for 8 months and never had any problems with it really, it's a city bike to be short and simple, it's mostly happy at speeds below 50mph but will get to 60 if there's no hill/head wind. Had to do some very heavy breaking (about 50mph hardest i've ever done) at the weekend and the front tyre locked up a couple times on a very nice warm dry day so brakes are good but stock rubber not so good (but at least it stayed upright while the front locked up and didn't just skid out). It's a good learner/commuter bike, it can go out at weekends but just make sure it's with other 125/250s anything bigger and it'll slow everyone down, that said it put a smile on my face when i went skeggy (leicester to skeggy took three hours on it). Never had any problem with rusting but it's an 07 plate so the manufacturer obviously got that problem sorted

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 6000 miles in.....
03 April 2009 by photojonny

I've had the YBR125 about 8 months now. Have been communting approx 250 miles a week on dual carriageways and NSL roads and completed 6000miles in total. In all that time only problem has been a blown rear bulb. I have the 2008 model, which is fuel injected and has an auto-choke. Starts 1st time, including all through the winter, and cruises at 60mph without a headwind. Had 75mph with a tailwind. I've commuted through rain and shine (though not snow) and the bike hasn't put a foot wrong with 100+mpg. Only negatives are short mirror stalks, although when set up right you can seen behind clearly enough, and stock tyres don't inspire complete confidence. They've never let me down, but equally I've never felt tempted to push them. Have used FS365 and then ACF-50 over winter, and bike has come through with just small amount of corrosion on the exhaust. Looks practically brand new. As a learner and cheap commuter the bike is highly recomended. The number of cheap Chinese bikes with fewer miles and covered in rust that I've seen make me feel the YBR is a worthwile investment. Highly recommended.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Little Gem
21 March 2009 by spread4

I have had my YBR 125 for a year now and its works good as a learner bike as I find it very easy to ride and confidence inspiring in the bends. It is however slow as I struggle to get it past 60mph, I also find the gearbox to be sticky with it falling into neutral alot!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 slowly dose it
09 March 2009 by icynet

Well the YBR is no missle and most people i know with them struggle to get the bike up to the magic 70MPH top speed, in fact anything past 50 feels like a bit of a strugle. I am not a particular fan of the YBR i never really feel safe when sitting on one, they feel as if a gust of wind will carry it away to OZ leaving you with a sore behind. On a plus side they are cheap and the engine from what i know is bullet proof. For a commute around the town it gets the job done thats about it.

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
2 out of 5 It's OK
21 August 2008 by gandhiman3000

i've had my ybr for about 6 months now and its started to go wrong. The bike has been fine up until now but some of the facts are very wrong. It will not cruise at 55mph more like 50 and the top wack is around 60mph down a hill 70 but of course up a hill its alot slower. Back to the problems i've had to replace to back tire but that is mainly down to wear and tear. the front disc warped and its a case of a ful disc,pad and bolts replacement set. The biggy was the front spocket teeth have all but 3 come off. to me this is bad manufacturing quality and when i asked yamaha to use my warenty to replace it they did not want to know calling it a servicable part, eevn though stated in the service book the spocket isnt serviced. to sum up this bike yes its ok priced and runs but if anything goes wrong then you will be out on yor own as the warenty is not worth the paper its written on.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5 YBR 125
16 April 2008 by censuwine

I've had this bike for 6 weeks now and quite honestly, at the price I paid for, I cannot really complain. I think it looks OK although the wheels are on the thin side betraying its low power. Furthermore, I have to confirm the problem mentioned by others with regard to the mirrors. Their stalks are too short and big guys like me wearing thick clothing could find it well nigh impossible to get a decent look. Some of my less charitable friends reckon my 6', 220lbs frame looks ridiculous on it which may be true. Certainly, the bike does not get your pulse racing - but hey, it was a commuter tool I wanted and were it not for the fuel filler cap staring at me all the time, I would forget where it is. It's strictly a town bike but does its job well.

Ride quality & brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 ybr
29 December 2007 by mojomiles

does any one know the top speed of the 2007 ybr thanx

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 A commuter tool
22 December 2007 by datadyne89

Well i didnt actually own this bike but had it as a tempary bike for 3 weeks. This bike felt great to sit on, and everthing seemed to be in the right postion which was very handy. The bike felt like sitting on an arm chair with such a nice seat compared to some other bikes out there. It also had a petrol guaze which i have never myself been able to have whilst riding which was really nice feature. This bike is meant to be for the commuter with good quality and reliablity and i hate to say but it actually broke down on me. I had to walk home for about 5 miles. The engine managment light just came on and cut the enigne out and it would not fire back up. This bike pulls away nicely to about 30 mph then it feels like a slug gettin up to about 55 mph and i stuggled to get anymore unless i was going down hill. Also i found the back brake very keen and used to lock up far too often. Its a great bike for commuting but nothing more.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Does what it says on the tin
04 October 2007 by wingnut666

great little bike, easy to ride ,good on fuel between 90-100 MPG depending on how you ride it a tank of fuel will last about 260-290 miles and most important reliable, top speed about 65 MPH

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 A great Yam
30 July 2007 by Dave201288

This bike is a great, lightweight run-about. I had mine for over a year, and passed my test on it and also crashed once (footpegs take all the damage). However, i'd get rid of the nylon tires straight away as in the wet they are just plain dangerous. If you can take the wheels off youself you can take em to most garages and get them replaced for 70quid!(fr and bk)The fuel consumption on this bike is unbelievable. I have had 120mpg on a long run and on my daily commute i got between 90 and 100mpg Insurance is v. cheap and when comparing it to its rival CG. The clocks are more modern and the bike feels alot better to ride. They both have a simalar top speed of around 60/63. However i found that the quality on the YBR in some areas was 'lacking'. I found the bike (after 1 winter) was showing signs of wear. If your planing to ride this bike throughout winter i'd advise you to wash it often and use a lot of WD40! The exasaust was the most susceptible to rust and you should watch it closely. Overall this is a great starter bike! Which is very forgiving and fun to ride. You can really throw it into the corners (put new tyres on first) and learn the basics of riding.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Not so fast...
20 July 2007 by Waisted

My YBR carried me until I passed my test, but I got shot of it pronto (at six months old). Why? Rust and pitted surfaces were erupting all over the bike. The forks were the worst, closely followed by most of the exterior metal surface. The Yamaha dealer took it back and gave me a fair price, but if large areas of a bike need to be replaced in the warranty period, you have to ask what the Chinese suppliers are making their bits out of. The dealer said that Yamaha are dealing with the problem. Watch those early versions.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 ybr 125
07 June 2007 by pisspoor

had for over a year now without any problems. good reliable bike does what it says without any problems. great for city riding.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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