Small-capacity supermoto fun from Yamaha
There is something pleasing about returning to your two-wheeled roots and, if I’m honest, because I’m tight I also love the fact 125s cost little to buy and run. In this context a £1000 used Yamaha XT125X is right up my street!
In the flesh the XT is just what I expected from a 125 in this price bracket. Visually it’s a bit tired and there is a fair amount of rust on areas such as the exhaust as well as a few battle scars. But it isn’t a bad-looking bike at all and the known Japanese name on its tank means a lot. As does the fact it starts first prod of the starter button.
A few years ago I made the mistake of buying my wife a 100cc bike with only a kickstart when she was learning to ride. This put her off using it as it was a bit of a pain to start and any stalls soon resulted in a flap to get it going again rather than a simple push of a button. Bikes with an electric start (and ideally a kickstart backup) are a far better investment for new riders. And the XT’s style also appeals.
While a lot of 125 owners want a race rep, if you are taller a supermoto or trailie style such as the XT range are a better option. I’m six-foot two inches tall and while I felt a bit like a gorilla on a monkey bike, the XT wasn’t that uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to go big distances, but that’s not what 125s are for.
On the go the 125cc engine does exactly what you would expect. It’s smooth, doesn’t vibrate and will (eventually) make its way up to 70mph. In town the clutch is nice and light, the gearbox slick and the bike’s overall lack of weight makes it very easy to manoeuvre - although the suspension is soggier than a wet weekend in Wales. The lack of fuel gauge is an annoyance, but with its 10-litre tank I’d expect to see at least 140 miles between fill-ups and on a 125 you are seldom that far from a petrol station so just having a fuel warning light isn’t a huge issue.
Overall, it’s a cool-looking 125 that starts, stops (no ABS, which isn’t a surprise on an older 125) and is cheap to buy and run. Happy days.
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