Yamaha MT-125: Young bikers test the all-rounder

The old hands at AUTO BILD MOTORRAD haven’t been as curious as they are about this story for a long time: We give a young guy a Yamaha MT-125 and see what happens. Looking at his clutch finger, sniffing after him on the way to school, on recreational rides, Instagram shoots and all other jokes.
Logbook, photo collection and questions for the pilot – we wanted to know everything about the Yamaha. From someone who primarily belongs to an MT-125: Johann is the name of the rascal, he is 17 years young, but thanks to plenty of motocross sport and supermoto experience, he is saddle-steady enough to be able to make crystal-clear judgments. (Bike innovations for 2022)
Yamaha MT-125

Right on line: good level of grip, easy to handle, leaning is not limited too early by the footrests.

We have compiled his assessments here. The Hamburg boy gave us his pictures and a bunch of scribbled notes, including a typical picture of the scene of a certain breed of young motorcyclists.

Because 125s are no longer just a means of driving from A to B. They also transport the play instinct in the direction of social media. Wheelie scene, posing, tuning, do-it-yourself, carpooling, brand and model enthusiasm – Instagram and Co condense the bandwidth of biking into photos and likes.

The test object fits in perfectly with this. The Yamaha MT-125 is one of the most modern types and one of the bestsellers in the league. Almost every fifth newly registered 125 in 2020 was an MT. The naked machine is particularly popular with young pilots. Because she looks particularly mature thanks to her slim waist, two-eye light and fat 140 roller at the back.

For this purpose, the permitted 11 kW output is exhausted and garnished with additional technical equipment. Variable valve control helps the four-stroke engine get going, a 292 millimeter front brake disc with radial calipers including ABS decelerates the 142 kilo vehicle, and the digital cockpit greets the pilot with the programmed lettering “Hi buddy”. A gimmick that Johann also noticed immediately at the very first meeting. “Cool. Can this be reprogrammed?” Yes, you can, YouTube has instructions ready.
Yamaha MT-125

The Yamaha MT-125 is particularly suitable for active A1ers and technology lovers.

Johann has to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the MT himself over a distance of 2000 kilometers. First finding: “The engine pulls through nicely and evenly. In addition, the machine leans almost by itself and keeps itself pleasantly clean there.” In fact, the single-cylinder delivers both typical four-stroke pressure up to the medium speeds, but may then also increase up to the five-digit range.
Amazing: Despite hard full-throttle orgies, countless wheelie and stoppie excesses as well as frequent acceleration duels with Fantic Supermotos, Aprilia two-stroke engines and felt like every single KTM Duke 125 in Hamburg, Johann achieved an average consumption of 2.6 liters Super over the entire distance – more economical it’s hardly possible.

The 17-year-old also hits the mark when it comes to handling. The steering behavior of the delicate 125 seems spontaneous and smooth at the same time. In addition, the reliable brakes of the MT work unexpectedly grippy, but at the same time pleasantly controllable.

However: If buddy Robert – a 1.83 meter tall guy – rides in the back, the two-man team puts the brake discs of the MT under heat stress. Our junior tester confirms this by constantly increasing the power requirement on the hand lever. So: Better to drive carefully in a duo.

Yamaha MT-125

Target group A1: Johann (17) tests machines for the 11 kW target group for AUTO BILD MOTORRAD.

Over time, Johann gradually sensed the universal character of MT. His notes reveal, for example, that he considers the sitting position to be suitable for taking on both a sporty aggressiveness and the opportunity to indulge in cruising upright and with arms stretched out.

But our test rider also discovered the little quirks of the Yamaha. “Rolle has too much play and too long travel,” he describes the feeling on the gas. Because the e-gas transmission has a strong slack, which interferes with the transition from pushing to pulling. So annoying strong load change reactions in everyday life.

And: “The tight and sloping passenger seat is more of an emergency seat.” Even the old hands on motorcycles could hardly have said it more aptly.

Specifications and price: Yamaha MT-125

engine Single-cylinder four-stroke, 124cc
drive 6-speed gearbox, slipper clutch, chain
perfomance 11 kW (15 hp) at 10,000 rpm
Max. Torque 11.5 Nm at 8000 rpm
top speed 120km/h
brakes hydraulic disc brake, radial caliper, 292 mm in front; hydraulic disc brake, 220 mm rear
Weight 142kg
Price from 5149 euros

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