Dirt Bike Review Yamaha YZ125


Originally released in 1974, the Yamaha YZ125 is well known as being one of the best bikes around. With a liquid-cooled two stroke engine and light aluminum frame, this dirt bike has a great power-to-weight ratio.

Models from ‘74-’80 were air-cooled, but changing over to a liquid-cooled engine makes this bike longer-lasting. Former models were also made with a steel frame, which was replaced by an aluminum frame to save substantial weight. The reduction in weight allows for faster speeds, but it takes more skill to ride than the heavier model. Changes to the gearbox were also made throughout the years to maximize efficiency and performance.


The Yamaha YZ125 has plenty of power provided by a two stroke 124cc. It is a substantial step up from 85cc class, and with substantial mid-range power it’s the perfect little racing bike. Since it is a two-stroke, the engine starts at the first kick assuming you open up the throttle. You’ve got to rev this bike up to make the most of this engine, so make sure that you stay in the proper gear. Once you find the sweet spot, you won’t be able to get enough of this dirt bike.

Test Ride

The Yamaha YX125 provides all the traditional thrills of a two stroke dirt bike. Most manufacturers are beginning to steer towards four stroke models, but there is nothing quite like the rawness of a two stroke. The perfect size for the average rider, each of our test riders could reach the ground comfortably on the YX125.

Because the Yamaha YX125 is so lightweight it is easy to toss around, although it is a big change from a heavier ride. The front wheel lifts easily, but if you keep it on the ground you will have no problem handling it. As a result of the super light weight, it handled well even taking sharp turns.

The Yamaha YX125 even lands jumps like a true champion. With fully-adjustable, speed sensitive shocks, the YX125 has front wheel travel of 11.8in and rear wheel travel of 12.4in. Our test riders never hit the bottom landing jumps.

Final Thoughts

The Yamaha YX125 is the perfect bike for hardcore two-stroke fans. It provides plenty of power at its light weight, and rides well on the tracks as well as trails. Perfect for intermediate and advanced adult riders, this dirt bike is definitely one of the best in its price range.

If you’re in the market for some used Yamaha YZ125 parts take a look at Cannibal Cycle’s selection of used dirt bike parts.


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