Yamaha are taking their R125 to the next level in 2023 with a host of updates, while only a little 125 cc machine, designed in part to cover the needs of A1 riders in Europe, this little ripper actually offers an impressive set of specs and technology that punch well above much of the 125 cc class.
Instantly noticeable with the new model is a styling revamp which brings the R125 closer to the latest R7, for a bigger bike look and feel, with bi-function LED headlight where the air intake used to sit, while DRLs add to the premium look. Personally I think it’s a big upgrade over the 2022 look.
Now the 124.7 cc powerplant is carried across to the latest edition, producing just shy of 15 horsepower and 12.4 newton metres of torque, with the Yamaha VVA or Variable Valve Actuation system, which ensures wider, more optimal performance.
That’s not crazy power but for new riders, revving out a little machine is likely to be more forgiving, and more rewarding, than holding back on something larger.
Also standard is an assist and slipper clutch for a sporty riding, but the premium features don’t end there, with 41 mm KYB up-side down forks, lightweight aluminium swingarm, and monoshock.
Add a generous 292 mm floating front rotor with radial mount caliper, and 220 mm rear rotor, dual channel ABS, Deltabox frame, 100/80 and 140/70 17 inch tyres and wheels, with Michelin Pilot Streets as standard and you’ve got a very cool little offering.
Additions for 2023 aim to make that even more impressive however, with an R1 inspired 5 inch TFT display, with programmable shift light and rpm range, as well as smartphone connectivity.
That’s all managed by the Yamaha MyRide app, which mirrors calls and texts to the TFT, as well as offering a heap of insight into bike parameters, as well as rolling out the new feature which emails bike technical issues, or error codes to your Yamaha dealer or a designated contact.
Also quite cool is the ability to switch the TFT dash between your regular road or street mode, over to the Track theme, which simplifies things down, making a lap timer more prominent, with 25 lap memory, as well as a bar tacho.
A new traction control system also boosts safety, and while this may seem a bit unnecessary on a smaller capacity machine, we’re also talking about inexperienced riders who’ll appreciate anything that saves them a trip down the road where the rubber isn’t the right way down.
The R125 is also now pre-wired for a quickshifter, allowing the easy addition of another sporty feature that’s very much a quality of life inclusion if you decide to pay the extra for it. Depending the overall cost of the bike, and the upgrade, it’s one I’d seriously consider after a bit of crash protection.
The updates don’t stop there either, with an R1 inspired upper triple clamp which saves weight and set of handlebar switches also added, for another premium touch, which includes control of the TFT dash via a menu toggle.
Other points of note include a quite tall seat height of 825 mm, with a seat for rider and pillion, while the fuel tank holds 11 litres, which should get you quite some distance with the small capacity powerplant. Weight should also be around the 140ish kg region too.
There’s also a range of genuine accessories available, including GYTR race centric stuff, and much more, like an Akro full exhaust, LED flashers which strangely aren’t standard, seat cowl, billet levers and more.
Overall the R125 is a very cool little machine. It looks the business and should offer impressive performance for the category, while also having some great inclusions.
The UK price of the outgoing model is however around the £5k pounds mark, which only seems to be about a thousand pounds cheaper than the R3. Of course in Europe most people have to traverse the A1 licensing period, so that will no doubt drive demand, but from what I can see this is one of the more premium offerings.