SAME BIKE, NEW MISSION
No longer required to be a racer,
the YZ125 is free to be anything else
They say that single-cell organisms will inherit he earth. Long after complex creatures with
opposable thumbs and big brains have disappeared, the descendants of amoebas and paramecium will live in our houses and try on our
shoes. And, they’ll probably ride our Yamaha
YZ125s. The 125 two-stroke is a survivor. In
recent years its future has looked bleak, as four-strokes crowded in to its market, but now the
reality of the situation is clear. The 125 fills a role
nothing else can, and the Yamaha YZ125 remains
the poster child of the 125 clan.
The reasons the 125 has survived so far and will stay
around a lot longer are obvious. It’s simple, inexpensive
and sized perfectly for the young rider who is transitioning to big bikes. It also fits grown-ups who are reliving
their childhood. Total sales numbers for 125-class bikes
are sagging simply because there are a zillion of them
already on the used market. They change hands quickly
as kids pass through the brief period where modest
power and light weight are the most important factors.
But, the Craigslist inventory will eventually thin, sending
riders of various ages to Yamaha and KTM showrooms.
Right now those are the two main players in this world,
and the debate over which is best will rage on endlessly.
Here are a few things you should know about the YZ125
The YZ has incredibly good suspension. The double-spring KYB SSS fork that comes on the 125 was introduced in 2006 and is still state of the art. The rest of the
world is currently experimenting with one spring and no
springs, but nothing has shown a significant performance
improvement. On the flip side, a four-stroke will always
get better suspension performance out of the same
components. It has something to do with rotating mass,
gyros, science and magic.