YAMAHA YZ125 OFF-ROAD
It’s exciting and discouraging at the same time. The Yamaha YZ125 has
resurfaced, thanks to its new-for-2015
look. It’s finally getting some respect.
In fact, it’s been called the best-handling dirt bike in the world. If that’s so,
what have we been doing for the last
10 years? Running in place?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer:
Handling is such a subjective term
that it verges on being meaningless.
The YZ125 is incredibly light and has
less peak power than any full-size
motocross bike currently sold. Those
two factors make it a blast to ride, but
don’t necessarily make it competitive
as a race bike. So what do you do
with it? Another short answer: Have
fun! The purpose of this project is to
have no purpose. This YZ125 was set
up to ride anywhere with anyone. Call
it an off-road bike if you want; we’ll
just call it freedom.
GO AND WANDER
Any bike has some limitations.
The biggest one for the YZ125 is
that it’s not officially an off-road
bike, as viewed by the government.
Translated, that means it can’t get a
California green sticker and doesn’t
have access to some public lands out
west. We keep fearing other states
will enact similar restrictions, but for
the most part it hasn’t happened. Our
idea was to tear down the remaining
walls around the YZ with a 14-year-
old trail-riding kid in mind. First things
first: it needs more range. That’s easy.
IMS has a 3.2-gallon YZ tank that
hasn’t changed much in years. The
good news is that it still fits, even with
the changes in 2015.
The Yamaha YZ125 comes
into a new golden age