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2008 Yamaha YZF-R125 First Look

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
2008 Yamaha YZF-R125
It's not headed Stateside, but the YZF-R125 is an important new '08 model for Yamaha, where many of the under-21 crowd will be sampling its abilities until they can bump up to the big boys.
Last month Yamaha released information on an all-new addition to its supersport lineup. Was it a mammoth displacement beast to battle the mighty ZX-14 or Hayabusa? Nope, think about 1200cc less, because the bike we're talking about is the 125cc 2008 YZF-R125.

The new design fuses the styling of Yamaha's big-bore road-racing platforms, the YZF-R6 supersport and YZF-R1 superbike, but in a tamed down 125cc design. The new Yamaha is a fuel injected, liquid-cooled 124.6cc Single, with four valves and SOHC. Unlike its big brothers, the 125 is an undersquare design, with a 52mm bore and 58.6mm stroke. With a compression ratio of 11.2:1 the YZF-R125's Single produces claimed peak numbers of 14.75 horsepower at 9,000rpm and 9 lb-ft of torque at 8,000rpm.

Tech details aren't available in their entirety, but the new machine's chassis features a steel Deltabox frame, aluminum swingarm and telescopic fork. Suspension travel is a respective 5.1 and 4.9 inches in front and rear. Braking duties are carried out by single-disc units, a 292mm front and 230mm rear rotor. Its overall dimensions aren't too far removed from the R6, a little bit slimmer and at 80 inches in length less than an inch shorter. At 53.3 inches the wheelbase is a single inch more compact than the R6, with the little bike's 6.1 inches of ground clearance an inch higher. The most dramatic difference from its bigger siblings, however, is the R125's 279-lb claimed dry weight.

Then, of course, there is the styling, with the new YZF-R125 impersonating the looks of its triple-digit horsepower brethren. With a full fairing, similar bodywork and a shorty side exhaust, you wouldn't have to be too far away from the 125 to mistake it for it big-bore brothers - which is the entire point.
2008 Yamaha YZF-R125
Just admit it, from a couple paces back, you aren't thinking 125cc. In its styling, the YZF-R125 bears a close resemblance to is R6 and R1 siblings.

But the new 125 isn't headed Stateside as a 2008 model. Instead it is targeted for Europe due to the European Union's tiered licensing requirements.

Our research regarding the EU licensing laws gave us a headache of EPA-emissions-regulation proportions. After a day of murky investigation, we decided to chat with our British buddy and Memorable Motorcycles contributor, Frank Melling, who was more than happy to enlighten us on the EU motorcycle license conundrum.

Reduced down to the gist, the EU tiered licensing limits riders under 21 to bikes with displacement and horsepower restrictions. Regulations still vary from country to country within the EU, but the long and short of it is an ultimate cap in displacement at 125cc. Thus making the new Yamaha YZF-R125 a key European model for 2008, where it will compete head-to-head with Honda's CBR125.

The introduction of the YZF-R125 is a sound strategic move by Yamaha on two levels. First, it delivers to European youth a legal ride that looks like the supersport and literbike racers they yearn for. Second, given that the riding demographic in Europe is aging, as it is in the U.S., it taps Yamaha into the valuable youth market. Who knows how many future R6 and R1 purchases will be made because maturing riders develop a lifelong Yamaha loyalty due to the trusty little 125 they began their two-wheeled career on. In this sense, the major manufacturers cannot afford to ignore the 125 market in Europe.

So, would Yamaha be able to sell enough 125s to justify an American introduction of the model? Well, Kawasaki seems to have done pretty well with its stalwart 250cc Ninja, which is sporting a long overdue redesign for 2008 to make it look more like its full-faired racer sibling. But we Americans, with our bigger is better attitude, often have a contemptuous opinion of the little things in life - or at least we pass them by for the biggest and fastest whenever possible. A nation of 50cc scooter commuters we are not.
2008 Yamaha YZF-R125
Americans seem reticent of purchasing small-displacement motorcycles. Then again, you can't buy what's not offered and neither the Honda or Yamaha 125 sportbikes are available here in the States.

So, will the American riding public ever embrace the small-displacement streetbike? The answer, most likely, is not until it has too. Thus far the U.S. has managed to avoid the stringent tiered licensing requirements that are in force throughout most of the world, including the EU. Given that many States have trouble passing mandatory helmet laws, tiered licensing seems a ways off.

Still, it doesn't seem too unrealistic that an enterprising politician could say, "Hey, my 16-year-old son just crashed riding home from the dealership on a bike that can go 187mph! What's up with that?"

Until that day, right or wrong, expect American youth to be rolling down the road on something closer to 125 horsepower than 125 cc displacement.


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Comments
sriprabhu   May 15, 2011 06:37 PM
when will be r125 launched in india
yzf r125 zeph   February 10, 2011 08:28 PM
..meron idol dealer s alibaba.com..visit moh nlng don..type moh lng to.. YZF-R125 RACING BIKE 2010
Jvryl   February 9, 2011 03:34 AM
sa mga PINOY.. help nmn hindi ko po kc alam san ung dealer dito sa my Caloocan b meron? san po meron? balak ko po kc bumili
kristoffrer john deus -plz bring that bike to in phils  December 11, 2010 11:34 PM
i like this bike i dont care how mch plz i need to buy that bike coz so nice and they have a good speed
calipinoy510 -yamaha yzf 125 price  October 9, 2010 10:25 AM
yamaha 125 price in the philippines is: 250T.peso but just ask the daler in the philippines so u can order from thailand.wala pa po sa pinas yan yamaha 125.kung gusto niyo po yan.punta kayo sa daler ng mga motorcycle sa pinas.tapus mag order kayo don kc ako nag order ako!250k.peso ang price sa atin.
John -The Realist  September 19, 2010 10:18 PM
Yeah, why won't they bring that to the US, there's a market for it and they would sell them fast and sell them all out. No, they're gonna dangle it in front of our faces like a juicy piece of pizza! It's like they're saying to us: "No sense in getting your mouth to water for food you're not gonna eat!". :(
niwresh -yzf r125  August 29, 2010 04:13 AM
is there any dealers in philippines?...i like to buy.

Enan -Please... make this available in the Philippines  August 1, 2010 07:24 AM
Please make this bike available in the Philippines! I will buy one of those and sell all my bikes if that happens... I am sure even if it becomes expensive, many will still buy it because it's a "Yamaha"! Lots of Filipino Yamaha fans will definitely want to own one.
matt -yamaha rider 9  July 21, 2010 08:34 PM
Yamaha plzzzzzzzzzz bring this to the us. I have been waiting to buy a bike, but i dont want to start out on a bigger bike. This would be great for starter riders in the U.S! I love the look and the style of it and why does a beginner rider to start out on a 600 or bigger? That just comes around to something happening to them! This bike is awsome and if it comes to the U.S, I will Be buying one!!!!!!!
edd anthony -urgent  May 5, 2010 12:49 PM
pls bring this bike to phil. im begging..yamaha r125.. seriously.. please...
setein37 -R125  April 29, 2010 10:18 PM
how much does it cost in php.peso?
DIOMEDES P. PINERA -PRIVATE EMPLOYEE  April 18, 2010 09:44 PM
I LIKE THE KIND OF MC, LOOK LIKE A BIGBIKE. PLS BRING HERE IN PHILIPPINES... I WANT TO BUY,,,,,,,
raider 150r -gsx r  March 20, 2010 07:06 AM
YZF R125 is the most awesome 125 sport bike that I've seen! it's great bec. of it's very aggressive bike bike looks ant it has a good power for it's size and lastly it out-perform honda CBR125 specially in looks because it is very blunt looking bike it doesn't have a bike big looks but I heard that suzuki GSX R125 will be lunched in the market this year! just wait and see if this little sport bike from suzuki can out perform the YZF R125 and CBR125 in looks and in power deliver, handling and road performance! But I believe that suzuki will be a a tough competitor and they will let Yamaha and honda beat them! specially when the their flagship bikes model the gsxr is at hand!
jaypee from italy -question  March 10, 2010 12:34 PM
where can i buy it in the philipines and how much does it cost in peso?
kamil -price and where????  January 17, 2010 05:56 AM
how much is it?? and where are they selling it?? are they selling it in johannesburg or pretoria in SA
t3pyong -price  January 7, 2010 03:00 AM
where can I buy that in the Philippines? and what's the price in Peso?
Billy -YZF-125R V Ninja 250  November 25, 2009 02:05 PM
I really like the way the little Yamaha looks but I think most of you would be happier with the Ninja 250. More likely than not you'll be jonesing for more power in no time
joseh -yzf r125 fan  November 4, 2009 12:19 AM
i had a cbr150r and it can go as fast as 145km/h i saw yzf r125 in youtube and it can also go as fast as my bike! thats amazing knowing its just a 125cc. when it will be available in the philippines?!
layvin -yamaha yzf 125  October 13, 2009 01:14 AM
pls bring it in philippines...
i like this bike yamaha yzf 125r
Tokuo -too bad it isn't coming to the US  October 5, 2009 10:15 AM
My parents were always ok with the idea of me getting a bike till I actually showed them that I had about 5,000 USD saved for a used CBR 600RR. Then the arguments started haha. They were afraid that a 600 super sport class bike would be too much for me, and immediately started trying to talk me down to a ninja 250 or Suzuki Katana. I was not too keen on any of this. What drew me to the 600RR wasn't necessarily the displacement but the styling of the bike. I am a huge MotoGP fan, and the aggressive-race fairing design of the race bikes/600RR/R6. Personally I feel that the ninja 250, even with it's recent redesign, looks about 15 years outdated. To me the R125 looks amazing, I recently stumbled across the Rossi replica for 2010 and am chomping at the bit to get one, I guess they are not going to be released in America though... I now live in San Francisco and feel that a small 125cc bike would be perfect for zipping from home to my college. I guess we can only hope -Tokuo
smith -American buyers  September 2, 2009 11:38 PM
I'm looking for a new motorcycle/scooter choices are the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and the Zuma 125... If the Yamaha r125 came to the states there would be no doubt i would buy it, and all of my friends. We are very limited here in our choices. and i think that if the bike came to the U.S.A. it would be a best seller to all kinds of riders.
lotu gadi -price  August 16, 2009 11:46 PM
price???
ntrudr_800 -too small  August 9, 2009 04:19 PM
Too small for price. I'd rather have new Honda CB160 than new one of them. I like classic style more...
matrebung -k  July 30, 2009 10:22 PM
nice motobike...
mow -comment and price  July 3, 2009 07:08 AM
hey yamaha...listen i think you guys have realy out-done yourself this time..the yamaha YZF-R125 is one of the most awsome bikes i have ever seen and ridden..im hoping to buy my-self one, just dont knw where to get the prices for the bikes..if you guys could help, it would be awsome..! hope u guys have awsome year further with future yamaha's 125..!!! peace
Greg -US sales  June 28, 2009 04:03 PM
I was just out teaching my son how to ride today on a Suzuki Bandit 400. He and his friends are all looking for bikes and are stuck looking at used, high power units because there are very few choices for the smaller bikes. Bring in the smaller bikes. I've been riding for over 20 years and find the smaller bikes more appealing, not needing to go 180+ mph.
nishil -price  June 17, 2009 09:42 AM
giv me the expected price n in india....nishil.patel@yahoo.com thanks
jamesm -i want thiss  June 13, 2009 08:43 AM
seriously needs to come out in US. insurance is insane for an 18 year old to have a sportsbike this ends the problem entirely. cant wait for 125 models to hit US hopefully they do so i dont have to ride a ninja 250
DJ-NITE -Where's mine  June 9, 2009 05:29 PM
i need one so bad that i'll go to us customs to get one now hoping no more than 3500.00 us dollars
alex -Yamaha YZF- R125  May 28, 2009 02:04 PM
i would love to see yamaha sell this bike in the US. i for one would buy one in a heart beat..
leonardo moran -yamaha yzf125r  April 16, 2009 06:59 PM
me encanta ese motor es impresionante y me gustaria saber el presio mi correo es morannic@hotmail.com gracias
fx -comment  April 9, 2009 10:13 AM
only in europe and im there and i got one such a nice bike!
Sanjog Bikram KC -whts d price?  March 30, 2009 08:21 PM
Hey this bike's cool. Where can I buy it in the states? N whats the price in US dollars! I need it NOW!!!
archie -r125  March 29, 2009 01:14 AM
I have a daytona 675 for two years now and to these day I still haven't had the chance to use the full potential of the 675cc. That is why I don't want to step up and go for the bigger engine instead I want to step down and these bike got my attention. These would be nice on the street and specially on the track. So yamaha please bring it stateside.
Joey Valenzuela -Availability for the Philippines  March 4, 2009 02:15 AM
IF there are any dealers in Europe etc... who can sell me this bike, pls contact me via my email at (jayvee713@yahoo.com) Im willing to pay for all expenses i.e. customs tax etc... Thanks.
captain -comment  March 1, 2009 07:24 AM
bike is really good but the engine does not suit the style what abt it's cc,it's cc should be minimum 150cc 125cc doesn't go that fast as expected
Edee -info  February 25, 2009 11:31 AM
I want to buy this bike please tell me if I can get it somewhere here in the States. And tell me if it is street legal in the states and the price in US Dollars.
MJC -Candian Imports  January 23, 2009 09:57 AM
This year I will be taking the twisties on a 2009 R1, and all the while will be getting passed by my friend on her Honda CBR125! That thing corners like you wouldn't believe. So the big question for me is: If I were to purchase this bike from a dealership in Europe, then ship it back, what are the odds that it would be legal for street use, and what kind of paperwork-roadblocks can I expect to meet? The Yamaha website for Britain lists it at 3299.00 pounds, which is about 5800 CAD.....but I'll gladly pay 2100 more than the CBR125 for something that looks like a real sport bike!
Thanh Cong Nguyen -R125  January 15, 2009 08:32 PM
i like this kind but i don't know where to buy it,any one know it pls tell me
roosen -let c  January 14, 2009 04:01 AM
bike looks good but wht about d price affordable..........otherwise it will get flop in Nepal
Prashant Sadbhaiya -When is it going to launch  January 5, 2009 04:49 PM
Pls bring it in India.. I have beeen waiting for it. I want to know the price....
myron -comment  December 27, 2008 11:33 AM
please bring it stateside!!!!
stefan -coment  November 8, 2008 05:35 PM
i like this bike yamaha yzf-125 r