Monday, 31 October 2011

Living with a Yamaha Yzf R125

I am the owner of a 2010 Yamaha Yzf R125 in the 'power black' colour scheme, this was my third bike i've owned (and most certainly the best). I purchased it second hand in June 2011, making me the second owner of this bike. I would always recommend buying second hand. I mean, my bike was 8 months old when I bought it for £2500 (they are £4300 brand new) That's a whopping £1800 saving on a bike that is near enough new anyway! Other second hand prices can vary from £1900 (a 2008 Okay condition) to £3500 (a 2011 Mint condition)

I have fitted an R&G tail tidy (which I think is compulsory really, usually the standard license plate holder sticks out ten foot away from the bike) I also fitted a K&N air filter, Renthal lightweight gold chain and sprockets and a Remus exhaust system. My advice is don't bother with the air filter but definitely buy an exhaust and the renthal chain and sprockets, the renthal chain and sprockets last twice as long as the stock and cost only £10 more. And because the Yamaha is a single, when you put an exhaust on it (and remove the baffle - which is the plug like thing held in by a sirclip) it sounds like something so much bigger and violent. A big thumping sound emmits from the exhaust which turns heads... until they see your L plates.

I don't commute on the bike as my college and job is over the road, but I can guess that it would make a decent commuter. It has a higher seat than most 125's which is better for taller riders and provides more comfort. This, combined with reasonably low pegs and higher bars gives so much more comfort than you'd find on an rs 125 or a mito etc... The bike also has a lot of midrange power, being a 4 stroke, meaning that you don't have to rev the nuts off it to get it going, making commuting a lot more forgiving on your wrists. (The bike can still get to 50 mph whilst remaining under 6000 RPM).

I use this bike purely for social activity, spending every second of my free time on my bike when i'm not at college or at work. My mate has a 2011 Aprilia Rs 125 and I mostly ride with him, so I get to see how the bikes compare. Everyone raves on about how much faster 2 strokes are than 4 strokes but really when i'm riding with him, his bike is only 6 mph faster than mine (The Aprilia does 83mph on the flat, and the Yamaha doess 77mph). The most notable difference though is the suspension and handling. The handling on the Yamaha is reasonable but by not having upside down forks and clip-on bars, it does not compare to the Aprilia which has the forged yoke and USD forks. The brakes are good on both bikes (the Yamaha has Brembo calipers too - how cool is that?) and the tyres are both good although i'd have to say that the  Aprilia's Pirelli's are better than the Yamaha's Michelin's.

The Yamaha also has a huge range of accessories to choose from to make the bike personal to you, for example manufacturers supply: Double bubble screens, tail tidies, exhausts (even akrapovic), lighting, seat cowels, carbon fibre fairing panels and headlight lense covers. The Rs125 lacks this providing just (all I can find) an Arrow exhaust system and tail tidy. This may not be an issue for most but customising their motorcycle might be an interest to some.

But a good point with the Yzf R125 is how much cheaper it is to maintain. After the first service, this bike is due services every 4000 miles. With petrol prices rising (£1.35 per litre) fuel consumption is now becoming an important factor to motorcycling. The little 4 stroke does 80 miles per gallon which is sublime to say the least, meaning cheap transport.

In contrast, the Rs 125 is so much more expensive to run (bear in mind they cost around the same when bought new) it is due services about every 3000 miles and can sometimes require top end rebuilds every 12000 miles (depending on how they've been ridden). It is also a good idea to invest in top quality, fully synthetic 2 stroke oil to prolong the life of the Aprilia. This 2 stroke oil is around £15 per litre, and the bike does 35 miles per gallon and uses a litre of 2 stroke oil every 2 tanks of petrol. This works out very expensive.

By owning an R125  you might have to suffer some compromise in terms of handling and... 6mph. But it is so much cheaper, practical, just as fun and still (in my opinion) looks as stunning as the Aprilia.

In August I went on a road trip on this bike to Woolacombe in North Devon which is about 200 miles away and it rained for all of those miles and the bike did not scare me once. It was comfy, confident and the engine never missed a beat, considering it was going non-stop for 8 hours.

This bike is often overrated in terms of performance by Yamaha (although it still is quicker than most 4 stroke 125's) and underrated in terms of fun by 2 stroke enthusiasts. This is a great bike and I wouldn't recommend anything else to a 125 learner rider.

My Yamaha Yzf R125

My mate's Aprilia Rs125