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Yamaha YS125


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Have decided to write a review of my bike having owned it for 2 years now.

2018 Yamaha YS125, £2973 brand new, 0% finance (an excellent deal). Purchased August 2018.

Mine doesn't have any optional extras e.g. windshield, top box etc. These are widely available through Yamaha dealerships or online from various suppliers. Most are easy to fit yourself.

Good Points:- A very simple and fun bike to ride. As you'd expect being the successor to the YBR it is perfect for beginners. I did my first CBT on a YBR and coming to this was 2nd nature. Its very lightweight (around 130Kg) and has excellent fuel economy (I average 130mpg over a tankful, giving a range of over 300 miles). Despite being Chinese made it seems reasonably well-made and has proved durable riding in all weathers and seasons including through Scottish winters. The riding position is upright and very comfortable and natural-feeling. Being simple and air-cooled there's very little to go wrong. The generic Japanese design isn't to everyone's taste but I happen to rather like it. The linked brakes (UBS) work well in use. Instrument binnacle is simple in design and easy to read. Performance around town is very reasonable with enjoyable, safe handling and nippy enough to keep up with traffic. The manual is well-written and explains in good detail pretty much every maintenance job you need to accomplish to keep your steed in good running order.

Bad Points:- Nothing major, but the main issue, if there is one, is performance on the open road. Its a 125cc so you have to have realistic performance expectations. It's never going to win any drag races so on the open road it does struggle above 55mph. Being a thumper there's practically no torque below 3500rpm so you drive accordingly. Any reasonable headwind will severely limit speed. The overall quality is decent however there have been issues - In 2 years I've had the starter solenoid go u/s (leaving the bike unable to start) and the instrument binnacle went u/s after water ingress due to a poor seal; both replaced under warranty. Most of the nuts/bolts rust very easily. Exhaust paint has started bubbling/peeling off in certain areas. The tires are very skinny (good in snow!) and the rear has worn to the limit at 3200 miles which isn't much. Also the colour choice is a bit "generic"; white, black and red and that's it. Honda at least offer a nice yellow on their CB125F which is their equivalent model.

I'd happily buy another if I needed to. Generally speaking its been dependable year-round and was a very good value purchase especially with Yamaha's 0% finance deal. Running costs are minimal at best; road tax is £20 p.a., £15 fills the tank from empty and lasts >300 miles, insurance is very cheap. For skint students, learners or (like me) people looking for an affordable alternative to a 2nd car it is ideal. It's also good fun! I'd consider a CB125F as an alternative as it has a nicer choice of colours, is equivalent performance-wise and it has old-fashioned analogue instruments (strange, but I prefer those!).

I'm not planning on moving on from the YS any time soon. As I spend most of my time on A-roads I'll probably invest in a screen and a top box as it's handy for shopping etc.

I'll post a pic when I can.



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