Who said two-strokes are dead? Well not me, and of course not Yamaha, that’s for sure! With the main focus for development aimed at four-strokes and the other Japanese manufacturers completely terminating their two-stroke line ups, it’s comforting to see Yamaha set aside the time, effort and money to keep this now rare breed of MXer alive. As for myself, having forcefully borrowed Dirt Rider‘s 2010 YZ125 for a good portion of last year, I have spent plenty of time on this little screamer and was ecstatic to try out the new line. The two-stroke Yamahas took over the four-stroke infested Milestone for the day and brought back some great memories and a whole lot of fun!First off, ask anyone who rides one and you will hear the same song, “The YZ125 is a lot of fun to ride!” “It’s awesome!” “This thing is sick!” and so on and so forth, you get the picture. But if everyone is so pumped on these bikes, why don’t we see more at the track? Well, I know they are at a power disadvantage, but actually, to tell you the truth, I think people are just getting lazy. They are always looking for that edge, that extra something that guarantees they can smoke their buddies at the local track. It is understandable, but what happened to the good ol’ days of spanking your buddy on a smaller, slower machine and then rubbing it in his face? Calling him a sissy and really breaking him down to actual tears? What happened to those days? Well, those days are still here! And the 2011 YZ125 is now here, to make it even easier!
Even with the development focused on four-strokes, the YZ125 still saw some changes for the New Year. The 2011 received a new silencer to drop the sound down to 96db. And this, of course, was also accompanied with some jetting changes to keep her running crisp. The new sound restricting silencer didn’t hurt the power at all, but actually improved it. The 2011 has more torque down low when compared to the 2010 and seems to pull harder. You still have to scream it like a 125, but it is just a hair more forgiving. The power (and the weight, but I’ll get to that later) of the 125 is what really makes this a fun bike to ride. In a world of “hang on for dear life four-strokes” it’s nice to get on a bike that you can actually ride to its absolute limit. There is something about ringing a bike out for all she’s worth that really gets your blood pumping. Not to mention that they sound totally wicked!!! Being a 125 two-stroke, you do have to change your lines and carry more speed through the turns. It can’t be ridden like a four-stroke, but that is what adds to that fun factor. It teaches you how to ride again.As for the weight, that’s the other bonus. The YZ125 is very light! This is what makes it easy to ride fast and carry more speed through the turns. The easy power with the light weight makes this bike handle awesome. Throw in some decent all-around suspension and it’s almost as if you can do no wrong. This really is a bike that you can ride to its potential that won’t end up riding you. Everyone gets tired of schlepping* around those four-strokes day in and day out, off the stand on the stand, in the truck out of the truck, around the track. It’s a nice break to get a bike that is truly effortless to move around and ride. You could say the 125 actually makes you feel stronger, faster and gives you more stamina. The smiles on everybody’s faces as they came off the track after riding the 125 were solid proof of that.
Another plus for the power and weight of the YZ125 is that it makes for a great stepping stone for the kids moving up from the mini bikes. It won’t be as intimidating as the 250 four-strokes and they will also learn some key elements to becoming a better rider. For example: Carrying speed through the corners, choosing the right line, shifting and being in the right gear. All of these are critical on a 125 and when eventually carried over to a 250F will only make you faster.It’s amusing to me how everyone gets so caught up in the racing side of motocross – it’s always: What’s the best? What’s the fastest? What’s winning? It seems like no one takes the time anymore to step back and remember the fun side, and actually, the main reason we started riding motorcycles. Well fortunately, our friends over at Yamaha, although very competitive in motocross, still believe in keeping it fun. They are one of the last companies still manufacturing our beloved two-strokes and possibly the only hope for some of the kids nowadays to actually ride one. And for that, we thank you.
- The fun factor is off the charts
- Teaches you to become a better rider
- Easy to ride, fun
- Won’t slap you silly and call you names
- Gives you mega bragging rights when you smoke your buddies
- Sometimes hard to get over big jumps right out of turns
- If your buddy that you just beat is bigger than you, he will slap you silly and call you namesMSRP: $6,250