2006 Yamaha YZ125 - Dirt Rider Magazine

We're not giving up on 125cc two-strokes and neither is Yamaha. For sure the 250cc four-stroke may have abolished the 125cc two-stroke at the highest levels of competition— not aided one bit by an AMA fuel rule—but for growing riders in motocross, the 125 is a purposeful stepping stone. Yamaha knows this and as long as sales stay up and the competition justifies it, you'll see continuing improvements to this bike just like any other bike in the YZ line.We hit one of SoCal's best tracks, Racetown 395 for a day of pinning the throttle (that's life on a 125). With temperatures soaring into the low 100's by 10 AM we were pleasantly reminded of one of the best traits of a 125: They are less tiring to ride!The list of improvements isn't long, but it is effective. The most notable change is the improved suspension; the new fork is obvious. Now more speed-sensitive than in the past, the bike acts as plush as ever and yet is very progressive. There isn't spike anywhere and there's very little bottoming, even with my oversized chassis on the bike. Out back, the shock matched the front. Whether or not the new titanium shock spring made a big difference is hard to tell, in weight or in performance. We're sure the larger shock shaft had more to do with it. But the rear shock gets the job done and we felt no need to mess with the clickers once the ride height was set.Yamaha claims to have boosted the power, but we'd have had to have a stock '05 along for some back-to-back riding to really tell. Though we wouldn't bet against that claim. For a 125, this bike hauls. It has a pretty good spread and pulled even heavier riders on the deep and loamy track without bogging between gears, even though Yamaha was ready to throw on a 49-T (one tooth larger) rear sprocket if we'd wanted it.Other improvements include a newly adjustable and factory-looking top triple clamp, the switch to Dunlop D756 tires, tapered wheel spacers and of course the new front number plate and fender to add some flash!Overall were really stoked on the changes made to the '06 YZ125. We'll be putting more track time on this bike, for sure. Want to know why? Check out the magazine for the full test and the answer.