Yamaha’s serious beginner
The MT-125 was introduced in 2014, adding a ‘new-rider’ bike to the hugely successful MT range. The bike is unchanged since launch.
Give me some spec
A steel Deltabox frame houses a 124cc, four-stroke single is capable of a reputed 87mph top speed, puts out 14.7lb-ft of power at 9,000rpm with maximum torque of 9.1lb-ft. At just 138kg this is one light bike, giving the 292mm front disc and 230mm rear little work to do to bring it to a halt. At 810mm it is tall for the class, feeling more like a ‘big’ bike. What’s it like to ride? As I said above, the MT-125 has a ‘big’, ‘grown-up’ feel about it. Whereas a lot of 125cc learner bikes are just plain small, the baby MT feels compact. Anyone stepping from this onto something like an MT-07, SV650 or Z650 won’t feel intimidated by the dimensions. The 810mm seat is quite tall in this arena, I was able to get booted feet down flat by squishing closer to the tank. It is something for smaller riders to bear in mind.
The 100/80-17 profile front and 130/70-17 profile rear give the MT-125 a stability missing in a lot of smaller bikes. Out on the road it has a nice feel to the handling. It shares an almost identical rake and trail to it’s 700cc larger sibling, giving a similar feel when turning in. It’s an easy bike to tip over, but it feels stable, giving confidence quickly that it will hold position.
I liked the engine a lot. Okay there is nothing happening to begin with, but get it moving and it’s a brisk ride. Humming along at 40-ish in third was enjoyable and it was able to pick up pace easily enough, though overtakes have to be planned.
The brakes don’t have a lot of work to do with a light bike like this, but they’ll bring you to a halt well enough, though there is pulsing through the bars when giving a firm squeeze.
What else? Typically light Yamaha clutch, box is positive. Mirrors are good, giving loads of feedback. And talking feedback, what a neat little dash; at a glance ease of access to information. And I really like the ‘Info’ switch on the right-hand controls that allows you to toggle through the dash options. Talking controls, the ones on the MT-125 frankly embarrass the ‘Lego’ ones on the larger bikes in the MT family.
As long as your legs are long enough, if you’re starting out give the MT-125 serious consideration. What nick is it in?
A small chip out of the tank’s paintwork and a couple more on the tail spoil an otherwise tidy little bike. What’s it worth?
The dealer wants £3499 For a 2017 model with 2183 miles clocked. Our dealer search found there are a lot out there, ranging from a 2014 bike for £2295 with 4516 miles clocked to a 2018 model with 1031 miles logged for £4299.