The 125-class is experiencing a boom. Since the introduction of the A1 driving licence, it is easily possible to ride a motorcycle with a maximum of 125 cubic meters. One of them is the Yamaha MT-125. What does the small motorcycle do in everyday life?
She looks grown up, these 125s. An optically close relative is the Yamaha MT-03. Yamaha calls the whole range of elaborately designed MT motorcycles "hyper-naked bikes", whatever the hyper is supposed to be in its name. In any case, the MT-03 can easily be confused with the MT-125, which of course pleases the 125 customer.
On the other hand, Yamaha wants to make a statement: Look, we take all motorcyclists seriously, whether with 100 or the narrow 15 hp of the A1 driving licence maximum limit (more information about the A1 ticket and the B196 regulation at the end of this article). The MT-125 has been extensively revised for 2020 and also got a new frame. The seating position has now moved forward, so that everything is always well in view and grip. This seating position is intended to compensate for the now increased center of gravity of the MT-125, which could affect stability. Positive side effect: Despite its ultra-compact design – the MT is only 1.96 metres long – the passenger is not confined.
The engine has variable valve control, which is normally denied much more powerful (and expensive) motorcycles. Compared to its predecessor, the single-cylinder is to be made more steam around the top. At low to medium speeds, the opening hours of the valves are kept short in order to optimize the response and consumption. To start with: In the fast-running test we were able to undercut the officially stated consumption of only 2.5 liters by 0.3 liters! This has never happened to us. Together with the 10-litre tank, the pilot has to go to the Aunt Esso shop after 400 kilometres.
Wherein - the price. At around 5,000 euros, the MT-125 is no bargain. It is reasonably equipped for this, including an on-board computer, a pointed-looking LED light and an anti-hopping clutch. Since the ABS is of course standard, the changeover to a motorcycle can be approached with peace of mind. At the front and at the back, the Yamaha relies on single discs. Since she weighs only 140 kilos, there is nothing wrong with that.
Then let's go.
Ascending works without any problems. Despite a not small seat height of 810 millimeters, even short-legged people can safely get into the stand thanks to a narrow seat-tank combination. The display is clear and looks grown-up, although there is not much displayed there. Apart from the ALREADY mentioned ABS, there are no electronic helpers or driving modes.
The extremely smooth coupling is precise to dose, the gear snaps immediately and defines. Yamaha, with something like that, the Routiniers from Japan can't be caught. The turning on the gas handle brings the engine up to speed. He needs this, because the maximum torque of 11.5 Newton meters at 8,000 tours is standard in class, but it is quite barren. Further up, with 10,000 tours, the maximum power is 15 hp.
The way to do this is not really sovereign. On the other hand, the Yamaha does not complain, does not sound tormented or seems somehow laced. The variable valve drive makes its thing decent, it definitely comes up with driving pleasure. The maximum acceleration of 10.7 seconds is not bad. Yamaha gives a top speed of 130 km/h, but this should only be accessible to small pilots.
The incredible lightness contributes to the driving pleasure. It is only with these flyweights that you realize how heavy today's motorcycles are. This is a circumstance that the most sophisticated electronics cannot overplay. The Yamaha doesn't have this electronics, it has something better: capable chassis engineers. It is already enormous how agile and agile the Yamaha MT-125 is, which seamlessly transfers to the driver.
Actually, the chassis is quite comfortable despite the sporty tuning. Unfortunately, the hard bench is not: you have to sit down first.
What remains: The Yamaha MT-125 offers a lot of potential in terms of driving fun with its lively style. Definitely more than expected. It is also easy to use and high-quality. A new bench - and everything is good.
And yet: the circle of buyers remains limited to persons who are not allowed to drive more services. The enemy lurks in his own stable: the MT-03 brings five times the torque to the road and has 48 hp. And all this for only around 700 euros more. As good as the MT-125 is, motorcyclists with an extended driver's license will hardly be tempted.
The test bike was provided to us by Motorrad Ruser in Haseldorf.
What can I do with the A1 ticket? This is precisely what the legislator has specified:
1. Motorcycles (also with sidecars) with a cylinder capacity of up to 125 cubic centimetres, an engine power not exceeding 11 kW, where the ratio of power to weight does not exceed 0.1 kW/kg
2. Three-wheeled motor vehicles with symmetrically arranged wheels and a cylinder capacity of more than 50 cm3 for internal combustion engines or a maximum design speed of more than 45 km/h and with an output of up to 15 kW.
The minimum age for this driving licence is 16 years, the training takes place normally in a driving school.
If you are at least 25 years old and have had a driving licence for five years, you can achieve a significant abbreviation of this training. This abbreviation is called B196.
The legislator has defined as training for B196:
Theory: 4x motorcycle theory lessons 90 minutes each
Practice: 5x motorcycle driving lesson 90 minutes each
Examination: No theory or practical examination