Just as we get the Yamaha MT-03 in the United States, an updated junior partner in the Yamaha Hyper Naked Masters of Torque line appears. The 2020 Yamaha MT-125 features a high-tech single-cylinder four-stroke motor in an impressive chassis.
We likely won't be seeing it in this country in 2020. However, it could be a glimpse into the future. Yamaha doesn't have competition for the Honda Grom or the Kawasaki Z125 Pro, and an MT-125 is a way for Yamaha to go upmarket in the 125cc street bike class. Here are the fast facts on the 2020 Yamaha MT-125
- The big news in the motor is the Variable Valve Actuation system. Although Yamaha calls the engine a single overhead cam design, there are two intake cams. The purpose of the system is to provide both low-rpm torque and high-rpm power.
- With a decidedly undersquare architecture, the MT-125 will be naturally torquey. Interestingly, the peak of 14.8 horsepower comes just 1000 rpm after the 8.5 ft/lbs torque peak at 8000 rpm. The MT-125 should have plenty of power for urban use. The redline kicks in at 11,000 rpm.
- You wouldn’t expect a stiff clutch pull on a 125, yet Yamaha makes sure it’s light with an assist-and-slip clutch. The YZF-R3 has a light clutch pull—we can only imagine how little effort the MT-125 clutch level will require with the assist function. For aggressive (or sloppy shifting) riders, the slipper function is a nice touch.
- That’s a 41mm inverted fork on the MT-125—beefier than the 37mm fork on the MT-03. There are over five inches of wheel travel up front, and 4.5 inches in the rear. Don't look for much in the way of adjustment, however.
- The twin-spar Deltabox frame and aluminum swingarm look formidable. We would expect that you can push the 2020 Yamaha MT-125 pretty hard without the chassis complaining.
- Yamaha went with a 140mm rear tire and 26 degrees of rake to stabilize the handling. With a wheelbase just over 52 inches and a curb weight of 309 pounds, the MT-125 will be naturally nimble. Going with a wide tire and relaxed rake should stop the motorcycle from feeling nervous.
- Those are Michelin Pilot Street tires on the MT-125. They are good-performing, durable tires that should satisfy most riders. Unfortunately, the 100/80 x 17 front tire size limits upgrade paths.
- There’s a 292mm disc up with a radially mounted no-name caliper. That's undoubtedly promising in the braking department. The MT-03's front disc is just a few millimeters larger in diameter, and the caliper is not radially mounted.
- Two of the three lights in the front cowling are position lights—only the small round LED is the headlight. It certainly is a cool look.
- The MT-125 gets a nice LCD dash. While it’s not a TFT, it’s impressive for a 125-class motorcycle.
- The MSRP of the 2020 Yamaha MT-125 in the UK is £4449. While that translates to quite a bit in the US, keep in mind that the MT-125 is £650 less expensive than the MT-03. If brought into the US, the list price of an MT-125 should well short of $4000. The cost of operation should be low—it gets an estimated 110 mpg.
2020 Yamaha MT-125 Specifications
Engine: Single cylinder
Bore x stroke: 52.0 x 58.6mm
Maximum power: 14.8 horsepower @ 9000 rpm
Maximum torque: 8.5 ft/lbs @ 8000 rpm Compression ratio: 11.2:1
Valvetrain: SOHC; 4 valves
Fuel delivery: EFI
Final drive: Chain
Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable inverted 41mm forks; 5.1 inches
Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted shock; 4.5 inches of travel
Tires: Michelin Pilot Street Front tire: 100/80 x 17
Rear tire: 140/70 x 17 Front brake: 292mm disc
Rear brake: 220mm disc
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 52.2 inches
Rake: 26 degrees
Trail: 3.7 inches
Seat height: 31.9 inches
Fuel capacity: 2.6 gallons
Estimated fuel consumption: 110 mpg
Curb weight: 309 pounds
2020 Yamaha MT-125 Price: £4449 MSRP