This is a big year for the Yamaha YZ125—the tiddler gets a new engine focusing on more power in the midrange and top end. There are also chassis updates, including the suspension and ergonomics. Let’s get kickstarted on what’s new with the 2022 Yamaha YZ125 motocrosser.1. This is not a minor update to the two-stroke motor—it is a significant change. According to a Yamaha spokesman, “Every functional part of the 2022 YZ125 engine is new.” The last time Yamaha reworked the YZ125, Pres. Bush was in office.
Here’s a sampling of the new parts, from the top down:
The intake system is also all-new. A new Hitachi Astemo Keihin PWK38S carburetor is joined by a new intake design featuring a Moto Tassinari VForce4 carbon-fiber reed valve. The carb has a throttle position sensor and a CDI that is controlled by a 3D map. This is one of the areas that Yamaha claims an increase in high-rpm power and over-rev capability.
Yamaha attended to the exhaust system. The expansion chamber is new, as is the muffler. Also, the muffler has gone on a diet and is shorter.
With more power and a new powerband, the transmission has been reworked. The gear ratios reflect the new power delivery, and the gear teeth are wider for improved durability.
The KYB Speed-Sensitive System fork has new internals. There’s now a leaf spring in the mid-speed valve. Its purpose is a plusher ride, more resistance to bottoming, and more precise damping action.
The 2022 Yamaha YZ125 has less unsprung weight in the back. The sprocket and chain are lighter than last year. Also, the rear disc diameter has been reduced 5mm to 240mm, cutting weight. Thanks to a redesign of the disc, there is no loss in braking power.
To accommodate the increased power output, new fork internals, and reduced rear-wheel unsprung weight, the KYB suspension has revised damping settings.
The 2022 YZ125 will likely be ridden faster this year, so the front brake system has been overhauled. A new front disc has a 30 percent increase in pad-contact area, despite no change in the 270mm diameter. Additionally, the pad material is a higher-friction compound.
Yamaha slimmed down the YZ125’s ergonomics. The 1.8-gallon fuel tank and radiator shrouds are narrower, with the body panels more smoothly deployed and the seat flatter. The result is that it will be easier to move around on the new YZ125. As before, the handlebar can be mounted in one of two positions for a personalized fit.
Be patient, as the 2022 Yamaha YZ125 will not be available until October. The MSPR for the standard Team Yamaha Blue version is $6899. You’ll fork over a couple of more hundred-dollar bills to get the posh graphics of the Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Edition—it is functionally identical.
Type: 2-stroke single
Bore x stroke: 54.0 x 54.5mm
Compression ratio: 8.2-10.1:1
Fueling: Hitachi Astemo Keihin PWK38S carburetor
Induction: Carbon fiber reed-valve
Exhaust: Power-valve and expansion chamber
Transmission: Close-ratio 6-speed
Clutch: Wet multiplate
Final drive: Chain
Frame: Aluminum w/ aluminum subframe and swingarm
Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable inverted KYB Speed-Sensitive System fork; 11.8 inches
Our first segment introduces you to the new Arch 1s. This latest, slightly more sporting American V-twin, adds to the original KRGT1 coming from the boutique manufacturer based in Hawthorne, Southern California. Senior Editor Nic de Sena rode through Malibu with Gard Hollinger, who co-founded Arch Motorcycle with his friend, Keanu Reeves. The 1s is a unique ride for sure, and Nic explains what makes the bike really stand out.
For the entertaining story behind Arch Motorcycle from Gard Hollinger himself, you must listen to his podcast episode on Motos & Friends HERE
The guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—visit your local dealer or suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In our second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with multiple Emmy award-winning writer, Producer, Director, and actor, Thom Beers. the former Chairman & CEO of Fremantle Media North America, responsible for American Idol and America’s Got Talent.
Thom’s fertile imagination led to most of the really big reality TV shows such as ‘Deadliest Catch’ (now in its 17th season!), and many others. Of course for us in the motorcycle world, you’ll be interested to hear the genesis and story of how he started the first real fabrication reality show ‘Monster Garage’, that showcased Jesse James, and then how that led to ‘Biker Build Off’ and the ‘Zombie Choppers’ movie.
You’d imagine that most of Thom’s time is spent sitting behind a desk and on his phone. Not so. His intense stories of capturing much of the content for these shows make for some hair-raising listening.