Many manufacturers conflate entry-level with budget-friendly. That typically leaves beginner bikes with bargain bin parts and old technology. Yamaha doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought with its R-series sportbikes, however. From the World Superbike Championship-winning YZF-R1 to the lightweight class YZF-R3, the R World is all about racing.
The same goes for the entry-level YZF-R125, as Yamaha Europe preps the 2023 model for dominance on the road and track. The small-scale supersport’s 125cc single musters 14.8 horsepower and 8.5 lb-ft of torque. Yet, the bLU cRU equips the eighth-liter thumper with advanced Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) technology. The feature not only optimizes torque where it's needed most but also helps the wundermill achieve Euro 5 approval.
Gallery: 2023 Yamaha YZF-R125
That single-cylinder powerplant wedges into a Deltabox aluminum frame paired with an aluminum swingarm. Team Blue doesn’t compromise with the rest of the chassis either, suspending the Deltabox frame with a 41mm USD fork and link-type rear shock. Michelin Pilot Street tires provide substantial grip in all weather conditions while the 292mm front disc and 220mm rear rotor deliver impressive stopping performance.
The R125’s tech suite also takes it to the competition, with a five-inch TFT display featuring Bluetooth connectivity and an R1-derived interface. Most riders won’t have a hard time wrangling Yamaha’s baby sportbike, but Iwata tosses in a traction control system just to be safe. After all, many beginners will take to the R125.
Yamaha caters to that crowd with a 32.3-inch seat height and 317-pound wet weight. Despite its short stature and strength, Team Blue designers dress the eighth-liter wonder like its fellow family members. The central LED headlight and side-mounted running lights clearly take after the R7 while the handlebar crown and switches borrow from the R1.
The brand will offer the 2023 YZF-R125 in Icon Blue and Tech Black, with both becoming available in April, 2023.