Yamaha has a wide selection of sportbikes that cater to beginner riders in license restricted countries. In Japan, for example, Team Blue has officially unveiled the 2023 YZF-R125 and YZF-R15, two pint-sized sportbikes that cater to different classes – moped class 2 and light motorcycle classes. All it takes is one glance at these new models, and it’s clear that they get styling inspirations from their bigger siblings, the YZF-R7 and YZF-R1.
While the beginner segment is full of affordable and accessible sportbikes, Yamaha wants to set itself apart with the YZF-R15 and YZF-R125. Indeed, Yamaha does this through the impressive equipment they offer, which surpasses the expectations for their respective classes. Notably, they both come equipped with an assist and slipper clutch, a feature that enhances control during downshifting and makes for smoother riding. Plus, there's the added benefit of a traction control system, allowing beginner riders to hit the road confidently in all weather conditions.
On the technology side of the equation, Yamaha equips the two beginner-friendly bikes with some pretty impressive stuff. For starters, they both get a bi-function LED headlight, as well as an LCD instrument panel that resembles that of the previous generations of the YZF-R1. Meanwhile, for running gear, the two sportbikes roll on 17-inch wheels and are suspended by inverted front forks and a rear monoshock mounted to a premium aluminum swingarm.
Performance-wise, the two bikes are by no means fire-breathing beasts, as they’re rocking a 125cc and 155cc single-cylinder engine respectively. Nevertheless, they both benefit from liquid-cooling, fuel-injected, and Yamaha’s Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system, which optimizes valve timing for fuel efficiency and low-end torque, while providing confidence-inspiring power at the upper reaches of the rev range. Power is sent to the rear wheel via a six-speed manual transmission now with a slipper clutch, and there’s even an optional quick-shifter for even more exciting performance.
When it comes to pricing and availability, the Yamaha YZF-R125 and YZF-R15 will be made available in Japan by October 16, 2023. Prices have been set at 517,000 Yen, about $3,502 USD, for the YZF-R125, while the bigger YZF-R15 will retail for 550,000 Yen, or the equivalent of around $3,725 USD.