2022 is a big year for Yamaha, what with the release of the new Yamaha YZ125. Among other updates, this 2-stroke bike is getting a new engine, improved ergonomics and suspension, and a new color option. The market timing also couldn’t be more perfect considering the increased demand for two-stroke race-ready dirt bikes as reported by AMSOIL. This new bike comes in two options and MSRPs of $7,099 and $6,899. At such prices, any rider would want to know exactly what they are getting when they purchase the new installation by Yamaha. Are you considering giving the bike a spin? Let’s take a closer look at the 2022 Yamaha YZ125 and what it has to offer.
The following are the bike’s specifications as provided by Yamaha Motor Sports:
- Bridgestone Battlecross X20 tires
- Excel wheels
- Fully adjustable inverted KYB Speed-Sensitive System fork front suspension
- 11.8 inches’ front travel
- Linkage-assisted fully adjustable KYB shock rear suspension
- 12.4 inches’ rear travel
- 270mm disc w/ Nissin caliper front brake
- 240mm disc w/ Nissin caliper rear brake
- 80/100 x 21 front tire
- 100/90 x 19 rear tire
- 2-stroke single
- 54.0 x 54.5mm bore x stroke
- 125cc displacement
- Carbon fiber reed-valve induction
- Hitachi Astemo Keihin PWK38S carburetor fueling
- Power-valve and expansion chamber exhaust
- Wet multiplate clutch
- Close-ratio 6-speed transmission
- 26 degrees’ rake
- 56.9 inches’ wheelbase
- 4.3 inches’ trail
- 209 pounds wet weight
- 38.6 inches’ seat height
- 1.8 gallons’ fuel capacity
- 14.4 inches ground clearance
Yamaha has completely redesigned the 125cc two-stroke engine for the Yamaha YZ125, giving it longer pulling power and stronger acceleration. In fact, a Yamaha spokesman confirms that “every functional part of the 2022 YZ125 engine is new.” Upon initial inspection, riders will notice the Moto Tassinari VForce4R reed valve system and Keihin PWK 38S carburetor – all new additions to the system. Other improvements include:
- An updated crankshaft assembly with the connecting rod made 8mm longer for high inertia
- Redesigned transmission gears
- Improved shifting mechanisms
- Different shape, enlarged exhaust port
- A new cylinder with new stud positions
- Lower and wider transfer ports
- Increased port size
- Single rear transfer port
Additionally, the chamber has been redesigned, the volume increased, and a 2-inch shorter silencer added to the head. Engine-wise, this edition is the best of its line. The bike runs more cleanly, provides better gear spacing, and offers excellent power transmission.
For years, Yamaha has been a trendsetter in the auto market in terms of suspension design, and the 2022 Yamaha YZ125 does not disappoint. The bike still uses KYB suspenders, but their improvement has been improved and can now be customized to suit riders of all weights. Overall, the rider will enjoy more balance and connectivity with the road – an effect that is amplified by the updates to the bodywork. Additionally, the Yamaha YZ125 comes with firmer settings, allowing it to cater to a wide range of riders. The setup is stiff enough to handle riders from any weight class without hurting performance. All the internal settings are new and updated; the spring rate is now 48Nm – an increase – and the shock remains fully adjustable with an 18mm shaft.
On the 2022 Yamaha, the company updated the brakes to the four-stroke variant introduced in 2020 with excellent results. The new pads, bigger pistons, and increased caliper rigidity now produce improved actuation and feel in the front. Yamaha also optimized the disc profile in the rear and reduced the rotor diameter by 5mm, reducing the possibility of the rear locking up. Essentially, the company installed the same brakes in the YZ125 as those found in the YZ450F, YZ250F, and YZ250. Since the YZ125 is lighter than its predecessors, the system is even more flawless and smooth. You should have no trouble breaking even at shorter distances.
Other improvements to the bike’s front and rear brake system include:
- 1. Front piston size has been raised to 25.4mm from 22.7mm.
- 2. New pads
- 3. Increased caliper rigidity
- 4. An optimized 270mm disc
- 5. Updated, lighter caliper in the rear
- 6. An optimized 240mm disc
Handling and Ergonomics
Although the YZ125 has a wet weight of around 209 pounds and comes with updated bodywork, it feels very light on the track. The ergonomic design has also been extensively improved to make the bike more comfortable than ever before – you can ride anywhere, anytime, without breaking a sweat. Generally, the design is more modern, the radiator connection is now thinner, and the seat is flatter. The swingarm and frame have not received any changes. However, you will hardly notice, thanks to all the ergonomic improvements around the frame that improve the bike-rider connectivity. Additionally, the updated platform makes it easier for you to stay on your bike, even in rough terrain, and maintain the perfect riding form. Even tall riders can enjoy themselves and relax on this bike.
Bodywork and Drive
The 2022 Yamaha’s bodywork has been updated. The bike comes with new seats, side panels, front and rear fenders, radiator louvers, radiator shrouds, and a front number plate. Overall, it is more functional and aesthetically pleasing than its predecessor. Yamaha has reduced the amount of plastic by reducing the 10mm trim bolts. The seat also has only one bolt centered in a new mounting location. The Bridgestone Battlecross X20 tires have been made race-ready and fitted over the original 19 x 1.85-inch rear rim. The sprocket and chain are lighter, and the Mikuni TMX 38 carburetor has been replaced with a Keihin PWK 38S carburetor – the same one found in the Yamaha YZ250.
Pricing and Warranties
Although the 2022 Yamaha has received a myriad of updates, it only costs $300 more than its predecessor. The MSRP for the Monster Energy Yamaha is $7,099, and for the Team Yamaha Blue, $6,899. Either choice is worth every penny.
Of all the updates to the 2022 Yamaha YZ125, the changes to the engine are the most notable and exciting. Riders of this hot bike will enjoy stronger midrange to top-end acceleration coupled with longer pulling power. One demerit might be that these updates could make the bike less suitable for beginner riders – the previous version had a more manageable transition and lower overall output. However, most riders will love the bike’s performance updates and its more competitive nature.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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