Review: Yamaha MT-125 (2023)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (1)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (2)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (3)

Price: £5102 | Power: 14.75bhp | Weight: 142kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5

The big-selling Yamaha MT-125 naked roadster has received an upgrade for 2023 with a smartphone-connected 5-inch colour flat panel TFT dashboard, as well as a traction control system for the first time since the model was released in 2014.

Connectable via Yamaha’s free MyRide app, riders can monitor calls, emails, and message notifications on the screen, plus it records a range of data on every journey – ideal for challenging your mate’s knee down or record commute claims.

Entering its tenth year, the MT (‘Masters of Torque’, incidentally) range has catapulted the Japanese firm towards the sales charts summit boasting an MT-03, MT-07, MT-09, and MT-10 to accompany the learner-legal 125 version. Add an SP version to the largest two capacity machines in that list and Yamaha have swept the board with the intriguing-looking and muscular-chassis family.

The MT-125 was significantly updated in 2020 (the year we all stayed inside, remember that one?) with a new engine, frame, styling, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres, and clocks. So, while the 2023 revisions are slight by comparison, this A1-licence friendly motorcycle is not only Euro 5 friendly but if you can ignore the outright cost, its genetics and dynamics make it THE 125 to be seen on. BikeSocial’s 43-year-old yoof, Michael Mann, heads to Barcelona to find out first hand.

Pros & Cons

  • MT range styling really suits the 125 version
  • Superb engine, aided by VVA flexibility
  • New TFT screen & connectivity are attractive additions for the target audience
  • Price tag could lead potential customers elsewhere
  • Hard seat
  • Cramped leg room

VIDEO REVIEW: Yamaha MT-125 (2023)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (4)

(Video) Yamaha MT-125 (2023) Review

Review – In Detail


2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Price

How much does the 2023 Yamaha MT-125 cost? The on the road price in the UK of all three colour options is £5102 OTR, and they’re trickling into dealers as I type. Those colours are known as Cyan Storm, Icon Blue, and Tech Black.

There’s no denying that a price in excess of five grand would have teens running towards a second-hand Vauxhall Corsa, especially when compared to the raft of alternative learner-legal options, but how about this for a decent deal… the PCP package means you could be riding the MT-125 on a three-year deal with an £1100 deposit for £69 per month, which I reckon is £2.27 per day, which is less than 1 x daily Starbucks cortado, as they gulp in this part of the world:


36 months

Monthly Payment


Customer Deposit


Amount of Credit


Interest Charges


Optional Final Payment


Total Amount Payable


Annual mileage


Excess mileage charge per mile


Fixed Rate of Interest p.a.


Representative APR


Review: Yamaha MT-125 (5)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (6)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (7)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (8)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (9)

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Engine & Performance

Eeking the maximum power of 11kW (14.7bhp) for this class from the single cylinder motor isn’t too tricky but avoiding the compromise of better acceleration vs. higher top speed has been masterfully overcome by the introduction of some Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) sorcery. The oversquare motor is the same as before, and the same as the model’s twin - the YZF-R125 – whereby the motor can perform in two states of tune according to what is being asked of it. Without getting too technical, below 7400rpm and therefore for lower speed acceleration, the engine uses one of the two inlet cams but when the revs rise above 7400rpm a solenoid activates a dowel that slides through the valve’s rocker arm and engages a different cam with a more aggressive profile with more lift, more overlap and longer duration so the engine can breathe harder, move more gas and burn fuel more efficiently thus improving performance. While this mechanical jiggery pokery is going on beneath you, it is impossible to tell the difference with the transition – you can’t hear or feel it, there’s no power step just a logo on the new TFT that illuminates, which is a big tick for the Yamaha engineers.

This vibrant and nippy motor is gem. Narrow in its dimensions, and low in the frame but sturdy, strong and flexible with its performance range. And it lurves to be fed the revs. Galloping along the Spanish coastal roads and hillside passes was a hoot, not only were the motorway sections entertaining for the slipstream grand prix but the corners allowed me to feel what this motor is about – the 6-speed gearbox had its work cut out with revs expiring quickly under 100% acceleration, though 5th is long enough to get you up and over the legal speed limit meaning top gear is more of an overdrive, or cruising gear. The trouble is, riding it hard goes against the morals of anyone with mechanical sympathy. The extent of the bike’s performance should be an attractive proposition to any potential interested party – from bursting away from the lights (comparatively-speaking) to the c.8,000rpm peak torque figure of 8.5 ft-lbs (11.5Nm) which keeps driving nicely towards the peak power figure of 14.75bhp at 10,000rpm. For whom it is aimed at, I was impressed at its suitability. The beefy baritone ‘put-put’ audio from the low exhaust suits the laid-back-yet-stylish attitude of the bike but wind the motor up and the noise from the engine overtakes that of the can.

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (10)

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

A big win for the MT is its rubber. Michelin’s Pilot Street tyres work really well having been a bit of a mainstay on this model. The ride quality of a 125, nay, any bike can easily become compromised by a poor rubber choice and manufacturers can save a few quid on each model by choosing a bargain tyre, but the affects can be horrendous. Anyway, thankfully for my larger-then-average frame, and for the exertive riding, Yamaha retained the Michelin option, and everyone should be happy, especially those new to riding and in need of every ounce of confidence on offer. I felt both comfortable and assured on them when asking the bike to dart in and out of city traffic across the road deformities, just as easily as striding out around the hills and leaning into corners surrounded by notoriously slippery white lines, must be something to do with the Spanish paint… or climate.

Accompanying these supple black circles are the upside-down KYB front forks which were also asked to work overtime but came up trumps with an accomplished, unnerving ride quality that belies its price point and overall weight. Stable and composed enough with a decent non-adjustable set-up that once again has the rider not concerning himself/herself/themselves with a fidgety front, saggy rear or too much rebound from either end.

A single 292mm disc on the front is partnered up with a 220mm one on the rear and are ABS-equipped. Unfortunately, the front brake lever isn’t span adjustable which wasn’t an issue for me and my long fingers, but it could be beneficial for those who like it a little closer to the ‘bar. For what they must manage, the brakes are spot-on, though the ABS and Traction got in a muddle once on the ride when I hopped over a sleeping policeman just ahead of a 90-degree corner and the ABS dug in leaving me with a near solid lever when I’d have preferred to slow at my own rate.

(Video) 2020 Yamaha MT-125 Review |

A wet weight of 142kg is tiny and reflects how light this bike is which in turn makes it, on paper and in real life, a doddle to move around so if you’re in the carpark, garage or driveway, the Yamaha is very easy to manoeuvre into position. Obviously the same can be said when riding at low speed in towns – the centre of gravity combined with the riding position makes the bike confidently controllable.

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (11)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (12)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (13)

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Comfort & Economy

With a seating position that encourages you to tuck your knees under the flared top section of the 10-litre capacity fuel tank – it lost 1.5-litres of volume on the last update back in 2020 but the compromise hasn’t affected range too much. Depending on how hard it’s ridden, fuel efficiency could be anywhere between 100 – 130mpg, offering a range of over 200-miles per tank full. Even if you get a bit throttle happy. Which you will.

Back to the riding position, and while your weight is pretty much central on the bike, and your nose hovers directly above the engine, the handlebars are close enough for a very direct steering input, yet the seat isn’t particularly roomy. There’s little space to move backwards and forwards on the 810mm high saddle, and after around 45-miles my legs were feeling the effects of a short peg to seat distance. I’m 6 feet (182cm) with 33” inside leg if you need dimensions to compare with.

A few natural single-cylinder vibes can be felt through the pegs, handlebars, and seat but they aren’t anything to worry about and your Insta-smile won’t be affected. If you’re looking to take a pillion, there looks to be enough room. The length of the passenger saddle is ok, and the grab handles are cleverly integrated within the tail unit, but you’d have to turn down Eddie Hall if he asked for a lift.

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (14)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (15)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (16)

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Equipment

Traction control on 125cc motorbikes has never been heard of before, so a handy system that can be relied upon in situations where is needs to be, is an excellent addition. It can be turned off in via the TFT screen if you really need.

The new screen is large enough, clear and has everything you’d need including rev counter, gear selection indicator, time, fuel gauge, and even those notification icons for VVA but also if you’ve connected your smartphone.

Naturally, Yamaha has a range of official accessories to fit the MT-125, ranging from valve caps and rim stickers to an Öhlins rear shock or a full Akrapovic titanium system. Though heated grips and a fly screen would be where I’d be spending my money.

(Video) Yamaha MT-125 (2020) Review

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (17)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (18)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (19)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (20)

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Rivals

If a mainstream manufacturer didn’t make a bike suitable for the learner class their priorities lie elsewhere (BMW, Harley, Ducati… and Triumph, for now), and while every Chinese brand offers a plethora of options, the main players are the other three Japanese firms and KTM. And not forgetting the influx of electric bikes that can cope with the commutes admirably.

Honda CB125R | Price: £4,599

Power: 14.75bhp | Seat height: 816mm | Weight: 130kg

KTM 125 Duke | Price: £4,799

Power: 14.75bhp | Seat height: 830mm | Weight: 139kg (dry)

Kawasaki Z125 | Price: £4,299

Power: 14.75bhp | Seat height: 815mm | Weight: 147kg

Lexmoto RSS125 | Price: £2,900

Power: 14.1bhp | Seat height: 810mm | Weight: 163kg

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (21)

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (22)

(Video) Yamaha MT-125 (2021) | Test Ride and Review, Walkaround, Soundcheck | VLOG 324

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 Verdict

Premium styling, a peppy, free-revving, versatile engine, and high-quality suspension and tyres are an ideal combo for a super starter machine. Yamaha’s already-brilliant MT range has been given a prospective sales boost with the 2023 MT-125 and its slight-but-important updates. The new TFT screen and connectivity will resonate with the target audience, while the additional traction control adds another safety measure for the less experienced.

Frugal enough, the Yamaha can cut it with the competition in terms of mpg while the quality of the components and their look and feel go some way to justifying that +£5k price tag.

KTM and Honda provide real competition and only back-to-back test rides will offer a more definitive opinion on which suits the rider’s size, style, and requirements rather than the spec sheet where price and weight may skew judgement.

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (23)

2023 YAMAHA MT-125 - Technical Specification

New price

From £5,102



Bore x Stroke

52.0 x 58.7mm

Engine layout

Single cylinder

Engine details

4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, SOHC, VVA (Variable Valve Actuation)


14.75bhp (11 KW) @ 10,000rpm


8.5lb-ft (11.5Nm) @ 8,000rpm


Constant Mesh, 6-speed

Average fuel consumption

134.5mpg claimed, 99mpg tested

Tank size

10 litres

Max range to empty

265 miles

Rider aids

Traction control



Front suspension

Upside down, telescopic fork, 41mm diameter, 130mm travel

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

Swingarm (link type suspension), 110mm travel

Rear suspension adjustment


Front brake

292mm single disc

Rear brake

220mm single disc

Front wheel / tyre

100/80-17M 52S Tubeless, Michelin Pilot Street

Rear wheel / tyre

140/70-17M/C 66S Tubeless, Michelin Pilot Street

Dimensions (LxWxH)

1960mm x 800mm x 1065mm



Seat height



142kg (wet)


2 years / unlimited miles



MCIA Secured Rating



*Please excuse the lack of image range – don’t blame the messenger.

Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance

Review: Yamaha MT-125 (24)

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.

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Review: Yamaha MT-125? ›

Yamaha MT-125

The motorbike also combines sport handling and top speeds of 80mph to create a bike perfect for both the city and back roads.

How fast does a Yamaha MT-125 go? ›

Yamaha MT-125

The motorbike also combines sport handling and top speeds of 80mph to create a bike perfect for both the city and back roads.

How many miles per gallon does a Yamaha MT-125 get? ›

Yamaha MT-125 Bike Overview

Its 15 bhp motor is powerful and just waiting to be revved on the motorway to commute to work. It is stable at 85 mph, no sweat. The fuel economy is decent at about 134 mpg, which is a definite improvement on the previous model.

Is the Yamaha MT-125 a good beginner bike? ›

The CBT-friendly 2020 Yamaha MT-125 is a naked 125cc motorcycle that's ideal for learners, and it's received its first major overhaul since its launch in 2014. The refresh brings it in line with the rest of the ever-popular MT range with radical styling, improved performance and revised geometry.

How much horsepower does the MT-125 have? ›

How much horsepower does a Yamaha MT-125 have? The Yamaha MT-125 has a four-stroke, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with a power output of 14.2 horsepower. This makes it one of the most powerful 125cc motorcycles on the market.

What is the most reliable 125cc motorbike? ›

1. Honda CBF 125 (Honda's Reliability and Build Quality on a Budget) Since Honda introduced the budget-oriented CBF125 in 2008, it has been a major hit among commuters and training schools. It has been so successful because it is a well-built, lightweight street bike that is easy to ride for the beginner biker.

Is the MT 125 restricted? ›

The MT-125 has everything you need at the 14.7bhp restricted licence point in your riding.

Does the Yamaha MT 125 have gears? ›

The MT-125's engine is equipped with an assist and slipper (A&S) clutch with a super-light feeling at the lever that gives easy gear changing.

How many miles is a lot for a 125cc motorcycle? ›

Generally, high mileage on a motorcycle is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 miles.

How many gears does a MT 125 have? ›

The 6-speed gearbox has a proper mechanical feel while being sharp and responsive and will take you over 80mph.

What is the best cruising speed for a 125cc bike? ›

The average 125cc bike will likely have a top speed of around 70mph, and should be able to cruise along at 50 to 60mph quite comfortably.

Does MT 125 have quick shifter? ›

The quickshifter cuts the ignition at the moment you start moving the shift lever. The gearbox is unloaded, making it possible for you to switch one gear up without closing the throttle.

What is the best MT Yamaha? ›

2022 Yamaha MT-10 incoming

Yamaha have updated the MT-10 for 2022, making what promises to be the most powerful version yet. The MT-10 has been a popular fixture in the range, sitting atop the MT tree since its introduction in 2016.

How much does a mt125 weigh? ›

Fuel Capacity 6.6 Gal. Weight Without ballast: 1,444 lbs.

What is the seat height of a Yamaha MT-125? ›

Yamaha MT-125 is a street naked motorcycle with an estimated mileage of 45-50 kmpl. The bike is powered by a 125 cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected engine which makes it a really nice performer with 14.8 BHP. The bike comes with a 6-speed transmission and a 810 mm seat height.

Which Yamaha MT is the fastest? ›

aspirated Yamaha MT09 in the world. 8.87 at 148 mph.

What are the pros and cons of 125cc motorcycle? ›

Pros: The performance is the best in 125cc ; Good macho looks and design ; Good resale value. Cons: Mileage not as high ; Seating is comparatively not comfortable ; Price is high as compared to the other models ; Back strain on long drive.

How long does a 125cc engine last? ›

Re: Life span in milage of a Honda 125cc

18,000-30,000 miles is the target for me when I buy second hand.

Is 125cc better than 150cc? ›

You can expect a 150cc moped to reach an advanced speed of roughly 70 mph, which is a little faster compared to the speed of a 100cc or 125cc one. In general, a moped with a 150cc engine is more powerful than those with smaller engines. It becomes even more suitable for long travels as well as routine commutes.

Is MT 125 learner legal? ›

Featuring a high-tech EU5 compliant engine as well as compact mass-forward bodywork and aggressive next-generation MT design, this sporty learner legal 125cc lightweight is the ultimate introduction to the Hyper Naked motorcycling experience.

What is the top speed of the Yamaha MT 07 125cc? ›

Yamaha MT-07 0-60 top speed is 133.6mph.

How fast can a 125cc motorcycle go? ›

How fast is 125cc? Most production 125cc motorcycles have top speeds of 90-115 kmph (about 60-70 mph).

What is the fastest 125cc bike? ›

THE BIKE in the picture has just cracked a two-way average speed of 146.77mph, setting a new land speed record for the 125cc class at Bonneville Salt Flats. The machine is a 41bhp, Honda RS125-powered streamliner, piloted by American Scott Kolb.

What is the top speed of the MT 15 125? ›

The rider patiently waits for the right moment before punching the bike to an indicated top speed of 141 kmph.

How fast is the MT 15 125cc? ›

In terms of performance, the 125cc streetfighter can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in around 14 seconds. Yamaha MT-15 top speed is around 120 kmph (approximate).


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