Yamaha DT125R (1993 - 2007) review

The DT125 may have undergone an emissions-pleasing overhaul this year, but this learner-friendly dirt bike has remained faithful to the two-stroke cause

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Fri, 1 Jan 1993 - 12:01

Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Learner Legal 125s
Price:
£ 3085
Overall
3
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The evergreen Yamaha DT125 continues to offer new riders an enjoyable route into a life on two wheels
While that heady 14bhp may seem impressive to begin with, it won't take long to outgrow

This year the DT – a popular learner dirt bike that remained virtually untouched since the late 80s – has been given a Fazer-style overhaul to meet strict emissions laws. Thumb the new electric boot and, sure enough, the motor fires into life with a muffled ring-ding-ding from the catalytic converter.

The cool new styling takes after Yamaha’s WR range, while the 915mm seat height is tall enough to do the job without being prohibitive for short-arses. Take it on the trails and the chassis feels so light and agile it ploughs effortlessly through mud and rocks, with decent ground clearance to clear the ruts.

Power is delivered in typically lively two-stroke fashion without the viciousness of a motocrosser. But despite a revamped powervalve to improve midrange you really have to keep it in the narrow powerband to drive up the climbs. As soon as you shut the throttle power drops to nothing and you have to stay in a low gear, twist the grip hard and slip the clutch to get it driving uphill again.

The learner-legal engine puts out just 14bhp and although Yamaha wouldn’t divulge how to derestrict it, they did say it should take teenagers no more than 10 minutes to figure out!

Whatever the DT’s main purpose in life, most teenagers will be riding it on the roads. So we head for the road. There’s nothing like caning a two-stroke on Tarmac, giving it large with the throttle and slamming up and down the gears. The DT’s gearbox feels slightly notchy but the soft off-road suspension copes remarkably well with keeping the bike composed. Once again, the lightweight and flickable chassis excels here. And once again you really have to keep it nailed to maintain the thin powerband. Get off the throttle momentarily and it takes an age to build up pace again.

Both brakes feel spot-on for the dirt and although they don’t have much bite on Tarmac, watch the front as reduced traction from the road-legal knobblies makes it easy to lock.This year the DT – a popular learner dirt bike that remained virtually untouched since the late 80s – has been given a Fazer-style overhaul to meet strict emissions laws. Thumb the new electric boot and, sure enough, the motor fires into life with a muffled ring-ding-ding from the catalytic converter.

The cool new styling takes after Yamaha’s WR range, while the 915mm seat height is tall enough to do the job without being prohibitive for short-arses. Take it on the trails and the chassis feels so light and agile it ploughs effortlessly through mud and rocks, with decent ground clearance to clear the ruts.

Power is delivered in typically lively two-stroke fashion without the viciousness of a motocrosser. But despite a revamped powervalve to improve midrange you really have to keep it in the narrow powerband to drive up the climbs. As soon as you shut the throttle power drops to nothing and you have to stay in a low gear, twist the grip hard and slip the clutch to get it driving uphill again.

The learner-legal engine puts out just 14bhp and although Yamaha wouldn’t divulge how to derestrict it, they did say it should take teenagers no more than 10 minutes to figure out!

Whatever the DT’s main purpose in life, most teenagers will be riding it on the roads. So we head for the road. There’s nothing like caning a two-stroke on Tarmac, giving it large with the throttle and slamming up and down the gears. The DT’s gearbox feels slightly notchy but the soft off-road suspension copes remarkably well with keeping the bike composed. Once again, the lightweight and flickable chassis excels here. And once again you really have to keep it nailed to maintain the thin powerband. Get off the throttle momentarily and it takes an age to build up pace again.

Both brakes feel spot-on for the dirt and although they don’t have much bite on Tarmac, watch the front as reduced traction from the road-legal knobblies makes it easy to lock.
Length (mm) 2205
Width (mm) 795
Height (mm) 1185
Dryweight (kg) 117
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 915
Suspension Front Telescopic fork
Suspension Rear Monocross
Tyres Front 80/90-21
Tyres Rear 110/80-18
Brakes Front Single 230mm disc
Brakes Rear Single 220mm disc
Wheelbase (mm) 1415
Ground Clearance (mm) 315


Cubic Capacity (cc) 124
Bore (mm) 56
Stroke (mm) 50.7
Compression Ratio 6.7
Cooling Liquid cooled
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain


Top Speed

Score Breakdown
Overall
3
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