Relive Your Learner Days With This Oh-So 90s Yamaha TDR 125R

The Yamaha TDR 125 was a popular bike for new riders when it was launched 30 years ago, and those learner days can be relived for as little as £2,000

Yamaha TDR 125R

The first bike you hit the road on alone is always going to be remembered more favourably than it perhaps should be, and for many in the mid-1990s that would have been a Yamaha TDR 125R.

The TDR 125R was Yamaha’s attempt at winning over riders who had just passed their test, and wanted something affordable to rip around on. Previously, this would have been a 250cc bike of some kind, but since 1983 it had been illegal in the UK for learners to ride anything larger than a 125.

Modern, four-stroke, A1-eligible 125s will produce 15bhp, which is matched by the two-stroke TDR, but the TDR’s eighth-of-a-litre smoker motor (shared with the TZR 125) obviously sounds better, and its more exuberant 1990s soundtrack is matched by its visuals.

If blue’s not your colour, this isn’t the bike for you, because it is blue. Bodywork, wheels, seat - all of it, it’s all blue, and in a magnificently shouty way that is typical of the 1990s culture we like to remember. Yamaha did offer the TDR 125R in more reserved paint choices - there was a blue and silver option, for example - but bypassing the example shown here, set for auction on 7 April as part of the Shuttleworth Spring Motorcycle Sale, to look for one with a less extravagant appearance seems to defeat the point of buying a 1990s motorcycle in 2024.

The desirability of the TDR 125R is only amplified by its relatively short production run, which began in 1993 and was over by 1995. 

This example has also been registered in the UK since 2019 and has had the same owner since 2021. It comes with a tool kit, numerous old MOTs, receipts, period sales brochure and one key, and has a guide price of between £2,000 and £3,000.

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