Yamaha 2021 Yamaha D’elight 125 real world review | Lightweight commuter scooter

Yamaha D'elight 125 2021 Review

We had the chance to test out the 2021 edition of the Yamaha D’elight, to find out what’s new for this year, and what it’s like on the commute.

Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Scooters: 51 to 125cc
Price:
£ 2899
Overall
Not rated

YAMAHA scooters are a hot commodity, and they head up their urban mobility line-up with some easy-going machines that are perfect for running to the shops, getting to work, and maybe even finding a new passion. 

If you’re new to the world of two wheels - first of all welcome - but secondly: what are you after from a scooter or motorcycle? If you’re after something hassle free, easy to ride and with a touch of playful character, this might be what you're looking for. 

New Yamaha NMAX 125 Review and Yamaha Delight 125 Review 2021 | Scooter Review | Visordown.com

The D’elight is a self confessed budget option from Yamaha, aimed at riders and commuters in towns and cities. Its design brief is to provide practical and lightweight reliability, but with a hint of fun. I’m trying to refrain from using any puns on the name here, but… it’s only 101kg wet. I thought I’d catapult it down the road when putting it on the centre stand.

New features for 2021 on the Yamaha D’elight

This latest rendition of D’Elight has a new lighting LED unit, new instruments and a stylish new design marked on the 2021 edition - in particular, the Pearl White finish is really nice. You’ll also find a handy new start-stop function (automatic but can be switched off), flat footboards and an economical Euro-5 compliant motor on this model - features which you can’t turn your nose up at. 

Riding

Jump on the D’elight and you’ll instantly feel the upright riding position from the 800mm seat, it gives you a pretty good view of the road ahead. Pulling away from our makeshift ‘home’ (Peterborough Showground) I felt like I was on a paddock scooter: it’s nippy and feels great around the narrow urban roads.

For most riders it’ll feel flickable and responsive - which it definitely is - but for me I didn’t feel like I could trust a full lean when keeping up with traffic on a roundabout. Call me ‘Tentative’ but the 12 inch front and 10 inch rear are tiddly little things. They spin up well and feel good in a straight line, but like any scooter with tiny wheels, cornering prowess is not high on the agenda. 

Sure, I weigh around 96kg on a good day, so I’m really not far off the weight of the scooter when I throw on a helmet, jacket and boots… so your own experience may vary!

But saying that, on twisty residential roads and in town, it felt perfectly adequate. Tucking in behind the non-existent screen on a dual carriageway and you can keep up with traffic - just. I’d vote backroads over fast roads on this, but it can do it if you need to - just be aware of crosswinds sending you flying.

Engine and ride

The peppy little air-cooled 125cc motor squeezes out 8.3bhp at 7000 rpm, and 9.8Nm (7.2 lb-ft) of torque at 5000 rpm sent along the belt drive to the rear wheel. Again, factor in the weight, and in towns and cities you’ll have no problem getting around! Did I mention it’s a very light scooter?

Like the new 2021 NMAX, this scooter has the start-stop functionality built-in, and works when the engine is warm to automatically pause the engine when you’re stopped - I say ‘pause’ because it just as quickly activates to play when you need it, with a light on the dash illuminating when it’s doing its thing.

To give a quick run-down on the start-stop motor, the engine needs to be warm and throttle closed (whilst going less than 1mph), and the engine will switch off. No brake lever needs to be held, and twisting the throttle gets everything running again. It can be set to wait 1.5 seconds or 5 seconds to activate, and off altogether on the right switchgear if you want it to stay running.

Short commutes are eaten up with no problem, but for longer commutes I’d opt for something with a bit more protection from wind and stability at speeds.

Brakes

I mentioned that this bike would be perfect for a beginner, and part of that is due to the Unified Braking System that Yamaha employs in place of ABS. It’s a single disc at the front, and a ‘mechanical leading trailing drum brake’ at the rear. Both brakes work well enough, no complaints really.

Now, before you start about how intrusive it can be when both brakes come on at the same time - think of it as if you were a beginner. You might not appreciate the delicacies of which brake to use and when, you just want to stop as quickly as possible. Linking the brakes in this instance is not a bad thing, it all works well, and I didn’t find it getting in the way at all.

Beginners will also appreciate the ease of manoeuvring it about, it’s so easy to handle I think you could stick anyone on it and they’d be away.

Suspension

Softening the ride we have a telescopic front unit with 81mm of travel, and a unit swing rear with 68mm of travel. Nothing groundbreaking here - if anything it’s ground-softening, it does the job.

Economy and convenience

The strong point of this scooter is the economy: a 5.5l tank is said to give you 190 miles, now that may be a push in the real world, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you got around that number riding around at low speeds, with the start-stop motor helping out in city traffic. 

For day-to-day convenience, the retro analogue dash is simple and stylish, with mini-LCD integrated underneath and giving you basic info - trip, odo, fuel gauge, time. Underseat storage is marked as 36L and for an XL full-face helmet, but I couldn’t fit my AGV K6 underneath.

It’s relatively economical to buy, as well. Priced at £2,899 you’ll get a capable, attractive and sensible commuter scooter. Perhaps you’ve got an R1 in the garage and you’re after a little sensible run-around, this will fit the bill (but the rule is you wear your full leathers on both). Running costs will be minimal, as should be the cost of insuring the thing.

Riders

The thing with the D’elight is, it doesn’t appeal to just one category of rider - it’s accessible for all. Anyone can jump on, even a 6’3” (or taller) journo. Perhaps a 17-year-old after a scooter to get to college, a pensioner to pop to the shops on - the point being, for a town/city scooter it’s a jack of all trades. Perhaps a master of none, but a jack of all trades no less.

Verdict

So, what do I think of it? It may not be the scooter for me, but that’s not to discredit it. I may lean towards a bigger scoot, but that’s just due to seeking a bit more comfort - although it has to be said, my knees weren’t touching the handlebars. 

This is a genuine competitor to the Vespa-Piaggio scooter world, where brands like Scomadi, Royal Alloy are looking to get their foot in the door, whilst simultaneously seeking this level of stylish reliability. 

All in all, this was a delight to ride (there, I said it). 

Price is £2,899, it’s available in dealers now, and you can find it in Pearl White (pictured), Lava Red (pictured), and Power Black. Head to the Yamaha site for more.

3 things I liked

  • Easy to ride - hop on, twist and go 
  • Running costs - it’ll be pretty cheap (if you’re sticking to short hops)
  • Start-stop - works well, saves you that extra few pence in fuel!

3 things I didn’t like

  • Motor - Stay away from fast roads
  • Little wheels - meant sharp corners at anything over 30 was a no-no (for me)
  • Lack of a full screen