Yamaha TZR 125

The Yamaha TZR 125 is a blend of durability, performance, and aesthetic appeal, making it a cherished choice among 125cc motorcycle enthusiasts. Renowned for its long-lasting engine and commendable torque spread across all gears, it offers a reliable commuting experience. The sporty design captivates riders, while its flexibility for performance modifications caters to those seeking a personalised riding experience.

Technical Specs

Engine & Performance

Engine Type Two-stroke, single cylinder, reed valve
Engine Size/Displacement 124 cc
Horsepower and Torque 26 hp / 19.3 kW @ 10,200 rpm


Chassis & Suspension

Frame Type
Front/Rear Suspension Telescopic fork with 140 mm wheel travel / Monocross with 100 mm in wheel travel​
Front/Rear Brake Single disc / Drum​


Dimensions & Weight

Seat Height
Dry Weight 104 kg


Transmission & Fuel

Number of Gears 6 Speed​
Fuel Capacity 12 Litres
Fuel Economy 50.6 mpg


History and Evolution of the Yamaha TZR 125

The Yamaha TZR 125 was launched in 1987, marking the commencement of its journey which spanned over two generations until the late 1990s, with a variety of variants and sub-variants unveiled over this period​​. Initially introduced in the UK as the 2RK model in March 1987, it underwent a colour change in March 1989 with minor alterations, transitioning into the 3PC model which continued until January 1990​​. The manufacturing phase of the TZR 125 spanned until 1992, with various models rolling out during this period​.

As the model evolved, notable changes were introduced. The initial model had a unique square headlight, clip-ons atop the yoke, a single seat, and conventional forks. As it transitioned, three-spoke alloy wheels and a rear disc brake became identifying features of the later TZR models​. In 1991, Yamaha introduced the R series of TZR125s, known as the 4dl series 1, which bore little resemblance to the preceding generation. This series boasted separate rider and pillion seats, a squared rear fairing with a storage compartment, and upside-down forks among other features. This model was assembled by Belgarda in Italy, using imported Japanese parts coupled with Italian components like the Brembo brake system and rims, and upside-down Paioli forks. Series 1 ended between 1992 and 1993, paving the way for the TZR 125 (RR) (series 2) which carried a revised engine and distinguished itself with different gearing, gearbox components, cylinder and cylinder head, CDI, servo, fairings, and a smaller carburettor among other alterations​​.

The TZR125’s journey through the years encapsulates a story of evolution and adaptation, keeping pace with the changing preferences and demands of its riders. Through the years, the Yamaha TZR 125 transitioned from its initial design, embracing new aesthetics and functionalities, reflecting the dynamic nature of motorcycle design and engineering.

Performance and Handling

The Yamaha TZR 125, a sporty entrant in the 125cc motorbikes category, boasts a commendable blend of performance and handling that makes it a noteworthy choice for riders venturing into the realm of motorcycling. At its heart lies a durable two-stroke engine, an epitome of Yamaha’s engineering prowess. Derived from the reliable DT125, the TZR 125’s engine showcases a liquid-cooled, reed-valve single cylinder, augmented by a ceramic composite lining to enhance cooling efficiency. The refinement extends to a larger 28mm carburettor and revised porting, paired with a capacious airbox to ensure optimal air-fuel mixture, thereby elevating the engine’s performance quotient​.

Handling is a forte of the TZR 125, characterized by its nimble nature and ease of customisation, making it a flexible choice for riders with varying preferences. Its evolution over the years reflects in the improved design, notably the aesthetically pleasing rear light in newer models, which not only enhances its visual appeal but potentially its aerodynamic profile as well, subtly contributing to its handling prowess​​.

Although the TZR 125 might not eclipse its rivals in sheer performance, it carves a distinct niche with its stylish persona, resonating with riders valuing a blend of performance and aesthetic appeal​​. The transition to the TZR125 R in 1993, underscored by the inclusion of separate rider and pillion seats along with inverted forks, marked a significant stride in augmenting ride comfort and handling dynamism​​. The TZR 125’s well-rounded attributes encapsulate Yamaha’s holistic approach to delivering a balanced riding experience in the 125cc segment.

Maintenance and Reliability

The Yamaha TZR 125 embodies a blend of durability and performance, marking it as a resilient choice in the 125cc segment. A hallmark of its reliability is the long-lasting engine, especially when maintained in its standard configuration, promising a hassle-free riding experience over the years. The engine’s power delivery, particularly in the restricted UK model, offers a satisfactory spread of torque across all gears, catering to a smooth daily riding experience​​.

Maintenance is a crucial aspect of preserving and potentially enhancing the performance of the TZR 125. For instance, a tweak such as rotating the power valve 180 degrees can unveil a burst of top-end power, though it curtails the bottom-end power, showcasing a trade-off that riders might consider based on their riding preferences​​.

Moreover, the TZR 125 is amenable to more involved maintenance interventions, as exhibited by an owner who, upon noticing a dip in compression, opted for a smaller bore and a new piston, subsequently altering the bike’s performance profile​​. Such instances underscore the TZR 125’s flexibility in accommodating performance adjustments through maintenance interventions.

For structured maintenance endeavours, various service and repair manuals are available, providing a comprehensive guide to routine upkeep and potential modifications for models spanning from 1987 to 1993​​. The Yamaha TZR 125, with its blend of durability and maintainability, stands as a bike that not only endures the rigours of daily riding but also offers a platform for performance enhancements to those inclined towards a more spirited riding experience.

Yamaha TZR 125 Reviews and Testimonials

The Yamaha TZR 125 has garnered a mixture of reviews and testimonials from owners and riders over the years. Here is a synthesis of the pros and cons based on the information gathered:


  1. Durability: The TZR 125 is often praised for its long-lasting engine, especially when maintained according to standard specifications, promising years of hassle-free ownership​.
  2. Performance: Even with a restricted power valve in the UK model, the engine pulls well in all gears with an excellent spread of torque, making it a reliable machine for daily commuting​.
  3. Customisability: Riders have found the TZR 125 to be amenable to performance modifications, indicating a level of flexibility for those looking to tailor the bike’s performance to their preferences​​.
  4. Aesthetics: It’s often noted for its good looks and sporty design, which appeals to riders who appreciate a stylish appearance alongside performance​.


  1. Restricted Performance: The restriction on the power valve in some models may limit the engine’s performance, especially in terms of top-end power​​.
  2. Performance Limitations at Higher RPMs: It’s noted in a road test that the bike runs into a “brick wall” at 10,000 rpm, indicating a limitation in engine performance at higher revs​​.