When it comes to good looks and great handling DR-Z125 is what it’s all about. The bike features aggressive new bodywork that makes it stylistic replica of the championship-winning RM-Z machines. Its performance virtues, though, go a lot deeper than that, the bike setting the standard for precise, agile handling.
Suzuki introduced the DR-Z125 as the machine that will join beginners through their accommodation period out on the bumps. As nobody buys motorcycles to use them just for a short period, the new project had to feature great characteristics in order to satisfy a more capable rider after initiating him in the world of motorcycles and dirt. Today we are facing the 2008 version and this makes us believe that it did it in style.
First launched in 2002, Suzuki DR-Z125 was out to recruit the off-road experts of today and Suzuki claims it did its job properly, as expected. Having to deal with a bulletproof build bike right from the beginning, the engineers from Suzuki thought they got rid of the task of renewing and improving this bike’s 124cc single-cylinder, SOHC 2-valve, air cooled, but 2004 brought good news for the future DR-Z125 riders which now had the opportunity to benefit of the bike’s brand new Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) system.
The rest of the plans included visual upgrades destined to attract customers with variety and beauty so 2006 brings, apart from yellow, the blue color option for the DR-Z125. The last mentioned was to be replaced with black a year later and kept for 2008 also so yellow and black are the colors available for the 2008 model.
The key class that Suzuki is aiming to dominate is very disputed by Yamaha TT-R125E, the same little bike like the TT-R125L only with smaller wheels for a lower seat height. The miracle of pushbutton electric starting couldn’t bee excluded from the battle so Yamaha, as the Suzuki, features CDI which can quickly orient a future rider towards o against a motorcycle.
I could also mention Honda CRF100F and Kawasaki KX110 as competitors of the model I am reviewing but despite their abilities, the cylinder capacity tends to position them in a class of their own, apart from the models offered by Suzuki and Yamaha.
Suzuki designed the DR-Z125 to look and to handle like a dream. As “handling” goes in my next section of the review, I will now discuss the way this motorcycle was created in order to look good. Normally, I would say that the tall front fender and 17” wheel give the tone of the general appearance of the bodywork and it is true: The high-mounted fender shows us the way to the side panels, fuel tank, seat, exhaust plastic cover and the even taller rear fender but this bike features something special when it comes to looks.
For 2008, Suzuki DR-Z125 presents aggressive new bodywork that makes it stylistic replica of the championship-winning RM-Z machines
As I was heading to encounter the subject of my test drive for the review, I was glad that I have the occasion to test the machine that marks the beginning in motocross because until now I could only manage to get to the bottom of things and not the other way.
Got my helmet, my gloves and a single look to the DR-Z125 made jump right on it. Once on the bike I felt like I was up to the challenge and this motocrosser doesn’t disappoint in any way (well, at least if you consider that it was created for beginners) and it certainly didn’t as I have to admit I first expected.
The bike is not that powerful but having a bit of experience, you can really push it to the max and feel it as it gives the best out of its single cylinder engine. I enjoy the powerplant which is tuned for strong low-to-mid rpm power by carefully selecting the lengths of the intake system and exhaust pipe, and by using a MIKUNI VM20SS carburetor that contributes to better throttle response. This allows wide opening of the throttle after a tight corner preceded of a series of bumps. Doesn’t this sound like the definition of something? Oh, motocross!
But for the definition to be complete, the bike has to feature reliable brakes (front and rear drum) and comfortable suspension (telescopic, oil damped front and link-type, oil-damped rear) which I have to say that it certainly does.
In motocross, a strong-pulling engine which enjoys revs will always end up in appreciation and the DR-Z’s makes no exception.
The off-road machine that will initiate the future adrenaline junkies in the sport comes with a six month limited warranty and a retail price of no more or less than $2,399. For the money, reliability, performance and maneuverability won’t be a matter of worry as the bike also uses stylish look in order to attract customers and it does it big time!
The already reliable package comes with significant visual improvements and the technical features that made it desired, ridden and enjoyed by children and teenagers all over the world. It would have been a shame to put an end to the beautiful story.
Engine and Transmission
Type: 4-stroke, single-cylinder, SOHC 2-valve, air cooled
Bore x Stroke: 57.0 x 48.8mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel System: MikuniT VM20SS
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: 428 Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Telescopic, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link-type, oil damped
Brakes Front: Single drum
Brakes Rear: Single drum
Tires Front: 70/100-17
Tires Rear: 90/100-14
Overall Length: 1835 mm (72.2 in.)
Overall Width: 770 mm (30.3 in.)
Overall Height: 1060 mm (41.7 in.)
Seat Height: 775 mm (30.5 in.)
Ground Clearance: 260 mm (10.2 in.)
Wheelbase: 1245 mm (49.0 in.)
Dry Weight: 79 kg (174 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 6.6 liter (1.7 gal.)
Color: Yellow, Black
-All new aggressively styled bodywork, number plates and graphics build to look exactly like the race-winning RM-Z competition models
-Compact 125cc 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine designed fore ease-of operation and low maintenance
Tuned intake tract and exhaust system for more low-to-mid rpm power
Five-speed transmission with link-type gearshift system for precise operation and positive feel
MikuniT VM20SS carburetor for smooth throttle response
Digital-type CDI ignition system with timing set to enhance the engine’s low-rpm power characteristics
-Sharp off-road styling with fuel tank, radiator shrouds and frame covers patterned after RM-Z models; seat and rear fender inspired from RM-Z plus handlebar, front fender and number plate shared with RM85
Optimum wheel/tire combination to smaller riders: F: 70/100-17, R:90/100-14
Lightweight and durable frame and swingarm
Lightweight aluminum rims for reduced weight provide agile handling and improved suspension performance
Long-travel, oil damped front fork and link-type rear suspension provide a smooth, compliant ride
Strong braking performance provided by single front disc brake with lightweight front and rear drum brake
Available in two colors; Factory Suzuki Yellow and cool Black