2008 Yamaha TT-R125L/LE
New YZ-inspired styling and suspension refinements only increase the fun sector for the whole family. The four-stroke-powered TT-R125s beg to be ridden by everyone from bigger kids to adults.
2008 Yamaha TT-R125L/LE
Engine:Air-cooled SOHC 4-strokes; 2 valves
Transmission:Constant-mesh 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Energy:VM20 X 1 Carburetor
Top Speed:40 mph
If you’re looking for the best way to discover the fun and freedom of riding off road, there can be no better introduction than the Yamaha TT-R125L. Its smooth-running 125cc 4-stroke engine makes learning fun, and for optimum comfort this reliable lightweight is equipped with plush suspension and a deeply padded seat. So what are you waiting for?
Year after year, the entry-level rider and the shorter trail rider have waited for a modern off-road bike on which they could enjoy, but usually manufacturers invest their money in big and sophisticated machines addressed to experienced riders. There was no explication for the fact that although the motorcycling market was, and still is continuously growing a part of that clientele was not satisfied at all. They did have some bikes to ride on but they were usually old and unattractive.
In order to satisfy the market’s requests, in 2000 Yamaha presented the TT-R125L, machine which increased the fun factor with thee 125cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder designed to deal with those nasty trails, Off-Road style.
The bike helped round out the Off-Road line and made Yamaha a serious contender in the category in the years that followed.
The only thing greater than the CRF100F’s versatility is its popularity as one of the most beloved off-road bike Honda has ever created. Lightweight, easy to handle and stone-reliable, the CRF100F boasts a bulletproof four-stroke engine, smooth five-speed transmission, and just enough size for adults to have fun on, and a seat height just low enough that younger riders can too. Quite simply, it’s probably one of the greatest off-road teaching tools ever invented, but it surely among the strongest competitors for the Yamaha TT-R125L.
Another off-road machine tries to beat the Yamaha and it uses good looks and handling in order to succeed. That’s what the DR-Z125L is all about. For 2008, the bike features aggressive new bodywork that makes it stylistic replica on the championship-winning RM-Z machines. The performance virtues, though, got a lot deeper than that. The bike promises to set the class standard for precise, agile handling but beginning and more experienced riders will appreciate its controllable powerband and strong low-end and mid-range power.
The TT-R’s appearance pretty much sets it on a pedestal. It actually gives the impression it is bigger and disappointment is nowhere to be found either when you jump on its seat.
Off-road abilities are proven with the bike’s racy looks and all the bodywork blends in perfectly, creating a one-off motorcycle.
What couldn’t miss the TT-R125L were the Team Yamaha-inspired colors and graphics. Together with the front and side number plates, they create a styling similar to larger YZ lineup, and this is what I was talking about when I started to write about the bike’s exterior.
You probably think that after riding bigger off-road bikes, a smaller one like this TT-R would make me unenthusiastic, but that is not true. Every single machine, bigger or smaller, has something to offer, and as a journalist it is my duty to unveil the bike’s behavior and plusses or minuses. So let’s get going.
As I was saying, I was anxious to find out what the TT-R125L has to offer. I was aware of the bike’s lightweight, and user-friendly, four-stroke power delivery and I wanted to experience on my own the fun resulted in the ride with this off-roader. I also knew that that torque engine has what it takes to transform the bike into a functional trail machine for beginning riders or smaller adults.
Like most four-strokes sold these days, the TT-R125L comes with a restrictive exhaust which makes it very quiet while reducing the output a little bit. Even with a stock exhaust, the bike left me with a very good impression.
I quickly got used to it and I was soon riding those trails in complete awareness of being on a 125cc motorcycle. That didn’t changed the fact that this bike is a mini monster and even so, satisfaction came at maximum levels.
I simply loved the four-stroke power delivery, and the more compliant suspension. These two combined and allowed for rear wheel slides in complete safety. The hills were also tiny obstacles for this 125cc motorcycle and this makes it practically good for everything.
The 198mm single disc brake up front is more than adequate for trail riding and proved very efficient while I was test driving it. Initially, the bike would have featured a front drum brake, as it does at the back, but it followed the evolution of its bigger brother, the “L” version and now disc brakes rule. The “L became standard and “LE” entered the scene.
Contributing to the bike’s outrageous amounts of fun is the five-speed gearbox, which is easy to use and makes those trail an easy job (if you can call “fun” a job). I had no problems whatsoever during this test drive and the bike’s tranny proved very able on those hills.
The motor performance equals the transmission and I would recommend an after market exhaust system for those who feel like they want to get the best out of that reliable engine. It performs excellent in standard conditions but why not make it better if we can?
Chassis and suspensions have also been upgraded so I can say that they are up to date and ready to fight the best bikes in the class. Wait…isn’t the TT-R the best in its class? Who should it fight with? Ohh, let’s not be mean…it has stiff competition.
I appreciated the way the 2008 Yamaha TT-R125L accommodates its rider, how it feels under hard acceleration, but most of all how it corners. I have to say that being lightweight, this machine is practically determined to handle like no other out there and this gives it a big plus.
Overall, I was completely caught by this extremely fun off-road bike but I still prefer bigger rides. If you don’t, I will strongly advise you to give it a try and feel like a racer.
The machine available from August 2007 comes with the retail price of $2,699. It is already a bargain but if you take in consideration the fact that it can be ridden by your son, wife, or even yourself, bad thoughts can not interfere and this great toy will soon find its place in your garage. It won’t be staying long there because the backyard seems tempting and adventure will soon follow.
Anyone can enjoy off-road riding. From youngsters to oldsters and all those in between, there’s a Yamaha fun bike for everyone.
Rugged, reliable and featuring the build quality for which Yamaha machines are famous, this bike is loaded with high performing off-road technology that only Yamaha can offer.
Engine and Transmission
Type: Air-cooled SOHC 4-strokes; 2 valves
Bore x Stroke: 54.0mm x 54.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Carburetion: VM20 X 1
Transmission: Constant-mesh 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension/Front: Telescopic fork; 7.1-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; 6.6-in travel
Brakes/Front: 198mm single disc
Brakes/Rear: 110mm single drum
Tires/Front: 70/100-19 42M
Tires/Rear: 90/100-16 52M
Length: 74.2 in
Width: 31.3 in
Height: 42.7 in
Seat Height: 31.7 in
Wheelbase: 50 in
Ground Clearance: 11.6 in
Dry Weight: L Model is 172 lb – LE Model is 185 lb
Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gal
Warranty: 90 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Team Yamaha Blue/White
- Big fun for the whole family in a small package, the YZ-styled four-stroke-powered TT-R125s beg to be ridden by everyone from bigger kids to adults.
- A seat height of less than 32 inches makes these accessible to most riders, but over 10 inches of ground clearance and long-travel suspension at both ends mean they’re also serious trail bikes.
- The full-boat “LE” model features pushbutton electric start, 19- and 16-inch wheels for great handling, an aluminum swingarm, adjustable suspension calibrated for aggressive and/or bigger riders and a 220mm front disc brake.
- “L” model features primary kickstarting, 19- and 16-inch wheels for great handling, and a 198mm front disc brake for powerful stopping.
- Potent, 124cc air-cooled SOHC four-stroke powerplant puts out torque, broadband power tuned for maximum off-road performance in a wide range of trail conditions.
- 20mm Mikuni carburetor ensures crisp, dependable throttle response.
- Smooth-shifting, five-speed transmission with heavy-duty clutch is geared for maximum versatility and usable power delivery.
- Smooth-shifting, YZ-type five-speed transmission with heavy-duty clutch is geared for maximum versatility and usable power delivery.
- CDI ignition system is ultra-reliable and never needs maintenance.
- Easy-access, tool-free air filter adds extra convenience during maintenance.
- Lightweight exhaust system features quiet, USFS-approved spark arrestor.
- Rigid frame design features a long wheelbase to accommodate bigger riders while maintaining quick, agile off-road handling.
- 31mm telescopic front fork with 7.1 inches of travel on all three models for plush, confidence-inspiring control over rough terrain.
- TT-R125L has slightly stiffer settings than TT-R125E to deliver more aggressive off-road performance and handling.
- TT-R125LE features preload adjustability and slightly stiffer settings than the TT-R125L, for even more aggressive off-road performance and handling.
- Big 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels on the 125LE and 125L mean great handling and terrainability combined with sharp, predictable steering.
- Single rear shock with 6.6 inches of travel on the 125LE and 125L provides predictable handling for the aggressive rider.
- Box-section swingarm features snail-type chain adjusters for quick and easy chain adjustments.
- TT-R125LE features lightweight aluminum box-section swingarm for reduced unsprung weight and optimum suspension performance.
- Front and rear brakes deliver strong, dependable stopping power.
- Knobby tires offer superb grip and exceptional wear.
- Long, YZ-style seat is low, comfortable and allows easy rider movement.
- “Gripper” type seat aids seat-of-the-pants feel.
- Team Yamaha-inspired colors, graphics, and front and side number plates create styling similar to larger YZ lineup.
- Sleek, narrow fuel tank helps create big-bike look and feel.
- Large, folding cleated footpegs provide excellent footing even in wet or muddy conditions.
- Durable fork boots ensure excellent fork seal and stanchion tube protection.
The TT-R125’s four-stroke air-cooled engine delivers a wide band of responsive power, making it ideal for new riders. The latest bike comes with a range of major improvements, including larger-diameter 31mm front forks with revised spring rates. As well as delivering increased rigidity for better handling, these high-spec forks underline the bike’s stronger off-road image.
With all-new YZ motocross-type bodywork and a flatter seat, the 2008 TT-R125 combines racebike looks with easy handling and punchy performance, making it a winner with new riders of all ages. Available in standard or with optional electric start: E models.
It is well worth knowing that the electric start will determine you to pay a $200 extra but if you hate kickstarting, this is the option for you.