Motorcycle Blog

The R125 meets its bigger brute of a brother, the R1. Martyn came into work on the latest Yamaha R1 this week and parked up next to Gavin’s R125, here are their thoughts

Martyn: – I picked up this R1 whilst my FZ8 was away having some work done. My front tyre was on the limit. Initial thoughts upon seeing the R1 were what a nice looking bike. It is has a low mean stance and those headlights with integrated air intakes look evil.

Sitting on the bike is a little cramped for my 6 foot 2 frame but getting onto the open road was an eye opener. Truth be told riding this thing to work was scary! I was fighting to keep the bike within the speed limit; it just wants to take off and a quick flick of the throttle would no doubt see triple digits on the digital speedo. A true licence loser if ever there was one.

My FZ8 is much more relaxed to ride it has a comfy upright riding position and enough power to keep you ahead of traffic. The R1 is on another level. In my view this is a true track day machine a little too hardcore for the road and most definitely not an everyday commuter. Sitting on Gavin’s R125 was much comfier and to my surprise didn’t feel that cramped in comparison to the R1!

Gavin: – What a machine! I am a big fan of all things Yamaha and the R1 did not disappoint. Seeing it in the car park alongside my R125 it looked awesome, from the menacing look of the headlights to the burbling of the exhausts; this bike is all you would expect from their flagship machine.

Even on the standard exhaust system the noise is impressive. The bike shouts its presence to other road users and when Martyn opened the throttle the machine gave a large ‘bark’ before propelling him to the horizon. He would then have to wait 10 minutes for me to catch up with him on my R125.

My R125 in comparison? In short, there is no comparison. It is surprising how good the R125 looks even pitted side by side the awesome R1. When we pulled over for ad-hoc photo shoot it didn’t feel as if the R125 was out of its depth in the looks department. But performance wise they could not be further apart. Although the R125 is an excellent commuter this is only up to speeds of 60mph, otherwise it just doesn’t have the puff to keep up with commuter traffic. Overtaking a car and caravan travelling at 60mph whilst I do 62mph is getting rather tiring.

Conclusion: – Both very good looking bikes, the R1 has too much power and R125 too little. May be the ideal middle ground would be a Yamaha R6? Tell us what you think in the comments below…

Martyn was called to the Bar in 2009 and then cross-qualified as a solicitor to practice exclusively in motorcycle law. He attained Higher Rights of Audience (civil) in 2014.

Martyn is passionate about bikes and wants to ensure that fallen bikers have the specialist advice, legal expertise and skill they deserve in getting the right compensation from a biker who knows and rides.

  • Ken Lines

    July 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Really it is a case of ‘Horses for courses’. The 125 is an ideal bike for a newcomer to the noble art of two wheeled progression. Around town it has more than enough performance and, for the younger generation, has the advantage of looking the dog’s danglies. The R1 is a very different beast and, as you said, is a very track orientated machine.

    I ride a Honda CBR600RR, smoother and less manic than the R6, which is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, fine for the road and not too bad on track (Usually Cadwell which is only just down the road). The 6RR has more than adequate performance but the bigger Fireblade is a more relaxing ride on the road, far fewer gear changes per mile and it will toddle along at thirty just as easily as it will hit a ton thirty. As I said ‘Horses for courses).

    Ken Lines.

    1. Andrew Dalton

      July 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Bless ’em. The Chuckle Brothers on their matching bikes. Poor old Gavlar is having his head battered by choice as he has just passed his A2 test and is now doing Direct Access. As the resident sensible old boy I reckon he should go for something he can drop cheaply. Gav knows I am right but he wants the latest supersports middleweight.

  • Ken Lines

    July 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Ah, Gavin Grasshopper, listen to the words of great wisdom spoken by your master. ‘Something you can drop cheaply’ wise words indeed. Passing the test, even the DA, merely means that you are considered safe to be allowed on the road with other road users. You are far more likely to ‘drop’ the bike in the first couple of years than at any other time. I would suggest that for ease/cheapness of repair a naked bike (say a Hornet) is a good choice or in the sportsbike range a good reliable CBR600. Both can be picked up relatively cheaply and, in the event of a major ‘off’ one can always sell the best bits on ebay and just buy another bike.

    Ken Lines.


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