MT-125: Streetfighter package with supersports genes

MT-125: Streetfighter package with supersports genes

“We set out to develop a naked bike with aggressive feeling” says Project Leader Alessandro Ghezzi. “We had the former R125 chassis and engine available for that. So we stripped the R125 and said to ourselves ‘this still needs a lot of work’! The technical basis was great, but from design point of view we needed important updates to make it a good-looking streetfighter. And we had to do a lot of testing to get the riding position and handling as we wanted it.”

2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Big bike feeling from 236-579180 (gc_single_col)Big bike feeling
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Headlight design sketch from 236-579416 (gc_single_col)Headlight design sketch
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Final clay model development from 236-579198 (gc_single_col)Final clay model development
 
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Tail design sketches from 236-579222 (gc_single_col)Tail design sketches
    
Big bike feeling
“A strong point of the R125 is, that it looks like a big bike. Some people even mistake it for an R6. We wanted to keep that feeling for the MT-125 too. It should look like a big bike, by its overall size and shape and also by using serious parts all over the bike. Every component should make you feel proud. ”
 
Beefy front fork
The 41 mm USD fork is a clear example of that. “It is much stiffer than the earlier R125 fork, to give a better feeling for the front wheel. We also participated in the development of the new tyres by Michelin, and those are also a big step forward, so all in all you get a very good feel for the road with the MT-125.”
 
Design
Designer Olivier Béboux joins in. “We tried to design the bike in a pure and aggressive way, without gimmicks. The MT-09 and MT-07 were developed by our collegues at the same time, and we took some inspiration there, especially for the headlight shape and the air intakes on the side. But everything was adopted for the MT-125, with a lot of testing and thinking to give it this unique streetfighter look. The air intakes give more body to the bike. They are aesthetically integrated with the fuel tank, but with completely different surfaces and this creates a very functional feel to them.” 
Other design elements were deliberately different from both the R125 and the MT series: “We developed the cover around the bottom part of the engine with a strong mechanical shape, like a real shield in fighter style. Deliberately not a pointy, supersports-derived undercowling. And to make the tail look shorter compared to the R125, we found a way to tuck the tail-light away under the seat, different from the other MT models.”!

2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Early study comparing the silhouette with R125 from 236-579192 (gc_single_col)Early study comparing the silhouette with R125
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Tapered handlebar from 236-579228 (gc_single_col)Tapered handlebar
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Beautiful wheel design and compact hub from 236-579174 (gc_single_col)Beautiful wheel design and compact hub
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Radial caliper and floating disc from 236-579216 (gc_single_col)Radial caliper and floating disc
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Final sketch from 236-579204 (gc_single_col)Final sketch
2014_MT125_Sport Touring_Master model to check the surfaces from 236-579422 (gc_single_col)Master model to check the surfaces
    
City-fighter
The riding position was an important development. “We know these bikes are often used in the city” says Alessandro. “So we tried to create a kind of city-fighter, not just a normal streetfighter. Controllability was our main goal, plus good handling. But for that, the seating position of a supersports is too much stretched out, too far from the handlebar, even when you use a higher and wider one. So we shortened the fuel tank and moved the rider position about 4 cm to the front.  We also increased the steering angle, from 29 to 34.5 degrees, which is useful in busy traffic and tight U-turns. And we set the suspension settings for a wider range of usage.”
 
Components
Alessandro smiles “We had a passionate team and we all agreed that the quality and design of each component was essential to get the total feeling right. So we made a big effort for every detail, from the tapered handlebar with its nice clamps to the aluminium foot pedals. And if you look at the front wheel with its thin spokes, it’s simply beautiful. This seems like a simple thing but we had the design selected from a series of 20 sketches and when we tested it, we needed thicker spokes at first. But in the end we found a way to do it, with the thin spokes and the small hub. That hub shape is also a new design for Yamaha, to give a lighter feeling. It’s not the usual big hub that is made hollow by a sand core, but a minimized shape that leaves the center part of the front disk light and empty.”
The team always kept a keen eye on performance, for example the front radial calliper combined with the 292 mm floating disc is there not only for good looks but also to improve the power and controllability of braking!
 
Sports DNA
Product planner Guglielmo Fontana Rava summarises: “In Yamaha we have a long history of making serious 125cc motorbikes. From the DT’s and TZR’s in the past to the WR’s and R125 of today. They always carry our sports DNA. The new MT-125 is another bike in that spirit, it will make you feel proud when you own one. It is very different from the rational, commuter-type 125’s. We developed it to give you a lot of fun in urban usage, and on open roads as well. Like the other MT’s, a joy to ride from the moment you start it up.”

Technical specifications

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