Classic Steel

GP’s Classic Steel #117: 1984 Yamaha YZ125

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Comments (6)
  1. Tony, this article was spot on in regards to your assessment of the 1984 YZ 125. Prior to 1982, all my So Cal Friends were riding all yellow. That’s right, YZ 125’s and RM 125’s. 1983 was one of the biggest changes I believe in motocross history when Honda release the incredible and class leading shootout winner 1983 CR 125. Also Kawasaki put a rocket ship motor into their 1982 KX 125 and made the choice difficult between the 1983 KX 125 or Honda CR 125. Just like that, yellow faded and green and red were the rage in 1983 and everyone I rode with said both Suzuki and Yamaha would rally with new awesome bikes for 1984. Well, Suzuki made a very good and very well suspended 1984 RM 125, that was running with green and red!

    However, the 1984 YZ 125 goes down as one of the biggest busts in dirtbike history. Out of my group of buddies, including AMA Pro Rider Doug O’Donell, one bought the YZ 125. We all liked to trade bikes and dice it out on the track or fireroads. After we exchanged bikes (1984 CR 125 & 1984 KX 25), our buddy who owned the 84 YZ 125 stated he can’t believe that he bought such a crappy bike, brand new. He sold that bike and ended up trading that bike in at the dealer for a almost new, albeit used 1984 KX 125. After that trade, my buddy remained a KX driver for years to come .

    It’s surprising that this bike was not the downfall of Yamaha. There’s gotta be some hidden warehouse with hundreds of unsold 1984 YZ 125’s still uncrated and sitting brand new in the box?!? Yes, it was that bad.

  2. I loved my ’83 125K and pulled a ton of holeshots on it. If it only had better rear suspension it would have been 125 of the year. I was bummed I couldn’t afford a new bike in’84,,,, was going to get a new YZ,,,,, then I read the tests on this boat anchor,,, yikes, bought a KX125 in 1985 and rode kawasaki’s until they couldn’t get a four stroke to market in ’03

  3. Wow. Funny reading. I bougt the 84 125 new in 1985 and thought it was an ok bike. I didnt know it was looked upon as a shit bike. I was 16 and attending a youth club were we drow to the local tracks. Some with their own bikes and some riding the ones belonging to the club. I admid, I was never a good motocross rider, but I enjoyed it untill 88 when I got enlisted. Me and a buddy rode the clubs worn down Honda 250, what model/year I cant remember, but it was kickin allright I thougt.

  4. It must have been Yanky fuel.
    I raced an 84 and it was quick. A trick to get them revving here in Australia was to remove 10mm from the apex of the header pipe section.
    You’d easily blow Suzukis and Hondas away and keep with KX’s no worries on heavy clay.
    Yep my 86 was faster and torqier but tye L was no slouch here in Aus.
    I also raced a 490, and never had the pinging and fueling issues we read about in the American mags.

  5. Really not sure of the legitimacy of the article of the 84YZ125. My 84 is fast, shift well and pulls most 250’’s I have run with. I have no regrets or reliability issues.

    I was the AHRMA national 125 points leader two years on my 125.

    Guess everyone has their opinions.

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