Classic Steel

“Maxxis Tires” – Classic Steel 156: 1986 125cc Shootout

Comments (4)
  1. I’m just going to say it. The 1986 125 shootout was the worst crop of 125’s in a long time. The 1986 CR 125 was better than the 85 model because they went from a two ring, to a one ring piston , which gave it more bark. The forks didn’t get the cartridge system because of their contract with Kayaba for 125 forks and Showa cartridge for the 250’s and 500’s. So yeah the Honda was better by one less piston ring.

    The Yamaha was the only 125 bike from 1986 that was vastly improved over the dog slow and pitiful 1985 YZ 125. However, while the bike was vastly improved, good luck trying to shift this turd.

    Now onto the number 3 bike,. What a POS compared to 1985 KX 125. Just like Suzuki, they had to eliminate their bell crank, full floating dogbone suspension because they stole a kids suspension ideas and never paid him. The engine was top-end only and most guys who who tried to port it and add a DG pipe/silencer could be seen pushing their hard to start KX 125’s all over the Ascot Cycle Park pits to try to bump start them. It was an embarrassment.

    Then you have the worst RM 125 of all time . The 1986 RM 125 was a total disaster of biblical proportions to 125 riders. While I believe the 1985 RM 125 was the best bike of 1985 due to its PHENOMENAL suspension, again due to a lawsuit with a kid over bell crank suspension, they chose not to pay the kid the money promised and lost the lawsuit and had to change the suspension to a total POS design. The 1986 suspension was a disaster compared to the original Full Floating articulating suspension from 1981 – 1985. Also the bike was dead slow and looked very aged . It went from one of the best bikes to a 1984 YZ 125.

    Yup, the 1986 bikes we’re a overall disappointment to the guys growing up in So-Cal during the riding boom!

    The F-14 on the DirtBike cover was way cool though!!!

    1. I see the same comment about the 1986 KX all the time. I had an 85 and an 86. While the 85 had a broader midrange and some extra grunt, my 86 was much faster. And the only time I missed the 85’s motor was when I was in tight trails.
      But suspension, handling, brakes… the 86 was hands down a better bike.

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