As 125 trailies go, the AJS YX-R 125 does look fairly similar to those ’jack in a box’ trailbike bargains which can be found on the internet. But a close look reveals this bike to be built to a significantly higher spec than the average 125 trailie from China.
There’s also the advantage of buying a bike which has a genuine UK importer – you know there’s a good chance of getting spare parts, or making a warranty claim if something bad happens. Alastair Walker took a quick spin, Fiona Maher took the pics.
You won’t be doing any Hare `n’ Hounds enduro events on the 2007 AJS YX-R 125, but it can green lane without too many problems. Everything is tucked in tight on the bike, the footrests are serrated for better boot grip and the seat height is 34 inches. It hasn’t really got enough torquey power to haul itself out of deep muddy ruts, but this is basically 125 commuter bike which can cope with a wet farm track in January.
Physically, it feels like a big bike, which is ace if you’re a gangly 17 year old looking for your first motorcycle and you don’t want to look like you’re riding some circus mini-bike on your way to college.
But don’t get too excited, this isn’t a fast bike, it just hasn’t got the power to set your pants on fire quite frankly. The air-cooled, 4 valve, 124cc motor has a claimed 12bhp, which is enough to take it to an ideal cruising speed of around 60mph. It could probably crack 65mph with a skinny teenager on board rather than a curry-lovin’ old git like me, but the AJS does accelerate OK, especially off the line. It has relatively low gearing so whizzing through the first three gears does get you to a respectable urban cruising speed fairly rapidly. It’s basically got just enough beans to make zapping around town a pleasure rather than a pain.
The front disc has plenty of stopping power for something that only weighs 125kgs dry, but the rear drum lacks bit of feel at the lever, although as the YX-R 125 had just a few dozen miles on the clock that might improve once the bike was properly run-in. The little AJS handles really well, and once you put road tyres on for commuting you would have no problems nipping past queues of traffic in town, confident that you could stop quickly if some berk in car decides to swap lanes suddenly, thus saving 0.7of a second on his journey time.
On the downside the AJS 125 only has an eight litre fuel capacity, but it appeared to use about three teaspoons of fuel covering some 20 miles or so. Very frugal indeed. There’s no dual seat, but the bike features electric and kick-starting plus there’s two handy grab-rails at the back of the bike which make useful bungee points for carrying stuff. The overall finish on the paint and alloy parts is definitely a cut above the usual Chinese 125 standard. The seat felt comfortable too.
Of course there are cheaper alternatives to the AJS YX-R 125, which costs £1525 new. You could gamble on an internet bargain, especially if you don’t mind doing some self-assembly work on the bike. Prices start as low as £700, but once you’ve bought it there’s very little comeback. On the other hand the AJS comes with a 12 month parts warranty and there’s an actual dealer network – something many Chinese rivals don’t have.
If you have more cash to spend, then you can go for a safe option like a Yamaha ( £3000 ), a trick Aprilia MX125 Supermoto (£3200 ) or perhaps the stalwart Honda XR125 ( £2349 ). Keeping under two grand you could try the Hyosung XRX125 ( £1899 ) which looks remarkably similar to the AJS YX-R125, or the Moto Hispania Mustang 125, which is just £1395.
I was impressed by the AJS 125, and the way it handled some slippy muddy trailbike action. The bike is way ahead of the average Chinese made 125 trailbike and it makes an ideal starter bike for any teenager, or a decent winter commuter for someone who doesn’t want to get their superbike coated in road clag.
Test Bike Supplied by AJS Motorcycles, Goodworth Clatford, Nr Andover, Hants. 01264 710 074
Get AJS motorbike insurance for the ajs yx r 125 2007.
|Engine||4 stroke, single cylinder, 4 valves.|
|Chassis||Frame; Steel tubular frame.|
|Forks||41mm USD, non adjustable.|
|Rear suspension||Monoshock, adjustable for preload only|
|Wheels/Tyres||Front: 2.75 section, 21in diameter. Rear: 410 section, 18in diameter|
|Brakes||Single front disc, 2 piston caliper, TLS rear drum|