Yamaha 125 stradali

The 125 stradali made by Yamaha Belgarda lasted only in the early 90's, but it was a very intense episode. Of the "other manufacturers" involved in the 125 stradali sector, Yamaha is in fact the most successful. Not only was the production of the 125 stradali by the Italian importer Yamaha Belgarda of excellent quality and commercial success, but it was also extended to the enduro sector where Yamaha models were still very popular with the TDR versions. Yamaha was also active in the 125cc sector at stradali as early as 1988 with the TZR produced in Spain and from 1985 with the DT 125 enduro.

Here are the models produced:

TZR 125 (1988-1990) - type 3FN

Presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1987 and marketed in Italy from April 1988, the new TZR, type 3FN, is an exception in the Italian 125 stradali panorama. In fact the new little one from Iwata's factory was not produced in Italy, but in Spain by the Spanish importer S.E.M.S.A. (Sociedad Espanola de Motocicletas S.a.) under Yamaha license.

With a satisfactory technical equipment including electronically controlled exhaust valve, the TZR is however not comparable with the best of the 1988 production of Aprilia, Cagiva, Gilera and Honda Italia.

The TZR is, in fact, a rather cheap looking bike with details such as the small wheels more suitable for a small 50, the rear drum brake and the lack of the now indispensable electric starter that make it a less attractive bike than the competition.

The TZR is a deliberately unpretentious motorbike by design. But in 1988 to conquer the Italian market it takes more than that and in fact in Belgarda, the headquarters of Yamaha's Italian importer, they are already thinking about a new TZR made in Italy, which will see the light in 1991.

The price in 1988 was Lire 4,181.60 and the colours available were white/red and blue/yellow. During 1989 a second version was introduced with a rear brake disc and new three-spoke wheels.

Type 3FN adopts DGM 52486.


Brochure_Yamaha_TZR_88 (2)

The bike in brief
The design of the new TZR is inspired by the beautiful TZR 250 and thanks to the colour scheme it is also very elegant and well balanced.

The fairing with two nice side air intakes benefits the Deltabox steel frame, which looks good. The squared-off fairing houses a rectangular headlamp, which does little to satisfy the current fashion for twin headlamps. The fuel tank with aeronautic cap and the tail are perfectly in line with the frame.

Economical looking mirrors and indicators. The removable seat makes room for the oil tank and a mini tool compartment. The battery is located behind the right-hand brake light.

The complete instrumentation and electrical controls are well made and are of Japanese manufacture.

Brochure_Yamaha_TZR_88 (3)

The frame of the TZR is a steel boxed Deltabox double lateral beam that looks good, although not as good as the other Italian 125s. In particular, the seat frame welded directly to the main frame and the slim looking steel swingarm leave a lot to be desired.

Yamaha-made forks are only 33 mm long, while the non-progressive rear suspension features a Yamaha-made shock absorber with adjustable spring preload.

The braking system features an honest-to-goodness 245 mm front fixed disc served by a single-piston caliper and a simple 130 mm rear drum.

The three-spoke alloy wheels have the respective sizes of: front 90/100-16 and rear 100/90-18.

The weight measured is 119 kg.

The TZR's engine is certainly inspired by Yamaha's vast experience in the field of 2-stroke stradali and racing. It boasts the YPVS (Yamaha Power Valve System) exhaust valve with electronically controlled electric servomotor, reed valve in the crankcase and anti-vibration countershaft that do justice to this engine, which can boast many similar technical features to its competitors. Although it is kick-start ready, it is a pity that Yamaha's engineers did not equip it with an electric starter.

The thermal unit has an operating diagram that tends to favour elasticity and pick-up rather than maximum power, and obviously the exhaust system and the Mikuni VM 26 SS carburettor calibration are also optimised for this purpose.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the maximum power measured at the wheel is 23.94 hp at 10250 rpm and the top speed is 148.9 km/h, performance that is well exceeded by Italian competitors. In the 400 metre pick-up test from 50 km/h, the TZR recorded a time of 19.6 sec and an exit speed of 97.8 km/h, a decidedly good performance and much better than many competitors, confirming the touring qualities of this engine.

TZR-R 125 - 1991 - type 4DL (TZR 125 R)

Presented at the Bologna Motor Show in December 1990 and only marketed in Italy since the summer of 1991, the TZR-R, type 4DL, is a big step forward compared to its progenitor TZR 3FN produced in Yamaha's Spanish factories.

First of all, the new TZR-R is now a fully-fledged Italian motorbike, on a par with its NSR competitor produced by Honda Italy. The entire TZR-R project is the brainchild of Belgarda (Yamaha's Italian importer), who have skilfully mixed Italian and Japanese components to create a brand new bike compared to the previous version, which now also features a very Italian Minarelli engine made to Yamaha specifications.

The price in 1991: Lire 6,555,100 and the available colours are: white/red with polished frame and white rims and (from 1992) also in grey/black with black frame and black rims. At the end of 1991 a version dedicated to the Sport Production championship was also presented, equipped with adjustable suspensions and many other improvements. (see below). In 1993 the "Red Rocket" Marlboro Replica colour scheme was added, taking up the design of the "normal" TZR.

The TZR-R remained in production until 1994 when it was replaced by the TZR-RR. According to Yamaha sources, a total of 9877 Yamaha Belgrade 4DL (all versions including SP) were produced between 1991 and 1995.

The homologation code is OM 53202. On all 4DLs the chassis number and engine number are exactly the same.

Brochure_Yamaha_TZR_92 (2)

The bike in brief
Belgarda has developed a convincing and successful design that immediately characterises the new TZR and gives it a touch of sportiness and elegance at the same time.

The beautiful fairing shows off the new aluminium Deltabox frame and the generously sized fairing adopts an original solution for the front headlight, which is now trapezoidal in shape with a separate position light.

The tank and the tail are perfectly integrated with the structure and noteworthy is the presence of a practical and quite large glove compartment obtained in the tail and closed by a door protected by a lock. Definitely a rarity on a 125 sports bike!

It is worth noting the practical arrangement of the petrol tap, the starter control and the various tanks for the mixing oil and coolant, which are located on the sides inside the fairing and are therefore easy to access.

The foot controls and foot pegs are made of aluminium and the attention to detail and assembly is very good with a well executed paint job and stickers protected by a clear coat.

The complete, well-made instrumentation and electrical controls are of Japanese manufacture.

Brochure_Yamaha_TZR_92 (1)

The TZR-R has a completely new chassis design compared to its predecessor and boasts a truly remarkable level of refinement. Where the previous TZR had an inexpensive steel Deltabox, the new TZR-R now has a completely redesigned aluminium frame with the engine anchored to the main frame without a lower cradle. The seat post is now bolted to the main frame, well made and also in aluminium. The rear swingarm with right-hand banana arm is also beautifully finished and made of aluminium.

The 1400 mm wheelbase makes the TZR the widest in its class. This makes the TZR less manoeuvrable than its competitors, but more stable in fast corners.

Suspension features an impressive 41mm upside-down Paioli fork and a new progressive rear suspension with spring preload adjustable shock absorber.

The brakes are also completely redesigned and are now made by Brembo. At the front we find a 320 mm floating brake disc served by a four-piston caliper and at the rear a 210 mm fixed disc served by a single-piston caliper.

The three-spoke light alloy wheels have the following dimensions: 110/70-17 front and 140/70-17 rear.

The total measured dry weight is 130 kg.

The TZR-R's engine is a modern, Italian Minarelli, made to Yamaha specifications. The cylinder bears the inscription (on the left side) 3MB-00.

The Minarelli engine features include: YPVS (Yamaha Power Valve System) exhaust valve controlled by an electronically controlled electric servomotor, reed valve in the crankcase and anti-vibration countershaft.

Unlike its predecessor, which was designed to focus on elasticity rather than pure power, the Minarelli engine has a character that is anything but peaceful.

The thermal unit, the exhaust system and the new Dell'Orto VHSA 32 carburettor are designed for maximum power, measured at 32.15 hp at 11500 rpm (23.94 hp at 10250 rpm on the TZR). Top speed increases to a remarkable 169 km/h (148.9 km/h for the TZR).

Due to the overly loose gearing in the last few gears and the very sporty nature of the engine, which doesn't like to run too low, in the 400 metre revival tests from 50 km/h, the TZR-R recorded a time of 20.5 sec and an exit speed of 91.3 km/h (19.6 and 97.8 km/h for the TZR).

TZR R-SP 125 - 1992 - type 4DL (TZR 125 SP)

Introduced in 1992, the TZR-SP was created to provide a more competitive bike for those who wanted to participate in the Italian Sport Production championship, where Yamaha had to be content with little, however, as Aprilia, Cagiva and Honda dictated the law with more competitive bikes on the track.

Offered at a price of 7,199,500 lire (practically 1 million more than the normal R) and only in white/red with black rims and a black painted frame, the SP was sold as road-legal. We are not aware of any particular chassis numbering or how many SPs were actually produced.

The type is still 4DL, but the words BELGARDA 4DL YAMAHA TZR 125 SP appear on the registration papers. The DGM 53202 remains the same for the normal 4DL, but gains the new extension EST 02 OM.

The chassis numbering follows a particular order that characterises the SP version, namely 4DL-050101. The number "0" placed after the number "05", therefore identifies the SP from a normal TZR. Therefore, for example, chassis number 050125, would be the 25th TZR-SP produced. According to our research, 95 TZR SPs with numbers between 100 and 195 have been registered in Italy. The engine number must be the same as the chassis, so in the example above, 050125 will also be the engine serial number.

Brochure_Yamaha_TZR_92 (3)

The differences between R and SP are as follows:

  • SP colouring featuring green number plates and passenger seat cover. (the SP is also sold with the kit for fitting the kick starter).
  • The changes to the chassis include an upside-down fork Paioli always from 41 mm as the normal R, but widely adjustable in the hydraulic compression and release. A new Paioli shock absorber is used on the rear, but with adjustable spring preload. The front brake master cylinder is now 13 mm ø. 
  • Gilardoni cylinder specific for the SP marked (on the left) 4DL-00.
  • Specific piston for the SP.
  • SP-specific header in two pieces.
  • Machined crankcases with specific reed valve for the SP (the reed valve of the normal version is not adaptable)
  • CDI control unit, YPVS exhaust valve and SP-specific servomotor.
  • Exhaust with a shorter expansion and a longer, SP-specific tailpipe (Lanfranconi branded).
  • Final drive and second and third gears closer together.

The 32mm Dell'Orto VHSA carburettor from the R is retained, but obviously has to be replaced with a 28mm if the bike is used in the SP championship. The airbox is specific to the SP (there are two sleeves on the back of the filter box) and of course the carburettor settings are specific to the SP.

As is often the case with SP versions, the TZR SP is a special, almost handcrafted motorbike. Therefore, not infrequently, during the course of production, some SPs could leave the assembly line with certain details, such as cylinders (always marked DL-00) and exhausts (Figaroli instead of Lanfranconi) with higher performance. There are also numerous other modifications, such as internal rotor ignition, and it is complicated to draw up a complete and up-to-date list of what was actually available. To ensure that the engine is SP, the important thing is that the serial number matches the chassis number exactly. Otherwise you could end up with non-SP engines or rotary engines, i.e. those fitted to replace the original engine block as is often the case with bikes with a racing history.

The changes on the SP make the TZR a better bike. In fact, not only does the engine have a noticeable improvement at the top end of the rev counter with better acceleration, but it also has a smoother ride than the R, which suffers in the lower rpm range. The different gear ratio also makes the SP better in acceleration and pick-up than the R.

Performance is 33.02 hp at 11,500 rpm for a top speed of 174.5 km/h.

TZR-R 125 Red Rocket - 1993 - Type 4DL (TZR 125 R)

The TZR in the most beautiful colour. A true replica of Wayne Rainey's Grand Prix 500. The Red Rocket remains virtually unchanged from the previous version. The Red Rocket is not an SP version and therefore does not receive the higher performance and refined components of the SP version. The Red Rocket is distinguished from the other TZRs by its black painted frame (same colour and paint as the black TZR-R), but above all by the fork legs, which are only in black on the Red Rocket. Only production updates were adopted, including a new carburetion and an additional silent-block on a revised engine cradle to reduce vibrations.

Chassis number and engine number must be "matching numbers".

The type is always 4DL and the DGM 53202.



TZR-RR 125 - 1994 - type 4DL (TZR 125 RR) 

Marketed since 1994, the new TZR-RR is an update of the previous TZR-R. Like its predecessor, the RR is the result of a collaboration between Yamaha and engineers from Belgarda and Minarelli, who build the engine to Japanese specifications.

The price in 1994 is 7.180.000 liras. The type code is still Yamaha Belgarda 4DL, but it gains the new suffix TZR 125 RR and homologation code DGM 53202 gains the new extension EST 03 OM.

Where the previous version was a clear step forward compared to the economical 1988 TZR, the new RR refines the weaknesses found on the previous R.

From a technical point of view, the modifications made to the Minarelli engine make the RR better than the previous version, which suffered from excessively long gear ratios and a rather grumpy power delivery lacking in length. It's a pity that the RR loses the charm of some original solutions such as the split headlight and the glove box in the tail which characterised the previous version compared to the competition.

Due to the arrival of the 15 hp limitation in 1996 and the superiority of the Aprilia RS and Cagiva Mito EV, the RR did not prove to be a great commercial success.

Yamaha TZR-RR

The differences to the TZR-R can be summarised as follows:

  • Adoption of a new fairing and a new single almond-shaped headlight unit in place of the previous one with the twin position light.
  • Redesigned fairing in the air intakes, slimmer profile front wing and adoption of a rear wing.
  • New, more tapered tail section with integrated tail light. This change has led to the elimination of the plastic tray that gave access to the glove box on the R, which is now accessed conventionally by lifting the seat.
  • Adoption of a new sporty polyurethane foam rider seat and new pillion footrest supports.
  • Aluminium Deltabox frame unchanged from the R, but now offered in polished aluminium.
  • Adoption of a new swingarm, also in aluminium, but with a banana arm.
  • New exhaust system and air filter box optimised for improved mid-range range and final gearing shortened by four teeth to limit the drop in revs between gear changes.