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Yamaha Grizzly 125 ATV.
Firstly a bit of history to show how opinions are formed. We operate a company in Scotland offering Quad Bike Treks for anybody over the age of sixteen, in other words the bikes are used a lot and by anybody from beginners to more experienced riders. Whatever bikes we use have to be mechanically reliable and be able to withstand some abuse. Up until the beginning of this year we used the Breeze model, mostly because its small and light, not too small but still light enough that one person can lift the bike – pretty useful when you are on your own with a bogged down bike! Another reason for the choice being they are Semi-Automatic put it in forward gear push throttle and it goes, no gear changes to worry about.
Anyway back to the review if you are thinking about buying a quad, you can’t go far wrong with the latest Yamaha Grizzly. This 125cc machine replaces the previous Breeze model; mechanically the two vehicles are just about identical. This is no bad thing as the Breeze has proved to be a pretty good vehicle over the years. The major changes being all the exterior plastics and with the addition of front and rear racks the Grizzly now looks more of a Utilitarian or agricultural tool than the previous model, but these racks can only carry 5 kilos and 10 kilos, front and back respectively, so not really any good for carrying a sheep! But nonetheless these bikes a great for leisure purposes like a “wee blast” over the hills.
One change not to happy about is the new location of the ignition key, this is now set above the right front wheel, or just in front of the riders right knee, this will hurt should you attack a ditch at the wrong angle!, but not really a big worry.
Driving the bike is easy, turn key to on, ensure gear stick is in neutral, and push the start button, give it a little gas and the bike should be ticking over nicely. If you want to go forward put it into forward gear and with just a little pressure on the throttle, operated with the right thumb you are going. For a two wheel drive, power from the four stroke 125cc engine goes to the rear wheels these bikes will go just about anywhere, we have been able to go places on a grizzly that some of the bigger four wheel drive models will get stuck on!. This is down to the weight of the bikes; they can go over pretty boggy ground with the right amount of throttle. The simplicity of the mechanics, the weight etc make these ideal for the novice rider, even though there is a sign on the bike saying no user under 16.
You can get cheaper ATVs but what has to be thought about is the second hand value in two, three or even five years time and Yamaha seem to consistently hold their value, look on ebay for second hand ATVs and the 125 Yamahas will never be less than £800 to £1,000, not bad for a bike costing £2500 new!! Need to wait a couple of years to see if the Polaris equivalents will hold their value as well.
One factor that should be thought about before buying a Grizzly or in fact and quad bike – Where are you going to Use it? If you have legal access to a significant piece of ground, say 500 acres you should buy a bike. If you don’t really think hard about it. The new legislation in the UK giving a “Right to Roam” access does not extend to vehicles with engines. So you have to get permission from a landowner for access to their ground, easy enough maybe, but, if you fall off you bike and hurt yourself, you could sue the landowner! Sounds silly but this has happened a couple of times in England. Anyway the end result of this now means Landowners are not giving access to their ground for fear of prosecution. The only option left is to go to organised days, covered by insurance and paying to get access not a bad option but you now probably need a trailer
Putting all that to the side the new Grizzly is a good bike, ideal for just about anybody, easy to operate, surprisingly fast and agile and one of the best ATVs of its size for second-hand value. Pretty easy to maintain, and can take some pretty severe punishment.