MX Bob Bike History - Experiment 21
2002 Yamaha YZ125
2002-2003
The Mankato Screamer

All through 2002, and possibly earlier, I had the idea of getting a 125 again. The Honda being out of commission in the middle of my Points Fever stretch run, lead to the rather hurried decision to "go small". I managed to get the two-bike overlap plan past the family budget committee and was going to keep the 250 as a back-up, while getting the 125 set-up. After that relatively short period of time, the 250 would be sold. At least thatís how I remember the plan. I raced this bike at the last 2 or 3 races of 2002, capping off my glorious run to 9th place in the 40+ B class.

2003 started and I still had both bikes. I preferred the 250 on certain tracks so I switched back and forth between them. I used the 250 more often, but the 125 was really fun at certain tracks, particularly Mankato. There are really steep downhills that I could just scream down and brake really late. The trick was not to lose all the time I just gained going down the hill when I then had to negotiate a tight turn at the bottom, and power back up the hill. The bike had a five-speed and the gaps were pretty big, so you really had to carry momentum and shift precisely.

From riding the 250, I had really gotten used to being able to leave it in third and clutch it out of a tight corner, but that didn't often work too well on the 125. Going down a tooth on the countershaft helped, but a six-speed would have helped more. Not sure why I didnít learn this lesson the other two times I dropped down to a 125.

Fun as the bike was at certain tracks, or sections of tracks, it was tough to go up against 250s and an increasing number of four-strokes, on the start, especially in a 4-5 lap race. About a year after buying it, I sold it, without losing too much if I remember right. The Third 125 Era was complete.

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Mankato on a muddy spring day in 2003.


This is better shot of the bike and the mud than my poor riding form

Revised October 2017