2022 Yamaha Zuma 125 First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Scooter gets rugged new look and VVA

Yamaha announced a redesigned Zuma 125 scooter for 2022, offering a new, more rugged appearance and variable valve actuation (VVA) technology. Yamaha has used VVA for a number of models over the last few years, mostly on scooters but also on the R15 sportbike for Asian markets. The 2022 Zuma 125 will be the first model with VVA Yamaha will bring over to America.

Visually, the 2022 Zuma 125 (also known in other markets such as Canada as the BWs 125) has a more utilitarian, off-road look than the previous design. The beak fender is larger and more angular, while the front shield has a blockier shape. The tires are the same size as the 2021 model, but the 2022 Zuma comes with new DURO tubeless fat tire with a more aggressive block pattern.

The new Zuma’s engine has the same 125cc engine displacement as the 2021 model, but instead of the previous 52.4 mm bore and 57.9 mm stroke, the 2022 engine has a 52.0 mm bore and a 58.7 mm stroke. The compression ratio is also higher, at 11.2:1 compared to the previous 10.0:1.

The engine remains an air-cooled fuel-injected four-valve SOHC, but it now uses VVA technology to change the valve timing at different engine speeds. The VVA system tweaks the timing for linear acceleration, stronger torque at low rpms and more power at high engine speeds. Power is delivered to the rear wheel via a V-belt transmission with a centrifugal clutch.

The chassis consists of a steel tube frame with a step-through design. The seat height is 30.9 inches, a smidge higher than the previous 30.7 inches, but the saddle’s narrow shape helps provide an easy reach to the the ground.

The 33mm telescopic fork offers 3.2 inches of travel while the dual shock rear suspension offers 3.1 inches of give. The Zuma uses a unified braking system with the rear brake lever apply a bit of braking force to the front wheel while the front brake lever controls just the front brake.

Yamaha says the underseat storage compartment is large enough to fit a full-faced helmet, but it also offers two helmet hangers. The front storage compartment has a USB-A socket for charging electronic devices.

Other features include asymmetric headlights with adjustable beams, an LCD display, and a center stand. Yamaha claims the Zuma 125 gets 101 mpg, which translates to a range of 162 miles on a full tank.

The 2022 Yamaha Yuma 125 will be offered in Team Yamaha Blue or Matte Black. Expect it to arrive in showrooms in July with a $3,699 price tag.

2022 Yamaha Zuma 125 Specifications

Engine Type125cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke SOHC single; 4 valves
Bore x Stroke52.0mm × 58.7mm
Compression Ratio11.2:1
Fuel DeliveryFuel Injection
IgnitionTCI (Transitor Controlled Ignition)
TransmissionV-Belt automatic
Front SuspensionTelescopic upright fork with 3.2 in of travel
Rear SuspensionDual shock absorber with swingarm with 3.1 inches of travel
Front BrakesDisc brake / 245mm / single disc with double-piston caliper​
Rear BrakesDisc brake / 230mm / single disc with single-piston caliper​
Front Tire120/70-12 51L
Rear Tire130/70-12 56L
Length75.6 inches
Width29.9 inches
Height45.3 inches
Seat height30.9 inches
Wheelbase52.8 inches
Fuel tank capacity (liter)1.6 gallons
Fuel Economy101 mpg (claimed)
Wet Weight282 pounds (claimed)
Instrument PanelDigital LCD
ChargingUSB-A front charging device​

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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3 of 22 comments
  • Smallwheels Smallwheels on Jun 02, 2021

    Is this the ugliest thing made on two wheels today? I'm thinking... yes.

    • Smallwheels Smallwheels on Nov 23, 2021

      On the other hand, if I didn't already own a 125 cc scooter, this one would be considered. The seat height is 30.9 inches. Which is high for something with a wide seat. I would need to sit on one to know if it were for me. It also weighs FIFTY MORE POUNDS than other scooters with the same engine size. That will make a huge difference in acceleration and top speed.

  • Sebastien Green Sebastien Green on Jan 20, 2022

    In the article you say the engine remains air cooled but in the specifications it says it is liquid cooled. So that with the bulky plastic must explain why it's now 20 pounds heavier thant the 2021 model.