While quads’ stranglehold of the off-road market has been tempered by side by sides (UTVs), quads persist, particularly on narrow tracks or difficult terrain.
They promptly supplied, but we must have also copied in the rain gods because the bike arrived during Waikato’s wettest July and early August for 40 years.
This newest take on the Yamaha AG 125 builds on a history dating to the early 1970s and earlier if you consider the Land Scout of 1963.
The latest design brief is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. However, some tweaks bring it up to date for the livestock sector, flat dairy farms or high-country beef or sheep operations.
The single cylinder, 4-stroke 125cc engine is brought to life with an electric start button, and there’s a kick start for flat battery events. Revving freely, acceleration is smooth and crisp, with noise contained by a high-level silencer pack.
Five-speed constant-mesh transmission makes changes slick and easy, with a layout that gives neutral right at the bottom, so no worries trying to find the green light somewhere in the middle.
With rider comfort and cleanliness in mind, a newly designed front fender is contoured to keep mud and other unmentionables off the rider; this proved particularly good at this in high-speed turns, better than an earlier model. At the rear, the familiar fully enclosed chain case keeps mud at bay and extends service life.
Front and rear racks accommodate the odds and ends of daily life – electric fence standards, reels, etc – and have plenty of tie-down points.
Rider comfort is taken care of with a redesigned seat that is wide and low, offering easy mounting and dismounting, and the familiar twin side-stands are retained for easy parking even among mobs of cattle.
The handlebars are beefed up and carry guards to protect hands from blackberries or branches, and a crankcase front guard protects the engine and rider’s feet.
Out on the farm, in conditions that made standing difficult and walking near impossible, the AG 125 was in its element. Like an errant child it wallowed in the mud, ran faultlessly and never looked like getting stuck.
At the height of the calving season on a 600-cow dairy operation the machine clocked up 1000km in three weeks, day and night; its new high-power halogen headlamp turned day into night.
It moved people, day-to-day items and even the odd calf on the redesigned fuel tank with a flat top.
The only problem was prising the keys back off the farmer, who summed it up as “the perfect machine for the job” which means the boys in Auckland now have one fewer machine in stock.
• If you’d like to ‘Win a New Ride’, click here to enter to win a Yamaha AG 125.