7. 2005-2016 Yamaha YZ125
The Yamaha YZ125 is the only eighth-liter Japanese two-stroke still on the market today—and that’s a real shame to the other Big Four manufacturers because 125s are still a blast to ride for kids of all ages. Just as with the 250, Yamaha made a major upgrade to the YZ125 by introducing a backbone-style aluminum frame along with a new engine in 2005. Weighing in 10 lbs. lighter than the previous generation gave the YZ a new lease on life, making it the frontrunner in the dwindling 125cc class.
Just remember that 125 motors have to be screamed to be enjoyed, so religious engine maintenance is critical. Here again, though, the fact that the YZ125 is still current makes sourcing parts through local Yamaha dealers a hassle-free endeavor. Just to be safe, you should plan on freshening up the top end immediately after purchase for safety’s sake.