MXA FIRST LOOK! 2021 FANTIC 125XX — THE ITALIAN YZ125
You don’t see this very much in modern motocross manufacturing any more, but the new Italian-based Fantic XX125 is a co-op effort between Yamaha and the Italian brand. In the past many small builders were able to buy engines from their competition. Rickman produced complete motorcycles with Hodaka, Bultaco, Zundapp and Montesa engines; American Eagle had Sachs, Kawasaki and Husqvarna engines. And of course there were an incredible number of 1970s 125cc motocross bikes that used Sachs engines.
But the new deal between Fantic and Yamaha is rare—as Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and KTM don’t sell their engines to potential competitors. Fantic and Yamaha signed a deal for the Italian brand to use Yamaha 125cc two-stroke, 250cc two-stroke and 250 four-stroke Yamaha engines and frames in some of their 2021 models. Fantic Motor is an Italian manufacturer that began manufacturing motorcycles in 1968 and, in the past, has used Motori Minarelli small displacement engines in their line of bikes. And the link between Yamaha and Fantic is that Motori Minarelli is owned by Yamaha.
The Yamaha 125cc two-stroke base gives the latest Fantic rendition known performance, a strong reliability record and an excellent starting point for the development of the Fantic XX project. Fantic says that the bike was designed and built entirely in Treviso, Italy, but of course that makes no sense on face value. It is after all—a Yamaha YZ125 engine, YZ125 frame and Yamaha developed Kayaba SSS suspension—which were designed in Japan back in 2005. But Fantic did modify the Yamaha YZ125 engine with their own CDI unit, Arrow expansion chamber and Mikuni TMX 38mm carburetor
The Fantic frame is Yamaha’s plug-and-play, aluminium, semi-double cradle design, which guarantees high levels of rigidity and lightness. The Kayaba SSS suspension has been the benchmark in motocross suspension since 2006. The rear shock is also Yamaha’s proprietary Kayaba unit—offering 315mm of rear wheel travel. The brakes are by Nissin, with a 270mm rotor at the front and a 245mm disc at the rear.
Where the Treviso engineers got to put their two cents in was in the ergonomics. They worked in conjunction with the race test team to introduce a very slim gas tank, radiator shrouds, side panels and seat. The central section of the bike is characterized by a slender line, delivering maximum control and stability at speed. The reduced width enables the rider to grip in the knee area and allows for greater freedom of movement in corners, jumps and whoops. The handlebars are made of 28mm aluminum.
There is also an enduro model called the Fantic 125XE. The Fantic enduro version of the Yamaha YZ125 liquid-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder engine features an enduro-specific cylinder head with a lower compression ratio and the CDI control unit has a dedicated mapping for enduro use. The engine also differs from the motocross version in that it is equipped with an oversized generator to supply a 12V battery. The Arrow exhaust pipe is specifically optimised for enduro use, with more low-end, while the silencer is 100mm longer than the 125XX. The tires are Dunlop Geomax AT81s—with an 18-inch rear wheel. The Fantic 125XE has a larger fuel tank that holds 2.3 gallons versus the 125XX’s 2 gallon tank.
It is more than highly unlikely that any Yamaha-powered Fantic will be exported to the USA—it is common business practice in deals like these to strictly forbid Fantic from entering Yamaha’s biggest markets. Fantic does have a distributor for its bicycles and electric bicycles in the USA. For more info go to www.Fantic-Motor.com.
THE 2021 FANTIC 125XX AND 125XE IN ACTION