2002 Yamaha YZ125 Restoration, Part 2

Mar. 22, 2010 By Ricky Sosebee
Pit Posse makes many cool tools and this scissor lift was one we  
had to have for our build.

So when we left off back in August of 2009 for the first part of our build (see it here), there were many things that kept us from getting right back on the project YZ. But now we’re back, and for the next couple of months we will be restoring the blue beauty back to its original, and somewhat modified, existence.

After getting the frame and hubs back from the powder coater, I immediately started prepping these parts for reassembly. As I mentioned in the last article this wasn’t a difficult task, as BK Performance had really prepared the frame before laying on the awesome steel-blue-candy color. 

Our 2002 Yamaha YZ125 was finally taking shape with the addition  
of the forks and bars.

My first goal was to get the forks on the bike so I could get it up on our Pit Posse scissor lift in order to start the rebuild. These lifts are great for any shop and make working on your bike way easy. The rubber top pad also helps with slippage of the bike during maintenance but also offers a bit of protection to the frame as well. Although it is tempting, be careful to not lift a bike that is over the recommended weight for the lift though, as it will bend and become a fixed height with no reversal procedures. That’s experience talking.

We had mentioned also in the first article that we thought we could reuse the head stay bearings, but why go through all the trouble of a complete rebuild and skimp on a very important part? So we installed new bearings and slipped the triples together happy we made the right decision. Bearings in a MX-style motorcycle are crucial to the performance of the machine. These little, commonly overlooked, parts can make or break a good day on the trail or track.

Pivot Works makes the job easy with custom bearing and seal kits.

The Motion Pro Deluxe Suspension service bearing tool was a must  
have for our job to be finished right!

There are many companies in the US that make bearings, but for the expert advice we wanted I had turned to our friends at Pivot Works. These guys have mastered the plan on combining kits that not only include specific bearings, seals and spacers in one package, but they make these kits for almost every part of a bike that needs them. Our swing arm, swing linkage, shock mount bearings (both upper and lower), as well as the seals for this 2002 YZ came packaged individually so you can keep each separate as you work on the replacement. This made my job so much easier and I didn’t have a box of bearings that I had no clue where they fit. Let’s move on to the installation.

I started building this bike as a way to help others know that there are tools and parts available to get the new feel back in the old bike again. Although I wanted to keep the rebuild cost-effective, it soon became apparent that I needed a specialized tool to help get the job done just a bit faster and easier. I knew that there were bearing tools on the market but I needed a very particular tool for the swing arm linkage. So let’s see, who has made a living developing tools for the motorcycle industry? Well I figure if anyone would have a tool I needed it had to be Motion Pro. Just like Pivot Works is to bearings, Motion Pro is to tools. I soon found myself in conversation with the technical end of Motion Pro, and before I knew it I had the newest of the Motion Pro toolbox. This Deluxe suspension bearing service tool might set ya back some coin, but I can tell you this: you couldn’t put a price on the time and labor it saved me while resurrecting this Yamaha YZ125. This kit comes with every attachment you would need to service almost all metric dirt bikes and some ATVs. Never underestimate the value of the right tools because it is the easiest way to service your off-road machine.


Getting the core of our shock linkage cleaned and ready for Pivot Works bearings and seals!

The black Pro-Wheel rim looked awesome with our Candy Blue hub and Pro-Wheel heavy duty spokes.

There are a few things I should mention about the whole process of rebuilding the swing arm linkages and replacing bearings as well as seals. It is best to be sure and clean and inspect each and every part that you trust your safety to while riding. Using a good waterproof grease, such as Maxima’s blue-labeled waterproof grease, on the spacers and bushings of the linkages just insures that everything works together very smoothly.

So from breaking open the first Pivot Works bearing and seal kit we managed to get the swing arm linkages back to new, and with the shock mount bearing and seal kits installed it was time to try and get the swing arm mocked up on the frame so the entire bike would rest more easily on the Pit Posse stand.

After the swing arm had been mounted onto the frame for mock-up purposes, I then began working on the rims and tires. The peeps over at Pro Wheel build some of the toughest rims on the market, and if I was going to be riding this machine in the North Georgia Mountains, I needed tough for sure.

So with the powder-coated hubs and a few extra dollars, I sent my hubs and wheel bearings off to Pro Wheel so they could lace and true the new rims with my heavy-duty spokes I had purchased from them. I decided to use black as my color of choice on the rim, and with the candy steel blue powder coating it looked awesome.

Using the Motion Pro kit with simple hand tools made removing and reinstalling the swinger bearings a lot easier.


Replacing the rear shock bearings was an easy task and also helped the shock work at its best.

Another great shock absorber bearing and seal kit.

All I had to do when the wheels arrived was cut open the box and prep for tires. I added a set of new tube/spoke rubbers to the rims to keep the tube from getting the pinch, if you know what I mean. I also inspected the old rim locks and decided that at about $10 each I better bite that bullet as well. The dry-rotted and crumbling rim locks had seen their better days and I didn’t want to chance it.

So we have a few more things to do to our 2002 YZ125 before we get a chance to ride this monster. In the next installment, I will bring more pictures and a load of progress to let you see the transformation. The items you can expect are Dunlop’s GeoMax MX51 tires and Moto-Master’s oversized front brake disc and caliper adaptor. We also install Moto-Master’s racing pads for the fast times. There is still Twin Air, Supersprox, RK Chains, IMS, Works Connection, Boyesen reeds as well as Bell Easton Bars. There are still many great products to lay out on the line in this resurrection of an old friend, so stay tuned.

Sosebee’s Out

Parts List:
Motion Pro Tools:
Deluxe suspension bearing service tool: PT# 08-0294

Pivot Works: Bearing and seal kits:
Shock bearing and seal kit: PT# PWSHK-Y08-421 - $39.95
Swing Arm kit: PT# PWSAK-Y20-421 - $69.95
 Linkage Kit: PT# PWLK-Y06-421 - $79.95

Pro-Wheel Racing
Front Wheel: $132.50
Rear Wheel: $142.50 to $153.50
Heavy Duty Spokes: $58.10 to $78.50 in sizes from 10 to 21 inch.

The Motion Pro Deluxe suspension service bearing tool has dies that fit most all dirt bike as well as ATV suspensions. New swing arm bearings were a key to getting the new bike feel back in the rear suspension.

Motion Pro has the right tools for every Moto tool box!

Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!