By April 2012, the handwriting was on the wall. In spite of the overall excellence of Yamaha’s 135 c.c. Nouvo Elegance, the Japanese company was planning to replace it with a new fuel injected 125 c.c. model. That was in 2012. Today, it’s May 1, 2015, and I’m still the proud owner of both a 2008 model 135 c.c. Yamaha Elegance and a 2014 Yamaha SR400. Neither is for sale. The Elegance has now been with me for six years, and it’s likely to remain so for a long time to come. The reason is in the last six years I cannot think of a single motorbike that’s as good for the kind of driving I do overall in and around Pattaya, Thailand which has been my home for the past ten years. The 135 c.c. Yamaha Nouvo Elegance was and still is a wondrous little motorbike that simply cannot be beat for the everyday driving conditions one encounters here. Nevertheless, I’m still the kind of guy who’s always looking for something better, and so it was back in 2012 as I started to make 2012 Yamaha Nouvo SX performance predictions on what Yamaha’s upcoming latest and greatest could do.
Back in 2012 Yamaha’s flagship for 125 c.c. class motorbikes in Southeast Asia was the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance. It had a spirited 135 c.c. engine that outperformed most of its 125 c.c. competition. Trouble was it was getting a lot of complaints about poor fuel economy and starting problems. Even worse, it was getting to be pretty long in the tooth, and was becoming more and more viewed as a relic of the past. This was not good for Yamaha which here in Southeast Asia was starting to be perceived to be a company that was technologically grossly inferior to its main competitor, Honda, which had been getting the lion’s share of sales in this portion of the world.
Honda had just introduced its PCX 125 which it had started advertising as the most technologically advanced 125 step through that the world had ever seen. It was hyped up to have a wondrous fuel injection system that would get the new Honda automatic more than 125 miles per gallon. I then started reading in several motorcycle internet forums how completely superior Honda’s PCX was to all its competition, especially the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance with its antiquated carburetor. Yamaha was a second class kind of company, many new owners of the Honda PCX were starting to claim. It was starting to look like Yamaha had never heard of fuel injection. Or if it had, its fuel injection systems were primitive compared to what Honda was now offering being of new metal alloys offering space age technology.
It must have been in 2012 that I started reading about Yamaha’s 125 c.c. and 250 X Max models that it had been offering elsewhere in the world since something like 2005. I still recall reading how its 125 X Max offered 14 horsepower to my 135 c.c. Elegance’s 11.2. And the X Max had always been fuel injected, even back in 2005 when it was getting rave reviews as a true wunder machine that was much more advanced than anything Honda was offering back then.
Truth is both Honda and Yamaha were already producing advanced twist and go 125 c.c. class motorbikes for various world markets that the rest of the world didn’t seem to know anything about at all.
Nevertheless, rumors started to get out here on the motorbike forums in Southeast Asia that Yamaha would soon replace its 135 c.c. Nouvo Elegance with something that would be far better. And even I, who already owned a Nouvo 135 c.c. Elegance started to believe such rumors. And that’s why in 2012 I started making my Yamaha Nouvo SX performance predictions.
Critics of the 135 c.c. Yamaha Nouvo Elegance did have a valid point about the bike’s carburetor and lack of fuel injection. Starting is not the Yamaha Elegance’s strong point. Gas starts to accumulate in the carburetor and even after two or three days an Elegance starts to get reluctant compared to a fuel injected bike that takes just one half of a second to fire right up. And when I leave Thailand to make an overseas trip for three or four weeks, it takes something like thirty seconds of cranking to get its engine to come to life, which nearly drains the battery in the process and even then I have to baby the bike for the first minute of two once I get underway before the little motorbike gets rid of all that bad fuel in the carburetor. But where the Elegance trumps any Honda PCX is it still offers kick start. This means that even if the battery goes totally dead you will still be able to start it.
Yamaha’s new 125 c.c. Nouvo Elegance did turn out in my estimation to be a wonderful motorbike, especially for the kind of driving conditions one finds in Pattaya and in similar cities. As for how well it compares to the carbureted 135 c.c. Elegance or the Honda PCX in either its 125 or later model 150 incarnations, you will just have to read some of the Jack Corbett motorbike reviews to find out. But back to the Yamaha Nouvo SX performance predictions I was making in 2012. I speculated “Above all, take all of this with a grain of salt. I’m doing this for fun so I can later check back to see how close I got to the mark. This is only a crap shoot. Nevertheless it should be interesting to see how accurately this crap shoot will measure up”.
So how accurate was I? Click here for my Yamaha Nouvo SX performance predictions
That was all pure speculation back then. For two days I’d rent a Nouvo SX 125 which I’d pit against my 135 c.c. Nouvo Elegance to get an accurate measurement on how the two would stack up against each other for pure economy and stop watched times from zero to fifty and zero to eighty kph. I seriously doubt if you will find a serious head to head comparison between these two Yamaha Nouvo’s elsewhere. And now for the real deal–the shootout of the Yamaha 135 c.c. Elegance against the Yamaha fuel injected 125 c.c. SX
You might also be interested in reading What will Yamaha’s fuel injected Nouvo SX be like? for a few comparative specs on the Elegance, Nouvo SX and other models from Yamaha.