Ever see something that you thought was a really good idea, but there was no way you’d ever get your hands on it? You might be able to file away the Yamaha PG-1 under that heading. It’s a new Yamaha bike that would launch a serious threat to the Honda CT125… but at this point, it’s only sold in Asia.
A brief history of how we’ve got here: The original CT series was a big seller for Honda in the 1970s and 1980s, offering easy clutch-free riding on a small, light bike that could handle just about any terrain thanks to a dual-range gearbox. After the OG CTs were canceled, we got the CT125, built around the Grom engine and confirmed for Canada in 2023. Very cool… and sometimes, very hard to find. It’s one of those machines that there’s a lot of demand and not always much supply.
This is true in markets outside North America, it seems, as Yamaha has just introduced the PG-1 in Thailand. Based around the same air-cooled horizontal engine that’s used in the Finn scooter, this simple single-cylinder (OHC, two-valve head, 114 cc capacity) makes about 10 horsepower. A four-speed gearbox is standard, with clutchless shifting.
In other words, an easy-to-ride bike, with very manageable power and a utilitarian design. Although this isn’t quite as rugged-looking as Honda’s current CT125, and it doesn’t have the beefy rear rack, it can be accessorized to work as a very useful bad-road bike.
The Yamaha PG-1 is spreading across the Asian market now, but we’ve heard not a peep about it coming to Canada.
Too bad! You should ask your local Yamaha dealer if it’s possible. There is pent-up demand for affordable “cottage bikes” like this, as Honda’s sold-out CT series proves.
Check out the machine’s official website here, from Thailand. With some help from Google Translate, you can get a good idea of all the fun you’re missing.