Yamaha Tri Moto Specs and Review (3 Wheeler)

The Golden Period of ATVs had among the greatest machines produced by big-name corporations – amongst them was the 1980 Yamaha Tri Moto. Launched in 1979, the Tri Moto was the primary Yamaha ATC bought on U.S. soil.

It was additionally the primary automobile from a significant ATV producer to problem Honda as king of the racing scene. Given its aggressive but controversial historical past, it might be attention-grabbing to know what it needed to provide and what has now change into of the three-wheeler.

The Yamaha Tri Moto was an iconic three-wheeler extremely revered by riders and lovers throughout. That includes Dunlop™ tires, backside hyperlink rear suspension, and a dual-tandem braking system, the Tri Moto was the one automobile worthy sufficient to go neck-and-neck on the racetrack with undisputed Honda.

Ingenious options, simplistic design, and teeming bravado are among the traits that endeared the machine to off-roaders worldwide. Even racing champs Broc Glover and Rick Johnson have been drawn to the three-wheeler.

The Yamaha Tri Moto was one mighty automobile that entered the racing scene too late and simply wanted extra time to evolve – as you’ll quickly uncover on this article.

Blue Yamaha Tri Moto 200 3-Wheeler

Yamaha’s First

The Yamaha Tri Moto was 1st within the line of all-terrain cycles produced by Yamaha and the corporate’s first three-wheeler to launch within the U.S.

The Tri Moto YT125G featured a 2-stroke engine, balloon tires, a snorkel-type air consumption, and a company-exclusive Autolube oil provide system. It had a horsepower of 5.9 kW/8 PS @ 6,000 RPM, a displacement of 123 cm3 (7.5 in3), and a prime pace of 30 mph (48.3 km/h). All these components mixed made the Tri Moto the proper leisure and utility automobile.

Yamaha solely produced 125-class variations of the Tri Moto through the preliminary three years of its manufacturing. It was not till 1982 that the YT175J was launched in a number of markets. What is sort of attention-grabbing about this 2nd installment of the Tri Moto is that it was launched in Japan – however solely within the nation’s Hokkaido area. Not lengthy after, the YT175J was succeeded by the YTM200 sequence, which the Japanese producer bought alongside the same-displacement Yamahauler and the marginally larger YTM225 Tri Moto fashions.

The Yamaha YTM225 was significantly particular, because it was the model that was shaft-driven and featured an electrical starter. Not like the 196-cc model, it had telescoping entrance forks and a mono-shock rear suspension – an enormous enchancment in comparison with the YT125G and even to the YT175J mannequin that already had telescopic forks. Nonetheless, there was a lot available with the automobile’s suspension, extra so because it was pitted towards Honda‘s then flagship ATCs – the Large Pink sequence.

Large Pink’s Contender

Yamaha Tri Moto’s race-ready model – the POS-83 – embodied the total potential of the three-wheeler and was on the receiving finish of experimental manufacturing unit touches not current in mass-produced YT/YTM variations.

It turned Yamaha’s platform for establishing concord between cartridge entrance forks, bottom-link rear suspension, Y.P.V.S., a 56-mm Mikuni carb, and 60-hp energy output. Likewise, it mirrored the extent of the automobile’s shortcomings, because it was solely able to monstrous efficiency for half an hour earlier than disintegrating.

Broc Oliver and Yamaha’s group of consultants spent hours on finish sprucing its competencies. Nevertheless, the POS-83 was extraordinarily unlucky and didn’t make it to its racing debut towards Honda.

1983 – 1985 Yamaha Tri Moto Specs & Options (YTM200K)


An air-cooled, 4-stroke single-cylinder engine with a 67 × 55.7 mm (2.64 × 2.19 inches) bore-stroke ratio and an 8.5:1 compression ratio powers the Tri Moto. Engine displacement is 196.3 cm3 (12 in3) delivered by a Mikuni VM22 carburetor (jetting: #102.5 (essential); #130 (pilot); #65 (starter) – aside from YTM200ERN, which has #85 starter jet).

The 225-cc Tri Moto and utility-oriented Yamahauler share the identical energy mill because the Yamaha Tri Moto 200 however with totally different jetting. Conversely, the YT175 trims use a barely larger carb than the 200-cc model, given a Mikuni VM24SS.

The above engine configuration lends to a 50 mph (80.5 km/h) prime pace and most torque of 16.5 Nm (1.69 kgf-m, 12.2 ft-lb) @ 5,500 RPM for the YTM225 sequence. In the meantime, its smaller-displacement siblings have a pace score of 40 mph (64.4 km/h) and a most torque of 14.2 Nm (1.45 kgf-m, 10.5 ft-lb) @ 5,000 RPM – together with the YTM200 sequence.

The Yamaha Tri Moto 125 (YT125G) has the bottom pace score and torque output out of the lot, at 30 mph (48 km/h) and 9.8 Nm (0.99 kgf-m, 7.2 ft-lb) @ 5,000 RPM, respectively.

Gasoline & Lubrication

It has a moist sump (pump) lubrication system paired with a high-quality foam air filter. Gasoline tank dimension is 9 L/2.4 US gallons. The producer recommends 1.5 L/1.6 US qt. of SAE 20W-40 4-stroke oil or its equal (with out graphite or molybdenum components, or with lower than 5% MBTE, 10% ethanol, or 5% methanol content material) for greatest outcomes.

For temperatures persistently beneath freezing, use SAE 10W-30. As an alternative of the SE/SF API-certified motor oil advised within the handbook, you possibly can go for any API-grade SJ+ oils assembly JASO T903 MA requirements in its place.

Yellow Yamaha Tri Moto 200


A 5-speed fixed mesh handbook transmission and centrifugal kind, multiple-disc clutch assemblies ship energy to the bottom. Relying on displacement and mannequin, both a 520 O-ring chain (with 60 hyperlinks) or shaft drive handles wheel spin, whereas a recirculating ball bearing steering system makes for easy dealing with and improved maneuverability.

The shift sequence is all-up (1-2-3-4-5), aside from the YTM200ERN that has a single reverse pace (N-1-2-3-4-5 gearshift sample). All in all, this drivetrain setup makes the Yamaha Tri Moto carry out effectively on trails, in addition to tough terrain.

Ignition & Lighting

It has a solid-state CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) and a major kick-start/electrical begin system. A CDI Magneto with a 14 – 15 VDC @ 5,000 RPM output serves because the automobile’s charging system and is answerable for powering up lighting and different digital equipment.

Ignition timing is 10° BTDC @ 1,000 RPM (preliminary “F” mark) and 30° BTDC @ 6,000 RPM (full advance), whereas idle pace is 1,400 ± 50 RPM. Moreover, the three-wheeler requires an NGK DR7EA or Nippon Denso X22ES-U spark plug with a 0.024 – 0.028 inch hole. Lighting specs are as follows – 45 W (headlight), 8 W (taillight), and three.4 W (impartial and reverse).

Not all Tri Moto fashions are battery-equipped. However for these which can be, their electrical setup consists of a 12V 14Ah/(10 HR) GM14AZ-4A battery, a regulator/rectifier unit, and charging coils within the CDI magneto. You possibly can exchange the inventory battery with a YTX14AH-BS battery format for the reason that former is already phased out. Battery dimensions are 134 x 89 x 166 mm (5.31 x 3.50 x 6.56 inches), with a barely decrease amperage at 12Ah/(10 HR). Different battery choices embody YB12A-A battery (view on Amazon) and YTX14AHL battery codecs.

Tires & Brakes

Inventory rubber consists of low-pressure tubeless 22 x 8-10 entrance tires and 22 x 11-8 rear tires on the YTM200K mannequin, and 22 x 11-8 tires on all threes for the Yamaha Tri Moto 175, YT125, and YTM225 sequence. They mount on metal rims that may convert to aluminum wheels to assist shed some weight off the wheeler.

Equally, inventory tires can change to barely narrower radials or knobby tires, equivalent to ITP Mud Lite ATV Tires (view on Amazon) or GBC Dirt Devil Bias Tires (view on Amazon). These tires are best if you’re into critical mudding or aggressive filth roads.

Beneficial tire strain for each entrance and rear wheels is 15 kPa (0.16 kgf/cm2, 2.2 psi) however could differ if aftermarket variants exchange inventory tires. Most Tri Moto fashions equip both sealed drum brakes or purely mechanical discs. For the Yamaha YTM200K, a entrance drum brake and an enclosed single disc full its tire-and-wheel meeting.


Not all Tri Moto fashions have been geared up with a suspension system. Solely the 175-cc and 225-cc fashions had one. The 175- and 225-cc automobiles had a entrance telescopic fork and a rear mono-shock. In the meantime, the well-known YTM200K model relied on its grippy tires to supply it flotation. Different 200-cc Tri Motos that launched alongside the same-displacement Yamahauler sported a rear axle, for which suspension kits have been made again within the day. The automobile’s wheelbase ranged between 44.1 and 45.3 inches, relying on the mannequin yr and trim. The Tri Moto’s metal body encloses the suspension system.

Yellow Yamaha Tri Moto 125


Size and width measurements of the 200-cc Yamaha Tri Moto are 70.7 x 39 inches (1,796 x 991 mm – L x W) – a distinction of two inches for stated dimensions in comparison with its siblings. Seat peak is 27.8 inches (706 mm) and is simply three inches shy of the best seating most well-liked by taller riders. Dry weight is 271 lbs (123 Kg) and is taken into account mild for a 200-cc machine, even by at this time’s requirements.


The Tri Moto body composes a tubular metal sturdy sufficient for each leisure and extra technical driving. On the skin, the three-wheeler resembles the Large Pink however is completed in Competitors Yellow as an alternative of its counterpart’s signature coloration. For sure fashions, the chain encloses and given ample mud and splash safety.

The sequence may be distinguished from its Yamahauler cousin because of the absence of entrance and rear utility racks. The YTM200E, nonetheless, is an exception because it comes with these inclusions plus a trailer hitch, making it excellent as a mini hauler and a weekend warrior. Different normal options embody:

  • Broad, serrated footpegs
  • A motocross-style seat
  • Sq. headlights
  • Handlebars and handgrips
  • Entrance and rear high-clearance fenders

Price of a Yamaha Tri Moto

Mannequin Yr & Trim Checklist Value
1980 – 1985 Yamaha YT125G $1,049
1982 – 1983 Yamaha YT175J $1,299
1983 – 1985 Yamaha YTM200K/L/N $1,399
1983 – 1984 Yamaha YTM200EK (Yamahauler) $1,449
1983 Yamaha YTM225DXK $1,699
1984 Yamaha YTM200EL $1,729
1984 Yamaha YTM225DXL $1,799
1985 Yamaha YTM225DXN $1,849
1985 Yamaha YTM200ERN $1,849
1985 Yamaha YTM225DRN $1,899
1986 Yamaha YTM225DRS $2,079

Throughout its launch, the advised record value for the 1980 Yamaha Tri Moto YT125G was $1,049. It was the primary Yamaha ATC bought within the U.S. and was expectedly an enormous hit with American shoppers. On account of its success, different displacements of the Tri Moto sequence adopted entry into the North American market, with costs starting from $1,299 to $2,079.

These days, you will get your arms on a secondhand Tri Moto for as little as $225. Excessive resale worth for the wheeler is round $2,919. For items that fall on the cheaper finish of the value spectrum, count on to come across minor issues equivalent to a damaged recoil or the machine being non-operational. In any other case, you need to get a pre-loved automobile in working situation. Most on-line dealer and public sale websites have listings for this traditional, with a very good quantity present in Nebraska.

Reviving the Three-Wheeler

Yellow 1984 Yamaha Tri Moto 225 ATC 3-Wheeler

Even bulletproof machines want a makeover at one level – and this assertion couldn’t be extra correct for the Yamaha Tri Moto. Whereas it performs effectively with slightly nudging of its bearings and electrical parts, it is going to be significantly better for this 40-year-old traditional if it additionally appeared the half. That stated, listed below are some strategies on what to incorporate in your subsequent Tri Moto construct venture (Notice that these suggestions are for the 225-cc Tri Moto. Mods for different engine displacements would require additional analysis to make sure compatibility of elements):

Greater Engine

Whereas Mikunis are glorious carbs, the Tri Moto’s inventory carb is a bit restrictive and solely gives a lot energy and torque. Fortunately, going for a much bigger carburetor helps enhance the automobile’s pace score and energy supply.

Skilled Yamie homeowners go for a Timberwolf 250 swap, because it bolts proper into the YTM225 machine and in addition makes for a noticeable enhance in energy. Simply be certain that to sap the bigger Timberwolf U-joint yoke after the model of the Tri Moto. In any other case, the stated U-joint is not going to match within the automobile’s A-arm.

Exhaust Improve

Upgrading the exhaust system goes hand in hand with doing carb work on the wheeler – the previous helps enhance air consumption, thus rising energy and prime pace. The service handbook doesn’t point out horsepower values for all Tri Moto fashions however is prone to be between 5 and 6.2 hp if torque values consider. Sadly, these figures are not as much as snuff when in comparison with present-day quads.

As such, efficiency exhausts like a DG Performance 04-4102 Steel Exhaust with Head Pipe (view on Amazon) would work greatest on the trike. If this doesn’t suffice, chances are you’ll add customized valving and have the cylinder head ported to open the consumption additional and enhance the automobile’s powerband.

Entrance-Finish Swap

The manufacturing unit setup of the YTM225 doesn’t conveniently match taller tires, which can make it harder for some riders to climb over logs or bulkier obstacles when driving the trike. Fortunately, Yamaha Tri Moto 200 elements, equivalent to its front-end, are interchangeable with the 225-cc model and do the alternative in accommodating taller or wider knobbies.

Taller tires consequently provide higher cushioning when traversing rocks and bumps and will even enhance pace. In addition they present enhanced traction and flotation however could take away from the bike’s torque and braking energy.

Suspension Mods

Within the spirit of sportiness (and higher efficiency), some Tri Moto homeowners equip the trike with a +3 swingarm, YFZ450SE rear shock, G-Pressure +2 Banshee hubs, and a 200-cc Yamahauler rear-axle shaft. These make for sturdier parts that don’t strip out as simply as inventory elements whereas additionally bettering dealing with.

The Tri Moto could not significantly want valve emulators to reinforce the inventory suspension. Nonetheless, I might recommend completely looking up on methods to make any modifications to the front-end, tires, and suspension system work collectively.

Styling Updates

Lastly, bear in mind to deal with the Tri Moto’s exterior. These days, powder-coating and hydro dipping appear to be one of the best methodology for restoring an previous three-wheeler to its former glory. After all, prepping the automobile’s plastics is essential, and all mandatory steps earlier than portray the physique panels should perform first. These preliminary steps embody the next:

  • Cleansing and sanding the plastics
  • Eradicating any contaminants
  • Sandblasting
  • Getting the plastics dry and surfaces clear
  • Making use of adhesion promoter/answer and primer
  • Filling gouges and large scuffs with putty or versatile sealer
  • Making use of a base coat earlier than the paint job

Sometimes, powder-coating and hydro dripping mixed value not less than $600 (normal coloration), turning into costlier because the graphics you desire to in your machine get extra intricate. A full camouflage design, for example, would value round $800 to $1,000. Bills are certain to extend if you are going to buy polypropylene plastics to treatment mid-to-severe beauty injury.

About Yamaha

The story of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. started in 1955, when the agency parted methods with its guardian firm who, at the moment, was already broadly recognized for manufacturing piano and reed organs. Then founder Genichi Kawakami reverted to motorbike manufacturing and, over time, had grown the corporate’s armada of product choices to incorporate scooters, motorized bicycles, private watercraft, engines and mills, and off-road automobiles such because the Yamaha Tri Moto.

The founding members’ painstaking efforts have led to the current Yamaha Motor Firm – a multinational conglomerate with over 52,000 world staff and 132 consolidated subsidiaries persevering with to uphold its mission of “Kando” by creating “one thing that conjures up the guts and spirit.”

Conclusion – Yamaha Tri Moto Evaluate

Maybe, many people proceed to muse over the misfortune of the Yamaha Tri Moto. Some could in all probability be caught on the conflict of ATV juggernauts that might have been or the abrupt halt of the Tri Moto racing program. In actuality, its early demise was in all probability a blessing. Absolutely, everybody is aware of that it solely took two years after the Tri Moto’s remaining manufacturing run earlier than your complete business shifted its course in the direction of four-wheeled automobiles.

The appearance of the Tri Moto and its brief interval beneath the limelight was not all in useless. If not for this traditional ATC, Yamaha could not have acquired the experience to develop its automobiles’ varied parts to perfection. In like method, Honda could not have felt the necessity to evolve, and sport- and utility-oriented wheelers wouldn’t be as how we all know them at this time.

Certainly, the Tri Moto’s stint in ATV historical past proves that errors can solely imply higher outcomes sooner or later and that small wheelers can rise to the event and change into victors.

Leave a Comment