Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yamaha Gladiator Review by Dhruv

Hi friends, this is Dhruv, final yr Mechatronics engineering student from Erode and an avid reader of My sincere thanks to Mr.Deepak Raj for helping me out while choosing a bike and also for this golden opportunity to share my feelings on my beauty. Well, many are posting reviews of biggies like R15, FZ-16, Fazer, P-220 etc.
Mine is totally out of their league. Yes, mine is a Yamaha SS125, the sibling of Yamaha Gladiator. My bike is my pride, so I am reviewing it to the best of my knowledge and experience. I have always admired Gladiator over Pulsar since school days which inspired me to own it.

How I got my Gladdy

The way I bought this was just a stroke of luck. A masterstroke, to be precise. The talk of my very own bike started when my college bus fees got hiked. My dad suddenly decided to get me a bike for my daily commuting to college (Required a lot of convincing and tantrums, I had to say that I had placement classes and stuff, where’s the fun without a little lying?).
I suddenly started dreaming of myself flying in my college in an R15 when my father let out a killer dialogue, “I will get u a bike within INR.50k”. All my hopes crashed down to earth. So, we started thronging showrooms. As the options were very low, my dad increased the limit slightly to 55k.
Dad didn’t like anything in Honda, so when we went to Hero Honda, dad got very interested in a Splendor PRO (much to my disapproval, of course) for which the sales manager said a three month waiting period. So we settled on a Passion PRO blue. As it was over 7.30p.m, the billing and booking time had closed. Sadly, we left the showroom.
As I had always been interested in Yamaha, we decided to just visit the showroom which was on the way home. All of my family liked the YBR-125 there but as I had been a fanatic of Gladiator, I stood firm on SS-125. All that came out of dad’s mouth was a big strict NO. Again after lots of convincing, he finally said OK. The sales manager said a 10 day waiting period.
We finished the formalities the next day and the one of the WORST periods of a student’s life, the Waiting Period arrived. I kept on calling and pestering the showroom for the arrival of my beauty. Finally, when I was returning from my college, I got a call from my mom saying that the showroom people had called her and said that the bike had arrived.
I was flying inside the bus. Then at last, on 5th July, 2011, I got my red and black beauty delivered. I finished the formal pooja and took her for a spin. Man, riding an own bike is the best feeling in the world.

Previous Bikes

I haven’t owned any bikes before but have ridden a lot of my friends’ bikes such as Unicorn, Pulsar (fear the black 180cc) etc. However, I owned a TVS XL Super before and used to get my dad’s HH-Glamour occasionally. To such a person, a Gladiator is a god given gift.


The bike cost me INR.57, 722 except the seat cover, tank bag charges in Erode. Probably, this is the cheapest bike in the 125cc sporty-commuter segment.


The bike is a killer when it comes to looks. As I have admired it for the past 6 years, I may seem biased. But, according to me, this is the best looking bike in its segment. From the visor to the muffler, the bike has premium styling all around. It has a special “machine-gun” style muffler which looks bigger and sexier.
The visor has a gap in the top portion which adds up the style quotient and also helps n free flow of air. It sports an engine cowl affixed with racy graphics which give it a sport-bike look. It has an open chain which is found only in sports bikes. That’s all, nothing more special in this department as it totally inherits the styling of the old Gladiator except teeny-weeny changes in dimensions.

Handling and Performance

For a commuter, its handling is great. As it is a Yamaha, there are no compromises with respect to handling. The stability and the confidence it offers when you sit on it to ride is truly sensational. The gear lever is a single lever which does not create as discomfort as it comforts. It offers good pickup as the torque and bhp are quite high. But riding with a pillion may cause a worry as you cannot overtake easily.
But as a single rider, I mostly rule the roost at traffic signals and in congestions as I start earlier and many biggies smell my bike’s exhaust (cannot validate this as I don’t know the quality of the biker). Cornering is also fun in this beauty. The bike can be ridden to as low speeds as 30kmph in the 5th gear itself which reduces our gear shifting needs.

Braking and Mileage

The bike has a disc brake which does its job well and offers pin-point braking. The tyres are MRF Zappers which are very good in terms of grip. I did a proper run-in ride of my Gladdy. I didn’t go over 60kmph, didn’t rev it to more than 4-4.5k rpm and now, after three services and 5800 kms of running, I am getting a constant mileage of 60-65kmpl depending on the riding style and the gear-shifts. In fact, I rode a 180km stretch of a semi-constructed road with a hell lot of diversions with 2.88liters of petrol (costing Rs.200) and came back with a wide smile.


A commuter cannot be a good tourer, that’s what I learnt from my experiences with my Gladdy. I have done three tours of 100, 180 and 70kms each. The 70km stretch was the only one which didn’t tire me out. Both of the others tired me out. But the fact is that, it’s good to tour in this as a solo rider. It becomes too tough with a pillion because the power is simply not enough. The seating is accommodating but long tours are surely a gamble.


  • Good pick-up
  • Most powerful and the best looking bike in the 125cc segment
  • Brilliant mileage (60-65kmpl)
  • Very good grip on roads.
  • Sporty looks with a racing-cowl.
  • This bike is a steal at 58k.


  • Old fashioned instrument cluster.
  • No trip-meter.
  • Not apt for long tours
  • Vibes are high at 60kmph at which the engine gives out a crying sound.
  • Number plate placed at the visor which looks absurd.

Overall verdict

This is an awesome bike for daily commuting and rare tourings. But people who crave for more power and touring can go for some other high capacity bike. My rating for this bike would be 8.5/10.
That’s all about my review about the Yamaha SS125. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Guys who own a ride, always wear a helmet and ride safe.

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