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Lexmoto LXS review (2021) | Sports bike for 125cc riders

lexmoto lxs review 2021

Visordown tries out the Lexmoto LXS - a new affordable 125cc sportsbike with underseat exhausts, twin front discs and style in excess. 

Details
Manufacturer:
Category:
Sportsbikes
Price:
£ 2699.99
Overall
Not rated

LEXMOTO has been a staple in the 125cc category for a number of years now, and with the recent phenomenal success of the LXR 125 range (which expanded to the LXR 380), the Exeter based Chinese brand has been selling motorcycles like hotcakes since the early 2000s. Visordown was lucky enough to be one of the first in the UK to get their hands on the new 2021 Lexmoto LXS 125cc, running it for just over a week. 

One of the newest on the sports bike list for Lexmoto, and joining the popular LXR model, the Lexmoto LXS is a machine with style in excess, with a touch of 90s character thanks to neat under-seat exhausts. 

Keen to distance themselves from a rather unsavoury history of reliability concerns, the ‘new-age’ Lexmoto offer fairly priced motorcycles and scooters with plenty of style and substance, something that appeals to new riders on a CBT and provisional licence. 

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Lexmoto LXS price & availability

Priced at £2,699.99 new, the LXS slots into the market at an attractive price-point for a young rider and the same as the updated LXR 125 Euro 5 machine. It’s priced at around the same price a second-hand Japanese machine – late 2000s YZF-R125s and CBR125Rs change hands for around £2,000. So the chance to bag a brand new bike is an appealing prospect for a new rider. 

I’ll leave it to you to decide if you’d rather a new machine with 2 years part & labour warranty, or a second-hand machine for the same price - it’s a contentious topic. 

Following in the tyre tracks of the LXR 125, a top-selling sports bike in the 125cc category for a few years now, the LXS is a re-brand of the Taro GP2 - not a hidden fact as there’s Taro branding found on the key (something I’ll get to later on) and the fuel cap. Delve a bit deeper into the Taro GP range, and you’ll find the GP1 is not far off the LXR in looks, so this LXS could be considered the ‘older brother’ with its liquid-cooled engine, 6 gears and twin front discs. 

Power and engine

At the heart of the LXS is a 4-stroke 125cc single-cylinder unit, liquid-cooled, and pushing out 13.8 BHP at 8750 rpm. Torque isn’t officially published, but it’ll be somewhere in the region of 11 Nm. The motor is branded ‘158MI-2P’ and the same as found in the freshly updated Euro 5 LXR 125, but the LXS has a 1.3 BHP advantage also achieved a touch lower in the rev range. 

Having ridden the previous LXR 125 model, and even hopped on a pre-production model of the LXS a couple of years back, peak power is characteristically achieved high in the revs, and you have to rev the nuts off it to start having a laugh on the back roads - standard 125 stuff. 

Take care when pulling away on the bike, mind. When the engine is cold it seems to have a tendency to stall if you open the throttle too slowly - even with the clutch pulled in. When pulling away you have to be a bit more liberal with the throttle, or the engine will seemingly starve and cut out, but it’s something you can easily adjust to if it’s your own ride.

Lexmoto LXS top speed

I got it to an indicated 70mph, but given the right conditions, I feel like an indicated 72mph would be easily achievable (and therefore close to the 69mph listed top speed). Plus, I'm not the size of the average 125cc rider, so your mileage and speed will vary…

No concerns on faster A-roads and dual-carriageways for that reason, bit of tuck and pinned throttle, you’ll be grand - but you’ll have much more fun on twisty back roads, of course. It’s good fun to ride, power output feels a tad sedate until you get high in the revs, and as the peak power picks up, you’ll soon be shifting up to continue building speed.

Gearbox

You’ll find a 6-speed gearbox, always nice for a 125cc that may spend a lot of time at high revs at the aforementioned top-speed. Life in 6th gear is smooth, with little to no vibes ruining the party. 

Gear shifts are actually pretty good and neutral is easy to find, but you’ll have to be quite positive in your selections - a tentative upwards click may half-engage a gear. Again, something you get used to under normal running of a bike. 

Suspension and brakes

The LXS is fitted with telescopic forks up front and a rear mono-shock hidden away beneath the main body of the bike, non-adjustable but combining well to give a nice responsive ride. You feel the road beneath you in true sports fashion, but bumps are soaked up well enough - no dethroning here. 

A big point for this bike is the twin petal discs up front, which is not something you usually see on 125cc machines as standard – although the LXR gets them too. The twin-disc setup allows the CBS (combined braking system) to do its thing, where a press on the rear brake (for the single rear disc) will engage one of the front discs, and a pull of the adjustable front brake lever will engage the other disc. 

In practice the system works nicely. Often combined brakes fall victim to an unsettling front dive when engaging the rear. It’ll naturally happen a bit with the front brake coming into play, but it’s not a heavy dive like some soft-suspension and front brake combos I’ve tried in the past. 

Brakes feel responsive, a pull of the lever gives progressive stopping power, but you may want to enlist some help from the engine braking when downshifting to really get the most out of twisty roads.

Ride feel and quality

With tubeless 16” wheels front and rear fitted with ‘Cheng Shin’ branded hoops, I didn’t have much faith in the rubber on wet roads, but they felt grippy enough. It could just be a brand-name bias speaking; I’d look to upgrade on the tyres when the time comes.

The LXS feels like a compact yet sporty bike, and power aside, not dissimilar to the Aprilia RS125, Yamaha R6 and Aprilia RS660 for genuine sporty characteristics. With a small 1313mm wheelbase, 155kg wet weight and 790mm seat height, it’s okay for a taller rider to get on with - but the dimensions are perfect for younger/shorter first-time riders looking to get their sports bike fix. 

Peg position is sporty, the clip-on bars are fairly flat and encourage a tucked position, but you can ride it quite neutral in the saddle - similar to the LXR which is sporty but with a comfortable riding position. Again, my height at 6’3” may factor in here, but it’s a comfortable enough place to be, with indents in the tank letting you hug the bike as you lean into corners.

All of the above points combine to create an adept sporty experience, capable on fast roads and ‘unleashed’ on back roads - keep the revs high and it all comes together nicely.

Rider bonus bits - aggressive key, LCD dash

For rider amenities, it’s a straightforward LCD dash that’s nice and visible in all weather, with a blue tint that appears in darker conditions. You’ve got a gear indicator, fuel gauge, odometer, revs… the usual suspects. Indicator signals flash behind a plastic that can get a bit vague to see in the glare of sunlight.

With a 10 litre tank, I filled up when the gauge got to an indicated third full (2 bars) - so I was surprised to find the tank only fitting 5 litres at fill up - right on the minimum delivery limit at Shell.

Style and colours

You certainly get looks on this in town. As in the pictures, Grey & Fluro Yellow is a striking and aggressive scheme, with underseat exhaust and LED lights all-around finishing off what is a lovely looking little machine. Black & Blue is the alternative option, but for me doesn’t quite punch as hard as the name suggests - I’d opt for the one I was riding. 

The underseat exhaust didn’t seem to warm the backside excessively, and there’s foil placed underneath in an attempt to deflect a large part of it away - so it looks nice and does the job. Sounds quite nice, too - a hint of rasp with undertones of croak.

Unusually nice was the aggressive key to match the bike. Styled like a switch-blade - pull this one out quickly and people will second guess what you’re up to - a nice satisfying fling of the key when you press the release button gets you in the mood for an aggressive ride around town. 

I guess you’re not here for a review of the key, though.

What we like & don’t like 

For a ‘budget’ sports bike, the style of this LXS is spot on. It looks mean, aggressive, and handles just as well as the pricier options on the market (whether new or used). Reliability is to be seen over long periods of time, so I can’t comment there, but a 2-year parts & labour warranty will certainly ease concerns of new owners. Price point is a big positive, too.

In terms of what I didn’t quite enjoy - the fuelling seems to be a bit vague when pulling away in first gear, it caught me out a few times, but is remedied by liberal application of throttle (like all good problems: when it doubt, pin it). 

I’d enjoy brand-name hoops, but they serve the purpose well enough. I’d also like a bit more power from the unit down low in the revs, but for a 125cc it performs as you’d expect. With small dimensions and a short wheelbase, I found it lacking a corresponding sharp turning circle, the steering lock is sub-optimal.

Verdict

Overall, the LXS was a lovely little machine to ride around for a week. Putting myself in the shoes of a new rider just after their CBT, and I’d be extremely happy to ride this around for a couple of years before seeking a bit more power with an A2 licence in hand. 

Lexmoto will no doubt be inundated with orders for this LXS on the style and looks alone, and for young riders that’s 90% of the sales pitch. The fact that it handles on the road like a proper sports bike too is a bonus.

It may lack two-channel ABS, adjustable suspension, and peak CBT limit power (at 15~ BHP), but improving these would mean a steeper price tag - something that would eliminate the competitive edge Lexmoto enjoy having over its rivals. Also, these aren’t factors that would really improve the ride too much, it’s certainly capable as it is.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Lexmoto will expect the LXS to start rivalling their own LXR for the top spot in sales lists, a feat that would quite easily be achieved with the package on offer. Nothing wrong with giving yourself a bit of competition, either.

New riders will love the sports bike feel in a 125cc package, and this a perfect place to hone riding skills for an attractive price point; £2,699.99, or with a £100 deposit, you could land an LXS for £53.85 a month (over 60 months). 

Thumbs up for this one, Lexmoto! Find out more on the Lexmoto site.

Lexmoto LXS specs

Engine brand158MI-2P
Max power

13.8 bhp / 10.3kW @ 8750rpm

Engine typeSingle-cylinder
Engine stroke4 stroke
Engine coolingWater cooled
Displacement125cc
Gearing

6 speed, clutch operated

Final driveChain
Top speed69mph
Start typeElectric start
IgnitionEFI
Battery voltage12 V
Fuel capacity10 Litres
Brakes (Front) (Rear)

(F) Hydraulic twin petal disc (R) single hydraulic disc

Front & Rear tyre

(F) 110/70-16 (R) 140/70-16

Tyre brandCheng Shin
Tyre modelTubeless
Suspensions Front & Rear

(F) Telescopic forks (R) Single shock absorber

Dimensions Length x Width x Height

1961mm x 738mm x 1077mm

Seat height790mm
Wheelbase1313mm
Wet weight155kg
Maximum laden mass305kg