LEXMOTO LXR SE 125 (2019 - on) Review
- Big bike looks
- Cheap to buy and run
- Ride it with a CBT
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£80|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Lexmoto LXR SE 125 is based on the Chinese importers’ sportiest CBT-friendly machine, the LXR but with USD forks in place of the standard bike’s telescopic unit, and an aluminium swingarm and yoke.
These bikes will mainly be ridden by teenagers on their CBTs counting down the days until they can take an A2 test and move onto 47bhp (relative) rockets. If you’re limited to 15bhp, the look of your motorbike becomes very important and the Lexmoto certainly has you covered.
If you are looking for a cheap-as-chips 125 to get you to work or college, or tide you over between licences, the plucky little Chinese sportsbike could be perfect for you.
If you're after a thrifty 125 with a little more power, check out the new for 2021 Lexmoto LXS 125.
Lexmoto LXR 125 updated in 2021
First published 22 March 2021 by Dan Sutherland
Lexmoto announced an updated LXR 125 sportsbike range, promising a fresh engine, new graphics, updated suspension and even a TFT dash – all for under £3000.
In dealers from Tuesday, 23 March, the LXR is now available in two flavours – a £2699.99 standard model, plus the slightly more premium £2999.99 SE version.
Both machines come fitted with a more powerful Euro5-compliant 125cc liquid-cooled single, producing a claimed 12.3bhp and 8.1lb.ft of torque. This should be enough poke to keep up with traffic, but don’t expect any more than around 65-70mph. Lexmoto also say the new motor provides better performance through the revs, plus improved throttle pickup.
Also revised for both models is the rear shock, which the firm hopes will improve the riding experience. We previously criticised the LXR for being a bit firm in the Ride and Handling section of our review below, so that's good to hear. The seat height rises from 800mm to 820mm, however a lowering kit is available for those with shorter legs. Wrapping both options are new graphics kits and there are twin petal discs up front.
Lexmoto LXR 125 - SE or standard?
The differences between the SE and the base-spec LXR are most apparent at the front end, with the more expensive machine wearing a set of adjustable upside-down forks – something not seen on some alternatives from mainstream manufacturers, such as the £4499 Suzuki GSX-R125. Further tweaks to the chassis can be found at the rear, with the SE receiving a claimed lighter aluminium swingarm.
A closer inspection also reveals a TFT screen, showing you revs, speed, gear position, fuel and more. The standard LXR sports a more traditional part-analogue set-up.
With the equivalent class-leading Yamaha YZF-R125 costing almost double the price at £4799, the LXRs could represent serious value and undercut the rest of the market. That said, what you save in cash, you lose in performance – with the Yamahas, KTMs, Suzukis and Kawasakis of this world all producing closer to 15bhp and likely to be of better build quality.
We'll update this review with more riding impressions once we've had a go on the 2021 model, but for now read on for our in-depth evaluation of the 2019/2020 version...
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The suspension may have been upgraded for the SE version, but it is now incredibly firm. Even with the force of my 95kg behind me, I struggled to compress either the forks or the rear shock.
While this isn’t a problem mid-corner where everything feels stable, after tackling the speedbumps at MCN Towers I worried that I might need medical attention if rode over a pothole or raised drain cover at speed.
The twin front disc brakes are strong and more than capable of pulling up the bike’s 167kg weight. In order to pass European safety standards, the front and rear are linked. It’s important to remember this, too, as a dab of rear brake in slow moving traffic will apply the fronts, which can catch you off-guard if you’re not used to it.
There’s plenty of room for taller riders, too, and, at 6ft, I had no problem riding for an extended period of time. That said, the seat is firm, but is scalloped and supportive and the wind protection from the fairing is just enough to stay comfortable.
We're keen to see what the LXR is like following the changes for 2021, because the suspension has had a fair amount of work done to improve things in this regard. Keep an eye out for our updated impresssions coming soon.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The LXR’s Zongshen engine may only produce a claimed 12.1bhp, but it’s peppy enough to keep up with the traffic around town. On the motorway, however, you need to adopt a land speed record-esque tuck to creep up to an indicated 70mph and, even then, you will be scuppered by the merest suggestion of a gradient.
For now, the engine meets Euro4 emissions standards but Lexmoto are looking to upgrade this in 2020. The slightly fruity Lextek exhaust also produces a growly tone and eggs you on to use all of the revs.
For 2021 the LXR gets a revised engine with more power. We've not ridden it yet though, so keep an eye out for an updated review coming soon.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The finish on the LXR SE doesn’t inspire much confidence, with the welds on the trellis frame looking messy and unattractive, especially near the headstock. Some paint had also already come off the mirror stems on our 609-mile-old test bike.
I have a couple of other grumbles, too; the digital element of the dash is so faint you can barely read it in the daytime. The headlights aren’t brilliant, either, and you hit the limiter before the indicated redline on the dash.
But these are minor issues in the grand scheme of things, and to be able to buy a bike you enjoy looking at, can ride on a CBT and can pay for in £50 chunks is actually an impressive feat.
The main concern for some will be whether or not the Lexmoto will stand the test of time in British weather. Having ridden it around in typical November conditions before leaving it in storage for several days and there isn’t a spot of additional rust to be found. And if that’s not reassurance enough, Lexmoto offer a two-year parts and labour warranty.
Our Lexmoto LXR 125 owners' reviews show nothing hugely surprising - there are some minor electrical issues reported, such as faulty starter buttons and O2 sensors, but certainly nothing to put us off buying a bike like this.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Along with its sporty looks, the LXR SE’s real trump card is its price. When launched the SE came in at a staggeringly thrifty £2499 (£300 over the standard model). Put £100 down on one of these and you’ll pay just £49.70 per month over five years.
Being able to buy a bona fide form of transport for £2499 is impressive and easily enough to make you forget some of the slightly iffy finish.
What’s more, it’ll be pocket change to insure and tax and, even with heavy adult onboard, returned a real-world 86.5mpg. You have to wonder if it’s worth spending the extra money for a Yamaha YZF-R125 (£4599) or Suzuki GSX-R125 (£4399) when most riders will be moving on after a couple of years anyway.
That said, you will get improved performance and build quality from the Japanese competition.
In 2021 prices increased, and you'll pay £2699 for the standard LXR and £2999 for the SE version.
The digital side of the dash may be faint but you do get a fuel gauge and a gear indicator, although it displays a phantom sixth gear at start-up, making it feel a bit one-size-fits-all. The headlight also leaves a lot to the imagination but is powerful enough and the switchgear is all well placed and feels sturdy.
The big-bike looks of the SE are so convincing, it almost becomes a problem. Considerate car drivers dive out of your way and force you to decide between embarking on a long, slow overtake in a full racing tuck or sitting behind and taking a face full of dirt and grime from their rear tyre.
Lexmoto themselves offer a range of accessories to personalise your bike.
|Engine type||Single-cylinder, four-stroke, water cooled|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||13.5 litres|
|Front suspension||USD fork|
|Rear suspension||Single shock|
|Front brake||299mm twin disc (linked)|
|Rear brake||240mm single disc (linked)|
|Front tyre size||100/70 17|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||86.5 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£21|
|Annual service cost||£80|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years parts and labour|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||12 bhp|
|Max torque||7.1 ft-lb|
|Top speed||68 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||249 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2019: New model launched with extremely reasonable pricetag.
- 2021: Update to Euro5 spec, including corresponding price increase.
Standard Lexmoto LXR 125 has telescopic forks and lower grade shock. A 380cc versionis also available for £3699.99.
Owners' reviews for the LEXMOTO LXR SE 125 (2019 - on)
3 owners have reviewed their LEXMOTO LXR SE 125 (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£80|
Bought this having passed my CBT , it has the feel of a much bigger bike and is very solid on the road. It is quite heavy for a 125, but a fantastic first bike before taking my MOD 1 and 2.
Top speed is reasonable for a 125, it will cruise at 55 on the flat, but shows its limits when going up hills.
It's a large bike designed for a 300cc engine which has been fitted with a 125 so will always be limited. However it goes well and plenty fast enough for keeping up with traffic in town.
Very impressed with built quality but still only done a few hundred miles.
Very cheap to run, 120 miles from a tank ful costing £7.
Digital speedo is good, and brakes are responsive.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer (Tredworth motorbikes in Gloucester). Couldn't fault the service and attention, would buy from them again without hesitation.
Annual servicing cost: £85
Overall the bike is mint, apart from the headlight which is poor, everyone thinks it's a 250cc with the size of it, great on fuel as well
With its huge brakes and big tyres,, rides like a 350cc
It is what it is for a 125, gearbox smoother after 1st service
Had a slight problem with the ignition switch causing the bike to cut out but this was easly fixed by the dealer under warranty, the only other issue is the led dipped headlight is very poor, so I fitted some extra led lights under the fairing and that's sorted it
Don't miss the 1st service, very important
The bike is heavy for a 125, as these are made as a 350cc as well, but that said the brakes and tyre size is superb, as seems overkill for the 125
Buying experience: Bought new from dealer in leigh near wigan, for £2695 for the SE version mainly for the upsidedown forks
The handling of this bike is beyond what it is fair to expect. It has been sure footed and predictable in all conditions.
Exceptional handling and stability. Gorgeous looks and reliability. Comfort and fun... All the above come as standard though there are 2 main areas this bike stands out more than any other. Acceleration and braking. Around town and in high traffic the acceleration is adequate. But if you want to over take anything moving quicker than 50mph and you need to be cautious. 0-50mph is just fine. Increasing speed from here onwards is a little frustrating every single time. You need a good straight section to overtake and find yourself following along too often on even the slightest of inclines as you wait for a clear straight level section or down hill. Around town and cautious riders will drool over this bike. Boy racers will adore it's styling but be frustrated by the constant lack of acceleration. Brakes are fine for regular riding but dangerous in an emergency stop situation. They reduce speed quickly but give absolutely zero confidence when breaking hard.
Solidly built and durable plus forgiving of lazy gear changes and holding higher revs. But underwhelming performance especially when needed.
I have done a little over 14,000 miles on this bike in the 12 months I have owned it, and it has started 1st time EVERY time. Only faults I have had were a faulty air mass sensor which was replaced under warranty and a dropped valve though I DO share responsibility on that one. I have over-reved her a few times and honestly think the new engine needed was my own fault. If eagle eyed and picky enough you will find minor cosmetic faults yes. But nothing that translates into build quality.
Lexmoto have a much closer service schedule than the main brands. High mileage riders will feel it in their wallets but if you ride around 6,000 miles a year or less you won't notice it.
Stock tyres are perfect in the dry. A little vague in the wet and on colder days causing the odd doubt in tighter turns. I upgraded to Michelin Battlax BT45 front and rear. Not the cheapest at £220 fitted but any and all traction doubts disappear in any and all weather conditions. Bike feels tighter, more nimble and holds lines in corners easier too.
Buying experience: I bought from new from a Lexmoto dealer. £2.600 all in and on the road. Add some quality rubber and you have an honestly priced extremely capable bike but it will always make you remember the lack of power and you can never afford to forget the lack of brakes.