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.
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.
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.
Along with its sporty looks, the LXR SE’s real trump card is its price. The SE comes in at a staggeringly thrifty £2499 (£300 under 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.
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.