Lexmoto Detroit: Sportster-inspired 125 cruiser is latest addition to popular Chinese brand

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This cute little cruiser might look the spitting image of Harley-Davidson’s now obsolete 883/1200 Sportster but it’s actually a 125 and is the latest from budget, lightweight Chinese/UK brand Lexmoto.

In homage to its American inspiration, it’s called the Detroit, and complements Lexmoto’s existing, but more 1980s-style, Michigan 125cc custom and is available now priced £2899.99 – £400 more than the Michigan.

Devon-based Lexmoto was founded in 2007 and specialises in affordable, Chinese-built lightweight machines, primarily 50s and 125s, often with retro-British styling. It has since become established as one of the most successful brands of its type with bikes such as the Echo 50cc scooter best sellers in their categories.

Lexmoto Detroit right side

The new Detroit continues that theme and adds to a Lexmoto 125 line-up that now boasts 12 different motorcycle models and four different scooters.

Claimed to offer ‘the perfect combination of custom styling and accessibility into the world of two wheels’, the Detroit gets an ultra-low, 720mm single seat but relatively high and wide handlebars. Along with its slim proportions and light 141kg kerb weight, it should make it both unintimidating and easy to ride for novice bikers – whatever their size.

At its heart is a fairly old-tech but proven and understressed air-cooled, SOHC single-cylinder four-stroke which produces a claimed 9.4bhp and 6.7lb-ft of torque, and has been updated to meet Euro5. Top speed is a claimed 65mph.

Lexmoto Detroit peanut tank and dash

The chassis, too, is distinctly ‘old school’ in comprising a tubular steel semi-duplex frame with twin shocks at the rear and fairly spindly, conventional telescopic forks at the front, but again they’re completely in-keeping wit the style of the bike.

While instrumentation is taken care of by a single analogue speedo with a small LCD digital panel insert for miscellaneous info.

But if the Detroit’s lacking spec and tech, it arguably more than makes up for it with convincing, classic cruiser style.

Lexmoto Detroit on the road

This includes a peanut tank (in either black or red with contrasting stripe) and 18/15in wheels wearing, at the rear, fat, 140-section rubber; a novice-friendly riding proposition and a price over £1500 cheaper than, say, Yamaha’s XSR125.

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.