Some new motorcycles are getting cheaper. In 2009, Lexmoto’s Street 125 cost £1499, but this 2015 equivalent is £400 cheaper. Is there a catch?
When it comes powering naked Chinese 125s, there’s basically two choices – the old pushrod motor based on the Honda CG, or slightly more modern overhead cam jobs owing much to the Suzuki GS or Yamaha YBR. The Lexmoto uses a YBR base, a good enough place to start from.
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Not quite as conservative as the Street, thanks to YBR style plastic ears on the front of the fuel tank. These serve no purpose – except making the bike look more butch. It’s kept the traditional round headlight though.
The ZSF has plenty of ‘showroom appeal’ thanks to its comprehensive dash. A large rev counter sits next to a similarly big fuel gauge and a digital speedo, all of them easy to read. There’s a clock, gear indicator and tripmeter too. Apart from that, equipment is limited to a small luggage rack.
ON THE ROAD
Despite having only 20 miles on the clock, the test bike was a willing little beast, happily revving beyond the 9000rpm redline. The YBR-based engine is smooth and quiet, very happy to trickle through town at 20-25mph in fifth. What you can’t do is accelerate very fast in top – that’s true of all geared 125s, but the YBR does seem to have less torque than similar motors.
The upside is the revviness, zipping the Lexmoto up to 50mph through the gears pretty quickly, certainly fast enough to keep up with town traffic. Out of town, speed builds more gradually to an indicated 65-66mph, and it will hold 60mph without feeling flat out. All standard, good-enough stuff for a 125.
Back in the traffic again, the YZF is easy enough to filter and get through small gaps (wouldn’t be much of a 125 if it couldn’t). That’s backed-up by decent brakes, though the test bike’s front disc pulsed at the lever, as if the disc was out of true. The Weixang tyres held on OK and the suspension does its job, albeit with soft-ish forks. Pillions are well catered for – a big seat, decent pegs and hand holds – plus five pre-load settings for the rear shocks, stiff enough to cope with that bloke who ate all the pies.
Geared 125s are economical petrol-powered vehicles and the ZSF managed 92mpg on a mix of town stop-start and some flat-out dual-carriageway; the tank holds 12 litres and more gentle suburban use should see 100mpg.
Words/images: Pete Henshaw
Ever-increasing Chinese production is helping to make their 125s even cheaper and the ZSF is great value for money. It goes, stops and zips through town as well as other geared 125s; Lexmoto’s wide dealer network is another bonus.
Air-cooled single-cylinder 125, SOHC
9.5bhp @ 8000rpm
Front: telescopic forks
Rear: twin shocks, pre-load adj
Red, black, blue