Cheap and very cheerful
I remember when a packet of crisps was 20p, chips were 50p and cigarettes £1.72 for 20, but a pound isn’t worth what it used to be, and I didn’t have great hopes for Lexmoto’s £1699 ZX-F. How can they possibly produce a good bike for so little cash?
The four-stroke motor runs a conventional carb, which means you have a manual choke and even a fuel tap – just like the Hyosung. In its favour over the newer, considerably more expensive Honda, you have disc brakes all-round, a single rear shock with preload adjustment, and they’ve even tried to make it sporty looking with a small headlight cowl, bellypan and red rim tape on the wheels. There’s a huge luggage rack on the rear, a centrestand, and the pillion seat flips up to reveal a storage area big enough to swallow some waterproofs or spare gloves. The headlight is LED, too. Just don’t look too close, as the pegs are bendy rubber-mounted items and the front wheel spindle looks like it’s come from Ikea.
The fuelling might not be as perfect as the fuel injected Honda, but there is a pleasing bark from the single exhaust pipe. This is fine out of town but in the city you sound like an annoying teenage takeaway delivery rider running a scooter with no exhaust. But the immature child inside me enjoyed the odd backfire, and it lets other traffic know you are there. Like the Honda there is some useable torque, you can nip through traffic with ease, and headdown it will match the Honda on top speed. But the motor isn’t as smooth as the CB’S, and the gearbox is a little agricultural.
The suspension and set-up can be described in the same way. It all works, but there isn’t a huge amount of damping. You get jolted out of the seat on rough roads and despite having conventional 17in wheels it didn’t feel as secure or natural as the Honda. But around town it ran rings around the heavy Hyosung. The budget Lexmoto certainly exceeded our expectations.
Primitive digital tech, but useful fuel gauge Lexmoto has the sportiest appearance, and decent carbed performance
‘Useable torque lets you nip through traffic with ease’