2017 Lexmoto Viper 125 is the latest variation on the Lexmoto Venom theme, and to Euro 4 spec.
Given the magazine column inches they attract, you’d think retro-style 125s dominate the market, but (in fact) Herald, AJS Cadwell, Mutt and others sell in small numbers. Lexmoto sold only 180 Valiants last year, against 1400 Venoms. The real sellers are modern-looking 125s with plenty of gizmos, and the 2017 Lexmoto Viper fits that bill.
The Lexmoto Viper 125 is effectively an updated Venom with upside down forks, Bluetooth sound system, phone charger USB point and a hint of an off-road ‘beak’ below the headlight. Some of these changes also make it onto the standard Venom, which costs £100 less, but does without the USD forks and off-road beak.
Under the skin it has the same overhead cam single-cylinder with balance shaft, with Delphi fuel injection, a five-speed gearbox, tubular steel frame and monoshock rear end. Euro 4 spec brings linked brakes (press the brake pedal, and you get one front piston plus the rear brake at a front/rear ratio of 70/30, while the brake lever on the bars brings in the other two pistons).
The 2017 Lexmoto Viper 125 has a comprehensive dash which includes a rev counter, gear indicator, clock and fuel gauge, plus a big analogue speedo. It’s certainly got showroom appeal, and that’s underlined by the styling – a bit fussy, but very sharp and aggressive.
Sitting position is quite far forward with a hint of Supermoto in the riding position, but it’s still pretty comfy with wide bars and a decent seat. Fired-up, the packed digital dash comes to life and you’re away.
Lexmoto’s power claim is unchanged from the same carb-fed engine in last year’s Venom, but that’s something to remember about these fuel-injected 125s – the efi is there to clean up emissions rather than boost power.
Either way, it gives the Viper good acceleration up to 50mph – enough go to keep up with city traffic and get safely away from the front of a red light queue. The motor actually revs out to an indicated 10.500 RPM, but beyond 50mph acceleration is more blunted, though it will creep up to an indicated 65mph if you’re patient.
The injection system delivers all of this faultlessly, a cut-out coming in gently at high revs and the motor happily accelerating away (slowly) from 20mph in top gear. To underline the bike’s role as a town tool, the gearchange and clutch are as light as you’d expect.
It handles well too. The USD front forks feel resilient and the single rear shock is well-damped. Wide bars and light weight enable it to tip into corners easily and the whole thing feels easy to throw around, backed- up by the Magsport tyres, which grip well, at least on dry roads.
The linked brakes work well – press the pedal and you get quite strong braking with no signs of locking-up, while bringing-in the front lever as well gives powerful stopping. As with all linked brakes, you can’t use the rear brake alone to steady the bike at low speeds.
Detailing on the Venom is a bit of a mixture. The switchgear and plastics are decent quality, but the matt black exhaust and slightly downmarket speedo detract a little from a bike that now costs over £2200. But as mentioned, it’s got showroom appeal in spades; that’s often what sells 125s to younger riders.
2017 Lexmoto Viper 125 Specs & Price
ENGINE: Air-cooled, Single-cylinder, SOHC 2-valve, 125cc
POWER: 11 bhp @ 9000 RPM
TORQUE: 7 lb-ft @ 7000 RPM
FRONT BRAKE: Single Disc Brake
REAR BRAKE: Single Disc Brake, Linked system
FRONT SUSPENSION: Telescopic forks, Non-adjustable
REAR SUSPENSION: Monoshock
FRONT TYRE: 110/70-17 (Tubeless)
REAR TYRE: 130/70-17 (Tubeless)
WEIGHT: 144 kg
COLOURS: Blue, Green, Red
PRICE: £2250 (plus OTR)