An enigma, according to my Oxford English Dictionary, is ‘a puzzling thing or person…a riddle or paradox.’ Well, there’s nothing puzzling or paradoxical about the Lexmoto Enigma, and it’s certainly not a riddle. This latest addition to the Lexmoto range is a straightforward 125cc scooter ideal for our crowded streets. It’s small, light and agile, doesn’t fit into the retro mould or claim to be super practical – it’s just highly effective at what it does.
There’s nothing very radical about the Enigma. Like all new 125s, it has fuel injection and linked brakes to comply with Euro 4 legislation. The engine is a simple fan-cooled two-valve four-stroke producing 9bhp – there are far more powerful and technically advanced 125cc motors around, but we’re at the budget end of scootering here, and the Enigma comes in at a penny less than £1500.
That makes it by no means the cheapest 125 in Lexmoto’s big range of scooters (eighteen at the last count) but it still looks like good value. It’s also got a 14-inch front wheel, which may not sound like a big deal to many people but is quite significant in a class where most scooters make do with 12 or 13-inch hoops at both ends. Styling isn’t ultra-sporty like that of the classic Speedfight, but it’s nicely truncated without an inch of excess bodywork or extraneous bits and pieces – the front indicators, for example, are built into the bar cover rather than sticking out on stalks. I suppose it’s all best described as ‘purposeful.’
Road testing can be a funny business – if you’re not careful, it’s easy to have your perceptions skewed by whatever you’ve just ridden. I climbed onto the Enigma immediately after stepping off Lexmoto’s Chieftain maxi-scooter. The Chieftain has its practical points, but it packs less power than the Enigma and carries a lot more weight, so the smaller scoot felt like the proverbial rocket ship.
Mind you, even after taking all of that into account, the Enigma is a perky little performer. It might only have 9bhp at its disposable, but weighing only 121kg means it can make the most of what power there is. It gets off the line with alacrity and up to an indicated 40-45mph pretty quickly. Acceleration then slows until you get to 55-60mph and the last few emm pee aitch take a while, but the Enigma will wind up to 63-64 and hold 50-55mph on the flat, keeping up speed on moderate hills. It’s all decent enough performance by 125cc standards, and the engine, simple though it is, is a bit of a peach – it’s smooth right through the rev range and sounds unburstable.
Still, there are no excuses for speeding. You know how some scooters have an analogue speedo with big kilometre figures and tiny mph ones? The Enigma has a huge digital speedo (in mph) which you simply can’t miss – it’s actually a good safety feature, because you only have to glance down and there’s your speed. None of this peering down and trying to remember what 70kmh translates into. There’s also a fuel gauge, clock and mileometer, though no trip.
The ingredients for a good town scooter are small size, decent acceleration, a highish riding position and good mirrors. Happily, the Enigma has them all. We’ve already covered the acceleration, but it’s also a small, manoeuvrable scooter which is very easy to filter to the front of queues. Sitting high gives you a better view all around, though the downside is a high seat, and I was on tiptoe (30-inch legs) at the lights. The brakes are confidence inspiring, easily powerful enough to cope with a lightweight 125.
Bigger wheels famously improve handling, making a scooter more stable and less sensitive to bumps, potholes and manhole covers. That 14-inch front certainly helps the Enigma, whose handling inspires confidence, though the twin rear shocks are quite harsh, and there’s no pre-load adjustment. Still, it steers well with short wheelbase agility and the Cordial tyres are nice and grippy – that’s in the dry, as I rode the Enigma just before the southwest welcomed its first proper rain for two months.
Talking of weather, the Enigma doesn’t offer much protection from it. Those wings at the base of the front end might deflect rain away from your feet and lower legs, but your top half is completely exposed, without so much as a flyscreen to keep the wind off – a scooter to get wet on, then.
Full face storage
At least the underseat space is big enough for a full-face lid (wish they all were) – I suppose you could fit a topbox to carry a bit more, but it would (can’t believe I’m writing this) spoil the lines. Well it would! Either way, I wouldn’t leave anything valuable under there. Both rider and pillion seats share the same lock, but the front is secured by a plastic tab under the passenger perch, which remains locked – it’s a neat solution, but looks very easy to just lever open… Pillions actually don’t get much consideration – the seat is small, the grabrails token and the feet rest on a plastic extension of the floor, rather than proper pegs.
I liked the Enigma. It’s got everything it needs to make good progress through urban traffic, yet it doesn’t look wildly aggressive or make a lot of noise while doing so. It’s well priced but still feels well put together – maybe it is a sort of paradox after all.
Words and photos: Pete Henshaw
Lexmoto Enigma technical specifications
Engine: Air-cooled 2-valve single
Maximum power: 9.1bhp @ 8000rpm
Front suspension: Telescopic forks, non-adj
Rear suspension: Twin shocks, non-adj
Brakes: Linked discs front and rear
Front tyre: 120/70-14
Rear tyre: 130/60-13
Lexmoto Enigma 125 gallery
New products always in development…