Sitting on it - it has the feel of a 125 - light, compact, short and very nimble. Hit the starter though, and instead of the razor sharp exhaust note of a 2-stroke, the grumble of a Harley Sportster motor greets the ears.

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The bike is an enigma - on one hand it has the frame and running gear of a bleeding edge designer fest, yet its motor is a throwback to a now distant age of engine design. The most interesting aspect though, is that the resultant motorcycle is a gem - a bike with roadholding and scratching abilities second to none.

This is not a motorcycle designed for the racetrack but one which you'll enjoy on a backroad without the ballistic speeds of a Japanese 1000 and their inherent potential to run (very) foul of the Law. The innovative designof the Lightning XB9S extends to all areas of the machine (except the motor).

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