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Honda VFR800F (2014-current)

£10,499

782cc, 105bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In delivering refined versatility, class and understated quality and entertainment, this new VFR is a success. My only slight regrets are two-fold: this newcomer doesn’t (quite) have the clean sheet, no expense-spared ethos of the originals, it’s a tiny bit ‘parts-bin’. And, two, it’d have been better still if it’d been a VFR900F, say, with a full colour TPFT instrument ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Indian Scout (2014-current)

£10,395

1133cc, 100bhp, 120mph, Insurance group

A year on from the now Polaris-owned brand’s return with its new Chief, Indian has done it again with another all-new bike – the Scout. The company’s quoted aim with the Scout was to build the ‘best in class, mid-size American motorcycle’, or, as company boss Steve Menneto more succinctly puts it: “It’s our answer to the Sportster.” In the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha FJR1300A (2013-current)

£13,699

1298cc, 146bhp, 154mph, Insurance group 14

Often overlooked in favour of the new breed of adventure-style sports tourers, the new FJR is a fabulous piece of kit – fast, refined and fun. Although hugely competent and thoroughly desirable, the new FJR isn’t that different to the older model. But there again, that’s no bad thing as the out going bike is also excellent. Overall the new ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph Thunderbird Commander (2014-current)

£12,999

1299cc, 93bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

The Commander is aimed more at European riders while the LT is for the American market. Essentially a naked version of the Thunderbird LT, the Commander is a hoot to ride. Thumping along, booting the heel-toe between third or fourth, merely stroking the reassuring brakes, it doesn’t get much better. The lack of screen, panniers etc make the Commander lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Moto Guzzi California Touring 1400 (2013-current)

£16,132

1380cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 13

The new California is a fabulous looking bike, it’s sophisticated and, dare I say it, sexy, too – it’s a successful modern twist on a classic design. In short it has that little something extra that Japanese, and even American, cruisers can’t match in standard form. What’s more, the big transverse V-twin has typical Guzzi traits, but is far smoother ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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KTM 1190 Adventure (2013-current)

£12,999

1195cc, 150bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

The new 1190 is radically different from the 990 it replaces. The whole package of chassis, electronic suspension and rider aids makes this 150bhp, 230kg bike seriously capable with more rider-friendly characteristics than any previous KTM Adventure. It can also be ridden faster than I ever thought possible – in this respect it’s more like a Ducati Multistrada, but with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Monster 1200S (2014-current)

£12,995

1198cc, 145bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In isolation I like the new Monster, which has character, looks good and is modern but still very much a Monster. The new liquid-cooled engine is much better than the old bike’s. There’s loads of mid-range and low-down grunt, and it sounds fantastic for a standard bike. The handling on the S model is excellent, just as happy on road ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Thunderbird LT (2014-current)

£13,999

1699cc, 93bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

Triumph is keen to emphasise the Thunderbird-based ‘bagger’ LT is much more than AN Other Road King clone. In fact, so much has been changed it’s effecfively an all-new bike. The result is ‘As American as apple pie’. Big, chunky levers, bar grips and switchgear are textbook US cruiser, as is stomping through the heel-toe gearchange. In fact, in virtually ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim (2012-current)

£14,795

1690cc, 110bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 15

The Slim is essentially a standard Softail (ie a big twin with hidden rear shocks for that ‘hardtail’ look) but given (as seems to be repeatedly fashionable with cruisers from all manufacturers at the moment) the minimalist, ‘50s ‘bobber’/hot rod look. The difference here, though, is the ‘Slim’ bit. Harley’s view was that its existing Softails had become ever bigger ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer (2012-current)

£12,399

1237cc, 127bhp, 131mph, Insurance group 17

The surprise with the Crosstourer is two-fold: first that the 1200 V4 powertrain works so well in an adventure bike package (it already seems so familiar and ‘right’ to me it seems like it’s been around for years) and second that it genuinely brings a new and tempting dimension – namely V4 performance and sophisticated automatic transmission – to the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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