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Kawasaki Ninja 300 (2012-current)

£4,799

296cc, 39bhp, 93mph, Insurance group

Kawasaki has hit the nail on the head with this bike. Finally the market has a practical, economical entry-level bike which is easy to ride and desirable. The firm says 40% of buyers will be under 24 years old, going on sales of the 250, and it’s this kind of grassroots support motorcycling needs. Kawasaki also says 22% of 250 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CRF250L (2012-current)

£4,199

250cc, 23bhp, mph, Insurance group

If you want a lightweight dual sport trail bike that can handle a short commute in the week and then head into the countryside on green lanes at the weekend – this is it.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda S-Wing 125 (2007-current)

£3,999

125cc, 13bhp, 68mph, Insurance group

The Honda S-Wing is a well-equipped and competitively priced executive scooter that performs a lot better than its functional looks might suggest. Honda is pitching the S-Wing as an up-market urban commuter and in that environment it's a cut above the direct competition.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Derbi Terra Adventure 125 (2009-current)

£3,319

124cc, 15bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 4

Derbi’s Terra Adventure 125 is a fantastic looking machine which bears more than a passing resemblance to the best selling BMW GS – albeit in a learner legal package. If you’re looking for adventure on a budget or just a small capacity bike to have some fun on you won’t be disappointed. 

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha WR125X (2009-current)

£4,199

124cc, 15bhp, 75mph, Insurance group

Yamaha’s all-new WR125X has everything it needs to be the class leading learner supermoto. It’s great looking, well-equipped, has a great new engine, is solidly built and is great fun to ride. The Yamaha WR125X is a serious, substantial piece of kit – the only slight downside for novice riders is its tall seat and high price.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Rieju 125 Pro Supermoto (2009-current)

£3,199

125cc, 15bhp, 73mph, Insurance group 5

Rieju’s new Marathon 125 supermoto is powered by the same engine you’ll find in Yamaha’s YZF-R125 and WR125 range, albeit fitted with a 30mm Keihin carb instead of fuel injection. Costing £3199 this Spanish-made machine is actually £400 cheaper than Yamaha’s own WR125X supermoto.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki 250R Ninja (2008-2011)

£4,649

249cc, 32.5bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 9

The American market has been a big success for the Kawasaki Ninja 250 range for years and years and… But even the Yanks need a fresh brew every now and then and the Ninja 250R is the latest offering. Fortunately for 33bhp probationary riders in mainland Europe and the UK, we are getting the bike too, complete with emissions compliant fuel ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBF250 (2004-2012)

£3,500

249cc, 22bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 6

The Honda CBF250 is a cracking little motorcycle, marketed towards – and perfect for – new bikers or people who want a cheap town motorcycle. Easy to throw around, forgiving of little errors, peanuts to run and with enough power to get you from A to B with modest speed. Learners or commuters will love the Honda CBF250.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VT125C Shadow (1999-2007)

£3,299

125cc, 15bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 4

If you’re ultimately yearning for a mammoth cruiser but have yet to perfect the art of riding one, the Honda VT125C Shadow is the bike for you. The littlest Shadow looks the part, is beautifully finished, very reliable and is relatively gentle and forgiving for the novice rider. The Honda VT125C Shadow is a bit lardy, and rather expensive, but an excellent ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda XL125 Varadero (2001-2009)

£4,470

125cc, 15bhp, 72mph, Insurance group 6

Although only a 125, there’s plenty of big bike feel with the Honda XL125 Varadero. The proportions are right, the motor feels spunky and as it’s a Honda you know it’s not going to fall apart beneath you. As a first bike or commuter the Honda XL125 Varadero represents a clever investment with its low insurance group and parsimonious fuel ...

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

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