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  • rating is 5 (15)
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Yamaha MT-07 (2014-current)

£5,199

689cc, 74bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

What a surprise the MT-07 is. It’s light, friendly, punchy, fast, frugal and more fun than it has a right to be. We reckon for everyday use and shorter-distance riding it’s actually better than the bigger, more expensive, MT-09. It’s such a superb performer and well built, the MT-07 would still knock us sideways if it was a grand more ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CB500X (2013-current)

£5,099

471cc, 47bhp, 125mph, Insurance group

The CB500X is the last of Honda’s new-for-2013, novice and A2-licence friendly 500-twin triumvirate – the others being the CB500F roadster and CBR500R sports bike – and for our money it’s the best of the bunch. The X’s subtly larger proportions make it more versatile, more man-sized machine, while losing virtually nothing in terms of manageability and agility. Its adventure ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Street Triple R (2013-current)

£8,049

675cc, 105bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

Compared to the previous incarnation, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple R is lighter, smoother, more refined and has the handling and brakes a superbike would be proud of. Best of all, it’s 6kg lighter. It’s lost some of that in-your-face, foaming-at-the-mouth aggression, which made the original make us all stand up and take notice back in 2007, but it’ll be ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSX-R750 (2011-current)

£9,899

750cc, 148bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 16

After years of gentle evolution Suzuki has gone to town on its 2011 GSX-R750. Weighing in at 190kg, fully-fuelled and ready to go, it’s a massive 8kg lighter than the old model, giving the 148bhp GSX-R750 a mouth-watering power-to-weight ratio. The 750’s rolling chassis and bodywork is completely new, but it doesn’t get the GSX-R600’s radical engine overhaul and the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2011-current)

£8,799

599cc, 125.8bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Suzuki has slashed an incredible 9kg from the 2011 GSX-R600. The engine has more midrange, a close ratio gearbox and for the first time, Showa Big Piston Forks and Brembo monobloc radial front brakes. Aside from a handful of components, the GSX-R600 is completely new. The easy-going nature of the bike is still there, but it’s sharper, more agile and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Speed Triple (2011-current)

£9,599

1050cc, 133bhp, mph, Insurance group 14

2005 was the last time Triumph updated the Speed Triple by giving it the new 1050cc engine. Five years on and Triumph saw fit to update, overhaul and completely transform its biggest selling bike – 65,000 models sold since 1994. For 2011 the Speed Triple has an all-new chassis package, frame and swingarm included, to turn MCN’s favourite big-bore naked ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBF1000 (2010-current)

£9,499

998cc, 106bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

There wasn’t anything really wrong with the old bike apart from it appeared a little dated and it was more of an ugly duckling rather than a stunning swan. However, Honda have addressed that, given the CBF a new face, new clocks, lightened the frame and improved fuel economy. Great ergonomics, easy to ride, just enough power, relatively lightweight handling, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Hypermotard 796 (2009-2012)

£7,395

803cc, 81bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s entry-level 803cc Hypermotard 796 is a stormer of a machine. It’s 12kg lighter and its seat is 20mm lower than the Hypermotard 1100, which makes it easier to ride and in the real world, and every bit as fast from A to B. It’s a deal cheaper too and Ducati says it will return 58.9mph, which makes it the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Benelli Tre K 899 (2009-current)

£7,995

898cc, 105bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

This is the smaller engined version of Benelli’s brilliant, but unfortunately rare Tre K 1130  sports tourer. We rate it highly: it’s comfy, easy to ride, sounds great, handles well and has a wild side for when the mood takes you. It’s not the obvious choice, which will actually a plus-point for many, but some will be sceptical, worried about ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha XJ6 (2009-current)

£6,099

600cc, 77bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

This is the naked version of the half-faired Yamaha XJ6 Diversion. Aside from the lack of fairing, it is exactly the same spec, but somehow it has transformed the Yamaha from sensible budget middleweight to exciting mini streetfighter. With its ‘baby Yamaha FZ-1’ looks and sit-up-and-beg riding position this is a very cheap way to get your rocks off. On ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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