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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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Kawasaki Z1000 (2014 - current)

£9,499

1043cc, 140bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new 2014 Z1000 is a ballsy move by Kawasaki – and not just because it looks like something out of a Terminator movie. No, it’s ballsy because it’s rejected the current (and often expensive) fashion for electronic rider aids, because it focuses on real world riding thrills rather than fantastic and often irrelevant (for a street super naked at ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda NC700S (2012-2013)

£5,499

670cc, 47bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 11

An economical little work horse that can just about cut it out of town when you fancy going a little faster. Stability, comfort, cheap price and a large storage space make the NC700S a very appealing bike. Overall the NC700S is a surprisingly endearing utility bike. You’d buy it with your head…but it would soon find a place in your heart.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-current)

£9,499

1043cc, 116bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

Its odd looks will always raise questions, but the engine won’t, it’s a peach. There’s loads of low down, a nice spread of torque and the dollop of top end power should see it as the quickest bike in this category. It’s also extremely comfortable, will eat mile after mile all day long and handles reasonably well (up to a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta Brutale 920 (2011-2012)

£9,999

921cc, 130bhp, 158mph, Insurance group 17

The 920 is the new entry-level MV Agusta Brutale which, despite lashings of Italian flair and 130bhp performance, costs the same as a Yamaha FZ1 at £9999. It has a number of changes aimed at keeping the cost down over the bigger capacity 990R and 1090R bigger brother.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aprilia Shiver (2010-current)

£7,132

749cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

For 2010 they’ve made the Shiver more user friendly by lowering and narrowing the seat. They’ve also improved the sporting side of the Aprilia by giving the new bike higher and further set back pegs, slightly different bars, narrower rear wheel, and improving the brakes with racy wavy discs. Suspension has also been firmed up slightly. Cosmetically it’s been given ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki Versys (2010-current)

£6,549

649cc, 60bhp, 128mph, Insurance group 9

There wasn’t much wrong with the old Versys, it just needed a few minor faults addressing which Kawasaki have done. They have reduced the engine vibration which was a major fault and improved the bike cosmetically, whilst adding more extras like heated grips. It’s a jack of trades, and at under £6000 a bit of bargain all round bike. - ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2010-2013)

£9,099

1043cc, 136bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

The 2010 Z1000 is the most impressive sports naked ever to roll out of Japan. It has excellent performance, handling and is super-stylish to boot. It’s less intimidating and easier to ride than a fire-breathing European super naked too. Compared to something like a KTM Super Duke or Ducati Streetfighter, the Z1000 is on the heavy side, the brakes lack ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSX650F (2007-current)

£6,285

656cc, 86bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

Suzuki’s new budget and novice-friendly GSXF650F all-rounder proves that sometimes, brilliance is found in the most unlikely places. Although on face value merely a ‘Bandit with a fairing’ the GSX650F’s blend of real world performance, practicality, fun factor and value is pretty much unmatched anywhere.   Watch the Suzuki GSX650F take on the Honda CBF600S and the Kawasaki ER-6F Watch ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda XL700V Transalp (2008-2012)

£6,775

680cc, 59bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 11

This latest version of the Honda Transalp is much improved over the last model, but to be honest that was never going to be difficult. The motor is just quick enough, should last forever, and offers a smile when the mood takes you. The new Honda Transalp’s handling isn’t bad, either, considering the market the motorcycle is aimed at. Looks-wise ...

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

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