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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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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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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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Honda NC700X (2012-2013)

£5,999

670cc, 51bhp, 115mph, Insurance group

The idea of a cheap, capable bike that offers more in terms of style and versatility than a basic commuter is a good one. Being able to stash a helmet turns 'good' into practical brilliance. Affordability and ease of use is what the NC700X is all about with bags of comfort, stability, an agile chassis and a simple engine with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki DL650 V-Strom 650 ABS (2011 - current)

£6,899

645cc, 68bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 10

We approached the new V-Strom full of skepticism but have been swayed.First, the restyle is a stunning success in its own right. I can’t think of any bike that looks so classy for so little money. Second, almost every aspect has been improved in terms of performance, ranging from engine and handling to manageability and range. But what’s impressed most ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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Moto Guzzi V7 Racer (2011-current)

£8,132

744cc, 49bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

Moto Guzzi’s new V7 Racer is a class act. It’s a special, but full-production, version of the Italian firm’s V7 Classis and comes with an unbelievable raft of goodies, including a chrome-effect fuel tank, a hand-finished frame and uprated cycle parts. This modern-day retro isn’t on a par with a Triumph Thruxton or Ducati Sport Classic performance-wise, but it’s easy ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Suzuki Gladius (2009-current)

£5,699

645cc, 75.9bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 10

The old SV650 was a good bike and to be honest Suzuki didn’t have to do much to make it a great bike once more. But they have gone one better and given us an excellent bike. Obvious improved looks but the real beauty it’s under the skin, the lovely fuelled, smooth, punchy, little V-Twin.  As an added extra bonus ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBR600RR (2009-current)

£9,799

599cc, 107bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Honda has given its supersports weapon subtle tweaks for 2009, designed to give it more mid-range oomph and a smoother power delivery. New pistons, cylinder head and exhaust system have bolstered torque between 6000-10,000rpm, which makes the engine more flexible on the road. Luckily for us, this has been done without sacrificing any top-end power. The big news, though, is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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