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Kawasaki Z800 (2013-current)

£7,499

806cc, 111bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

We’re genuinely shocked how good the Z800 is, given how uninspiring the old Z750 was - it’s a fitting tribute to the Zed’s 40th birthday. The ride quality is sumptuous, the motor smooth and there’s power spilling out of it at every rpm. It’s a real joy to ride. All the hard work Kawasaki has put into improving the engine, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Husqvarna Nuda 900 (2011-current)

£8,750

898cc, 105bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

The first new road bike to be produced by Husqvarna since BMW took over the company in 2007. In essence it’s a re-badged, re-styled parallel twin-cylinder BMW F800 with a 100cc bigger motor. The Nuda mixes typical Husqvarna supemoto thrills with a comfier riding position and a nod to practicality, if you go for the optional touring extras, which include ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda VFR800X Crossrunner (2011-current)

£9,499

782cc, 101bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

The Crossrunner has already proved controversial for being passed off as a new bike when, effectively, it’s little more than a re-worked, re-styled nine-year-old VFR800 with some ‘parts bin’ equipment. But there’s no denying that, as a concept, as a two-wheeled ‘cross-over’ machine, the Crossrunner simply works. It’s one of the best, friendliest and truly versatile bikes around – anywhere. ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki W800 (2011-current)

£6,799

773cc, bhp, 110mph, Insurance group

Our first test of Kawasaki’s new W800 suggests that Britain’s own Triumph, after for five years having things all its own way in the ‘retro roadster’ class, has a new, real rival on its hands. Not only is the Kawasaki W800 cheaper and better specced than its closest Bonneville rival, the Kawasaki’s uprated engine means there’s now no discernible performance ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Tiger 800 XC (2010-current)

£8,699

799cc, 94bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The new 800 XC is very much the bigger, burlier brother of Triumph’s two new Tigers. From the moment you swing your leg on board it’s clearly a taller, seemingly more substantial machine. The combination of 21-inch wire front wheel (in place of the 800’s cast 19incher), longer travel (by 40mm) 45mm forks (the 800’s are 43mm) and slightly wider ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Tiger 800 (2010-current)

£8,099

799cc, 94bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

Triumph’s new Tiger 800 is the slightly more basic, more road-orientated and novice-friendly (not to mention cheaper) version of its two, new, three cylinder dual-purpose machines. The other is the Tiger 800XC. It’s a great bike, too –  impressing immediately with excellent ergonomics, and a superbly linear and progressive power delivery.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Monster 796 (2010-current)

£7,995

803cc, 87bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

Yee-haar. Puzzled? Don’t be. The simple truth is Ducati’s 796 - the Bologna-based company’s latest air-cooled Monster – slots nicely between the first-timer Monster 696 and the more powerful Monster 1100 and it's one of biking’s easy-to-net pleasures. It’s not under or overpowered, definitely not expensive to buy or maintain, easy to ride and a looker to boot. Plus it ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW F650GS (2008-current)

£6,650

798cc, 71bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 8

BMW’s successor to long-lived and popular entry-level F650 single is, confusingly, being based on the F800GS, neither a single (it’s a parallel twin) or a 650 (it’s 798cc) – so perhaps not surprisingly it’s miles better than the old one. Just as importantly, though, with a lowered seat, softened delivery and more, it’s every bit as novice or shortie-friendly and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Benelli TNT 899S (2008-current)

£8,195

899cc, 118bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 17

The Benelli TNT super naked has been with us now, almost unchanged since 2004. Early 1130cc models were snarling, brutal, wheelie-prone monsters with a savage-sounding wail from its three into one underseat exhaust. But these very early models could be temperamental things, but since Benelli was bought by the Chinese Qiangiang Group (they produce over 1.2-million two-wheelers a year over ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Mana 850 (2007-2011)

£6,699

839cc, 75bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 12

The Aprilia Mana 850 is a sort of half-scooter, half motorcycle designed to be the bike for all occasions. For the weekday commute slip the Mana’s fully-automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) gearbox into ‘auto’ mode and you’ve a twist-and-go scooter; easy to ride and stress-free. There’s space for a helmet under the dummy fuel tank cover and a 12v socket ...

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

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