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Buell XB9SX Lightning (2004-2009)

£5,990

984cc, 84bhp, 120mph, Insurance group

The Buell XB9SX is an oddity. What you get is an old-school v-twin in a high-tech chassis, all wrapped up in a mad-max style urban scrambler. On paper it makes very little sense – a modern naked middleweight out-performs it in every practical way. But it looks great, sounds mean and the handling is sublime. It would be a hard ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Buell Ulysses XB12XT (2008-current)

£8,310

1203cc, 103bhp, 131mph, Insurance group 15

Reworking an existing model to make an all-together different model can work, as Suzuki’s Bandit and V-Strom range has shown – add panniers, taller screen, other accessories and they become good budget touring bikes. Buell’s take on this is to rework the Ulysses adventure-based bike, add small panniers and top box and hope they can get away with an archaic ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2007-2009)

£7,345

953cc, 122.3bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 15

The Kawasaki Z1000 is revamped enough to be called ‘new’. The Kawasaki Z1000's styling exercise is worthy of a Modern Tate placing – nothing else Japanese has so many styling details. The ex-ZX-9R motor is tweaked for a less frantic upper rpm delivery and now, in the Kawasaki Z1000 exudes cream-like torque from zero revs. A big-bore super-naked machine that is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CB900F Hornet (2001-2007)

£5,900

919cc, 110bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 15

There are some motorcycles which look good on paper, but fail to fire your adrenaline on the road somehow and theHonda CB900F Hornet is one of them. Maybe it's the mushy non-adjustable front suspension, the blandola looks or perhaps the slightly iffy build quality, but the Honda CB900F Hornet doesn't quite hit the spot. Fireblade powered hooligan? More like fireplace and Val Doonican... - ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Moto Guzzi Breva 1100/1200 (2005-2011)

£6,999

1064cc, 86bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 13

The compact and nimble Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 is a totally different animal to the Moto Guzzi California 1100EV or Moto Guzzi V11, which are that bit harder to ride. The Breva 1100 has a lighter clutch, niftier chassis and smoother V-twin than Moto Guzzis of old. The Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 feels much shorter, carrying its weight that bit lower somehow. The Breva ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Monster S4/S4R/S2R/S2R1000/S4RS (2001-2007)

£8,295

916cc, 97bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 13

Take one ageing naked roadster, add the Ducati 916/996/998 series sportbike motor, tweak the suspension and paint it red. It's been a winning formula for Ducati and the latest Ducati Monster S4RS, with its Ohlins suspension, radial brakes and 130bhp engine is possibly one of the maddest roadster motorcycles money can buy. All Ducati Monster motorcycles need TLC to maintain performance and their ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda XL1000 Varadero (2001-2010)

£8,500

996cc, 93bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

In theory: the Honda XL1000V Varadero is a great idea; take the funky Firestorm motor and put it inside an adventure touring chassis. But the result didn’t live up to that and the Honda XL1000V Varadero hasn’t matched the success of the BMW R1150GS. Whileit has bags of comfort, luggage capacity and grunt, its thirsty engine, top heavy handling and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport (2006-current)

£9,374

1151cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 13

The beleagured but charismatic Italian Moto Guzzi concern has been labelled many things in recent years but ‘sports’ has never been one of them. In truth, the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport isn’t a sports bike either. Instead it's an aggressively styled roadster using a mix of the latest Breva 1100 and Griso goodies. Too heavy to be a street scalpel, but ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird (1997-2005)

£8,650

1137cc, 164bhp, 176mph, Insurance group 16

The Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird is a useable, comfortable, tidy handling sports tourer but also a ballistic power-house that used to hold the record as the fastest production motorcycle. The Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird is sensible and utterly insane in one nicely presented Honda package. One of the best all-round motorcycles out there. Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird rivals are plentiful but none ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Sport 1000 (2005-2008)

£7,495

992cc, 92bhp, 134mph, Insurance group 15

The Ducati Sport 1000 series are mouthwateringly-styled tributes to 70s motorcycles greats boasting modern thrills and mechanicals. Great as a look-at-me motorcycle and the detailing is exquisite but it’s neither a true sportsbike nor year-round transport. For rarity, go for the limited edition Ducati Paul Smart 1000, for practicality the slightly dull, twin seat Ducati GT1000, but the best motorcycle on balance (and mst wrist-breakingly ...

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

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