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Piaggio Beverly 300ie (2011-current)

£3,949

278cc, 22bhp, 80mph, Insurance group

The 278cc engine gives the Beverly plenty of poke around town and out on the road and the handling inspires confidence. It looks slightly girly in pictures, but in the flesh it's not so bad, especially from the saddle, but it's definitely aimed at stylish city folk. Quite what possesed anybody to name it Beverly is anyone's guess, but Piaggio ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2012-current)

£12,399

998cc, 157.75bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Not much has changed with the 2012 R1, but the big news is it now has a six-stage traction control system, incorporating anti-wheelie in its two most intrusive levels. It also has a restyled nose, a slotted YZR-M1-style top yoke and a longer, softer rear shock. The changes aren’t enough to compete with the new-generation of hardcore superbikes, like the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

£10,995

849cc, 132bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance. On the other, even though ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Piaggio MP3 Yourban 300ie LT (2011 - current)

£5,699

278cc, 22.8bhp, 70mph, Insurance group

The Yourban is not cheap, but it is aimed at those with either no desire or experience of two wheels as it can be ridden on a car licence, so the sure-footed, reassuring and unintimidating Yourban may well be worth the premium over conventional scooters.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Garelli XO 125 (2010-current)

£2,199

125cc, bhp, 60mph, Insurance group

Famous Italian motorcycle brand Garelli is back with a new range of scooters and mopeds. The XO is effectively their flagship model and benefits from sharp looks, stable 16” wheels and decent disc brakes. It’s a stylish and perfectly adequate town run-around - the only drawback is a slightly lacklustre engine.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Yamaha BW’s 125 (2010-current)

£2,799

125cc, 8.9bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

The BW’s 125 is an off-road inspired scoot that goes nicely and looks even nicer - rugged styling marks it out as a small scoot aimed at blokes. At £2,499 it’s not the cheapest 125 scooter on the market, but nice detailing and decent performance help to justify the price.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Suzuki Burgman 125 (2002-2012)

£3,465

125cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 5

If you want the comfort and practicality of a maxi-scooter but you’re limited to 125cc, the well-spec’d Burgman is a safe choice. It’s not quite up to a motorway commute, but for city use it’s a classy ride with more luggage space than you’ll know what to do with.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Bimota DB8 (2010-current)

£22,500

1198cc, 170bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

Bimota’s DB8 superbike may look the spitting image of the 160bhp Ducati 1098-engined 2008 DB7, but it’s different in three distinct ways. It’s powered by the bigger 170bhp Ducati 1198 superbike motor, it has a pillion perch and it’s cheaper, to the tune of £1700. The DB8 test bike we rode from their factory is easily the best Bimota we’ve ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Derbi GPR125 Racing (2010-current)

£3,819

124cc, 13bhp, 78mph, Insurance group 4

Sadly, the two-stroke 125 is all but dead. The recent advent of credible, easy to ride and cheap to run four-strokes is killing sales of fickle, expensive smokers. Derbi’s learner sportsbike gets an all-new design with a four-stroke engine for the first time, going head-to-head with Yamaha’s YZF-R125.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Monster 1100S (2009-2013)

£10,195

1078cc, 95bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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