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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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BMW K1600GTL (2011-current)

£17,550

1649cc, 160bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

The K1600GTL is now BMW’s premier sports tourer and puts the big machine right in the firing line of bikes like the Honda Pan-European, and the Honda GoldWing. Over the GT it comes with a massive top case big enough to swallow two full size helmets, the same panniers as the GT, plus it gets lower and further back handlebars, lower footrests, lower pillion ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Piaggio X7 Evo 300 (2010-current)

£3,599

278cc, 22bhp, 85mph, Insurance group

The versatile Piaggio X7 300 Evo is a bit of a sneaky bargain – it’s powered by the same brilliant 278cc motor as the Vespa GTS 300 (since the Piaggio Group owns Vespa) but it's £300 cheaper. Not everyone will be willing to sacrifice the Vespa style and logo, but if you’re on a budget it’s a cheaper way to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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Kawasaki Z1000SX (2010-2013)

£9,199

1043cc, 138bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Loosely based on Kawasaki’s excellent Z1000, the SX fits snugly in to the gap between said naked bike and the track orientated ZX-10R, making it a grown-up bike for the real world. The near 140bhp inline four motor gives sporting potential, but creature comforts like a new seat, vibration reduction and additional fairing make it a viable long-distance touring bike. For many riders this ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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Ducati Multistrada 1200 (2010-current)

£12,850

1198cc, 150bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

With the world united on the brilliance of Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S-models, the arrival of the two base model Multistradas have slipped under the radar and into the UK. Whereas the S-models are topped off with electronically adjusted Ohlins suspension and carbon parts on the S-sport, panniers on S-Touring, the base models have manually adjustable Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MV Agusta F4 1000 (2010-2013)

£14,250

998cc, 186bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

MV’s new-generation F4 is still an unashamed racing bike with lights, but the Italian firm have smoothed out all the old rough edges and created a thoroughly usable superbike for the road. It’s 10kg lighter too. It’s still not as soft or cuddly as a Japanese 1000, but it has considerably sharper teeth and is a thousand times more exclusive ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha X-Max 250 (2004-current)

£4,299

250cc, 21bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 7

Yamaha’s YP 250R X-Max is a middleweight twist-and-go ‘maxi-scooter’. It has all the practicalities of a conventional scooter with a bit more oomph for longer journeys and decent-sized wheels and tyres for cornering confidence.

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

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