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Ducati ST3 (2003-2007)

£7,650

992cc, 102bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 15

The ignored Ducati family – the sports touring motorcycles – got a big boost with the arrival of the Ducati ST3 model in 2003. Its three valve per cylinder engine was new and unique in the Ducati range – previous sports touring Ducatis made do with other motorcycles' hand me downs. A refreshing, different sports touring motorcycle with decent reliability so far.

  • 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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Yamaha MT-03 (2006-current)

£7,399

660cc, 45bhp, 100mph, Insurance group 11

Visually stunning and mechanically sound, Yamaha’s trick new “roadster motard” creates its own little niche in the market. Ideally an urban/commuter tool, the Yamaha MT-03 gives you more than enough fun if you want some bendy weekend scratching too. Handling is superb but just a little more horsepower would’ve really broadened the Yamaha MT-03's appeal.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Yamaha YZF-R6 (2006-2007)

£7,499

599cc, 131bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

The 2006 Yamaha R6 was the most high-tech, track focussed motorcycle you could buy when it was released. Technology to put Yamaha’s own R1 of the day to shame, reinforcing that 600cc motorcycles are no longer a budget option but for many, simply the best choice. Rapid, gorgeous and sometimes frustrating on the road but still easy to fall in ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YZF-R6 (2004-2005)

£6,599

599cc, 108bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

For a supersports machine that’s as easy to ride to the shops as it is round Donington Park the 2005 Yamaha YZF-R6 comes close to spot-on. Launched as a rearguard action while the factory prepared their dinky, ride-by-wire ’06 hottie, this older version of the Yamaha YZF-R6 still comes with toys like radial brakes and is seriously underrated.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XJR1300 (1998-current)

£8,099

1251cc, 105bhp, 139mph, Insurance group 13

Ah, the Yamaha XJR1300 is a proper man’s motorcycle with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and a colossal motor. And it’s especially lovely in the SP’s Yamaha speed block colours complete with Ohlins shocks, just the sort of thing that sunny Sundays were made for. A motorcycle to make you feel good.   Watch the video to see ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW R1200GS Adventure (2006-2009)

£9,755

1170cc, 99bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

This is the last word in round-the-world motorcycling can do. With a monstrous 33-litre tank, grunty motor, shaft-drive and excellent reliability in all climes and conditions the BMW R1200GS Adventure redefines the giant trailie motorcycle class. And the BMW R1200GS Adventure is a giant – at nearly a quarter of a ton fully-loaded and with a lofty 910mm seat only the brave or foolish will ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW K1200R (2005-2008)

£9,375

1157cc, 167bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 16

The BMW K1200R is another from the latest-generation Beemers that blow away the firm’s reputation for dull motorcycles. A 170mph naked motorcycle with looks that fuse sci-fi and retro with plenty of brawn. Basically a stripped down but modified BMW K1200S. It seems crazy but BMW offer small fairings for the BMW K1200R so you can occasionally use all the 163bhp this ...

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

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