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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 Tre K 899 (2009-current)

£7,995

898cc, 105bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

This is the smaller engined version of Benelli’s brilliant, but unfortunately rare Tre K 1130  sports tourer. We rate it highly: it’s comfy, easy to ride, sounds great, handles well and has a wild side for when the mood takes you. It’s not the obvious choice, which will actually a plus-point for many, but some will be sceptical, worried about ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW F800R (2009-current)

£7,595

798cc, 87bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 12

BMW placed the F800R as an entry-level, sporty, naked urban machine to slot in amongst myriad of 600cc middleweight bikes eg Yamaha FZ6, Triumph Street Triple, Honda Hornet and so on – even though its engine is 798cc! And we can cheerfully say it fits in. What the BMW conveys is the feel and ride of large capacity bike with ...

  • 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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BMW F800GS (2008-current)

£8,685

798cc, 85bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 12

BMW's new F800GS is virtually unique: a 750/800 class adventure bike, that to most degrees offers the best of both worlds. It’s light, slim and perky enough to be a credible off-roader yet it’s also substantial, grunty, roomy and potentially sufficiently well equipped to tackle crossing continents. It’s also got a price that’s hugely tempting too. Video: BMW F800GS first ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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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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Triumph Scrambler (2006-current)

£7,349

865cc, 63bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 9

Visually the most arresting of the retro Bonneville range, the Triumph Scrambler also makes a great all-round everyday bike. Dream of being Steve McQueen in the Great Escape as you zip down to Tescos on your cool Triumph Scrambler – just don’t go try to jump the checkout queues!

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki VZ800 Intruder (2001-2012)

£5,599

805cc, 52bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 9

The Intruder series has been going for years and the Suzuki VZ800 Intruder incarnation works pretty well. Strong engine, great styling and a decent ride add up to a worthwhile competitor in the cruiser market. The Suzuki VZ800 Intruder's brakes and build quality aren’t the best but take it easy and look after it and you can laze away on ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VFR800 V-Tec (2001-2012)

£9,950

781cc, 107bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

In the late 90s the old VFR800 was a great bike but needed updating. Its replacement, the Honda VFR800 V-Tec, is a beautiful thing and rides, goes and handles superbly too, but the Honda VFR800 V-Tec's variable valve timing caused some controversy - it's clever, but is it really necessary?  

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Bonneville (2000-current)

£6,549

790cc, 61bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 9

Triumph aimed the Bonneville like an arrow straight at the heart of Harley’s 883 Sportster. With a heritage to rival the Yank’s and a better riding performance the Triumph Bonneville is unquestionably the better motorcycle. The handling is more than respectable, the brakes markedly better and, of course, it’s British.

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

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