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Kawasaki KLX250 (2009-current)

£4,799

249cc, 22bhp, 72mph, Insurance group

Kawasaki has revived a dead class of motorcycle – the cheap and cheerful trail bike. Soft power, a novice friendly chassis and low running costs are completely at odds with the hardcore enduro styling. It’s as happy getting back and forth to work every day as it lolloping along green lanes.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Gilera Runner 125 (2009-current)

£3,121

124cc, 14.5bhp, 73mph, Insurance group

The Runner is a long-term favourite in the scooter market, and for this year the original design was finally updated. Now four-stroke, the Runner is a sporty-looking and practical machine.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Piaggio MP3 Hybrid (2009-current)

N/A

124cc, 14.7bhp, 55mph, Insurance group

Hybrid technology has finally reached motorcycles – the MP3 Hybrid has an electric motor that can assist the petrol engine or run as a standalone engine. But sadly it’s not quite ready to provide a viable alternative yet – price is expected to be high and the electric assistance isn’t good enough. Doubt has been cast over the green credentials ...

  • MCN rating rating is 2
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Suzuki UX125 Sixteen (2008-2010)

£2,450

124cc, 12.8bhp, 63mph, Insurance group

The Suzuki Sixteen 125 is aimed at trendy teens looking for stylish transport (hence the name – continental teenagers can ride one from age 16), but the UK scooter market is different – it fits with a more mature rider, especially given the sombre colours. It’s not exciting, but it does a job.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aprilia RX50 (2006-2012)

£2,619

50cc, 6bhp, 50mph, Insurance group 2

The Aprilia RX50 has the looks of a proper enduro bike, but none of the performance. Restricted, it’ll struggle to break 30mph, and de-restricted (illegal for 16 year-olds) it’ll top 50 eventually. The chassis will cope with gentle off-roading, but ride it harder and the RX50 will be out of its depth.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Piaggio MP3 250 (2007-current)

£4,199

244cc, 22.5bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 7

The Piaggio MP3 is mind-bending – not because of its speed, but because of how much confidence an extra front wheel affords. It opens motorcycling up to a new, safety-conscious commuter audience who wouldn’t ride a motorcycle.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aprilia SX125 (2008-2011)

£3,349

125cc, 22bhp, 82mph, Insurance group 7

Apart from the tinny two-stroke noise coming out the back of the SX125 and RX125 the new learner strokers could pass for a bigger supermoto. But get on board and you’ll find that the power and handling simply doesn’t match up to the looks.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Harley-Davidson Softail Cross Bones (2008-2012)

£14,595

1584cc, 75bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 15

Harley's Cross Bones is the perfect antidote to a tough week at work. It’s so comfortable, thanks to its wide, beautifully padded, hand-stitched sprung seat and rubber-topped footboards that you could almost fall asleep on it; something the whisper-quiet exhausts would unfortunately let you do, if you weren’t careful. It looks the part and the ‘Springer’ front end adds to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Royal Enfield Electra EFI (2008-current)

£4,000

500cc, 27.5bhp, 82mph, Insurance group 6

This new version of the Enfield Electra may look the same, and to be fair in alot of ways that count it is, but in fact it features an all new unit construction engine with fuel-injection, dragging it kicking and screaming into this century to meet Euro 3 emission laws. This is a motorcycle with alot of charisma- a throwback from a bygone ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Yamaha XT660X/R (2004-current)

£6,499

659cc, 47bhp, 98mph, Insurance group 10

The new XT660 comes in two guises – the Yamaha XT660X (supermoto-style with 17-inch rims) and the Yamaha XT660R (taller, with an off-road friendly 21-inch front hoop). Both motorcycles are neatly styled, but sadly they’re compromised by a snatchy fuel-injection that blights their low-speed performance and a dry weight that borders on the morbidly obese. For commuting fun they pass ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3

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