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Yamaha XJ900S Diversion (1994-2004)

N/A

892cc, 90bhp, 127mph, Insurance group 12

Introduced two years after its little 600cc brother, the bigger Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is a real, no-nonsense all-rounder. Ok, so it lacks outstanding performance or any semblance of sexiness but who cares? For bikers on a budget who ride in the real world, the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is hard to beat. Has a long standing and respectable heritage, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2001-2002)

N/A

988cc, 160bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 16

This Suzuki GSX-R1000 is the original ‘Gixxer-thou’ – THE top dog sports bike of its day. Later Suzuki GSX-R1000s became smaller and more revvy as well as faster round circuits and arguably easier to handle. The original Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1 and K2 models are still supremely competent sports bikes and pretty decent all round machines too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda GL1800 Gold Wing (2001-current)

£24,999

1832cc, 116bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 15

The Honda GL1800 Gold Wing is the kitchen sink, bells and whistles touring motorcycle. Looking for the best comfort for rider and pillion, max luggage space and a motorcycle that’ll make kids point and stare? You want a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing. Evolved from the late 70s GL1000 into the current intergalactic-cruiser incarnation. Plus there’s a huge social scene of Honda ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR600F (2000-2007)

N/A

599cc, 108bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

When the Honda CBR600F got fuel injection, it also had its personality split. From this point on, two Honda CBR600s would run concurrently: the Honda CBR600F and the Honda CBR600FS (now superseded by the Honda CBR600RR). One a sporty all-rounder, the other, a full-on sportsbike. The Honda CBR600F was, and remains, a brilliant motorcycle with real power and excitement but with the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-current)

£8,675

1050cc, 123bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

The Triumph Sprint ST is the best sports-touring motorcycle of its generation by some margin. It’s smooth, long-legged, comfortable and handsome, with a effortless power to shrinks distances with delightful ease. What's more, the Triumph Sprint ST's more sporty bent means it handles better than any motorcycle in its class.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Derbi GPR125 (2005-2009)

£3,599

124cc, 33bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 4

The Derbi GPR125 is arguably one of the most beautifully styled 125 motorcycles ever made. On a murky day you might mistake it for a baby Ducati or MV Agusta motorcycle. The Derbi GPR125 also goes very well (de-restricted of course ) and handles just like a racing motorcycle, with firm suspension and a substantial 300mm front disc brake. The Derbi GPR125 is a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Kawasaki ZX-6R (2003-2004)

N/A

636cc, 112bhp, 162mph, Insurance group 15

The ZX-6R of 2003 marked a dramatic return to form for Kawasaki. At its launch this machine was the hardest, most technologically advanced 600 of all time, boasting radial brakes, upside-down forks and fully digital clocks alongside fuel-injection, a lap timer and all wrapped up in a tiny, tight chassis and plastics. Gorgeous.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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BMW F800S (2006–2010)

£7,450

798cc, 84.5bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 11

A revolutionary addition to the BMW stable, the BMW F800S has filled the yawning chasm between the marque’s 650 motorcycles and 1200 motorcycles with power, style and charisma. The BMW F800S has an excellent engine, superb handling and everyday usability to make it a bike you could learn to ride on yet keep, and enjoy, a very long time after you’ve got your motorcycle licence.   Watch the ...

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

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