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Ducati Monster 1100 (2009-2013)

£8,675

1078cc, 95bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Street Triple R (2008-2012)

£7,349

675cc, 107bhp, 141mph, Insurance group 14

Triumph’s standard Street Triple mixes Triumph Speed Triple style with the tech of a Triumph Daytona 675 engine. It's light, fast, fun, agile, stylish and cool... and it just got even better. The 'R' version comes with fully-adjustable suspension and fiercer radial four-pot Nissin front brakes, making it the perfect bike to tempt UK riders away from their sportsbikes. Triumph have been planning ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2007-2008)

£8,999

998cc, 170bhp, 182mph, Insurance group 17

Yamaha’s latest R1 features new-found midrange drive from junking Yamaha’s tried and tested five-valve per cylinder in favour of the traditional four-valve set up, but at the same time installing some of the “bad boy” engine manners the original model was famed for. The chassis also gets updated by way of new frame, swingarm and suspension to make this latest ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki DL650 V-Strom (2004-2010)

£6,125

645cc, 60bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

As a fun, realistic alternative to a licence-bashing sports middleweight, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom's on to a winner. That engine is sublime, with mountains of really useable power where you want it. To an extent, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is built to a budget, but it’s a real performer. Cost-effective and versatile, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is well worth a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Speedmaster (2002-2011)

£6,949

865cc, 54bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 10

The Triumph Speedmaster is a kind of cruiser variant of the Bonneville 790, with the 2005 onwards Speedmaster getting an 865cc motor for more grunt. It has a low seat height in its favour, but the Triumph Speedmaster's oddball styling, low power and poor pillion accommodation make it poor value.   Watch the Triumph Speedmaster take on Harley-Davidsons Nightster and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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KTM Duke I/II (1994-2006)

£5,995

625cc, 55bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 11

The Duke and Duke II represent the very best of streetmoto – the slightly more refined cousin of that biking outlaw the supermoto. The Duke is rugged, grunty, well-braked and packed with attitude. It’s also a simple bike to fettle yourself and tune. It could be the best commuter ever made – only thieves love ‘em and they’re dead easy ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VTX1800 (2001-2006)

£5,499

1795cc, 95bhp, 134mph, Insurance group 14

The performance cruiser is a strange concept - why do you need to go fast on a lowrider? But if power is your thing, then the VTX1800 has got plenty of it, a certain classy elegance about its lines and the mandatory V-twin shaped engine. Also has Honda's linked braking system.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki ZX-10R (2006-2007)

£8,800

998cc, 181bhp, 182mph, Insurance group 17

Slightly more user friendly than the psycho C-model Kawasaki ZX-10R of 2004/05 but the latest Kawasaki ZX-10R is still a pretty extreme, track focused missile. Competitive in the 1000cc sports category, so obscenely fast and fine handling. Kawasaki ZX-10R  headlights not to everyone’s taste visually but it’s a look that gets cars out of the way sharpish.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Benelli Tre K 1130 (2006-current)

£8,495

1130cc, 123bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

Arguably the most ‘complete’ motorcycle from Benelli in modern times. It may be ironic that the best bike this Italian firm, which is steeped in racing history, has built isn’t a superbike, but the Benelli Tre K is a superb, Multistrada-esque, do-anything, all-purpose street motorcycle and it really is very, very good.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Hyosung GV650 Aquila (2006-current)

£5,499

647cc, 79bhp, 124mph, Insurance group 11

The Hyosung GV650 Aquila is an oddball Korean concoction whose extreme Dan Dare styling is surprisingly more than  matched by its consummate ability, specification and value – for a cruiser at least. Look past the GV650 Aqulia's Star Trek styling and there’s a decent SV-style engine, quality cycle parts and effective, real  world performance – and not much to rival ...

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

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