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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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Piaggio Typhoon 50 (1993-current)

£1,399

49cc, 4bhp, 35mph, Insurance group 2

The Piaggio Typhoon 50 has been around 16 years – as long as the teens allowed to ride it! Originally a cutting edge sports scooter, the lightweight Typhoon is still a lot of fun but is now at the bottom end of the sports 50 price scale, making it good value for money.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Piaggio NRG Power (1999-current)

£1,762

49cc, 4bhp, 31mph, Insurance group 4

Image is everything when you’re 16 – the Piaggio NRG has it with race bike styling and graphics. But it’s still a 50cc moped restricted to 30mph by law, so unless you’re old enough to derestrict, progress is painfully slow.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Piaggio Vespa LX125 (2005-current)

£2,799

124cc, 10bhp, 62mph, Insurance group

Now that the iconic Vespa PX series has been killed off by emissions laws, the LX twist-and-go four-stroke is just about the closest thing to the original Vespa look. Underneath the classic looks they’re a modern scoot – and the pink scooter in our pictures is thankfully a limited edition colour!

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Yamaha YBR250 (2009-current)

£3,799

249cc, 21bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 5

With no roadster to fill the void in Yamaha’s range between a learner 125 and something like an 80bhp XJ6, the Japanese firm have decided to bring the YBR250 in to the UK as a limited run. It’s friendly, practical and swift enough to have some fun - plus it's 33bhp licence-friendly too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha WR250X (2008-current)

£6,399

250cc, 30bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 9

In theory the WR250X is a perfect funky first bike – lightweight, funky looks and an all-new design should spell big fun. But it doesn’t – the Yamaha is badly let down by it’s chassis, which is unforgivable given the astronomic price.

  • MCN rating rating is 1
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Buell 1125CR (2008-current)

£7,830

1125cc, 146bhp, 154.85mph, Insurance group 16

Based on the sports Buell 1125R, the 1125CR is essentially a naked version of the same bike. As it comes it has one-piece handlebars to mimic clip-ons, but the pay-extra upright bars make more sense to ride with – far more comfortable, fits  the naked bill. It has the Buell 1125R’s full-fat 146bhp engine and, despite its unusual looks, the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Harley-Davidson XR1200R (2008-2012)

£7,655

1202cc, 90bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Basically, perhaps very basically, the Harley-Davidson XR1200R is a good bike. Dynamically the XR1200R performs and handles better than any Harley before. It’s brisk (if not exactly fast), fun to throw around and looks good, too. The main disappointment is that it’s finish and spec is pretty crude and the XR1200R looks like its engineering came out of a Polish ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Buell XB12 Super TT (2007-2008)

£7,295

1203cc, 100bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 14

The Buell XB12STT is a new, horny looking, supermoto-inspired derivative of the Buell XB12S Lightning and Buell XB12R Firebolt series is probably the most fun Buell motorcycle yet. Great looks, a stumpy and sharp chassis plus the familiarly grunty 1203cc Harley-Davidson derived engine add up to motorcycle that’s great to hoon about out. The Buell XB12STT suffers from limited practicality and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max (1991-2004)

N/A

1198cc, 140bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

Mad Max. There, that tells you everything you need to know about the Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max, an ill-handling, raw powered Rottweiller of a motorcycle. The full power 140bhp model is the only one worth having, so skip the early 90s UK spec models with a feeble 95bhp.

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

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