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Sachs XTC125 (1999-current)

£2,999

125cc, 15bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 7

A fun, tough little bike that, in looks alone, can certainly hold its own next to the Aprilias and Cagivas of the 125cc world. Performance is pretty good: that Suzuki engine’s smooth and grunty and the handling’s great but it’s painfully uncomfortable and really quite basic. A good laugh for a first bike, though.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda XLR125R (1997-2002)

N/A

124cc, 11bhp, 87mph, Insurance group 6

The Honda XLR125 was launched to appeal to the sub-15bhp learner market, it was a shame Honda didn’t make full use of the regulations and give the little XLR a few more bhp. As it is, it’s got its flaws but still provides lots of fun for newbies as well as proving a useful town hack for more experienced riders.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 2.5
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Harley-Davidson FXDLI Dyna Low Rider (1991-current)

£10,995

1584cc, 67bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 15

Another Harley staple aimed at riders with traditional tastes who are looking for a machine that’s both comfortable and easy to handle. The Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider combines a low seat, mid-mounted foot controls and pull back bars for easy comfort. Like all 2007 Hogs it also benefits from the new 1558 engine, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Harley-Davidson FXST Softail Standard (1998-2013)

£10,795

1449cc, 67bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 15

The Harley-Davidson Softail Standard has classic Harley looks and technology for the custom fan who wants the authentic American experience. The Softail family has concealed rear suspension for a hard-core ‘hardtail’ look. The  Harley-Davidson Softail Standard was discontinued for 2007.  Compared to later motorcycles, the main differences are that it hasn’t got the latest air cooled engine and other minor refinements.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda XL1000 Varadero (2001-2010)

£8,500

996cc, 93bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

In theory: the Honda XL1000V Varadero is a great idea; take the funky Firestorm motor and put it inside an adventure touring chassis. But the result didn’t live up to that and the Honda XL1000V Varadero hasn’t matched the success of the BMW R1150GS. Whileit has bags of comfort, luggage capacity and grunt, its thirsty engine, top heavy handling and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati 750SS (1991-2002)

N/A

748cc, 64bhp, 127mph, Insurance group 13

This is the latest in a long, long line of Ducati 750SS which date back to the early 1970s (think Paul Smart). The most recent version of the Ducati 750SS is not a bad all-round motorcycle, and the fuel injection’s a marked improvement, but it’s hard work and a lot of money for not, perhaps, quite enough reward. One for the fans?

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki GTR1000 (1986-1999)

N/A

997cc, 110bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

The Kawasaki GTR1000, an 80s touring dinosaur, has its good points; a screen which actually protects the rider well, shaft drive, comfy saddle, a massive 28.5 litre fuel capacity and - for the time - respectable handling. But the aged GPZ1000 motor, weak brakes and dated styling limit its appeal.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati M750/800 Monster (1996-2005)

N/A

749cc, 62bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 12

There was the Ducati M900 Monster (became the Ducati M1000 Monster), then the Ducati M600 Monster (became the Ducati M620 Monster) and then the Ducati M750 Monster (which became the Ducati M800 Monster), covering the vacant middle ground in the Ducati Monster family. As with the others, the Ducati M750 Monster or Ducati M800 Monster is a beautiful, painfully cool machine and, like the others, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki KLR250 (1984-2001)

N/A

249cc, 26bhp, 86mph, Insurance group 7

Look up ‘easy going’ in any encyclopedia and you’ll see a cheesy picture of Kawasaki’s KLR250 beaming back at you. Kawasaki's KLR250 is a fun, economical, long-lasting and undemanding dual purpose machine. Most will undoubtedly have led hard lives as introductory green laners or farm bikes, but a little TLC and an easy throttle hand will keep a Kawasaki KLR250  ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Honda CB1300S (2005-current)

£11,199

1284cc, 113bhp, 136mph, Insurance group 14

Classic early superbike lines crash head-on with a practical top fairing and an inexpensive ABS option to make the Honda CB1300S a competent tourer-cum-commuter that’s a pleasure to ride with above average handling, plenty of practical touches and a low seat height. Read any Honda CB1300S review and you'll find nothing but praise for the way the Honda CB1300S gets ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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