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Norton Commando 961 SE (2009-current)

£15,995

961cc, 79bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

Revived Norton’s new Commando 961 SE is a ‘feel good’ bike par excellence. It gives riding and owning pleasure by the skip-load and is a machine you’ll park up and spend hours admiring in the garage with a cuppa. Yes, in this full-bling, limited edition, £16K, SE trim, the 961 is arguably more ornament than transport, but that’s’s arguably irrelevent ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha WR125X (2009-current)

£4,199

124cc, 15bhp, 75mph, Insurance group

Yamaha’s all-new WR125X has everything it needs to be the class leading learner supermoto. It’s great looking, well-equipped, has a great new engine, is solidly built and is great fun to ride. The Yamaha WR125X is a serious, substantial piece of kit – the only slight downside for novice riders is its tall seat and high price.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW F650GS (2008-current)

£6,650

798cc, 71bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 8

BMW’s successor to long-lived and popular entry-level F650 single is, confusingly, being based on the F800GS, neither a single (it’s a parallel twin) or a 650 (it’s 798cc) – so perhaps not surprisingly it’s miles better than the old one. Just as importantly, though, with a lowered seat, softened delivery and more, it’s every bit as novice or shortie-friendly and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Shiver GT (2009-2011)

£7,474

749cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

The standard Aprilia SL750 Shiver is just another funky naked bike – but the simple addition of a fairing turns it in to one of the best Italian all rounders you can buy. The Shiver GT is very competent, mixing practicality with style, performance and character for not a huge amount of cash.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2009-2011)

£10,825

999cc, 161bhp, 178.9mph, Insurance group 17

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 is the first completely new GSX-R1000 in the big Suzuki’s history, but it feels uncannily similar to the K7/K8 model it replaces. Despite a new short-stoke engine and an all-new chassis, the K9 hasn’t captured the spirit of the grunt-filled, lightweight K5 bike as we’d hoped and still lacks the agility to keep with its rivals ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha XJ6 Diversion (2009-current)

£6,499

600cc, 77bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 12

The new Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is the half-faired version of the Yamaha XJ6. It's more powerful, better handling and prettier than the trusty old Diversion of the late 80s and early 90s. But just like that old original, it offers practical, fun and above all, affordable biking. It’s easy to ride, so it’s perfect for new riders looking for their ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XJ6 (2009-current)

£6,099

600cc, 77bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

This is the naked version of the half-faired Yamaha XJ6 Diversion. Aside from the lack of fairing, it is exactly the same spec, but somehow it has transformed the Yamaha from sensible budget middleweight to exciting mini streetfighter. With its ‘baby Yamaha FZ-1’ looks and sit-up-and-beg riding position this is a very cheap way to get your rocks off. On ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Daytona 675 (2009-current)

£8,399

675cc, 126bhp, 156mph, Insurance group 16

You would be hard pushed to tell the difference from the successful but outgoing Triumph Daytona 675 model and the latest 2009 model. But stand closer and the differences jump out at you i.e. the new angular top fairing, Nissin monoblock calipers, revised suspension and so on. The engine and performance changes you can’t see, but combined with the great ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati 1198S (2008-2011)

£17,250

1198cc, 168bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Nobody else has a 168bhp V-twin on its books, complete with traction control, Ohlins suspension, data-recording etc, and if they did it’d probably cost more than the £14,750 Ducati 1198S. And there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have the same devastating performance all wrapped up in a chassis that has more character than Lord Of the Rings’ Gandalf. This is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Benelli TNT 899S (2008-current)

£8,195

899cc, 118bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 17

The Benelli TNT super naked has been with us now, almost unchanged since 2004. Early 1130cc models were snarling, brutal, wheelie-prone monsters with a savage-sounding wail from its three into one underseat exhaust. But these very early models could be temperamental things, but since Benelli was bought by the Chinese Qiangiang Group (they produce over 1.2-million two-wheelers a year over ...

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

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