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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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Moto Guzzi V7 Classic (2008-current)

£6,932

744cc, 48bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 10

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic isn’t perfect. It’s underpowered slightly, a tad vibey at speed and the levers aren’t span adjustable. But otherwise we struggle to find fault. The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is stylish, useful, charismatic and simply a nice motorcycle to ride and own and, for the money, that’s accomplishment enough. We’d have one instead of a Bonnie ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki 250R Ninja (2008-2011)

£4,649

249cc, 32.5bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 9

The American market has been a big success for the Kawasaki Ninja 250 range for years and years and… But even the Yanks need a fresh brew every now and then and the Ninja 250R is the latest offering. Fortunately for 33bhp probationary riders in mainland Europe and the UK, we are getting the bike too, complete with emissions compliant fuel ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Mana 850 (2007-2011)

£6,699

839cc, 75bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 12

The Aprilia Mana 850 is a sort of half-scooter, half motorcycle designed to be the bike for all occasions. For the weekday commute slip the Mana’s fully-automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) gearbox into ‘auto’ mode and you’ve a twist-and-go scooter; easy to ride and stress-free. There’s space for a helmet under the dummy fuel tank cover and a 12v socket ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki B-King (2007-2012)

£9,500

1340cc, 164bhp, 151mph, Insurance group 17

The verdict is still up in the air regarding the futuristic, dynamic looks of the Suzuki B-King. It seems you either hate it or love it. What can be said for sure is the B-King is very fast, enough to match a sports 1000. It’s just a shame it’s restricted to 150mph. The B-King is a lovely road motorcycle, has ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Moto Guzzi Bellagio (2007-2012)

£6,999

935cc, 74bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

It’s been a long time since new models from Moto Guzzi were anything to get excited about and although there’s nothing radical or inspiring about the Bellagio, and it’s still mostly been assembled by raiding the parts bins, for a roadster/cruiser it’s undeniably stylish, well-equipped, has a fruity motor, fun handling and is good value, too.   Watch the Moto ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia SL1000 Falco (1999-2005)

N/A

997cc, 118bhp, 156mph, Insurance group 15

The Aprilia SL1000 Falco is a generally well-regarded, half-faired, ‘street sports’ version of RSV which never quite took off in the way it could have. Unique twin beam frame and slightly detuned V-twin made it more streetable, although still very much a sportster. The Aprilia Falco is often overlooked so is a potential used bargain.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki ZZ-R600 (1990-2007)

N/A

599cc, 99bhp, 154mph, Insurance group 13

Overlooked by many but those who’ve ridden them know how good they can be. The Kawasaki ZZ-R600 is an unlikely nutter bike but, on speed alone, it’s up there in the upper echelons of  the “bikes that can get you nicked in second gear” category. Roomy and comfortable, the Kawasaki ZZ-R600 is practical, too, and you can pick them up ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha XV125 Virago (1997-2004)

N/A

124cc, 13bhp, 60mph, Insurance group 4

If you're starting out on two wheels then the Yamaha XV125 Virago V-twin is one of the best made little motorbikes you can choose. Reliable motor, solid chassis, nice low seat and wide `bars give a feeling of confident control on the machine. Later XVS125 models have an extra 3bhp in the V-twin motor and the bike is 4kgs lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YZF-R1 (1998-2003)

N/A

998cc, 150bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 16

The third and final great sports bike of the nineties. The FireBlade set the agenda, the 916 added finesse and the Yamaha YZF-R1 topped them off with extra power and madness. Even today the original Yamaha YZF-R1 is a sports tool to be reckoned with and updated Yamaha YZF-R1s are even more potent and easier to use too.  

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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