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Suzuki GSX-R750 (2004-2005)

N/A

749cc, 146bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 16

The 2004 and 2005 Suzuki GSX-R750s are almost perfect. The new radial brakes solved the slight stopping issues of the last incarnation, the styling’s on the money and the motor and chassis are better than most of us can ever hope to fully exploit. The only fly in the 10/40W is the K5 GSX-R1000, which is so utterly brilliant there ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda NTV600/650 (1988-1997)

N/A

647cc, 57bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 8

The Honda NTV650 isn’t just about frugal motoring, a quality build and endless reliability. Because somehow Honda segued in a cheeky charm and a handling package that has to be ridden to be believed. Most Honda NTV650s will be a little tired after a decade or more on the streets but at the right price they’re simply superb motorcycles.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph TT600 (2000-2003)

N/A

599cc, 108bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

Triumph wowed us all when they beat all the Japanese manufacturers to putting a fuel injected engine in to a 600cc sportsbike. Shame about the glitches. Later Triumph TT600s are better but the handling and brakes have never been in doubt: they’re awe-inspiring. Dodgy looks but a true Brit.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Speed Four (2002-2006)

£5,349

599cc, 97bhp, 136mph, Insurance group 12

That engine still isn’t perfect but it ain’t half bad. A bit snatchy around town but, out in the open, it’s a dream. Alongside that handling and those brakes, you’re in for one hell of a ride on board the Speed Four. Incredibly capable and beautifully built, its distinctive looks are ideal for those who don’t want to go with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Daytona 600/650 (2003-2005)

N/A

599cc, 110bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

The Triumph Daytona 600/650 is lighter, smoother, faster and infinitely prettier than the TT600. What’s more, Bruce Anstey won the Junior TT on one in 2003 which goes to show what improvements Triumph made to their 600cc sports middleweight contender. The Triumph Daytona 600/650 is a beauty: an involved ride with excellent handling, amazing brakes and it’s good value.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Husqvarna SM450R (2004-current)

£5,994

449cc, 48bhp, 105mph, Insurance group 10

2005 was the last year the UK importers officially brought in the Husqvarna SM450R. Which is a shame as it’s an unbelievably good bike, but it was felt that the 510SMR (road bike) and SM450RR (race bike) serviced all our needs between them. Slim, fast, agile and desirable the SM450R is very much the supermoto fantasy made metal.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta F41000S (2004-2012)

£14,000

998cc, 155bhp, 184mph, Insurance group 17

The MV Agusta F41000S blends a monster engine, God-given handling and heart-aching beauty to be possibly one of the most desirable two-wheeled creations of all time. Only its high price, discomfort and lack of convincing reliability prevent it taking full marks.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda GL1800 Gold Wing (2001-current)

£24,999

1832cc, 116bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 15

The Honda GL1800 Gold Wing is the kitchen sink, bells and whistles touring motorcycle. Looking for the best comfort for rider and pillion, max luggage space and a motorcycle that’ll make kids point and stare? You want a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing. Evolved from the late 70s GL1000 into the current intergalactic-cruiser incarnation. Plus there’s a huge social scene of Honda ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2006-2007)

£7,199

599cc, 111bhp, 163mph, Insurance group 15

Although a great bike and almost certainly the best value of 2006's 600 class by 2007 it had been overtaken by the sublime, new-that-year Honda’s CBR600RR, out-revved and raced by the track-happy new Yamaha’s YZF-R6, lacked the intoxicated triple drive of Triumph’s 675 Daytona and lacked the cutting edge aggression of the new-for-2007 Kawasaki’s ZX-6R. If you can take all that with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR600RR (2003-2006)

N/A

599cc, 115bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

Barely related to the long-running all-round Honda CBR600F – the Honda CBR600RR is a track biased missile – and an excellent one. On the road, the ‘F’ version is a better bet for most with a more roomy riding position, stable handling and a less revvy engine but get the Honda CBR600RR on the track and it’s in its element.

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

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