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Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim (2012-current)

£14,795

1690cc, bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 15

The Slim is essentially a standard Softail (ie a big twin with hidden rear shocks for that ‘hardtail’ look) but given (as seems to be repeatedly fashionable with cruisers from all manufacturers at the moment) the minimalist, ‘50s ‘bobber’/hot rod look. The difference here, though, is the ‘Slim’ bit. Harley’s view was that its existing Softails had become ever bigger ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer (2012-current)

£12,399

1237cc, 127bhp, 131mph, Insurance group 17

The surprise with the Crosstourer is two-fold: first that the 1200 V4 powertrain works so well in an adventure bike package (it already seems so familiar and ‘right’ to me it seems like it’s been around for years) and second that it genuinely brings a new and tempting dimension – namely V4 performance and sophisticated automatic transmission – to the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Harley-Davidson XL1200 Sportster 72 (2012-current)

£9,195

1202cc, bhp, 95mph, Insurance group 12

The new Harley ‘72’ is a blinged/tarted up custom – the idea being a full-on. Early ‘70s-style custom (hence the name) but on the 1200 Sportster platform rather than the more usual big twins. It works, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Vespa GTS125 (2007-current)

£3,549

124cc, 15bhp, mph, Insurance group

You get all the style and cool of an original Vespa, wrapped up in a package with modern reliability and running gear. If you're commute is primarily on busy city roads the engine and handling are spot on. But the GTS struggles out on the open road.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-current)

£9,499

1043cc, 116bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

Its odd looks will always raise questions, but the engine won’t, it’s a peach. There’s loads of low down, a nice spread of torque and the dollop of top end power should see it as the quickest bike in this category. It’s also extremely comfortable, will eat mile after mile all day long and handles reasonably well (up to a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha T-Max (2012-current)

£8,699

530cc, 46.5bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 9

The sports maxi-scooter that started it all. As close as you'll get to motorcycle handling in scooter form. The T-Max can tour, scratch and commute as good or better than many middleweight conventional bikes. But ABS isn't standard, it lacks the innovative features found on other maxi-scoots and the price is getting dangerously close to £9K.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Piaggio MP3 Yourban 125 (2011-current)

£4,820

124cc, 15bhp, mph, Insurance group

The Yourban 125 is certainly not cheap, but you can't put a price on confidenc, which is exactly what the extra front wheel gives. The 300cc version is less than £1000 more expensive, has more power and can be ridden on a car licence.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Husqvarna Nuda 900 (2011-current)

£8,750

898cc, 105bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

The first new road bike to be produced by Husqvarna since BMW took over the company in 2007. In essence it’s a re-badged, re-styled parallel twin-cylinder BMW F800 with a 100cc bigger motor. The Nuda mixes typical Husqvarna supemoto thrills with a comfier riding position and a nod to practicality, if you go for the optional touring extras, which include ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia SR Max 300 (2011-2012)

£3,899

278cc, 21.7bhp, 91mph, Insurance group

There are a lot of good points about buying a maxi scooter like the SR Max. Fuel economy is one, simplicity is the other. There aren’t many full-licenced motorcyclists who would buy a scooter on these benefits alone because of the image they portray of being ‘a ladies bike’. Maybe this is why Aprilia has wound up the ‘sport-styling’ knob ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 2.5
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Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

£10,995

849cc, 132bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance. On the other, even though ...

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

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