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KTM 690 Duke R (2010-2011)

£8,899

690cc, 71.4bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 11

Even though the bike tested was a pre-production unit – virtually finished bar the paintwork and decals – this bigger capacity 690 Duke is altogether a different machine than non-R model 690 Duke (654cc). The extra 36cc (KTM won’t confirm this figure until after official model launch, mid Nov ’09) of the new R-model with carbonfibre front mudguard and revised ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda BROS NT400 (1988-1992)

N/A

398cc, 31bhp, 94mph, Insurance group 9

Strictly speaking, the BROS 400 is heavy, underpowered and outdated. But the cheap grey imports are surprisingly nice to ride – they’re well balanced, steer well and the engine is flexible, torquey and characterful given its 33bhp output. That also makes it legal for new riders on a restricted licence.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR (2009-current)

£14,599

1078cc, 142bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 17

MV’s new range-topping Brutale 1090RR, the first of the new-generation of machines built under Harley Davidson ownership, might not look very different to the old one, but it’s a revelation. It’s 85% new, boasts a dual power map, an eight-stage traction control system and is 4kg lighter than the out-going 1078RR. But most importantly it’s night-and-day friendlier and easier to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Moto Morini Scrambler (2009-current)

£10,120

1187cc, 115.3bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 17

If the idea of a 1187cc, 115bhp V-twin machine with Scrambler clothing and mild off-road capability provokes the madness within, the Scrambler is the doorway to the nearest nut house. On the road-biased tyres (an optional fit because the standard knobblies aren’t speed rated for 100mph-plus action), the Scrambler is a scream. Wheelies and sports-like riding come with a twist ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aprilia Mana GT (2009-2011)

£8,174

839cc, 76bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 13

The £6999 Mana 850 GT ABS is a clever bike and so much more than just a motorcycle with a big scooter engine. The new fairing and ABS add an extra layer of practicality and safety to a package which seems ordinary on paper, and a bit dull to look at, admittedly, but the Mana 850 GT ABS is absolutely ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta Brutale 989R (2008-2012)

£8,750

982cc, 142bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

Don’t think of the Brutale 989R as a watered-down version of its 1078RR bigger brother; it’s a powerhouse of a bike in its own right. MV claim a massive 142bhp from the crank and a top speed of 165mph, which puts it right up there with the best in the super naked class. Compared to the Brutale 910, the 989R ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha YBR250 (2009-current)

£3,799

249cc, 21bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 5

With no roadster to fill the void in Yamaha’s range between a learner 125 and something like an 80bhp XJ6, the Japanese firm have decided to bring the YBR250 in to the UK as a limited run. It’s friendly, practical and swift enough to have some fun - plus it's 33bhp licence-friendly too.

  • 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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Ducati Streetfighter S (2009-2012)

£14,695

1099cc, 155bhp, 154mph, Insurance group

The Ducati Streetfighter looks like a crashed 1098 superbike but packs so much presence and attitude it works standing still. It needs to because at £13,995 for the S-version we rode here, it has a hell of a lot of competition on its hands in one of the biggest-growing classes in the UK. Ducati claim it’s the lightest bike in the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW F800R (2009-current)

£7,595

798cc, 87bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 12

BMW placed the F800R as an entry-level, sporty, naked urban machine to slot in amongst myriad of 600cc middleweight bikes eg Yamaha FZ6, Triumph Street Triple, Honda Hornet and so on – even though its engine is 798cc! And we can cheerfully say it fits in. What the BMW conveys is the feel and ride of large capacity bike with ...

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

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