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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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KTM 990 SMT (2009-current)

£9,645

999cc, 115bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

The KTM 990 SMT is a new take on the adventure bike theme that manages to combine all the mental fun of a supermoto with the comfort, practicality and ability to cover miles of an adventure bike. It’s being hailed as the current all-rounder King offering all things to all riders. Of more interest to more people is the fact ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki Gladius (2009-current)

£5,699

645cc, 75.9bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 10

The old SV650 was a good bike and to be honest Suzuki didn’t have to do much to make it a great bike once more. But they have gone one better and given us an excellent bike. Obvious improved looks but the real beauty it’s under the skin, the lovely fuelled, smooth, punchy, little V-Twin.  As an added extra bonus ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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KTM 990 Adventure (2009-2012)

£9,545

999cc, 106bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 13

The KTM 990 Adventure is already a brilliant adventure trail bike, but the 2009 adds a little bit more refinement and power. A new crank has smoothed vibes, and touch extra power is not instantly noticeable but welcome all the same.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Buell Ulysses XB12XT (2008-current)

£8,310

1203cc, 103bhp, 131mph, Insurance group 15

Reworking an existing model to make an all-together different model can work, as Suzuki’s Bandit and V-Strom range has shown – add panniers, taller screen, other accessories and they become good budget touring bikes. Buell’s take on this is to rework the Ulysses adventure-based bike, add small panniers and top box and hope they can get away with an archaic ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • 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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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2008-2010)

£7,200

599cc, 112.3bhp, 164.97mph, Insurance group 15

The new Suzuki GSX-R600 is very similar to last years GSX-R600. Underneath the new body work chassis wise it’s very similar. Suzuki engineers have played around with the engine but instead of seeking peak performance they have tried to make the engine more user friendly by increasing low to midrange performance. They have also opted to fit the Suzuki Drive ...

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

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