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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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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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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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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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KTM 690 Duke (2008-2011)

£6,945

654cc, 65bhp, 122mph, Insurance group 11

The KTM 690 Duke's new LC4 single cylinder engine is the most impressive part of the new Duke. It’s hard to believe it’s a single, so much better than the lumpy single cylinder engines of old. The styling is very aggressive, it’s laden in quality parts like WP suspension and Brembo brakes, and on the right road, hairpin after hairpin ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki GSX650F (2007-current)

£6,285

656cc, 86bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

Suzuki’s new budget and novice-friendly GSXF650F all-rounder proves that sometimes, brilliance is found in the most unlikely places. Although on face value merely a ‘Bandit with a fairing’ the GSX650F’s blend of real world performance, practicality, fun factor and value is pretty much unmatched anywhere.   Watch the Suzuki GSX650F take on the Honda CBF600S and the Kawasaki ER-6F Watch ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda XL700V Transalp (2008-2012)

£6,775

680cc, 59bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 11

This latest version of the Honda Transalp is much improved over the last model, but to be honest that was never going to be difficult. The motor is just quick enough, should last forever, and offers a smile when the mood takes you. The new Honda Transalp’s handling isn’t bad, either, considering the market the motorcycle is aimed at. Looks-wise ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Shiver (2007-2009)

£5,999

749cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

The Aprilia Shiver is the first Aprilia to be created from a clean sheet of paper since cash-rich Piaggio took to the helm, and on the basis of our test it’s a good-un. The Aprilia Shiver is one of a new breed of Aprilia motorcycles that’s going to plug the huge gap in their range between the RS125 and RSV1000R ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki GSF650 Bandit (2007-2012)

£5,725

656cc, 84bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 11

Take a look again. Yes, that first picture really is the new Suzuki Bandit 650, but only a trained Bandit anorak would be able to spot the differences between it and the previous incarnation. The Bandit has come under a bit of fire in recent years as it's not quite as polished or accomplished as rivals like the Fazer, or ...

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

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