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Honda XL650V Transalp (1987-2007)

£5,249

647cc, 53bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 11

The Honda XL650V Transalp has been providing honest transport seemingly since the dawn of time. Revitalised with a bigger motor and a face-lift in 2000, it’s softly-chuffing charm and easy-going manners have won a devoted audience. Mostly blokes more interested in getting from A-to-B than having a giggle buy them up.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki Burgman 650 (2003-current)

£8,799

638cc, 54bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 10

The biggest scooter in the two wheeled world is really a mid sized touring motorcycle under its plastic panels, with a punchy 638cc twin cylinder motor makes a claimed 54bhp which is enough to send the 650 Burgervan to about 110mph. Too heavy, too wallowy in the corners and short on luggage capacity for serious touring riders.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VT750C Shadow (2004-2007)

£5,845

745cc, 45bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

The Honda VT750C Shadow's a sleek and smooth (if slightly underpowered) cruiser. The shaft drive is a welcome addition but carbs and drum brakes are a bit old hat for a modern machine. Still, it looks the part, rides well and lacks the agricultural feel of its, ahem, American counterparts.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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KTM 625 SMC (2003-2007)

N/A

625cc, 53bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 11

The KTM 625 SMC sits between the no-compromise 660 SMC and the heavier, more road-oriented LC4s in KTM’s supermoto line-up. But it’s not there to make up the numbers. It’s probably the pick of the bunch – combining the niceties of electric start with the harder race-spec SMC edge. New bikes come restricted to 30bhp but it takes about 10 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Husqvarna SM610 (2005-current)

£5,899

576cc, 52bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 10

The Husqvarna SM610  is a ‘real’ supermoto for the road. Forget Japanese look-alikes such as the MT-03 or FMX650. Husqvarna is one of a handful of European manufacturers making far lighter, more powerful machines most of which are for race only. The Husqvarna SM610 has been civilised somewhat to make a banzai if impractical road bike.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Ducati M750/800 Monster (1996-2005)

N/A

749cc, 62bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 12

There was the Ducati M900 Monster (became the Ducati M1000 Monster), then the Ducati M600 Monster (became the Ducati M620 Monster) and then the Ducati M750 Monster (which became the Ducati M800 Monster), covering the vacant middle ground in the Ducati Monster family. As with the others, the Ducati M750 Monster or Ducati M800 Monster is a beautiful, painfully cool machine and, like the others, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Moto Guzzi Breva 750ie (2003-2011)

£5,199

744cc, 48bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 10

The Moto Guzzi Breva 750ie is an ideal buy for newer or returning riders and a doddle to ride. Everything is smooth, competent and especially helpful for nervous hands. The more experienced may find it a bit dull but it makes a superb commuter, whatever your level of skill.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Multistrada 620 (2005-2007)

£5,495

618cc, 63bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

Yet another entry level Duke but the Ducati Multistrada 620 is more of an ‘all-rounder’ motorcycle to the Monsters’ ‘roadster’. The looks are an acquired taste and it’s not got a whole lot up top in the power department but the Ducati Mulitstrada 620 is a good, practical first big motorcycle. A bit more oomph and a bigger tank would have made it even more ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBF600 (2004-2007)

£5,199

599cc, 76bhp, 134mph, Insurance group 11

The Honda CBF600 is undoubtedly a supremely competent motorcycle but lordy, is it dull! Bulky and heavy for a 600cc motorcycle, the Honda CBF600 lacks any real “go”, despite being well designed and built. It’s a good, safe choice for a new biker but, for those with more experience, it’s unlikely to satiate your need for a rush. Once you’ve mastered the basics, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CB600F Hornet (1998-2006)

£5,199

599cc, 97bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 12

The Honda CB600F Hornet uses simple ingredients, thoughtfully combined to create a motorcycle far better than you’d guess. Old Honda CBR600F engine plus a basic frame, cost conscious suspension and upright bars make a versatile motorcycle that’s fun and practical. High level exhaust, USD forks and wide rear tyre add a dash of pzazz. The CB600F Hornet suits shorter bikers well. - Check out hondahornet.co.uk for ...

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

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