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BMW F800GS (2008-current)

£8,685

798cc, 85bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 12

BMW's new F800GS is virtually unique: a 750/800 class adventure bike, that to most degrees offers the best of both worlds. It’s light, slim and perky enough to be a credible off-roader yet it’s also substantial, grunty, roomy and potentially sufficiently well equipped to tackle crossing continents. It’s also got a price that’s hugely tempting too. Video: BMW F800GS first ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Ducati 848 (2007-2013)

£10,995

848cc, 122bhp, 166mph, Insurance group 17

The Ducati 848 isn’t just a small 1098, it’s much more than that. The 848 is a proper fast (top speed is 166mph), fine-handling, gorgeous Ducati superbike in its own right. It’s no longer the poor relation to its big brother, like the 748 and 749 used to be. But costing £9500 you’re going to need to be anything but ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia Mana 850 (2007-2011)

£6,699

839cc, 75bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 12

The Aprilia Mana 850 is a sort of half-scooter, half motorcycle designed to be the bike for all occasions. For the weekday commute slip the Mana’s fully-automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) gearbox into ‘auto’ mode and you’ve a twist-and-go scooter; easy to ride and stress-free. There’s space for a helmet under the dummy fuel tank cover and a 12v socket ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XJ900S Diversion (1994-2004)

N/A

892cc, 90bhp, 127mph, Insurance group 12

Introduced two years after its little 600cc brother, the bigger Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is a real, no-nonsense all-rounder. Ok, so it lacks outstanding performance or any semblance of sexiness but who cares? For bikers on a budget who ride in the real world, the Yamaha XJ900S Diversion is hard to beat. Has a long standing and respectable heritage, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Scrambler (2006-current)

£7,349

865cc, 63bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 9

Visually the most arresting of the retro Bonneville range, the Triumph Scrambler also makes a great all-round everyday bike. Dream of being Steve McQueen in the Great Escape as you zip down to Tescos on your cool Triumph Scrambler – just don’t go try to jump the checkout queues!

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki VZ800 Intruder (2001-2012)

£5,599

805cc, 52bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 9

The Intruder series has been going for years and the Suzuki VZ800 Intruder incarnation works pretty well. Strong engine, great styling and a decent ride add up to a worthwhile competitor in the cruiser market. The Suzuki VZ800 Intruder's brakes and build quality aren’t the best but take it easy and look after it and you can laze away on ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha TDM850 (1991-2001)

N/A

849cc, 77bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 12

Fairly revolutionary when launched and certainly years ahead of its time the Yamaha TDM850 was a sort of Multistrada 12 years before Ducati thought of it. As a serious ‘street trailie allrounder it’s pretty effective, too. The later 900 is better, but the Yamaha TDM850 is still decent, good value, different, and largely overlooked.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Tiger (1993-1998)

N/A

885cc, 84bhp, 119mph, Insurance group 13

The Triumph Tiger is a versatile tourer and inter-city commuter with the same rear wheel power as a BMW R1150GS. The Triumph Tiger is handy in the bends, rides easily and the wide seat, 24-litre tank and good screen put long-distance commuting and touring well within its capabilities.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Thunderbird 900 (1993-2003)

N/A

885cc, 70bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

Surprisingly cool, versatile and fun retro – indeed one of the first. Triumph Thunderbird 900 took the pleasing and fruity Triumph Trident and refashioned it into an althogether more stylish package. There’s handling, comfort and decent poke inside those cream and chrome walls, while cred is guaranteed by the name on the tank. Nice.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Legend TT (1998-2000)

N/A

885cc, 70bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

The Triumph Legend TT is a slightly more basic, cheaper version of the Triumph Thunderbird which rides fine – slightly better even, truth be told – but only looks good to those who wear sunglasses indoors. Which, in our book, defeats half the point. Unless you love the Triumph Legend TT's black engine etc, we recommend you go for a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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