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Honda VFR800X Crossrunner (2011-current)

£9,499

782cc, 101bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

The Crossrunner has already proved controversial for being passed off as a new bike when, effectively, it’s little more than a re-worked, re-styled nine-year-old VFR800 with some ‘parts bin’ equipment. But there’s no denying that, as a concept, as a two-wheeled ‘cross-over’ machine, the Crossrunner simply works. It’s one of the best, friendliest and truly versatile bikes around – anywhere. ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki W800 (2011-current)

£6,799

773cc, bhp, 110mph, Insurance group

Our first test of Kawasaki’s new W800 suggests that Britain’s own Triumph, after for five years having things all its own way in the ‘retro roadster’ class, has a new, real rival on its hands. Not only is the Kawasaki W800 cheaper and better specced than its closest Bonneville rival, the Kawasaki’s uprated engine means there’s now no discernible performance ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha Fazer8 (2010-current)

£7,999

779cc, 106bhp, mph, Insurance group 16

Yamaha’s Fazer range of bikes used to be all about hard-working, do it all, value for money bikes. One look at the today’s price for the new Fazer8 says otherwise when comparing it to the competition – and the fact there is the slightly bigger capacity but vastly superior FZ1 in Yamaha’s line up. But what you have to remember ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Tiger 800 XC (2010-current)

£8,699

799cc, 94bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The new 800 XC is very much the bigger, burlier brother of Triumph’s two new Tigers. From the moment you swing your leg on board it’s clearly a taller, seemingly more substantial machine. The combination of 21-inch wire front wheel (in place of the 800’s cast 19incher), longer travel (by 40mm) 45mm forks (the 800’s are 43mm) and slightly wider ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Tiger 800 (2010-current)

£8,099

799cc, 94bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

Triumph’s new Tiger 800 is the slightly more basic, more road-orientated and novice-friendly (not to mention cheaper) version of its two, new, three cylinder dual-purpose machines. The other is the Tiger 800XC. It’s a great bike, too –  impressing immediately with excellent ergonomics, and a superbly linear and progressive power delivery.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha FZ8 (2010-current)

£6,999

779cc, 106bhp, mph, Insurance group 16

Yamaha’s original FZS600 Fazer and later models always represented value for money workhorses – the sort of bike you could commute and have fun on anytime, anywhere. But now the XJ6 and Diversion fills the cheap and cheerful slot left by the death of the FZ6 S2 and FZ6 Fazer. The replacement machine is the new FZ8 (and half-faired FZ8 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Monster 796 (2010-current)

£7,995

803cc, 87bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

Yee-haar. Puzzled? Don’t be. The simple truth is Ducati’s 796 - the Bologna-based company’s latest air-cooled Monster – slots nicely between the first-timer Monster 696 and the more powerful Monster 1100 and it's one of biking’s easy-to-net pleasures. It’s not under or overpowered, definitely not expensive to buy or maintain, easy to ride and a looker to boot. Plus it ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Hypermotard 796 (2009-2012)

£7,395

803cc, 81bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s entry-level 803cc Hypermotard 796 is a stormer of a machine. It’s 12kg lighter and its seat is 20mm lower than the Hypermotard 1100, which makes it easier to ride and in the real world, and every bit as fast from A to B. It’s a deal cheaper too and Ducati says it will return 58.9mph, which makes it the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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 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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