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Triumph Thunderbird Storm (2011-current)

£12,499

1699cc, 97bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

It would be easy to be cynical about Triumph’s new Thunderbird Storm. Its route of taking an existing cruiser model and spinning off a pared down, mean and moody, all-black, ‘hot rod’-styled variant is, after all, a well-trodden one. Riding it, however, reveals the new Storm to be pleasingly more than just AN Other fashion victim. Aside from predictable black ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki M1800R Intruder (2006-current)

£10,799

1783cc, 123bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 15

In modern youthful speak the word bad actually means good. In any language big is big and Suzuki’s M1800R Intruder is really big – and bad at the same time. This is based on the fact the Intruder weighs in at 347kg leaving the petrol station; has the biggest cylinder bore size (112mm) of any current production bike; and produces ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Victory Vegas (2003-current)

£10,695

1634cc, 123bhp, 100mph, Insurance group 15

This is Victory’s exciting air/oil-cooled 1634cc chopper-style V-twin Vegas. It’s American made, but unlike a Harley Davidson has a much more modern level of performance, while still looking stylish. It might be missing the Harley badge, but it has everything else, including an affordable price tag.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki VN900 Custom (2007-current)

£7,149

903cc, 53bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 10

Over recent years Kawasaki has created an impressive portfolio of cruisers and Kawasaki VN900 Custom is one of its best yet. The Kawasaki VN900 Custom's laid back, chopper style is down largely to its distinctive, cast alloy big 21-inch front wheel. But other differences between the Kawasaki VN900 Custom and Kawasaki VN900 on which it is based include the high-rise drag ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha XV125 Virago (1997-2004)

N/A

124cc, 13bhp, 60mph, Insurance group 4

If you're starting out on two wheels then the Yamaha XV125 Virago V-twin is one of the best made little motorbikes you can choose. Reliable motor, solid chassis, nice low seat and wide `bars give a feeling of confident control on the machine. Later XVS125 models have an extra 3bhp in the V-twin motor and the bike is 4kgs lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XV1900 (2006-current)

£13,499

1854cc, 89bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

Called the Midnight Star in the UK but overseas known as the Stratoliner – a name that conjures up images of a big motorcycle. And it’s spot-on. The Yamaha XV1900 is typical of Japanese cruisers which have been getting larger and larger both physically and in terms of engine displacement in the last few years. Like all big Japanese customs, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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Honda VT125C Shadow (1999-2007)

£3,299

125cc, 15bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 4

If you’re ultimately yearning for a mammoth cruiser but have yet to perfect the art of riding one, the Honda VT125C Shadow is the bike for you. The littlest Shadow looks the part, is beautifully finished, very reliable and is relatively gentle and forgiving for the novice rider. The Honda VT125C Shadow is a bit lardy, and rather expensive, but an excellent ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Hyosung GV650 Aquila (2006-current)

£5,499

647cc, 79bhp, 124mph, Insurance group 11

The Hyosung GV650 Aquila is an oddball Korean concoction whose extreme Dan Dare styling is surprisingly more than  matched by its consummate ability, specification and value – for a cruiser at least. Look past the GV650 Aqulia's Star Trek styling and there’s a decent SV-style engine, quality cycle parts and effective, real  world performance – and not much to rival ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki EL125 Eliminator (1998-current)

£1,999

124cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 5

The Kawasaki EL125 Eliminator’s a top little bike to hone your skills on with a responsive, smooth motor and easy handling. The Kawasaki EL125 Eliminator is never going to win any races but that’s not what it’s about: it’ll haul you from A to B with little fuss, enabling you to enjoy the ride.

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

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