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Yamaha XVS1300 Custom (2014-current)

£8,999

1304cc, 72bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 12

Yamaha’s XVS1300 Custom off-the-peg chopper is a rebadged Yamaha Stryker, originally released in the US in 2011. It mixes ‘American Chopper’ styling with bomb-proof Yamaha build quality. Badge snobs might sneer at its lack of ‘Harleyness’ but it’s a capable machine and superb value for money.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph America LT (2014-current)

£7,999

865cc, 60bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

Though by definition a ‘smaller bagger’ it’s not really a small bike. It’s manageable, yes, but is sufficiently full sized to carry two and luggage and tour hundreds of miles with ease. The LT also has enough style, comfort, performance and practicality and yet is still a doddle to get on with, as well. And, for the type of riders ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha XV950 (2013-current)

£7,199

942cc, 51bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 10

Like any proper bobber, Yamaha’s XV isn’t for the long, open road but is more suited to the urban dude. Yamaha has kept it relatively light, at 247kg, and a super-low seat height of 690mm makes it easy to control for virtually everyone. An abundance of torque delivers a fun, responsive ride and having suspension and brakes that work goes ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph Thunderbird Commander (2014-current)

£12,999

1299cc, 93bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

The Commander is aimed more at European riders while the LT is for the American market. Essentially a naked version of the Thunderbird LT, the Commander is a hoot to ride. Thumping along, booting the heel-toe between third or fourth, merely stroking the reassuring brakes, it doesn’t get much better. The lack of screen, panniers etc make the Commander lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim (2012-current)

£14,795

1690cc, 110bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 15

The Slim is essentially a standard Softail (ie a big twin with hidden rear shocks for that ‘hardtail’ look) but given (as seems to be repeatedly fashionable with cruisers from all manufacturers at the moment) the minimalist, ‘50s ‘bobber’/hot rod look. The difference here, though, is the ‘Slim’ bit. Harley’s view was that its existing Softails had become ever bigger ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Harley-Davidson XL1200 Sportster 72 (2012-current)

£9,195

1202cc, 110bhp, 95mph, Insurance group 12

The new Harley ‘72’ is a blinged/tarted up custom – the idea being a full-on. Early ‘70s-style custom (hence the name) but on the 1200 Sportster platform rather than the more usual big twins. It works, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kawasaki VN1700 Voyager Custom (2011-current)

£14,399

1700cc, 70bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 16

On the back of the American trend to cut down large custom touring bikes into ‘baggers’, Kawasaki has launched the Voyager Custom – a scaled down version of their full-dressed Voyager. Meaner, sleeker and £1500 cheaper than the big Voyager, the huge 1700cc engine remains, as does the side panniers but far less bling and chrome makes it more manly ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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Ducati Diavel (2011-current)

£14,995

1198cc, 162bhp, 169mph, Insurance group 17

We’re absolutely blown away by the Diavel. It’s so light, fast and sophisticated, so good handling and fun, it completely turns on its head everything we thought so-called ‘cruisers were about until now. Or, to put it another way: the Diavel does to the cruiser bike class pretty much – if not more – what Ducati’s Multistrada did to the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Victory Cross Country (2010-current)

£15,995

1731cc, 97bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 15

Victory is no stranger to the custom-tour theme. The Cross Country is based on the Vision, an outrageously-styled grand tourer that spins heads everywhere. The Cross Country is in the same vein – modern sharp and curved lines mixed with traditional touches of half fairing and screen, tall bars, luxurious seating, stereo, solid panniers and so on. Traditional also meets ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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