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KTM 690 Duke R (2010-2011)

£8,899

690cc, 71.4bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 11

Even though the bike tested was a pre-production unit – virtually finished bar the paintwork and decals – this bigger capacity 690 Duke is altogether a different machine than non-R model 690 Duke (654cc). The extra 36cc (KTM won’t confirm this figure until after official model launch, mid Nov ’09) of the new R-model with carbonfibre front mudguard and revised ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati Monster 1100 (2009-2013)

£8,675

1078cc, 95bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2007-2009)

£7,345

953cc, 122.3bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 15

The Kawasaki Z1000 is revamped enough to be called ‘new’. The Kawasaki Z1000's styling exercise is worthy of a Modern Tate placing – nothing else Japanese has so many styling details. The ex-ZX-9R motor is tweaked for a less frantic upper rpm delivery and now, in the Kawasaki Z1000 exudes cream-like torque from zero revs. A big-bore super-naked machine that is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Monster S4/S4R/S2R/S2R1000/S4RS (2001-2007)

£8,295

916cc, 97bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 13

Take one ageing naked roadster, add the Ducati 916/996/998 series sportbike motor, tweak the suspension and paint it red. It's been a winning formula for Ducati and the latest Ducati Monster S4RS, with its Ohlins suspension, radial brakes and 130bhp engine is possibly one of the maddest roadster motorcycles money can buy. All Ducati Monster motorcycles need TLC to maintain performance and their ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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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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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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Yamaha XJR1300 (1998-current)

£8,099

1251cc, 105bhp, 139mph, Insurance group 13

Ah, the Yamaha XJR1300 is a proper man’s motorcycle with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and a colossal motor. And it’s especially lovely in the SP’s Yamaha speed block colours complete with Ohlins shocks, just the sort of thing that sunny Sundays were made for. A motorcycle to make you feel good.   Watch the video to see ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW K1200R (2005-2008)

£9,375

1157cc, 167bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 16

The BMW K1200R is another from the latest-generation Beemers that blow away the firm’s reputation for dull motorcycles. A 170mph naked motorcycle with looks that fuse sci-fi and retro with plenty of brawn. Basically a stripped down but modified BMW K1200S. It seems crazy but BMW offer small fairings for the BMW K1200R so you can occasionally use all the 163bhp this ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia Tuono 1000 (2003-2011)

£8,399

998cc, 116bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 16

The Aprilia Tuono 1000 is one of the maddest motorcycles you can buy, with a blend of wheelie-popping power, respectable handling and Goldie Lookin' Chain styling. A motor taken from the RSV1000 Mille sportbike, but not detuned, acts like a Mr Hyde potion in this motorcycle, but if you like the occasional foray to the dark side, you'll love the Aprilia Tuono 1000.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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