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Honda CB650F (2014-current)

£6,399

649cc, 86bhp, 135mph, Insurance group

Value-packed roadster based on CBR650F running gear looks brilliant, is so well executed it wouldn’t look the poor relation parked next to a CB1000R or Blade, is simple and straightforward to ride and is also practical, versatile and great fun. In other words, it’s what motorcycling used to be all about before mega modes and silly prices. It’s one of ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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KTM 390 Duke (2013-current)

£4,499

373cc, 44bhp, 105mph, Insurance group

The current market seems littered with new, learner-friendly bikes, which are A2 licence compatible as manufacturers try to get new riders on board. The new 390 Duke may not have the touring ability of BMW’s G650GS or the sporty appearance of Kawasaki’s Ninja 300, but I think it should win the fun stakes and for most young riders that’s where ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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MV Agusta Dragster 800 (2014-current)

£10,990

798cc, 125bhp, 155mph, Insurance group

The Brutale 800 Dragster is a very specific type of bike for a very specific purpose. Don’t expect it to go touring or suffer a daily commute. It’s a proper Sunday show-off, at home honing about streets and back lanes, using its banging midrange and sorted throttle response to boss traffic with extravagant disdain. It’s as good as its looks; ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati Monster 1200S (2014-current)

£12,995

1198cc, 145bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In isolation I like the new Monster, which has character, looks good and is modern but still very much a Monster. The new liquid-cooled engine is much better than the old bike’s. There’s loads of mid-range and low-down grunt, and it sounds fantastic for a standard bike. The handling on the S model is excellent, just as happy on road ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2014 - current)

£9,499

1043cc, 140bhp, 147mph, Insurance group

The new 2014 Z1000 is a ballsy move by Kawasaki – and not just because it looks like something out of a Terminator movie. No, it’s ballsy because it’s rejected the current (and often expensive) fashion for electronic rider aids, because it focuses on real world riding thrills rather than fantastic and often irrelevant (for a street super naked at ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MV Agusta Brutale 800 (2013-current)

£8,999

798cc, 125bhp, 148mph, Insurance group 16

MV has now positioned the Brutale 675 as the entry-level bike in the range with the bigger, four-cylinder 1090R and 1090RRs capping the range. The Brutale 800 now occupies a gap in the middle. This is not a bike for novices; the power-to-weight ratio makes for some seriously impressive performance. The engine is a dominant part of the package and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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MV Agusta Brutale 675 (2012-current)

£8,299

675cc, 108bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 16

MV Agusta used to be the dream, aspirational brand; the poster bike we proudly hung on our garage and shed wall; the Ferrari of the biking world – and just as expensive, impractical and out of reach. But with the all new MV Brutale 675 that could all be set to change. At £8299 it’s not only cheaper, astonishingly, than ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

£10,995

849cc, 132bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 16

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance. On the other, even though ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Monster 1100 Evo (2011-2013)

£8,995

1078cc, 100bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s new 2011 Monster 1100 Evo moves the Monster story to the next level. It’s as good looking as ever, sounds great, its power is not overwhelming, it’s smooth and easy to use and thehandling is lightweight and fun. The addition of traction control and ABS gives the Monster superbike technology without the high price tag. For all the bling ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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KTM 125 Duke (2011-current)

£3,999

124cc, 15bhp, 78mph, Insurance group 7

If you’re looking to get your license, learn to lift either wheel or pursue some lightweight urban thrills, the 125 Duke can do it for you. It doesn’t seem like a regular, budget 125 machine; It feels like a premium motorcycle that just-so-happens to be low capacity. It’s a shame engine modifications only allow restriction and not an enhancement of ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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