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Suzuki Inazuma 250 (2013-current)

£3,408

248cc, 24bhp, 85mph, Insurance group

Due to these trying economic time, the thought of a worthy 250 commuter, a workhorse, is certainly more appealing to riders than ever before. The Inazuma fills that role brilliantly. It’s effective, idiot-proof and economical and its classy touches, badge, two-year warranty and more lift it above the general morass. The trouble is the price. We aren’t convinced that the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Husqvarna Nuda 900 (2011-current)

£8,750

898cc, 105bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

The first new road bike to be produced by Husqvarna since BMW took over the company in 2007. In essence it’s a re-badged, re-styled parallel twin-cylinder BMW F800 with a 100cc bigger motor. The Nuda mixes typical Husqvarna supemoto thrills with a comfier riding position and a nod to practicality, if you go for the optional touring extras, which include ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Sinnis Trackstar 125 (2010-current)

£1,549

124cc, 11bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 3

Produced by Brighton-based Sinnis, but manufactured in China, the Trackstar is a cheap, trendy 125cc alternative to the CG 125 or the Virago. It’s very easy to control and manoeuvre, making it an attractive option for learners or novice bikers. It’s also got the looks and charm to interest scooter riders, commuters or city-dwellers who are won over by its ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XJ6 Diversion F (2010-current)

£6,699

599cc, 78bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

One of the laziest new bike developments for 2010, the Yamaha XJ6 Diversion F is simply a standard Diversion with a full fairing and ABS. It’s a similarly easy to ride all-rounder that’s practical as a day-to-day bike, but it’s a bit more stylish than the half-faired bike.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YBR125 Custom (2008-current)

£2,599

cc, 10bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 2

The idea behind the Yamaha YBR125 Custom is dead simple: take the straightforward YBR125 commuter, customize it a bit with high bars, more chrome and a lower seat, bump up the price a tad, and there you go, a pointlessly more expensive and less tasteful runabout. In reality, it makes a lot of sense as the low seat makes it ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda BROS NT400 (1988-1992)

N/A

398cc, 31bhp, 94mph, Insurance group 9

Strictly speaking, the BROS 400 is heavy, underpowered and outdated. But the cheap grey imports are surprisingly nice to ride – they’re well balanced, steer well and the engine is flexible, torquey and characterful given its 33bhp output. That also makes it legal for new riders on a restricted licence.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Shiver GT (2009-2011)

£7,474

749cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

The standard Aprilia SL750 Shiver is just another funky naked bike – but the simple addition of a fairing turns it in to one of the best Italian all rounders you can buy. The Shiver GT is very competent, mixing practicality with style, performance and character for not a huge amount of cash.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Moto Guzzi Café Classic (2009-2012)

£6,169

744cc, 48bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

The new Moto Guzzi Café Classic is a café racer version of the V7 Classic retro roadster warmly received last year. Powered by Guzzi’s small block 750 Nevada V-twin powertrain in an old school twin shock chassis, it’s a dinky, cute runaround and almost embarassingly toy-like for anyone over 5’10”. But what makes it great is how beautifully and classily ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha XJ6 Diversion (2009-current)

£6,499

600cc, 77bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 12

The new Yamaha XJ6 Diversion is the half-faired version of the Yamaha XJ6. It's more powerful, better handling and prettier than the trusty old Diversion of the late 80s and early 90s. But just like that old original, it offers practical, fun and above all, affordable biking. It’s easy to ride, so it’s perfect for new riders looking for their ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XJ6 (2009-current)

£6,099

600cc, 77bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

This is the naked version of the half-faired Yamaha XJ6 Diversion. Aside from the lack of fairing, it is exactly the same spec, but somehow it has transformed the Yamaha from sensible budget middleweight to exciting mini streetfighter. With its ‘baby Yamaha FZ-1’ looks and sit-up-and-beg riding position this is a very cheap way to get your rocks off. On ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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