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Honda NC700S (2012-2013)

£5,499

670cc, 47bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 11

An economical little work horse that can just about cut it out of town when you fancy going a little faster. Stability, comfort, cheap price and a large storage space make the NC700S a very appealing bike. Overall the NC700S is a surprisingly endearing utility bike. You’d buy it with your head…but it would soon find a place in your heart.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSR 750 (2011-current)

£6,999

749cc, 105bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 12

The GSR750 is an entirely new bike – not just a GSX-R750 with flat bars and no fairing. As you'd expect it’s far more user friendly and practical than the GSX-R, and is designed to compete with Yamaha’s FZ8 and Kawasaki’s Z750.  It delivers supernaked looks in a usable, stylish middleweight body, with the 105bhp 749cc engine offering enough poke ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki ER-6f (2005-2008)

N/A

649cc, 71bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 10

Tests have shown that nine out of 10 road testers prefer the Kawasaki ER-6f to virtually any other middleweight machine. Bandits, Fazers, Monsters, SV650s… The Kawasaki ER-6 has trounced the lot of ‘em. A cunningly-disguised riot of fun, the Kawasaki ER-6f is cute, it’s capable and it’s competent just about anywhere. You’d have to be off your rocker not to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Aprilia Shiver (2010-current)

£7,132

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

For 2010 they’ve made the Shiver more user friendly by lowering and narrowing the seat. They’ve also improved the sporting side of the Aprilia by giving the new bike higher and further set back pegs, slightly different bars, narrower rear wheel, and improving the brakes with racy wavy discs. Suspension has also been firmed up slightly. Cosmetically it’s been given ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki Versys (2010-current)

£6,549

649cc, 60bhp, 128mph, Insurance group 9

There wasn’t much wrong with the old Versys, it just needed a few minor faults addressing which Kawasaki have done. They have reduced the engine vibration which was a major fault and improved the bike cosmetically, whilst adding more extras like heated grips. It’s a jack of trades, and at under £6000 a bit of bargain all round bike. - ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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KTM 690 Duke R (2010 model)

£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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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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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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Moto Guzzi V7 Classic (2008-current)

£6,932

744cc, 48bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 10

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic isn’t perfect. It’s underpowered slightly, a tad vibey at speed and the levers aren’t span adjustable. But otherwise we struggle to find fault. The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is stylish, useful, charismatic and simply a nice motorcycle to ride and own and, for the money, that’s accomplishment enough. We’d have one instead of a Bonnie ...

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

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