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Yamaha XV950 (2013-current)

£7,199

942cc, 51bhp, 110mph, Insurance group

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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Yamaha FJR1300A (2013-current)

£13,699

1298cc, 146bhp, 154mph, Insurance group

Often overlooked in favour of the new breed of adventure-style sports tourers, the new FJR is a fabulous piece of kit – fast, refined and fun. Although hugely competent and thoroughly desirable, the new FJR isn’t that different to the older model. But there again, that’s no bad thing as the out going bike is also excellent. Overall the new ...

  • 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

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 0
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Suzuki V-Strom 1000 (2014-current)

£9,999

1037cc, 100bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

The V-Strom is never going to electrify you with thrills. It’s not breathtakingly quick, but it is easy to ride and manageable, delivering loads of low and midrange grunt. You can throw it around with confidence and it’s backed up by excellent traction control and ABS. It’s also comfortable, natural, frugal and simple – yet still has neat touches like ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Moto Guzzi California Touring 1400 (2013-current)

£16,132

1380cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The new California is a fabulous looking bike, it’s sophisticated and, dare I say it, sexy, too – it’s a successful modern twist on a classic design. In short it has that little something extra that Japanese, and even American, cruisers can’t match in standard form. What’s more, the big transverse V-twin has typical Guzzi traits, but is far smoother ...

  • 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 0

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