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Honda VFR1200F (2012-current)

£12,999

1237cc, 160bhp, mph, Insurance group

The VFR1200F remains a good, bordering on great bike. Its quality and finish is peerless; its refinement, ergonomics and ease-of-use impeccable. And the cherry on the top is that unique-sounding and fabulously grunty, flexible and, yes, fast V4. But it's not stunning, hasn't 'moved the game on' like an all-new Honda V4 probably should have done and it does have ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Streetfighter S (2009-2012)

£14,695

1099cc, 155bhp, 154mph, Insurance group

The Ducati Streetfighter looks like a crashed 1098 superbike but packs so much presence and attitude it works standing still. It needs to because at £13,995 for the S-version we rode here, it has a hell of a lot of competition on its hands in one of the biggest-growing classes in the UK. Ducati claim it’s the lightest bike in the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star (1996-2001)

N/A

1294cc, 75bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 14

If you want a cruiser because it attracts attention then the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star certainly does the job. With a V-Max motor ( detuned of course ) Tonka Toy bodywork and a gnat's bollock of ground clearance, the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star is something truly different from the typical 90s V-twin Harley tribute act.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki W650 (1999-2006)

N/A

675cc, 49bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 8

Relive the 60s with the delightful Kawasaki W650. Styling is spot on – the exhausts are closer to a 60s Bonneville than Triumph’s own latter day replica. Modern handling, engine and reliability means all the joy of a classic with none of the grief. Relaxed performance unlike the Boneneville of the 1960s.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MV Agusta Brutale 910 (2005-2010)

£10,500

910cc, 136bhp, 157mph, Insurance group 17

Sunday bikes make you feel good; they’re not commuters, they’re not people carriers, they’re not really track bikes and they’re certainly not tourers. They’re for summer blasts, posing and polishing to a fine sheen. The MV Agusta Brutale 910 is the mother of all Sunday bikes – expensive, impractical, temperamental and utterly brilliant.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda XL125 Varadero (2001-2009)

£4,470

125cc, 15bhp, 72mph, Insurance group 6

Although only a 125, there’s plenty of big bike feel with the Honda XL125 Varadero. The proportions are right, the motor feels spunky and as it’s a Honda you know it’s not going to fall apart beneath you. As a first bike or commuter the Honda XL125 Varadero represents a clever investment with its low insurance group and parsimonious fuel ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSF650 Bandit (2005-2006)

£4,299

656cc, 77bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 11

A well-mannered middleweight that’s simple to use, cheap to buy and cheap to run. The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit doesn’t particularly excel in any one department, but for newer riders it’s worth considering with a low seat height and forgiving manners. The GSF650 Bandit's capacity advantage over its older GSF600 Bandit sibling doesn’t actually translate into significantly more go.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW R1200R (2006-current)

£10,075

1170cc, 109bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 13

By now the world knows BMWs can be fun: the 180bhp K1200S and R models are simply riotous. But somehow the Boxer-engine range has always maintained a straight-faced attitude – diligent, hard-working and hard wearing. Then some bright spark decides the R1200R should be fashionably naked, have sporting pretensions with half decent handling and agility, and a touch of midrange ...

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

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