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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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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2012-current)

£10,999

999cc, 182bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

The now old GSX-R was an exceptional bike, winning AMA and world endurance titles and narrowly missing out on a BSB title. Suzuki have simply improved the weak points, namely better brakes, more midrange, lighter handling with a few cosmetic tweaks, which in the end produces an exceptional road bike with real world manners. It may lack sophisticated traction control ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Harley-Davidson XL1200 Sportster 72 (2012-current)

£9,195

1202cc, bhp, 95mph, Insurance group 12

The new Harley ‘72’ is a blinged/tarted up custom – the idea being a full-on. Early ‘70s-style custom (hence the name) but on the 1200 Sportster platform rather than the more usual big twins. It works, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Aprilia RS4 125 (2011-current)

£4,471

124cc, 15bhp, mph, Insurance group

At £3999 OTR there are cheaper 125s but then none of those rivals have the same heritage or kudos. Despite making only 15bhp it’s great fun to ride - the fact the new four-stroke engine thrives on revs keeps the old RS spirit alive. It handles well, stops well, and most importantly looks the part. What more could a 17-year-old ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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BMW G650GS (2011-current)

£6,195

652cc, 47bhp, 105mph, Insurance group

The GS650GS is BMW’s entry-level adventure bike and successor to the old G650 and F650GS single. Because it’s essentially a tweaked version of those, development costs have been low, making it not just the cheapest BMW you can buy but one of the cheapest big bikes. It’s competent on trails, but with a low seat height and exactly 47bhp on ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kawasaki ZX-10R (2011-current)

£12,999

998cc, 197.3bhp, 184.34mph, Insurance group 17

Kawasaki’s ZX-10R evokes thoughts of rip-roaring power and handling best suited to race circuits. While that may have been the case of the original 2004 model, subsequent models have been diluted to the point where ZX-10R is regarded as a decent on the road superbike but not quite in touch with the competition of the latest Blade, techno-laden R1 and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kymco Super 8 125 (2010-current)

£1,899

125cc, 9bhp, 62mph, Insurance group

The Super 8 125 is probably the most polished feeling scooter that Kymco make. It offers the sportiness of the Agility with the comfort of the Like. The ride has a nice feel to it and the finish on the dash, seat and pipes looks the best of the lot. It’s well priced too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Garelli XO 125 (2010-current)

£2,199

125cc, bhp, 60mph, Insurance group

Famous Italian motorcycle brand Garelli is back with a new range of scooters and mopeds. The XO is effectively their flagship model and benefits from sharp looks, stable 16” wheels and decent disc brakes. It’s a stylish and perfectly adequate town run-around - the only drawback is a slightly lacklustre engine.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Peugeot Vivacity 125 (2010-current)

£1,999

124cc, 8.5bhp, 60mph, Insurance group

Classy styling, nice attention to detail and a list of handy well thought-out features make the Vivacity 125 look like a charming city commuter package. Overall it strikes a tempting balance between quality and price. The only slight let down is its performance.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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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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