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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2012-current)

£12,399

998cc, 157.75bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Not much has changed with the 2012 R1, but the big news is it now has a six-stage traction control system, incorporating anti-wheelie in its two most intrusive levels. It also has a restyled nose, a slotted YZR-M1-style top yoke and a longer, softer rear shock. The changes aren’t enough to compete with the new-generation of hardcore superbikes, like the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • 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
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Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

£10,995

849cc, 132bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance. On the other, even though ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Rieju RS3 125 LC (2011-current)

£3,399

124cc, 15bhp, 81mph, Insurance group

On the surface the Rieju does enough to be considered ahead of bikes from more established brands like Honda – with a fast engine and extras like a quickshifter with the R version - but poor build quality and bad handling can’t be ignored.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha Fazer8 (2010-current)

£7,999

779cc, 106bhp, mph, Insurance group 16

Yamaha’s Fazer range of bikes used to be all about hard-working, do it all, value for money bikes. One look at the today’s price for the new Fazer8 says otherwise when comparing it to the competition – and the fact there is the slightly bigger capacity but vastly superior FZ1 in Yamaha’s line up. But what you have to remember ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2011-current)

£8,799

599cc, 125.8bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Suzuki has slashed an incredible 9kg from the 2011 GSX-R600. The engine has more midrange, a close ratio gearbox and for the first time, Showa Big Piston Forks and Brembo monobloc radial front brakes. Aside from a handful of components, the GSX-R600 is completely new. The easy-going nature of the bike is still there, but it’s sharper, more agile and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki DL650 V-Strom Xpedition

£7,455

645cc, 65bhp, 124.7mph, Insurance group 10

The £7300 Xpedition is based on the long-serving and successful 650 V-strom (2010 £6399 ABS model), but kitted out with a bunch of accessories – approximately £1250 worth – to give it a new look and role. And, funnily enough, that look is from the expanding group of practical, go anywhere adventure bikes. And its present role is to lug ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda PS125i (2006-current)

£2,899

125cc, 13.5bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

The PS125i is sturdy, well made and has the weight of the Honda brand behind it, so you know it’s a safe and reliable purchase. That said, it’s pricier than the competition and doesn’t perform as well. Ridden in isolation it’s perfectly adequate, but for the money there are better scooters out there.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Derbi GPR125 Racing (2010-current)

£3,819

124cc, 13bhp, 78mph, Insurance group 4

Sadly, the two-stroke 125 is all but dead. The recent advent of credible, easy to ride and cheap to run four-strokes is killing sales of fickle, expensive smokers. Derbi’s learner sportsbike gets an all-new design with a four-stroke engine for the first time, going head-to-head with Yamaha’s YZF-R125.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Victory Hammer 8-Ball (2010-current)

£11,495

1731cc, 92bhp, 115mph, Insurance group

The Victory Hammer 8-Ball is basically a lower-seat, cheaper specification version of the Hammer muscle bike. It still has the same gutsy motor, but instead of twin front brake discs it has a single caliper and rotor, plain black paint instead of the more upmarket finish usually seen and the suspension is lowered front and rear to drop the seat ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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