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Yamaha MT-07 (2014-current)

£5,199

689cc, 74bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

What a surprise the MT-07 is. It’s light, friendly, punchy, fast, frugal and more fun than it has a right to be. We reckon for everyday use and shorter-distance riding it’s actually better than the bigger, more expensive, MT-09. It’s such a superb performer and well built, the MT-07 would still knock us sideways if it was a grand more ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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 5
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BMW R nineT (2014-current)

£11,600

1170cc, 110bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

BMW has cleverly embraced the latest retro fashion, drawing on its 90 years of motorcycling experience, innovation and heritage, and the R nineT takes its inspiration from all those BMW road and race bikes of old. But the R nineT is more than just retro looks and fashion. The build quality is superb and the attention to detail impeccable. It ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-current)

£11,632

1197cc, 125bhp, 118mph, Insurance group 12

The ride quality and comfort from the semi-active suspension is class leading, especially when ridden two-up. Over bumps and imperfections it’s almost alien like – it’s that good and smooth. It’s not all about the clever suspension either, the ABS is excellent, so is the traction control and changeable rider modes, and it's all wrapped in an excellent chassis with a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Kawasaki Z1000SX (2014-current)

£9,199

1043cc, 140bhp, 165mph, Insurance group

The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX is a clever, considered and very worthwhile update of an already excellent machine. The Z1000SX was already something of a connossieurs’ choice: fast, effective, decently equipped, involving, good value and yet understated and unshowy too. Kawasaki hasn’t lost any of that. It hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bath water. Instead it has corrected or ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CB500X (2013-current)

£5,099

471cc, 47bhp, 125mph, Insurance group

The CB500X is the last of Honda’s new-for-2013, novice and A2-licence friendly 500-twin triumvirate – the others being the CB500F roadster and CBR500R sports bike – and for our money it’s the best of the bunch. The X’s subtly larger proportions make it more versatile, more man-sized machine, while losing virtually nothing in terms of manageability and agility. Its adventure ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW S1000R (2014-current)

£9,990

999cc, 160bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 17

Very few performance bikes give you so much of everything, as the S1000R does. It’s two hugely capable bikes in one: it’s smooth, comfortable and safe, thanks to its flawless electronic rider aids, perfect throttle and usable power, but it’s wild when you want it to be, too. It’s exactly how you’d imagine a superbike with straight bars and no ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2014 - current)

£9,499

1043cc, 140bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new 2014 Z1000 is a ballsy move by Kawasaki – and not just because it looks like something out of a Terminator movie. No, it’s ballsy because it’s rejected the current (and often expensive) fashion for electronic rider aids, because it focuses on real world riding thrills rather than fantastic and often irrelevant (for a street super naked at ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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