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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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Honda NC750X (2014-current)

£6,299

745cc, 54bhp, 125mph, Insurance group

Riding the NC for any length of time reveals a bike that handles sweetly, brakes more than adequately, is comfortable, tackles scabby back roads well and, with the addition of the DCT gearbox, is easy to ride and super economical in terms of fuel use. There’s a lot to like. If, however, you want a bike that will be the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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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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KTM 1190 Adventure (2013-current)

£12,999

1195cc, 150bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

The new 1190 is radically different from the 990 it replaces. The whole package of chassis, electronic suspension and rider aids makes this 150bhp, 230kg bike seriously capable with more rider-friendly characteristics than any previous KTM Adventure. It can also be ridden faster than I ever thought possible – in this respect it’s more like a Ducati Multistrada, but with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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 4
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BMW R1200RT (2014-current)

£13,200

1170cc, 124bhp, 145mph, Insurance group

Partially water-cooling the R1200RT has evolved it into an even better tourer. The new motor gives it a bit more bite to take on the likes of the Triumph Trophy while not over-stepping the mark. Despite being a large machine the BMW remains light and maneuverable and the addition of power modes and the advanced electronics have brought it bang ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph Thunderbird LT (2014-current)

£13,999

1699cc, 93bhp, mph, Insurance group

Triumph is keen to emphasise the Thunderbird-based ‘bagger’ LT is much more than AN Other Road King clone. In fact, so much has been changed it’s effecfively an all-new bike. The result is ‘As American as apple pie’. Big, chunky levers, bar grips and switchgear are textbook US cruiser, as is stomping through the heel-toe gearchange. In fact, in virtually ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki ER-6n (2012-current)

£5,899

649cc, 70bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The old ER-6n was already an excellent bike – which is why it sold so well in the UK and even more so in Europe. So Kawasaki didn’t have to do much. Yet they have succeeded in enhancing every aspect of its appeal. The looks are better and the ER-6n is now even easier to ride and more manageable which ...

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

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