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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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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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Kawasaki Ninja 300 (2012-current)

£4,799

296cc, 39bhp, 93mph, Insurance group

Kawasaki has hit the nail on the head with this bike. Finally the market has a practical, economical entry-level bike which is easy to ride and desirable. The firm says 40% of buyers will be under 24 years old, going on sales of the 250, and it’s this kind of grassroots support motorcycling needs. Kawasaki also says 22% of 250 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Honda CRF250L (2012-current)

£4,199

250cc, 23bhp, mph, Insurance group

If you want a lightweight dual sport trail bike that can handle a short commute in the week and then head into the countryside on green lanes at the weekend – this is it.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSR 750 (2011-current)

£6,999

749cc, 105bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 12

The GSR750 is an entirely new bike – not just a GSX-R750 with flat bars and no fairing. As you'd expect it’s far more user friendly and practical than the GSX-R, and is designed to compete with Yamaha’s FZ8 and Kawasaki’s Z750.  It delivers supernaked looks in a usable, stylish middleweight body, with the 105bhp 749cc engine offering enough poke ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Thunderbird Storm (2011-current)

£12,499

1699cc, 97bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

It would be easy to be cynical about Triumph’s new Thunderbird Storm. Its route of taking an existing cruiser model and spinning off a pared down, mean and moody, all-black, ‘hot rod’-styled variant is, after all, a well-trodden one. Riding it, however, reveals the new Storm to be pleasingly more than just AN Other fashion victim. Aside from predictable black ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Daytona 675R (2011-2012)

£9,799

675cc, 126bhp, mph, Insurance group 16

Triumph has labeled the 675R as a track day weapon/fast road riding tool, and MCN can’t argue with this. The stiff Ohlins suspension and lithesome, agile nature of the 675R chassis gives the impression it is a sorted race bike. Couple this with impressive midrange from of the triple-cylinder engine and you have a bike that allows devastating corner speed ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda S-Wing 125 (2007-current)

£3,999

125cc, 13bhp, 68mph, Insurance group

The Honda S-Wing is a well-equipped and competitively priced executive scooter that performs a lot better than its functional looks might suggest. Honda is pitching the S-Wing as an up-market urban commuter and in that environment it's a cut above the direct competition.

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

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