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Honda NM4 Vultus (2014-current)

£9,666

745cc, 54bhp, 110mph, Insurance group

NC750 Integra scooter-based limited edition concept machine attempts to be half-scoot/half motorbike to tempt newcomers to two wheels and thanks to capable, DCT-equipped (Honda’s clevcer semi auto gearbox) NC750 platform and decent dynamics it largely works. So forget those DN01 jokes. ‘Alien-meets-stealth’ styling aside the Vultus is credible and commendable. Motorcycle instead of scooter roots give an alternative future for ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha XVS1300 Custom (2014-current)

£8,999

1304cc, 72bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 12

Yamaha’s XVS1300 Custom off-the-peg chopper is a rebadged Yamaha Stryker, originally released in the US in 2011. It mixes ‘American Chopper’ styling with bomb-proof Yamaha build quality. Badge snobs might sneer at its lack of ‘Harleyness’ but it’s a capable machine and superb value for money.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda CB650F (2014-current)

£6,399

649cc, 86bhp, 135mph, Insurance group

Value-packed roadster based on CBR650F running gear looks brilliant, is so well executed it wouldn’t look the poor relation parked next to a CB1000R or Blade, is simple and straightforward to ride and is also practical, versatile and great fun. In other words, it’s what motorcycling used to be all about before mega modes and silly prices. It’s one of ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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Yamaha XV950 (2013-current)

£7,199

942cc, 51bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 10

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 DL650 V-Strom 650 ABS (2011 - current)

£6,899

645cc, 68bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 10

We approached the new V-Strom full of skepticism but have been swayed.First, the restyle is a stunning success in its own right. I can’t think of any bike that looks so classy for so little money. Second, almost every aspect has been improved in terms of performance, ranging from engine and handling to manageability and range. But what’s impressed most ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia RS4 125 (2011-current)

£4,471

124cc, 15bhp, 65mph, 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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Honda CBR125R (2011-Current)

£3,599

124cc, 13.1bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 6

The CBR125R has been yet another of Honda’s success stories. In its seven years of production, the sporty-looking learner 125cc has sold by the ship load all over the world, with good reason. It is easy to ride, comfortable, gives good fuel economy and, above all, it’s a Honda… For 2011 the CBR125R has been updated. The mini-emperor has new ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBR600F ABS (2011-2013)

£7,349

599cc, 100.6bhp, 156mph, Insurance group 14

Honda Europe was asked to produce a modern-day version of its famed CBR600F, the bike that helped kickstart the 600cc supersport arena in 1987. With blessing from Japan, the CBR600F ABS is the finished article. And very good it is too by being easy to ride, comfortable, good looking and can be ridden quickly very, very easily. It’s keenly priced, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Z750R (2011-2012)

£7,349

748cc, 105bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 11

Kawasaki say they’re gunning for the Street Triple R with the new Z750R, but it ultimately lacks excitement and you don’t get the kind of performance you want from a 750 or an ‘R’ tagged bike. It seems the marketing men have gone a bit giddy with that badge. If you’re expecting a smaller version of the excellent new Z1000, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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