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Ducati Hyperstrada (2013-current)

£10,795

821cc, 110bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

This is the touring version of Ducati’s revamped 2013-model Hypermotard. It gives you all the thrills of a supermoto with real-world touring capability – much like KTM’s successful 990 SMT. The Hyperstrada will happily cope with trackday action (as long as the circuit isn’t too big), cross-continental riding holidays, B-road scratching, skids and wheelies. There’s plenty of power from its ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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KTM 350 EXC-F (2011-current)

£7,249

349cc, 46bhp, mph, Insurance group

The Austrian off-road experts revolutionised 450cc motocross in 2010 with the 350 and have extended the same treatment to the enduro 350 EXC-F, which combines the handling of a 250 and the performance of a 450.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati 1198SP (2010-2011)

£17,995

1198cc, 170bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 17

Replacing the 1198S, Ducati’s new 1198SP features an electronic quickshifter, an Ohlins TTX rear shock, slipper clutch and a lighter, larger 18-litre fuel tank. Overall weight is down 1kg to 168kg dry. Short of spending over £30k for the limited edition homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198. It’s a brutally grunty machine, which needs ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 (2010-2012)

£9,974

1197cc, 130bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 13

Powered by a brand new, Aprilia-built 1197cc V-twin engine and fitted with ATC (Aprilia Traction Control), variable throttle maps and ABS, the Dorsoduro 1200 challenges big supertmotos like the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Evo and KTM 990 SMR head-on. It’s more grown-up than its rivals and doesn’t have the instant ‘wow-factor’ like a supermoto should. It’s on the heavy side and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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BMW R1200RT (2010-2012)

£13,200

1170cc, 110bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 11

A brilliant touring bike as long as you like it in grey. The RT gets a new fairing, new clocks and an all new 110bhp twin-cam engine which gives it just enough grunt to make it entertaining and sit at high-speed over long distances. It is ultimately comfortable and in all weathers too as the SE version gets a heated ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CB1000R (2008-current)

£9,299

998cc, 130bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 15

Forget the dinosaur CB1000 of the early nineties, or the now defunct 900 Hornet, the CB1000R is a whole new bag for Honda, designed with Europe, using a retuned version of the 2007 FireBlade engine and with 2008 FireBlade forks and brakes, a beautiful single-sided swingarm and fabbo styling. In fact the only thing the CB1000R lacks is a bit ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XV250S Virago (1995-2001)

N/A

248cc, 21bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 6

The Yamaha XV250S Virago is a trusty, reliable and easy to ride option on which to hone your biking skills. If you fancy a big cruiser later on, the Yamaha XV250S Virago is a great place to start: it’s got the looks and appears bigger than a 250, so you won’t feel left out down at the Ace. The Yamaha ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Yamaha XVS250 Drag Star (2000-2004)

N/A

249cc, 21bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 7

When the XV250S Virago was discontinued, the new Yamaha XVS250 Drag Star replaced it. They’re very similar and that’s good news for owners: the long-running Virago branch of the Yamaha family has a great reputation. The little Yamaha XVS250 Drag Star is just as good and, if your heart’s set on a smaller capacity cruiser, you’ll find it hard to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda ST1100 Pan European (1989-2004)

N/A

1084cc, 100bhp, 134mph, Insurance group 13

For anyone looking for a long-distance tool the Honda ST1100 Pan European is probably one of the safest bets around. The only problem is availability – owners rate them so highly that low-mileage machines are rarer than hen’s teeth. Not that mileage matters as the motor and construction quality is thermospherically high.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW R1150GS Adventure (2002-2005)

N/A

1130cc, 85bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 13

The BMW R1150GS Adventure is the ultimate round-the-world, do it all motorcycle – as Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman proved in their ‘Long Way Round’ motorcycle adventure. The BMW R1150GS Adventure is a jacked up, kitted out, heavy duty version of the already excellent BMW R1150GS and is the Hummer of the motorcycle world. Awesome in every way…

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

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