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Honda VFR800F (2014-current)

£10,499

782cc, 105bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In delivering refined versatility, class and understated quality and entertainment, this new VFR is a success. My only slight regrets are two-fold: this newcomer doesn’t (quite) have the clean sheet, no expense-spared ethos of the originals, it’s a tiny bit ‘parts-bin’. And, two, it’d have been better still if it’d been a VFR900F, say, with a full colour TPFT instrument ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph America LT (2014-current)

£7,999

865cc, 60bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

Though by definition a ‘smaller bagger’ it’s not really a small bike. It’s manageable, yes, but is sufficiently full sized to carry two and luggage and tour hundreds of miles with ease. The LT also has enough style, comfort, performance and practicality and yet is still a doddle to get on with, as well. And, for the type of riders ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta Dragster 800 (2014-current)

£10,990

798cc, 125bhp, 155mph, Insurance group

The Brutale 800 Dragster is a very specific type of bike for a very specific purpose. Don’t expect it to go touring or suffer a daily commute. It’s a proper Sunday show-off, at home honing about streets and back lanes, using its banging midrange and sorted throttle response to boss traffic with extravagant disdain. It’s as good as its looks; ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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BMW F800GS Adventure (2013-current)

£9,650

798cc, 85bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

BMW set out to turn its 800GS into an authentic adventure bike and on this first showing have certainly achieved just that. Basically it’s an 800GS with a bigger (underseat) tank, extended bodywork and a host of options. Think of it as a ‘3/4 version of the 1200 Adventure’ (even though, at 800cc, it’s actually 2/3) and you should get ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta Brutale 800 (2013-current)

£8,999

798cc, 125bhp, 148mph, Insurance group 16

MV has now positioned the Brutale 675 as the entry-level bike in the range with the bigger, four-cylinder 1090R and 1090RRs capping the range. The Brutale 800 now occupies a gap in the middle. This is not a bike for novices; the power-to-weight ratio makes for some seriously impressive performance. The engine is a dominant part of the package and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Triumph Speedmaster (2011-current)

£7,199

865cc, 60bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 12

Considering the price you get a lot of bike for your money. This ‘junior cruiser’ doesn’t feel like a lesser bike; it’s not underpowered, doesn’t feel budget, is cool and still has big bike appeal. So good and such value for money I’d question why you’d want anything bigger unless you’re a dedicated big custom fan.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

£10,995

849cc, 132bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 16

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance. On the other, even though ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Trident 900 (1991-1998)

N/A

885cc, 100bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

Reborn Triumph’s 900 Trident was about as straightforward a bike as Hinckley could produce, and also happened to be one of the best of the early machines. The three-cylinder motor was distinctive, flexible and robust, the handling, though tall, better than the average roadster and it was comfortable, attractive enough and versatile, too. No wonder the Triumph Trident lived longer ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha FZ8 (2010-current)

£6,999

779cc, 106bhp, 146mph, Insurance group 16

Yamaha’s original FZS600 Fazer and later models always represented value for money workhorses – the sort of bike you could commute and have fun on anytime, anywhere. But now the XJ6 and Diversion fills the cheap and cheerful slot left by the death of the FZ6 S2 and FZ6 Fazer. The replacement machine is the new FZ8 (and half-faired FZ8 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW F650GS (2008-current)

£6,650

798cc, 71bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 8

BMW’s successor to long-lived and popular entry-level F650 single is, confusingly, being based on the F800GS, neither a single (it’s a parallel twin) or a 650 (it’s 798cc) – so perhaps not surprisingly it’s miles better than the old one. Just as importantly, though, with a lowered seat, softened delivery and more, it’s every bit as novice or shortie-friendly and ...

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

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