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Triumph Thunderbird Commander (2014-current)

£12,999

1299cc, 93bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The Commander is aimed more at European riders while the LT is for the American market. Essentially a naked version of the Thunderbird LT, the Commander is a hoot to ride. Thumping along, booting the heel-toe between third or fourth, merely stroking the reassuring brakes, it doesn’t get much better. The lack of screen, panniers etc make the Commander lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Kawasaki Z1000SX (2014-current)

£9,299

1043cc, 140bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

The old SX was already something of a connossieurs’ choice: fast, effective, decently equipped, good value (without seeming cheap or tacky in any way) and yet understated and unshowy, too.The new 2014 version hasn’t lost any of that. Instead it’s merely corrected or improved what genuinely needed it (suspension, preload adjuster, panniers), subtly enhanced what perhaps didn’t, but is welcome ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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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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Kawasaki Z1000 (2014 - current)

£9,499

1043cc, 140bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new 2014 Z1000 is a ballsy move by Kawasaki – and not just because it looks like something out of a Terminator movie. No, it’s ballsy because it’s rejected the current (and often expensive) fashion for electronic rider aids, because it focuses on real world riding thrills rather than fantastic and often irrelevant (for a street super naked at ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda NC700S (2012-2013)

£5,499

670cc, 47bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 11

An economical little work horse that can just about cut it out of town when you fancy going a little faster. Stability, comfort, cheap price and a large storage space make the NC700S a very appealing bike. Overall the NC700S is a surprisingly endearing utility bike. You’d buy it with your head…but it would soon find a place in your heart.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-current)

£9,499

1043cc, 116bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

Its odd looks will always raise questions, but the engine won’t, it’s a peach. There’s loads of low down, a nice spread of torque and the dollop of top end power should see it as the quickest bike in this category. It’s also extremely comfortable, will eat mile after mile all day long and handles reasonably well (up to a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta Brutale 920 (2011-2012)

£9,999

921cc, 130bhp, 158mph, Insurance group 17

The 920 is the new entry-level MV Agusta Brutale which, despite lashings of Italian flair and 130bhp performance, costs the same as a Yamaha FZ1 at £9999. It has a number of changes aimed at keeping the cost down over the bigger capacity 990R and 1090R bigger brother.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sinnis Trackstar 125 (2010-current)

£1,549

124cc, 11bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 3

Produced by Brighton-based Sinnis, but manufactured in China, the Trackstar is a cheap, trendy 125cc alternative to the CG 125 or the Virago. It’s very easy to control and manoeuvre, making it an attractive option for learners or novice bikers. It’s also got the looks and charm to interest scooter riders, commuters or city-dwellers who are won over by its ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Multistrada 1200 (2010-current)

£12,850

1198cc, 150bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

With the world united on the brilliance of Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S-models, the arrival of the two base model Multistradas have slipped under the radar and into the UK. Whereas the S-models are topped off with electronically adjusted Ohlins suspension and carbon parts on the S-sport, panniers on S-Touring, the base models have manually adjustable Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki ER-6f (2005-2008)

N/A

649cc, 71bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 10

Tests have shown that nine out of 10 road testers prefer the Kawasaki ER-6f to virtually any other middleweight machine. Bandits, Fazers, Monsters, SV650s… The Kawasaki ER-6 has trounced the lot of ‘em. A cunningly-disguised riot of fun, the Kawasaki ER-6f is cute, it’s capable and it’s competent just about anywhere. You’d have to be off your rocker not to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3

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