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Vespa PX125 (1977-current)

£3,071

123cc, bhp, mph, Insurance group

The Vespa PX125 has essentially remained unchanged since its introduction in 1977, but it doesn't feel 35 years old. Subtle changes to keep the Vespa up to date and to get it through Euro 3 emissions regulations mean it feels similar to a modern scooter, only with a two-stroke, manual engine. It doesn't handle like a sportsbike - but a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 2
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Yamaha Vity 125 (2008-current)

£2,099

125cc, 8.5bhp, 60mph, Insurance group

The Vity 125 is not a cutting edge scooter. It’s not fast. It doesn’t look good unless you’ve got a thing for the 80s. But it does the job and has one big saving grace – a £1,799 price tag which, for a trustworthy 125cc Yamaha, is very cheap.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Yamaha XT125X (2005-current)

£3,099

124cc, 10bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 5

Yamaha’s XT125X is Yamaha’s learner-friendly road going supermoto. The 125cc four-stroke machine is a scaled down version of the XT660X and has the same supermoto styling cues, like a big single front disc brake, aggressive styling, 17” wheels and wide tyres. Although learner riders are allowed to ride a 15bhp 125cc by law, the XT125X makes just 10bhp.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 2
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Royal Enfield Bullet 500 (1992-current)

£4,032

499cc, 22bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 6

Early models of the Royal Enfiled Bullet 500 weren't very well made and you might be better off finding a 2000 onwards example of this classic Brit single, now made in India. There have been many variants of the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 produced by the UK importers, from cafe racers to sidecar combos, with the Clubman GT offering the most power ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda CMX250 Rebel (1996-2000)

N/A

234cc, 17bhp, 75mph, Insurance group 5

For laid-back cruising, miniature style, you can’t get much better than the Honda CMX250 Rebel. The engine’s been around forever and the light weight makes for a gentle learning curve. The lack of power can soon become a problem, however, although cruising through town is a right giggle. Just don’t try too much touring if you buy a Honda CMX250 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki TL1000S (1997-2001)

N/A

996cc, 125bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

The Suzuki TL1000S is a motorcycle which has become the Freddie Kreuger of biking. But it's not that evil really, it just suffers from a poor rear shock design that overheats far too easily. You can go fast on the TL1000S if you know what you're doing and take time setting the bike's suspension, but the Suzuki TL1000S will always retain the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBR1000F (1987-1997)

N/A

998cc, 135bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

The sports-touring Honda CBR1000F was always in the shadow of more exciting motorcycles, yet had a decade long production run. It had its good points, such as a comfortable riding position, good build quality - except for early camchain tensioner problems - and respectable handling. But the Honda CBR1000F is so bland it makes Katie Melua look like a brazen rock chick.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki TL1000R (1998-2004)

N/A

996cc, 135bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 16

The Suzuki TL1000 range feature one of the truly great V-twin engines, in some of the most unpredictable handling chassis ever devised. The Suzuki TL1000R has an improved rear shock, which doesn't misbehave so much as the TL1000S model's, but both motorcycles get so light at the front end, so very easily with all that V-twin grunt on tap. The ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki RF600R (1993-1997)

N/A

599cc, 100bhp, 147mph, Insurance group 14

As Suzuki’s much anticipated and long overdue early 1990s CBR600 rival, the Suzuki RF600R nearly came up trumps. Nearly, but not quite. The Suzuki RF600R's revvy engine, fine handling and roomy comfort are plusses. Frankly weird styling and brittle build are downsides. Still; good value though…

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda CB250 (1992-2003)

N/A

234cc, 20bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 6

Never were the words “trusty little workhorse” so apt as to describe Honda’s CB250. The latest incarnation, launched in 1992, represented the swansong for a motorcycle with a history going back to the 1970s. Trusted, reliable and entirely without pretence, the Honda CB250 is a cracking little motorcycle that’s given long service to bikers everywhere.

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

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