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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 0
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Yamaha XV950 (2013-current)

£7,199

942cc, 51bhp, 110mph, Insurance group

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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Kawasaki ER-6n (2012-current)

£5,899

649cc, 70bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The old ER-6n was already an excellent bike – which is why it sold so well in the UK and even more so in Europe. So Kawasaki didn’t have to do much. Yet they have succeeded in enhancing every aspect of its appeal. The looks are better and the ER-6n is now even easier to ride and more manageable which ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim (2012-current)

£14,795

1690cc, bhp, 112mph, Insurance group 15

The Slim is essentially a standard Softail (ie a big twin with hidden rear shocks for that ‘hardtail’ look) but given (as seems to be repeatedly fashionable with cruisers from all manufacturers at the moment) the minimalist, ‘50s ‘bobber’/hot rod look. The difference here, though, is the ‘Slim’ bit. Harley’s view was that its existing Softails had become ever bigger ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Husqvarna SMS4 125 (2011 - current)

£3,219

125cc, 14bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

The SMS4 125 mirrors Husqvarna’s championship winning supermoto range and is equally exquisite in its detail. But is this enough for the Husqvarnas to make learner-legal off-road machinery as popular as Yamaha’s YZF-R125 has been for entry level sports bikes? The SMS4 125 isn’t the cheapest learner legal available at £3219 – but cheaper than the new Lambretta LN125 scooter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Victory Cross Country (2010-current)

£15,995

cc, 97bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 15

Victory is no stranger to the custom-tour theme. The Cross Country is based on the Vision, an outrageously-styled grand tourer that spins heads everywhere. The Cross Country is in the same vein – modern sharp and curved lines mixed with traditional touches of half fairing and screen, tall bars, luxurious seating, stereo, solid panniers and so on. Traditional also meets ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha BW’s 125 (2010-current)

£2,799

125cc, 8.9bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

The BW’s 125 is an off-road inspired scoot that goes nicely and looks even nicer - rugged styling marks it out as a small scoot aimed at blokes. At £2,499 it’s not the cheapest 125 scooter on the market, but nice detailing and decent performance help to justify the price.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki KR-1S (1990-1992)

N/A

249cc, 53bhp, 139mph, Insurance group 10

Kawasaki’s KR-1S was the quickest mass-produced, 250 two-stroke ever (139mph being recorded in a 1990 speed test), being quicker than both Suzuki’s RGV and even Aprilia’s later (but RGV-powered) RS250. On the downside it came with slightly questionable reliability and handling that could tank slap you into casualty. Dangerous, but hugely addictive.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gilera Nexus 300 (2008-current)

£3,699

278cc, 22.4bhp, 85mph, Insurance group 7

The Gilera Nexus sits between the Nexus 125 and the Nexus 500 as the mid-capacity sporty scooter in the Gilera range. The design is based around the concept of a sportsbike, but adapted for a CVT step-through scooter. It’s certainly sportier than most big scoots – but essentially it’s a commuter with a sports image.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Cagiva Mito SP525 (2008-current)

£3,999

125cc, 14.7bhp, 103mph, Insurance group 7

The most beautiful novice 125cc bike money can buy – yes, it even outclasses Yamaha’s YZF-R125 and biggest competitor Aprilia RS125. The Cagiva Mito SP525 is essentially the long-running two-stroke Cagiva Mito 125 brought up to date in every area and then dressed in bodywork to honour John Koscinski’s 500GP efforts onboard the Cagiva V594 circa 1994. In unrestricted form ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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