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Suzuki Inazuma 250 (2013-current)

£3,408

248cc, 24bhp, 85mph, Insurance group

Due to these trying economic time, the thought of a worthy 250 commuter, a workhorse, is certainly more appealing to riders than ever before. The Inazuma fills that role brilliantly. It’s effective, idiot-proof and economical and its classy touches, badge, two-year warranty and more lift it above the general morass. The trouble is the price. We aren’t convinced that the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW F700GS (2013-current)

£7,680

798cc, 75bhp, 105mph, Insurance group 8

If you want something light and easy to ride, which makes a great commuter and is backed up with excellent ABS then your first choice should be the F700GS. It’s not quite as much fun as other middleweight adventure bikes, but it’s a good compromise. The only sticking point is the price. The BMW is the most expensive bike in ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR250R (2011-2013)

£4,199

249cc, 26bhp, 95mph, Insurance group 13

Motorcycling needs new blood to ensure survival. Honda’s take on this is to attract people into motorcycling with a cheap, honest and stylish workhorse – and the CBR250R is it. This all-new machine is not just suited to restricted cat’ A licence holders, but also anyone who wants a simple, easy to ride, modern-dressed machine capable of returning high mpg ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Derbi Cross City 125 (2007-current)

£2,156

124cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 3

The Derbi Cross City is an off-road influenced learner bike that manages the three-card trick of being stylish, novice-friendly AND affordable – but it’s not perfect. What pricks the Derbi’s bubble most of all is the tall seat. For lads of 5’9” or more it’s not really an issue and to them I’d say buy and enjoy without a qualm. ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda Fury VT1300CX (2010-2013)

£9,975

1312cc, 57bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 15

As Japanese customs go, Honda’s Fury is arguably the best Harley-Davidson clone to date. Its looks are radical for a Japanese custom, majoring more on a raked-out chopper design than a straightforward custom or cruiser, and Honda America’s design team should be applauded for this. Now add an engine that is typical Honda – perfect fuelling, gearbox and gutsy, complete ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Derbi DRD 125 SM (2009-current)

£2,899

124cc, 15bhp, 77mph, Insurance group

If your parents have a fair old wedge to chuck on your first bike, 125SM ownership is not only guaranteed to put a ruddy big smile on your face, but also pull the girls outside the local KFC. Nothing in its class looks as good. In 30 and 40mph limits (its natural hunting ground) it’s rapid enough. But anywhere else ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia RX50 (2006-2012)

£2,619

50cc, 6bhp, 50mph, Insurance group 2

The Aprilia RX50 has the looks of a proper enduro bike, but none of the performance. Restricted, it’ll struggle to break 30mph, and de-restricted (illegal for 16 year-olds) it’ll top 50 eventually. The chassis will cope with gentle off-roading, but ride it harder and the RX50 will be out of its depth.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace (1996-2003)

N/A

1002cc, 145bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 16

The Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace started out as Yamaha’s last throw of the old school superbike dice, and resulted in the final incarnation of the FZR1000 EXUP. But ironically the Thunderace has proved to be a better big bore sports touring motorcycle than out-and-out superbike – albeit a humungously fast one. If you like your superbikes big and brash and with room ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006)

N/A

955cc, 104bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 13

The second generation Triumph Tiger carried on the theme of the original – a big, bruising road trail motorcycle powered by Hinckley’s distinctive triple. The difference was this was the second generation triple with updated chassis and styling to match. Later versions are well equipped and the Triumph Tiger 955i is a decent road motorcycle taller riders, but it’s also ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MZ Skorpion 660 (1994-2003)

N/A

660cc, 48bhp, 116mph, Insurance group 9

The MZ Skorpion was stylishly designed (by acclaimed Brits Seymour-Powell) single using a Yamaha engine which proved a refreshingly able antidote to Japanese fours in the mid-to-late 90s. Light, lithe, affordable, generally reliable and reassuringly practical.

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

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