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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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Rieju MRT200 LC Pro Comp (2010-current)

£3,899

250cc, 19bhp, 75mph, Insurance group

Rieju’s new MRT200 LC is a road-legal enduro machine. Think of it as a modern-day version of the much-loved old Kawasaki KMX200. Powered by bored-out Yamaha YZR-R125 engine, the Spanish machine has lots of punch, is equipped with some top-notch parts and is genuinely good at tackling the dirt as well as the tarmac. It’s the perfect choice for new ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha XV250S Virago (1995-2001)

N/A

248cc, 21bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 6

The Yamaha XV250S Virago is a trusty, reliable and easy to ride option on which to hone your biking skills. If you fancy a big cruiser later on, the Yamaha XV250S Virago is a great place to start: it’s got the looks and appears bigger than a 250, so you won’t feel left out down at the Ace. The Yamaha ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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Yamaha XV125 Virago (1997-2004)

N/A

124cc, 13bhp, 60mph, Insurance group 4

If you're starting out on two wheels then the Yamaha XV125 Virago V-twin is one of the best made little motorbikes you can choose. Reliable motor, solid chassis, nice low seat and wide `bars give a feeling of confident control on the machine. Later XVS125 models have an extra 3bhp in the V-twin motor and the bike is 4kgs lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CB500 (1994-2003)

N/A

499cc, 57bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 9

The Honda CB500 is a first big motorcycle you’ll never want to sell. It’s huge fun because it’s so confidence-inspiring, meaning you can take it anywhere and it’ll make you feel you can push your limits. Very competent: commuters and couriers love Honda CB500s for their reliability and all-round, top-notch performance.  In all aspects, the Honda CB500's a winner.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki EL125 Eliminator (1998-current)

£1,999

124cc, 12bhp, 65mph, Insurance group 5

The Kawasaki EL125 Eliminator’s a top little bike to hone your skills on with a responsive, smooth motor and easy handling. The Kawasaki EL125 Eliminator is never going to win any races but that’s not what it’s about: it’ll haul you from A to B with little fuss, enabling you to enjoy the ride.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Moto Guzzi Breva 750ie (2003-2011)

£5,199

744cc, 48bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 10

The Moto Guzzi Breva 750ie is an ideal buy for newer or returning riders and a doddle to ride. Everything is smooth, competent and especially helpful for nervous hands. The more experienced may find it a bit dull but it makes a superb commuter, whatever your level of skill.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Derbi GPR125 (2005-2009)

£3,599

124cc, 33bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 4

The Derbi GPR125 is arguably one of the most beautifully styled 125 motorcycles ever made. On a murky day you might mistake it for a baby Ducati or MV Agusta motorcycle. The Derbi GPR125 also goes very well (de-restricted of course ) and handles just like a racing motorcycle, with firm suspension and a substantial 300mm front disc brake. The Derbi GPR125 is a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2004-2006)

N/A

998cc, 165bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 17

It’s hard to fault the clinical, precise and devastatingly fast Yamaha YZF-R1. Its chassis can cope with all kinds of road surfaces and demolishes tight hairpins at any track. But it does demand skill and rivals like the CBR1000RR and GSX-R1000 are simply less work. For purists the Yamaha YZF-R1 still has something unique; a superb focus on the dark ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Cagiva Canyon 500 (1996-2002)

N/A

499cc, 33bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 9

There are no end of single cylinder commuter/trailie bikes around if you have the urge, so the Cagiva Canyon loses out for a couple of good reasons in that hard-fought battle for novice biker cash; first off, it's not the most reliable, even by Italian standards. Secondly, it just doesn't have the oomph to match its city slicker looks. What's ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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