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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 3.5
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Kawasaki J300SE-ABS (2014-current)

£4,499

299cc, 27bhp, mph, Insurance group

The J300 is an excellent entry into the competitive scooter market and shows the firm is really serious about the market. It's sits perfectly between lighter 125cc scooters and much larger and heavier maxi scoots, combining a good spread of power with good, easy handling.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki Ninja 300 (2012-current)

£4,799

296cc, 39bhp, 93mph, Insurance group

Kawasaki has hit the nail on the head with this bike. Finally the market has a practical, economical entry-level bike which is easy to ride and desirable. The firm says 40% of buyers will be under 24 years old, going on sales of the 250, and it’s this kind of grassroots support motorcycling needs. Kawasaki also says 22% of 250 ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Honda CRF250L (2012-current)

£4,199

250cc, 23bhp, mph, Insurance group

If you want a lightweight dual sport trail bike that can handle a short commute in the week and then head into the countryside on green lanes at the weekend – this is it.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Piaggio MP3 Yourban 300ie LT (2011 - current)

£5,699

278cc, 22.8bhp, 70mph, Insurance group

The Yourban is not cheap, but it is aimed at those with either no desire or experience of two wheels as it can be ridden on a car licence, so the sure-footed, reassuring and unintimidating Yourban may well be worth the premium over conventional scooters.

  • 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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Piaggio X7 Evo 300 (2010-current)

£3,599

278cc, 22bhp, 85mph, Insurance group

The versatile Piaggio X7 300 Evo is a bit of a sneaky bargain – it’s powered by the same brilliant 278cc motor as the Vespa GTS 300 (since the Piaggio Group owns Vespa) but it's £300 cheaper. Not everyone will be willing to sacrifice the Vespa style and logo, but if you’re on a budget it’s a cheaper way to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gilera Fuoco 500ie (2007-current)

£5,695

493cc, 39bhp, 90mph, Insurance group 9

There are motorcyclists out there who will cheerfully denounce the Fuoco as a car with a wheel missing. Ok so the Fuoco does have three wheels but in every other way it is a bike; it leans, stoppies has handlebars and so on. More to the point it is fun, practical and safe. No, seriously it is. MCN originally tested ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha X-Max 250 (2004-current)

£4,299

250cc, 21bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 7

Yamaha’s YP 250R X-Max is a middleweight twist-and-go ‘maxi-scooter’. It has all the practicalities of a conventional scooter with a bit more oomph for longer journeys and decent-sized wheels and tyres for cornering confidence.

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

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