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Triumph Thunderbird Commander (2014-current)

£12,999

1299cc, 93bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The Commander is aimed more at European riders while the LT is for the American market. Essentially a naked version of the Thunderbird LT, the Commander is a hoot to ride. Thumping along, booting the heel-toe between third or fourth, merely stroking the reassuring brakes, it doesn’t get much better. The lack of screen, panniers etc make the Commander lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2014-current)

£11,632

1197cc, 125bhp, 118mph, Insurance group 12

The ride quality and comfort from the semi-active suspension is class leading, especially when ridden two-up. Over bumps and imperfections it’s almost alien like – it’s that good and smooth. It’s not all about the clever suspension either, the ABS is excellent, so is the traction control and changeable rider modes, and it's all wrapped in an excellent chassis with a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Kawasaki Z1000SX (2014-current)

£9,199

1043cc, 140bhp, 165mph, Insurance group

The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX is a clever, considered and very worthwhile update of an already excellent machine. The Z1000SX was already something of a connossieurs’ choice: fast, effective, decently equipped, involving, good value and yet understated and unshowy too. Kawasaki hasn’t lost any of that. It hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bath water. Instead it has corrected or ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2014 - current)

£9,499

1043cc, 140bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new 2014 Z1000 is a ballsy move by Kawasaki – and not just because it looks like something out of a Terminator movie. No, it’s ballsy because it’s rejected the current (and often expensive) fashion for electronic rider aids, because it focuses on real world riding thrills rather than fantastic and often irrelevant (for a street super naked at ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-current)

£9,499

1043cc, 116bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

Its odd looks will always raise questions, but the engine won’t, it’s a peach. There’s loads of low down, a nice spread of torque and the dollop of top end power should see it as the quickest bike in this category. It’s also extremely comfortable, will eat mile after mile all day long and handles reasonably well (up to a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Monster 1100 Evo (2011-current)

£8,995

1078cc, 100bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s new 2011 Monster 1100 Evo moves the Monster story to the next level. It’s as good looking as ever, sounds great, its power is not overwhelming, it’s smooth and easy to use and thehandling is lightweight and fun. The addition of traction control and ABS gives the Monster superbike technology without the high price tag. For all the bling ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Multistrada 1200 (2010-current)

£12,850

1198cc, 150bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

With the world united on the brilliance of Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S-models, the arrival of the two base model Multistradas have slipped under the radar and into the UK. Whereas the S-models are topped off with electronically adjusted Ohlins suspension and carbon parts on the S-sport, panniers on S-Touring, the base models have manually adjustable Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia RSV4R (2010-current)

£14,132

998cc, 180bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

Aprilia’s RSV4R is a more affordable version of the all-singing, all-dancing RSV4 Factory. The engine is basically the same, without some of the Factory’s advanced electronics, but the chassis parts are slightly lower-spec. Despite this it’s still a beautifully-balanced technology-packed Italian missile. It’s monstrously fast, gives you loads of confidence in the corners, has superb ride quality, looks great (especially ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha XVS950A Midnight Star (2009-current)

£6,999

942cc, 55bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 13

You’d never guess this was an entry level custom cruiser, at only £6500 it’s a hell of a lot of bike for the money. It questions whether you need a larger bike, as it does everything a larger customs does and is considerably cheaper. It feels large, like a proper custom bike, comfortable, strong engine, more than enough for two ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade (2008)

£9,300

999cc, 175.3bhp, 179mph, Insurance group 17

Since 1992 the name FireBlade has conjured visions of a hard-charging superbike with attitude. While this is true of the very first two models, since then the FireBlade became a model of respectability. The 2006-07 model was arguably the best road-going superbike by being fast and bland in the same wheelbase. The 2008 FireBlade comes with attitude from its rev-happy ...

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

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