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Yamaha FJR1300A (2013-current)

£13,699

1298cc, 146bhp, 154mph, Insurance group

Often overlooked in favour of the new breed of adventure-style sports tourers, the new FJR is a fabulous piece of kit – fast, refined and fun. Although hugely competent and thoroughly desirable, the new FJR isn’t that different to the older model. But there again, that’s no bad thing as the out going bike is also excellent. Overall the new ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta Dragster 800 (2014-current)

£10,990

798cc, 125bhp, 155mph, Insurance group

The Brutale 800 Dragster is a very specific type of bike for a very specific purpose. Don’t expect it to go touring or suffer a daily commute. It’s a proper Sunday show-off, at home honing about streets and back lanes, using its banging midrange and sorted throttle response to boss traffic with extravagant disdain. It’s as good as its looks; ...

  • 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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Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

£10,995

849cc, 132bhp, 150mph, Insurance group

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance. On the other, even though ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Moto Morini Granpasso (2008-current)

£10,729

1187cc, 118bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 15

This is Moto Morini’s answer to the BMW R1200GS. The Italian-built machine, which is powered by a big, booming V-twin motor has a 19” front wheel for off-road action and a roomy riding position, but it’s very racy. Instant acceleration is akin to a big supermoto and with its firm, top-quality suspension it’s agile and stable in the corners. It’s ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Victory Hammer 8-Ball (2010-current)

£11,495

1731cc, 92bhp, 115mph, Insurance group

The Victory Hammer 8-Ball is basically a lower-seat, cheaper specification version of the Hammer muscle bike. It still has the same gutsy motor, but instead of twin front brake discs it has a single caliper and rotor, plain black paint instead of the more upmarket finish usually seen and the suspension is lowered front and rear to drop the seat ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Monster 1100S (2009-2013)

£10,195

1078cc, 95bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod Muscle (2009-current)

£13,845

1250cc, 109.2bhp, 145.1mph, Insurance group 16

Harley’s cruiser V-Rod has been about since 2001, and the new Muscle is… is just another styling exercise to bolster what is arguably a tired range. The Muscle is essentially a reworked V-Rod with design touches (muscular, flowing lines) to front it up as a serious boulevard traffic light blaster. Except it isn’t that muscular – 12.25sec standing quarters anyone?

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX (2009-2011)

£11,774

1151cc, 105bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

The Moto Guzzi Stelvio is well built, sounds great, stylish, easy to handle, comfortable, practical and comes with that historic Moto Guzzi badge on the tank. It’s not as focussed as the BMW R1200GS Adventure on road and nowhere as accomplished off-road, but it doesn’t take itself as seriously either, it’s easy to ride and it comes with an air ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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KTM RC8R (2009-2010)

£14,995

1195cc, 159.34bhp, 169.55mph, Insurance group 17

Unashamedly a circuit-based blaster that will need a road-rider to be fully aware of what he is about to buy if it’s to be used on the road. From the competition-biased WP suspension to the 170bhp engine and the lightweight Marchesini wheels in between, the KTM RC8R cries out for corners to be taken at speed. Although it doesn’t need to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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