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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, 90mph, 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 CRF250L (2012-current)

£4,199

250cc, 23bhp, 86mph, 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 Beverly 300ie (2011-current)

£3,949

278cc, 22bhp, 80mph, Insurance group 7

The 278cc engine gives the Beverly plenty of poke around town and out on the road and the handling inspires confidence. It looks slightly girly in pictures, but in the flesh it's not so bad, especially from the saddle, but it's definitely aimed at stylish city folk. Quite what possesed anybody to name it Beverly is anyone's guess, but Piaggio ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aprilia RS4 125 (2011-current)

£4,471

124cc, 15bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

At £3999 OTR there are cheaper 125s but then none of those rivals have the same heritage or kudos. Despite making only 15bhp it’s great fun to ride - the fact the new four-stroke engine thrives on revs keeps the old RS spirit alive. It handles well, stops well, and most importantly looks the part. What more could a 17-year-old ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda CBR125R (2011-Current)

£3,599

124cc, 13.1bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 6

The CBR125R has been yet another of Honda’s success stories. In its seven years of production, the sporty-looking learner 125cc has sold by the ship load all over the world, with good reason. It is easy to ride, comfortable, gives good fuel economy and, above all, it’s a Honda… For 2011 the CBR125R has been updated. The mini-emperor has new ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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 6

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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Honda S-Wing 125 (2007-current)

£3,999

125cc, 13bhp, 68mph, Insurance group 5

The Honda S-Wing is a well-equipped and competitively priced executive scooter that performs a lot better than its functional looks might suggest. Honda is pitching the S-Wing as an up-market urban commuter and in that environment it's a cut above the direct competition.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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