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Honda NC750X (2014-current)

£6,299

745cc, 54bhp, 125mph, Insurance group

Riding the NC for any length of time reveals a bike that handles sweetly, brakes more than adequately, is comfortable, tackles scabby back roads well and, with the addition of the DCT gearbox, is easy to ride and super economical in terms of fuel use. There’s a lot to like. If, however, you want a bike that will be the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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 NC700S (2012-2013)

£5,499

670cc, 47bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 11

An economical little work horse that can just about cut it out of town when you fancy going a little faster. Stability, comfort, cheap price and a large storage space make the NC700S a very appealing bike. Overall the NC700S is a surprisingly endearing utility bike. You’d buy it with your head…but it would soon find a place in your heart.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSR 750 (2011-current)

£6,999

749cc, 105bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 12

The GSR750 is an entirely new bike – not just a GSX-R750 with flat bars and no fairing. As you'd expect it’s far more user friendly and practical than the GSX-R, and is designed to compete with Yamaha’s FZ8 and Kawasaki’s Z750.  It delivers supernaked looks in a usable, stylish middleweight body, with the 105bhp 749cc engine offering enough poke ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Daytona 675R (2011-2012)

£9,799

675cc, 126bhp, mph, Insurance group 16

Triumph has labeled the 675R as a track day weapon/fast road riding tool, and MCN can’t argue with this. The stiff Ohlins suspension and lithesome, agile nature of the 675R chassis gives the impression it is a sorted race bike. Couple this with impressive midrange from of the triple-cylinder engine and you have a bike that allows devastating corner speed ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Speed Triple (2011-current)

£9,599

1050cc, 133bhp, mph, Insurance group 14

2005 was the last time Triumph updated the Speed Triple by giving it the new 1050cc engine. Five years on and Triumph saw fit to update, overhaul and completely transform its biggest selling bike – 65,000 models sold since 1994. For 2011 the Speed Triple has an all-new chassis package, frame and swingarm included, to turn MCN’s favourite big-bore naked ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Shiver (2010-current)

£7,132

749cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

For 2010 they’ve made the Shiver more user friendly by lowering and narrowing the seat. They’ve also improved the sporting side of the Aprilia by giving the new bike higher and further set back pegs, slightly different bars, narrower rear wheel, and improving the brakes with racy wavy discs. Suspension has also been firmed up slightly. Cosmetically it’s been given ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 Factory (2010-2011)

£7,874

749cc, 92bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 11

The standard Dorsoduro has always been impressive; much more user friendly on the road compared to the larger Ducati Hypermotard and KTM, but couldn’t match the competitions on track performance. However the new stiffer racier Factory should narrow that gap if not erase it, and it’s even more mouth watering than before with lashing of real carbon fibre. - Video: ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2010-2013)

£9,099

1043cc, 136bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

The 2010 Z1000 is the most impressive sports naked ever to roll out of Japan. It has excellent performance, handling and is super-stylish to boot. It’s less intimidating and easier to ride than a fire-breathing European super naked too. Compared to something like a KTM Super Duke or Ducati Streetfighter, the Z1000 is on the heavy side, the brakes lack ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW F650GS (2008-current)

£6,650

798cc, 71bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 8

BMW’s successor to long-lived and popular entry-level F650 single is, confusingly, being based on the F800GS, neither a single (it’s a parallel twin) or a 650 (it’s 798cc) – so perhaps not surprisingly it’s miles better than the old one. Just as importantly, though, with a lowered seat, softened delivery and more, it’s every bit as novice or shortie-friendly and ...

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

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