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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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Honda NC700X (2012-2013)

£5,999

670cc, 51bhp, 115mph, Insurance group

The idea of a cheap, capable bike that offers more in terms of style and versatility than a basic commuter is a good one. Being able to stash a helmet turns 'good' into practical brilliance. Affordability and ease of use is what the NC700X is all about with bags of comfort, stability, an agile chassis and a simple engine with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Moto Guzzi V7 Racer (2011-current)

£8,132

744cc, 49bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 14

Moto Guzzi’s new V7 Racer is a class act. It’s a special, but full-production, version of the Italian firm’s V7 Classis and comes with an unbelievable raft of goodies, including a chrome-effect fuel tank, a hand-finished frame and uprated cycle parts. This modern-day retro isn’t on a par with a Triumph Thruxton or Ducati Sport Classic performance-wise, but it’s easy ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Ducati Hypermotard 796 (2009-2012)

£7,395

803cc, 81bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s entry-level 803cc Hypermotard 796 is a stormer of a machine. It’s 12kg lighter and its seat is 20mm lower than the Hypermotard 1100, which makes it easier to ride and in the real world, and every bit as fast from A to B. It’s a deal cheaper too and Ducati says it will return 58.9mph, which makes it the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR600RR (2009-current)

£9,799

599cc, 107bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Honda has given its supersports weapon subtle tweaks for 2009, designed to give it more mid-range oomph and a smoother power delivery. New pistons, cylinder head and exhaust system have bolstered torque between 6000-10,000rpm, which makes the engine more flexible on the road. Luckily for us, this has been done without sacrificing any top-end power. The big news, though, is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2008-2010)

£7,200

599cc, 112.3bhp, 164.97mph, Insurance group 15

The new Suzuki GSX-R600 is very similar to last years GSX-R600. Underneath the new body work chassis wise it’s very similar. Suzuki engineers have played around with the engine but instead of seeking peak performance they have tried to make the engine more user friendly by increasing low to midrange performance. They have also opted to fit the Suzuki Drive ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki ZX-6R (2009-2012)

£8,468

599cc, 115bhp, 161.62mph, Insurance group 15

In terms of chassis and handling the new Kawasaki ZX-6R a big step forward over the old ZX-6R. The new big piston forks use MotoGP technology and make a huge difference. They take a little getting use to at first but enable you to brake devilishly late yet the bike remains stable. Engine wise 115bhp at the back wheel makes it the most powerful ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 (2008-current)

£7,932

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

The Aprilia Dorsoduro is priced competitively cheaper than Ducati’s Hypermotard and KTM 990 supermoto, and still turns heads, is laden with quality parts and has clearly been designed and not just thrown together. The Aprilia Dorsoduro may not be as radical as the competition or Aprilia’s marketing department would let us believe, however this does make it easy to ride, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda XL700V Transalp (2008-2012)

£6,775

680cc, 59bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 11

This latest version of the Honda Transalp is much improved over the last model, but to be honest that was never going to be difficult. The motor is just quick enough, should last forever, and offers a smile when the mood takes you. The new Honda Transalp’s handling isn’t bad, either, considering the market the motorcycle is aimed at. Looks-wise ...

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

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