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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 ER-6f (2012-current)

£6,099

649cc, 70bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The outgoing ER-6f was already a very popular bike and thankfully Kawasaki haven’t felt the need to radically alter it, rather improve its slight failings and make a good bike even better. The new chassis and looks are improved and the fairing adds an element of practicality that its naked brother, the ER-6n, is lacking. The seat height is low, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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KTM 1290 Super Duke (2013-current)

£13,499

1301cc, 160bhp, 159mph, Insurance group 17

It’s a massive leap forward over the old Super Duke which was far from a bad bike. The new 1.3 litre KTM has arm-ripping power, the best mid-range and roll on speed figures we’ve ever tested and is the most powerful naked bike on the market. It also has a flip side. It’s relatively light, easy to ride and perfectly ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki Z800 (2013-current)

£7,499

806cc, 111bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

We’re genuinely shocked how good the Z800 is, given how uninspiring the old Z750 was - it’s a fitting tribute to the Zed’s 40th birthday. The ride quality is sumptuous, the motor smooth and there’s power spilling out of it at every rpm. It’s a real joy to ride. All the hard work Kawasaki has put into improving the engine, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda VFR1200F (2012-current)

£12,999

1237cc, 160bhp, mph, Insurance group

The VFR1200F remains a good, bordering on great bike. Its quality and finish is peerless; its refinement, ergonomics and ease-of-use impeccable. And the cherry on the top is that unique-sounding and fabulously grunty, flexible and, yes, fast V4. But it's not stunning, hasn't 'moved the game on' like an all-new Honda V4 probably should have done and it does have ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer (2012-current)

£12,399

1237cc, 127bhp, 131mph, Insurance group 17

The surprise with the Crosstourer is two-fold: first that the 1200 V4 powertrain works so well in an adventure bike package (it already seems so familiar and ‘right’ to me it seems like it’s been around for years) and second that it genuinely brings a new and tempting dimension – namely V4 performance and sophisticated automatic transmission – to the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2012-current)

£12,399

998cc, 157.75bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Not much has changed with the 2012 R1, but the big news is it now has a six-stage traction control system, incorporating anti-wheelie in its two most intrusive levels. It also has a restyled nose, a slotted YZR-M1-style top yoke and a longer, softer rear shock. The changes aren’t enough to compete with the new-generation of hardcore superbikes, like the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VFR800X Crossrunner (2011-current)

£9,499

782cc, 101bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

The Crossrunner has already proved controversial for being passed off as a new bike when, effectively, it’s little more than a re-worked, re-styled nine-year-old VFR800 with some ‘parts bin’ equipment. But there’s no denying that, as a concept, as a two-wheeled ‘cross-over’ machine, the Crossrunner simply works. It’s one of the best, friendliest and truly versatile bikes around – anywhere. ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW K1600GTL (2011-current)

£17,550

1649cc, 160bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

The K1600GTL is now BMW’s premier sports tourer and puts the big machine right in the firing line of bikes like the Honda Pan-European, and the Honda GoldWing. Over the GT it comes with a massive top case big enough to swallow two full size helmets, the same panniers as the GT, plus it gets lower and further back handlebars, lower footrests, lower pillion ...

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

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