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Triumph Thunderbird Commander (2014-current)

£12,999

1299cc, 93bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The Commander is aimed more at European riders while the LT is for the American market. Essentially a naked version of the Thunderbird LT, the Commander is a hoot to ride. Thumping along, booting the heel-toe between third or fourth, merely stroking the reassuring brakes, it doesn’t get much better. The lack of screen, panniers etc make the Commander lighter ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Aprilia Caponord 1200 (2013-current)

£11,632

1197cc, 125bhp, 118mph, Insurance group 12

The ride quality and comfort from the semi-active suspension is class leading, especially when ridden two-up. Over bumps and imperfections it’s almost alien like – it’s that good and smooth. It’s not all about the clever suspension either, the ABS is excellent, so is the traction control and changeable rider modes, and it's all wrapped in an excellent chassis with a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Kawasaki Z1000 (2014 - current)

£9,499

1043cc, 140bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new 2014 Z1000 is a ballsy move by Kawasaki – and not just because it looks like something out of a Terminator movie. No, it’s ballsy because it’s rejected the current (and often expensive) fashion for electronic rider aids, because it focuses on real world riding thrills rather than fantastic and often irrelevant (for a street super naked at ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta Brutale 800 (2013-current)

£8,999

798cc, 125bhp, mph, Insurance group

MV has now positioned the Brutale 675 as the entry-level bike in the range with the bigger, four-cylinder 1090R and 1090RRs capping the range. The Brutale 800 now occupies a gap in the middle. This is not a bike for novices; the power-to-weight ratio makes for some seriously impressive performance. The engine is a dominant part of the package and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 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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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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MV Agusta Brutale 675 (2012-current)

£8,299

675cc, 108bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

MV Agusta used to be the dream, aspirational brand; the poster bike we proudly hung on our garage and shed wall; the Ferrari of the biking world – and just as expensive, impractical and out of reach. But with the all new MV Brutale 675 that could all be set to change. At £8299 it’s not only cheaper, astonishingly, than ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati Monster 1100 Evo (2011-current)

£8,995

1078cc, 100bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s new 2011 Monster 1100 Evo moves the Monster story to the next level. It’s as good looking as ever, sounds great, its power is not overwhelming, it’s smooth and easy to use and thehandling is lightweight and fun. The addition of traction control and ABS gives the Monster superbike technology without the high price tag. For all the bling ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW G650GS (2011-current)

£6,195

652cc, 47bhp, 105mph, Insurance group

The GS650GS is BMW’s entry-level adventure bike and successor to the old G650 and F650GS single. Because it’s essentially a tweaked version of those, development costs have been low, making it not just the cheapest BMW you can buy but one of the cheapest big bikes. It’s competent on trails, but with a low seat height and exactly 47bhp on ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kawasaki ER-6f (2005-2008)

N/A

649cc, 71bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 10

Tests have shown that nine out of 10 road testers prefer the Kawasaki ER-6f to virtually any other middleweight machine. Bandits, Fazers, Monsters, SV650s… The Kawasaki ER-6 has trounced the lot of ‘em. A cunningly-disguised riot of fun, the Kawasaki ER-6f is cute, it’s capable and it’s competent just about anywhere. You’d have to be off your rocker not to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3

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