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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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BMW R nineT (2014-current)

£11,600

1170cc, 110bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

BMW has cleverly embraced the latest retro fashion, drawing on its 90 years of motorcycling experience, innovation and heritage, and the R nineT takes its inspiration from all those BMW road and race bikes of old. But the R nineT is more than just retro looks and fashion. The build quality is superb and the attention to detail impeccable. It ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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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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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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Suzuki DL650 V-Strom 650 ABS (2011 - current)

£6,899

645cc, 68bhp, 120mph, Insurance group

We approached the new V-Strom full of skepticism but have been swayed.First, the restyle is a stunning success in its own right. I can’t think of any bike that looks so classy for so little money. Second, almost every aspect has been improved in terms of performance, ranging from engine and handling to manageability and range. But what’s impressed most ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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