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Kymco CK1 (2014-current)

£1,999

125cc, 10bhp, 65mph, Insurance group

Like those Japanese rivals, the CK1 is a fairly stylish air-cooled, four-stroke single. Unlike them, it costs under two grand. All-new commuter aims to fill the gap between cheap and cheerful Chinese offerings and more proven, pricier, Japanese ones. It succeeds, too, being well-specced, stylish and well priced. Not perfect, it arguably delivers the best of both worlds.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lexmoto XTR125

£1,250

124cc, 9.7bhp, 56mph, Insurance group

Not a bad sporty 125 that does everything you could want a 125 to do with litte hassle. Cheap price means these are a very tempting choice over more expensive, but better Japanese machines like the Honda CBR125. f you're not bothered about the name on the tank, the Lexmoto is a good choice.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 2.5
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WK 125R (2011-current)

£1,699

124cc, 11bhp, 78mph, Insurance group

The Taiwanese-built WK 125R is an entry-level 125cc motorcycle for British riders on a budget. Imported by the same team behind Quadzilla Quads, it’s a cheap, cheerful and functional alternative to more expensive European or Japanese learner machines. It’s a little basic, quite heavily outmoded and unlikely to last a lifetime, but it’s also fairly cool, fun to ride and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 2
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Honda CBR250R (2011-2013)

£4,199

249cc, 26bhp, 95mph, Insurance group 13

Motorcycling needs new blood to ensure survival. Honda’s take on this is to attract people into motorcycling with a cheap, honest and stylish workhorse – and the CBR250R is it. This all-new machine is not just suited to restricted cat’ A licence holders, but also anyone who wants a simple, easy to ride, modern-dressed machine capable of returning high mpg ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda BROS NT400 (1988-1992)

N/A

398cc, 31bhp, 94mph, Insurance group 9

Strictly speaking, the BROS 400 is heavy, underpowered and outdated. But the cheap grey imports are surprisingly nice to ride – they’re well balanced, steer well and the engine is flexible, torquey and characterful given its 33bhp output. That also makes it legal for new riders on a restricted licence.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Piaggio Typhoon 50 (1993-current)

£1,399

49cc, 4bhp, 35mph, Insurance group 2

The Piaggio Typhoon 50 has been around 16 years – as long as the teens allowed to ride it! Originally a cutting edge sports scooter, the lightweight Typhoon is still a lot of fun but is now at the bottom end of the sports 50 price scale, making it good value for money.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Suzuki DR350 (1992-1999)

N/A

349cc, 30bhp, 75mph, Insurance group 8

Suzuki’s dirt-simple dirt plugger is the bedrock on which green-laning is based. Simple, rugged and cheap the Suzuki DR350 is an easy motorcycle to own forever. It’s got its faults – a poor finish, weedy engine and a few too many kilos, but it’s endearing and enduring. If you're buying a Suzuki DR350, make sure you get a post-1995 electric ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Harley-Davidson FXDBI Dyna Street Bob (2006-current)

£10,995

18cc, 67bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 15

If you’re wondering about the Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob's name, it comes from the ‘bobber’ fashion in the custom world inspired by the post-WWII movement which saw ex-military Harleys chopped down with low seats, fat tyres and Ape hanger bars. The Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob, based on the ubiquitous Super Glide, takes this minimalism to the limit with a low seat, classic Fat ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Harley-Davidson FXST Softail Standard (1998-2013)

£10,795

1449cc, 67bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 15

The Harley-Davidson Softail Standard has classic Harley looks and technology for the custom fan who wants the authentic American experience. The Softail family has concealed rear suspension for a hard-core ‘hardtail’ look. The  Harley-Davidson Softail Standard was discontinued for 2007.  Compared to later motorcycles, the main differences are that it hasn’t got the latest air cooled engine and other minor refinements.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Gas Gas Pampera (2001-2005)

N/A

248cc, 20bhp, 81mph, Insurance group 7

The Gas Gas Pampera 250 MK III is one of the great trail motorcycles of modern times. It’s particularly suitable for shorties and more inexperienced riders, thanks to its combination of easy manners and low seat height (for a trail bike). Spanish factory Gas Gas has a good history of making quality off-roaders and they have a string of world titles ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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