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Yamaha XVS1300 Custom (2014-current)

£8,999

1304cc, 72bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 12

Yamaha’s XVS1300 Custom off-the-peg chopper is a rebadged Yamaha Stryker, originally released in the US in 2011. It mixes ‘American Chopper’ styling with bomb-proof Yamaha build quality. Badge snobs might sneer at its lack of ‘Harleyness’ but it’s a capable machine and superb value for money.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph America LT (2014-current)

£7,999

865cc, 60bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

Though by definition a ‘smaller bagger’ it’s not really a small bike. It’s manageable, yes, but is sufficiently full sized to carry two and luggage and tour hundreds of miles with ease. The LT also has enough style, comfort, performance and practicality and yet is still a doddle to get on with, as well. And, for the type of riders ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha XV950 (2013-current)

£7,199

942cc, 51bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 10

Like any proper bobber, Yamaha’s XV isn’t for the long, open road but is more suited to the urban dude. Yamaha has kept it relatively light, at 247kg, and a super-low seat height of 690mm makes it easy to control for virtually everyone. An abundance of torque delivers a fun, responsive ride and having suspension and brakes that work goes ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Harley-Davidson XL1200 Sportster 72 (2012-current)

£9,195

1202cc, 110bhp, 95mph, Insurance group 12

The new Harley ‘72’ is a blinged/tarted up custom – the idea being a full-on. Early ‘70s-style custom (hence the name) but on the 1200 Sportster platform rather than the more usual big twins. It works, too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Triumph Speedmaster (2011-current)

£7,199

865cc, 60bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 12

Considering the price you get a lot of bike for your money. This ‘junior cruiser’ doesn’t feel like a lesser bike; it’s not underpowered, doesn’t feel budget, is cool and still has big bike appeal. So good and such value for money I’d question why you’d want anything bigger unless you’re a dedicated big custom fan.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha XVS950A Midnight Star (2009-current)

£6,999

942cc, 55bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 13

You’d never guess this was an entry level custom cruiser, at only £6500 it’s a hell of a lot of bike for the money. It questions whether you need a larger bike, as it does everything a larger customs does and is considerably cheaper. It feels large, like a proper custom bike, comfortable, strong engine, more than enough for two ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Harley-Davidson XL1200N Nightster (2007-current)

£6,695

1200cc, 50bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 15

The Nightster is the result of a simple plan by Harley-Davidson and it’s brilliantly executed. What plan? To take the second cheapest model (Sportster 1200) in Harley-Davidson’s vast range and tweak its styling to end up with a new bike of stunning looks but still with an affordable price.   Watch the Harley-Davidson Nightster take on the Triumph Speedmaster and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki VN900 Custom (2007-current)

£7,149

903cc, 53bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 10

Over recent years Kawasaki has created an impressive portfolio of cruisers and Kawasaki VN900 Custom is one of its best yet. The Kawasaki VN900 Custom's laid back, chopper style is down largely to its distinctive, cast alloy big 21-inch front wheel. But other differences between the Kawasaki VN900 Custom and Kawasaki VN900 on which it is based include the high-rise drag ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda VT750C Shadow (2004-2007)

£5,845

745cc, 45bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 10

The Honda VT750C Shadow's a sleek and smooth (if slightly underpowered) cruiser. The shaft drive is a welcome addition but carbs and drum brakes are a bit old hat for a modern machine. Still, it looks the part, rides well and lacks the agricultural feel of its, ahem, American counterparts.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Triumph America (2002-current)

£7,199

790cc, 61bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 10

The Triumph America is a cruiser with real cred – it harks back to the Thunderbird and other Triumphs modified in the States in the 60s and 70s. This means the Triumph America's not regarded as a Harley clone or copy like so many Japanese cruisers. It’s a competent motorcycle too. It’s not particularly rapid or sporty but the Triumph ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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