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Kawasaki ER-6n (2012-current)

£5,899

649cc, 70bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 10

The old ER-6n was already an excellent bike – which is why it sold so well in the UK and even more so in Europe. So Kawasaki didn’t have to do much. Yet they have succeeded in enhancing every aspect of its appeal. The looks are better and the ER-6n is now even easier to ride and more manageable which ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki ER-6f (2012-current)

£6,099

649cc, 70bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 10

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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Ducati Monster 796 (2010-current)

£7,995

803cc, 87bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 11

Yee-haar. Puzzled? Don’t be. The simple truth is Ducati’s 796 - the Bologna-based company’s latest air-cooled Monster – slots nicely between the first-timer Monster 696 and the more powerful Monster 1100 and it's one of biking’s easy-to-net pleasures. It’s not under or overpowered, definitely not expensive to buy or maintain, easy to ride and a looker to boot. Plus it ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki ER-6f (2009-2011)

£5,999

649cc, 71bhp, 124mph, Insurance group

The original Kawasaki ER-6f was universally acclaimed by MCN’s road testers and the revised ER sees the love affair continue. It’s a rare package of fun, practicality and affordability, which is great for novices and experienced riders alike. Its sporty, Ninja looks prove budget doesn’t have to mean bland, while revisions to the 649cc parallel twin engine have eradicated most of ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Buell XB9SX Lightning (2004-2009)

£5,990

984cc, 84bhp, 120mph, Insurance group

The Buell XB9SX is an oddity. What you get is an old-school v-twin in a high-tech chassis, all wrapped up in a mad-max style urban scrambler. On paper it makes very little sense – a modern naked middleweight out-performs it in every practical way. But it looks great, sounds mean and the handling is sublime. It would be a hard ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kawasaki ER-6n (2009-2011)

£5,799

649cc, 72bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 10

The first Kawasaki ER-6n already offered fantastic value for money – fun, practicality and decent looks for £4500. It didn’t need a revamp, but for this year it now has a classier more grown up image. The chassis has been tweaked to isolate vibration, and suspension quality was also improved in response to owner comments.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Suzuki SV1000 (2003-2007)

£6,049

996cc, 118bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 15

The Suzuki SV1000 is a purpose built big capacity, sensibly priced, road going sporty V-twin. Ok, the engine’s nicked from Suzuki’s old TL1000S but the rest of the SV1000 is all-new yet the price tag is very reasonable new or used. The faired Suzuki SV1000 ‘S’ version has lower bars but is the better all-rounder. The unfaired SV1000 with higher bars is a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Moto Guzzi Breva 1100/1200 (2005-2011)

£6,999

1064cc, 86bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 13

The compact and nimble Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 is a totally different animal to the Moto Guzzi California 1100EV or Moto Guzzi V11, which are that bit harder to ride. The Breva 1100 has a lighter clutch, niftier chassis and smoother V-twin than Moto Guzzis of old. The Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 feels much shorter, carrying its weight that bit lower somehow. The Breva ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSR600 (2006-2010)

£5,200

599cc, 88bhp, 138mph, Insurance group 13

The Suzuki GSR600 is a middleweight inline four in the same mould as Yamaha’s FZ6 and Honda’s Hornet 600. It’s a perfectly acceptable ride, but to be honest the Suzuki GSR600 adds almost nothing to the biking world – especially when Suzuki’s own Bandit 600 (and 650 version) does exactly the same job for less money than the Suzuki GSR600. ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBF1000 (2006-2009)

£5,999

998cc, 96.5bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

Honda CBF1000: Nice legs, shame about the boat race… The big Honda CBF1000 is one of the unsung heroes of modern motorcycling. Detuned Blade engine, fabulously easy handling and throttle response and great ergonomics make the Honda CBF1000 hooningly enjoyable, yet novice friendly and a great value all-rounder. It's just a shame the Honda CBF1000 looks so dull.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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