Gallery: Cleverly priced, punchy middleweights

Published: 15 May 2017

There was a time when entry- level middleweights were lacking in power and X-factor. Machines like Kawasaki’s Zephyr 550 and Suzuki’s GS500 remain supremely easy to forget.

But over the years this ‘budget’ segment of the market has become a key battleground – and the bikes have dramatically changed for the better. Stir in some tempting PCP deals and the class looks even more desirable.

Three key new models this year – Suzuki’s GSX-S750, Ducati’s Monster 797 and Kawasaki’s Z650 – are fighting to take sales from the undisputed king of middleweight value, Yamaha’s MT- 07.  

'MT-07 is one of the greats of motorcycling'

If money wasn’t an issue then we might be tempted by the Ducati Monster 797 as it’s the most desirable and has the sweetest handling. And although the motor lacks a little gusto it’s more than sufficient for road riding.

But if it were my money on the table, it would be the Yamaha MT-07 every time – at £6099 it’s an all-round bargain and, pound-for-pound, one of the greats of motorcycling.

At only £69 a month on PCP, the Kawasaki is pretty tempting, even cheaper than the Yamaha at £89, and if you intend to spend more time in the city than out of it, the Kawasaki could be ideal. The Suzuki exceeded our expectations.

It’s comfortable, quick and stylish – as well as being our first choice for big miles and outright power – but there’s no way it can touch the Yamaha for its all-round versatility.

Above is our gallery from our recent test with all these bikes. 

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