Gallery: Battle of the £7k 700s
Four brilliant bikes all for under £80 a month, but which is best of the bunch?
Lucky number seven. There’s your seven seas, heavens, continents, days, wonders of the world, Keegan, Cantona, Best… Sheene.
Seven is also the magic number when it comes to what it costs to bag yourself a brand-new, exciting, two-wheeled bargain. Seven grand will get you 700cc of fun, practicality, freedom and something nice to polish on a Sunday morning. Better still, seventy quid goes a hell of a long way on PCP these days.
Now, some of the bikes you see in our pictures are less than 700cc (the Harley is more) and are priced below the magic number, too (the Versys 650 is more expensive). However, they’re close enough in general terms and anything else would spoil the intro!
To see how far you can get with your seven grand (and £70 a month on PCP), we’ve picked four very different machines that you probably didn’t even realise were so affordable and put them all head to head.
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Yamaha’s MCN Award-winning MT-07 has been the dictionary definition of cheap thrills since its release in 2014. Yamaha have somehow created an affordable roadster that really does have the modern-day spirit of the 350LC. It weighs just 179kg full of fuel, which is unfathomably light, and the growling 689cc parallel-twin engine makes a very healthy 74bhp.
The Ninja 650 is an ER-F under the skin, with sexy H2-meets-ZX-10R styling, higher-set bars, more grunt, a new rising-rate suspension linkage and – taking a leaf out of Yamaha’s book – a much lighter chassis, bringing weight down by a massive 18kg. There’s lots of lovely attention to detail, from its banana swingarm to its underslung exhaust, petal-shaped discs and new dash display.
Can a Harley-Davidson for just £6745, be any good? Is the new Street Rod more tin can than American iron? Well, those who fancy getting a foot on the first rung of the cruiser ladder won’t be disappointed. The Harley is a class piece of kit. It costs £750 more than the base-model Street 750, but it’s faster, has tighter handling and, with its blacked-out styling, it looks meaner, too. You also get upside-down forks, two front discs, adjustable twin shocks and an analogue/digital-mix dash.
Like the Ninja 650, the Versys 650 is a direct descendant of the ER-6N, powered by Kawasaki’s bulletproof 649cc parallel-twin. It started life as a skinny ER-6 on stilts in 2006, but in 2015 it flowered into the mini adventure bike it is today.