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Honda VFR1200F (2010-2011)

£12,325

1237cc, 160bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new VFR is a good bike – but it’s not a great one. And after all the hype and expectation (Honda themselves are pumping it up as “the Ultimate Road Sports Motorcycle” and it’s simply not) that is not good enough.Logically, to justify its almost £12K tag, the new VFR should offer abilities and specification head and shoulders above ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MV Agusta Brutale 990R (2009-2013)

£11,400

998cc, 139bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 17

Replacing the old Brutale 989R, the new 139bhp 990R has a sleeved-down version of the new 1090RR engine. It’s slightly lower spec, so has non-adjustable footpegs, more durable Pirelli Diablo Rosso tyres (not Dunlop Qualifier RRs), forged aluminium wheels, no steering damper or slipper clutch, but still has a two-way engine map and eight-position traction control. Like its big brother, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Benelli Tre K 899 (2009-current)

£7,995

898cc, 105bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

This is the smaller engined version of Benelli’s brilliant, but unfortunately rare Tre K 1130  sports tourer. We rate it highly: it’s comfy, easy to ride, sounds great, handles well and has a wild side for when the mood takes you. It’s not the obvious choice, which will actually a plus-point for many, but some will be sceptical, worried about ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Bimota DB6R (2008-current)

£16,600

1078cc, 95bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 17

This exotic, hand-built Italian masterpiece of a motorcycle is assembled with such attention to detail, using top-shelf components that it gives you a funny feeling in your trousers just looking at it. It goes like stink too, as its grunt-laden, air-cooled 1078cc, V-twin Ducati engine has hardly any weight to push along. Think BMX push bike with a motorcycle engine ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Yamaha XJ6 (2009-current)

£6,099

600cc, 77bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 12

This is the naked version of the half-faired Yamaha XJ6 Diversion. Aside from the lack of fairing, it is exactly the same spec, but somehow it has transformed the Yamaha from sensible budget middleweight to exciting mini streetfighter. With its ‘baby Yamaha FZ-1’ looks and sit-up-and-beg riding position this is a very cheap way to get your rocks off. On ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Street Triple R (2008-2012)

£7,349

675cc, 107bhp, 141mph, Insurance group 14

Triumph’s standard Street Triple mixes Triumph Speed Triple style with the tech of a Triumph Daytona 675 engine. It's light, fast, fun, agile, stylish and cool... and it just got even better. The 'R' version comes with fully-adjustable suspension and fiercer radial four-pot Nissin front brakes, making it the perfect bike to tempt UK riders away from their sportsbikes. Triumph have been planning ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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KTM RC8 (2008-2010)

£10,695

1148cc, 152.2bhp, 178mph, Insurance group 17

The KTM RC8 is the revelation of 2008… even though we’ve known it’s been coming for four years. Perhaps we should’ve given KTM more credit because all their machines (on and off-road) to date are superb. Nonetheless the RC8 is simply stunning and for all the right reasons. Its engine is powerful and usable; handling shames Japanese and Italian superbikes; ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki ZX-10R (2008-2010)

£8,950

998cc, 185.4bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

The new Kawasaki ZX-10R scores an easy five out of five; it surely must be the fastest production 1000cc bike of the current crop. But this ZX-10R is not all about Kawasaki’s new blistering engine and head-banging attitude, it’s controllable and handles much better than the previous ZX-10R and despite the blistering pace is actually easier to ride. Not for ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 848 (2007-2013)

£10,995

848cc, 122bhp, 166mph, Insurance group 17

The Ducati 848 isn’t just a small 1098, it’s much more than that. The 848 is a proper fast (top speed is 166mph), fine-handling, gorgeous Ducati superbike in its own right. It’s no longer the poor relation to its big brother, like the 748 and 749 used to be. But costing £9500 you’re going to need to be anything but ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki GTR1400 (2007-2009)

£10,995

1352cc, 139bhp, 151mph, Insurance group 17

The Kawasaki GTR1400 is the long-awaited, long-rumoured flagship sports tourer based on the powerhouse ZZ-R1400 – and it’s been worth the wait. The GTR1400 is a classy, smooth and potent bit of kit, delivering a magic carpet ride across continents better than virtually anything else/ It may lack the proven reputation and long options list of BMW but in virtually ...

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

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