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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2009-2011)

£13,399

998cc, 179bhp, 182mph, Insurance group 17

This is like no in-line-four cylinder sportsbike ever produced. It’s simply sensational.  The Yamaha R1’s ultra-short-stroke engine has a cross-plane crankshaft, with its crank pins set at 90° and has irregular firing intervals, which is technology lifted directly from Valentino Rossi’s factory YZR-M1. At a standstill the motor spins up like a two-stroke and on the move the R1’s ability ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 1198S (2008-2011)

£17,250

1198cc, 168bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Nobody else has a 168bhp V-twin on its books, complete with traction control, Ohlins suspension, data-recording etc, and if they did it’d probably cost more than the £14,750 Ducati 1198S. And there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have the same devastating performance all wrapped up in a chassis that has more character than Lord Of the Rings’ Gandalf. This is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • 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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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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BMW HP2 Sport (2008-2012)

£15,250

1170cc, 128bhp, 136mph, Insurance group 17

The BMW HP2 Sport is expensive and quite rightly so considering this is the finest sporting package BMW have rocked up with. Forget the fact that the HP2 Sport is an old air-cooled Boxer engine that supplies the goods, think more in the way this motorcycle will keep up with Japanese superbikes on the open road because of its handling, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW HP2 Megamoto (2007-2010)

£12,585

1170cc, 113bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

The The BMW HP2 Megamoto’s £12,595 price tag is ridiculously high and will stop most of us from ever experiencing it, which is a great shame. The HP2 Megamoto is far more agile, powerful and fun than you’d ever imagine just by looking at it and a million miles away from being a common or garden Steady-Eddie BMW. If only ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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MV Agusta Brutale 910 (2005-2010)

£10,500

910cc, 136bhp, 157mph, Insurance group 17

Sunday bikes make you feel good; they’re not commuters, they’re not people carriers, they’re not really track bikes and they’re certainly not tourers. They’re for summer blasts, posing and polishing to a fine sheen. The MV Agusta Brutale 910 is the mother of all Sunday bikes – expensive, impractical, temperamental and utterly brilliant.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta F41000S (2004-2012)

£14,000

998cc, 155bhp, 184mph, Insurance group 17

The MV Agusta F41000S blends a monster engine, God-given handling and heart-aching beauty to be possibly one of the most desirable two-wheeled creations of all time. Only its high price, discomfort and lack of convincing reliability prevent it taking full marks.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Yamaha FJR1300 (2001-2012)

£13,499

1298cc, 143.5bhp, 154mph, Insurance group 14

The Yamaha FJR1300 is the first from-the-ground-up touring bike the Japanese firm has built. With shaft drive, comprehensive fairing, bespoke hard luggage, massive tank capacity etc, this motorcycle ticks plenty of boxes. From 2006 on it has an automatic gearbox option (AS model) available too, as well as a restyled fairing, adjustable handlebar and seat. All of which means the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW K1200S (2004-2008)

£10,100

1157cc, 165bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 16

Hyper-sports touring motorcycle. One of the latest BMWs and that means it’s a seriously sorted motorcycle. The BMW K1200S has Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa rivalling power but comfort and practicality too. Some radical engineering and plenty of proven technology. The latest Japanese hyper motorcycles are edging again on power – but the BMW K1200S is never short of shove.   Watch the BMW K1200S take ...

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

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