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Aprilia RSV4 Factory (2009-current)

£16,932

998cc, 180bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

At last, we’ve finally been able to ride the RSV4 in the dry after its sopping wet launch in Spring 2009! As we said before, Aprilia built the RSV4 as a race bike first, road bike second. You won’t even scratch the surface of what it’s capable of on the road in terms of power and handling. Video: 415-mile road ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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MV Agusta Brutale 1078RR (2008-2013)

£10,480

1078cc, 154bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 17

Don’t think that this is just ‘another’ Brutale: the new 1078RR is very, very different. The Italian firm has been known to release a bewildering number of Brutale variants since the first 750 was released in 2003. As well as that original 750 and the later 910, there have been ‘S’ and ‘R’ versions and commemorative bikes, like the ones ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Honda CBR600RR (2009-current)

£9,799

599cc, 107bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Honda has given its supersports weapon subtle tweaks for 2009, designed to give it more mid-range oomph and a smoother power delivery. New pistons, cylinder head and exhaust system have bolstered torque between 6000-10,000rpm, which makes the engine more flexible on the road. Luckily for us, this has been done without sacrificing any top-end power. The big news, though, is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade (2009-2012)

£11,300

999cc, 178bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

The big news for the 2009 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade isn’t its new, oval-shaped indicators, but its revolutionary electronically-controlled Combined ABS system. This makes the Honda Fireblade the world’s first ever ABS-equipped superbike. This system takes none of the enjoyment out of riding this incredible superbike and it feels just the same to ride as a normal Blade, even on the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki ZX-6R (2009-2012)

£8,468

599cc, 115bhp, 161.62mph, Insurance group 15

In terms of chassis and handling the new Kawasaki ZX-6R a big step forward over the old ZX-6R. The new big piston forks use MotoGP technology and make a huge difference. They take a little getting use to at first but enable you to brake devilishly late yet the bike remains stable. Engine wise 115bhp at the back wheel makes it the most powerful ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 1098R (2008-2011)

£24,000

1198cc, 180bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Ducati is back to its decadent best with the exotic, reassuringly expensive new 1098R. Built in limited numbers so the Italian firm can race it WSB, the 1098R forms the basis of their F08 factory racer. In fact, never has the road bike and the racer been so close, thanks to ever tightening rules in the World Championship. Aside from ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Ducati Desmosedici RR (2007-2009)

£40,000

989cc, 200bhp, 190mph, Insurance group 17

There’s no other way to describe the Ducati Desmosedici RR than as a MotoGP bike with lights; it really is that close to the real thing. The 200bhp motorcycle is a replica of Ducati’s Desmosedici GP6 MotoGP machine, which Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau rode in the 2006 World Championship and features the same chassis layout, bodywork and ‘long bang’ ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Honda GL1500 Gold Wing (1988-2000)

N/A

1520cc, 100bhp, 106mph, Insurance group 15

So definitive a full-dress tourer, the Honda GL1500 Gold Wing remained in production for over a decade and (nearly) all rivals gave up bothering to compete. Third generation Gold Wing boasted all-new, super-smooth, super grunty flat-six, fabulously equipped and integrated design and lavish comfort to beat all-comers. Only recently superceded (by GL1800 and BMW K1200LT), and even then not by ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda VFR750F (1995-1998)

N/A

749cc, 100bhp, 152mph, Insurance group 14

For many, bike journalists included, the best road bike ever built. In 1994 Honda revised an already exceptional motorcycle, giving it super-model looks while still retaining those quintessential VFR qualities of legendary reliability, consistent performance and supreme comfort. The bodywork become less angular and gained Ferrari-esque louvres on its side panels.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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