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Ducati Hypermotard 796 (2009-2012)

£7,395

803cc, 81bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 15

Ducati’s entry-level 803cc Hypermotard 796 is a stormer of a machine. It’s 12kg lighter and its seat is 20mm lower than the Hypermotard 1100, which makes it easier to ride and in the real world, and every bit as fast from A to B. It’s a deal cheaper too and Ducati says it will return 58.9mph, which makes it the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW F800R (2009-current)

£7,595

798cc, 87bhp, 133mph, Insurance group 12

BMW placed the F800R as an entry-level, sporty, naked urban machine to slot in amongst myriad of 600cc middleweight bikes eg Yamaha FZ6, Triumph Street Triple, Honda Hornet and so on – even though its engine is 798cc! And we can cheerfully say it fits in. What the BMW conveys is the feel and ride of large capacity bike with ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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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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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 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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Honda CBR600RR (2007-2008)

£7,200

599cc, 118bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Honda have hit back hard with the track focused CBR600RR. They want their 600 crown back and after our first initial ride it seems they’ve done it. They’ve rectified the old motorcycle’s weak points, namely lack of midrange and weight. The Honda CBR600RR is now the lightest in the class, and has much more midrange and razor sharp handling.   Watch the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda NTV600/650 (1988-1997)

N/A

647cc, 57bhp, 110mph, Insurance group 8

The Honda NTV650 isn’t just about frugal motoring, a quality build and endless reliability. Because somehow Honda segued in a cheeky charm and a handling package that has to be ridden to be believed. Most Honda NTV650s will be a little tired after a decade or more on the streets but at the right price they’re simply superb motorcycles.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Speed Four (2002-2006)

£5,349

599cc, 97bhp, 136mph, Insurance group 12

That engine still isn’t perfect but it ain’t half bad. A bit snatchy around town but, out in the open, it’s a dream. Alongside that handling and those brakes, you’re in for one hell of a ride on board the Speed Four. Incredibly capable and beautifully built, its distinctive looks are ideal for those who don’t want to go with ...

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

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