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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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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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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 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
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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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Suzuki GSX-R750 (2008-2010)

£8,200

750cc, 133bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 16

New for 2008, the K8 is the latest incarnation of the giant-killing Suzuki GSX-R750. With only minor tweaks for this year and a facelift, the 175mph K8 is now the smoothest and most refined GSX-R750 ever. Suzuki say it has the same claimed crank power and torque as the K6/K7 model (150bhp/64ftlb), but during MCN’s Road Test it made a ...

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