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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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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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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2008-2010)

£7,200

599cc, 112.3bhp, 164.97mph, Insurance group 15

The new Suzuki GSX-R600 is very similar to last years GSX-R600. Underneath the new body work chassis wise it’s very similar. Suzuki engineers have played around with the engine but instead of seeking peak performance they have tried to make the engine more user friendly by increasing low to midrange performance. They have also opted to fit the Suzuki Drive ...

  • MCN rating rating is 0
  • 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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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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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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Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade (2008-2009)

£9,300

999cc, 175.3bhp, 179mph, Insurance group 17

Since 1992 the name FireBlade has conjured visions of a hard-charging superbike with attitude. While this is true of the very first two models, since then the FireBlade became a model of respectability. The 2006-07 model was arguably the best road-going superbike by being fast and bland in the same wheelbase. The 2008 FireBlade comes with attitude from its rev-happy ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Yamaha YZF-R6 (2008-current)

£9,299

599cc, 133bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Yamaha’s designers had one problem with superceding its 2006-07 R6, and that was how to improve a motorcycle that was very good in the first place. But improve it they have with clever attention to details borne from its World Supersport racing program. A designer’s touch here and the same effort there, has led to the Yamaha R6 being the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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