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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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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)

£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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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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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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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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Ducati 1098 (2007-2011)

£11,250

1099cc, 160bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

This is the Ducati motorcycle we’ve been waiting for since the original Ducati 916. It’s a Ducati motorcycle in the truest form. Blood red, stunning to look at and absolutely pure in its purpose. It’s been a long time coming but it finally looks like Ducati has built a sports bike that can run with the best. The Ducati 1098 finally stands for ...

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

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