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Honda CB1000R (2008-current)

£9,299

998cc, 130bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 15

Forget the dinosaur CB1000 of the early nineties, or the now defunct 900 Hornet, the CB1000R is a whole new bag for Honda, designed with Europe, using a retuned version of the 2007 FireBlade engine and with 2008 FireBlade forks and brakes, a beautiful single-sided swingarm and fabbo styling. In fact the only thing the CB1000R lacks is a bit ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Kawasaki ZX-10R (2008-2010)

£8,950

998cc, 185.4bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

The new Kawasaki ZX-10R scores an easy five out of five; it surely must be the fastest production 1000cc bike of the current crop. But this ZX-10R is not all about Kawasaki’s new blistering engine and head-banging attitude, it’s controllable and handles much better than the previous ZX-10R and despite the blistering pace is actually easier to ride. Not for ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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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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Buell 1125R (2007-current)

£8,495

1125cc, 146bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 15

The Buell 1125R is vastly improved in the six months since its launch in late 2007 but, make no mistake, it is not Japanese or Italian standard in any one area of the bike. The engine is a 131bhp Rotax V-twin that delivers solid punches. But vibration can be an issue, depending on what uprated ECU setting is installed – ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Bimota Tesi 3D (2007-current)

£19,600

1072cc, 97bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

The hub-centre steered Bimota Tesi is back. This is the third generation Bimota Tesi: the 3D. It costs £19,600 and is powered by the Ducati Multistrada 1100 engine. Although the Bimota Tesi is beautifully made, it’s a very cramped motorcycle and the quirky front end doesn’t have anywhere near the feel of a well set-up pair of forks. The cheaper ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta F4 1000 312 (2007-2013)

£14,750

998cc, 183bhp, 182mph, Insurance group 17

It’s called the ‘312’ because MV claims it’ll do 312km/h, which equates to about 193mph. When we put it to the test it only managed 182 along a two-mile runway, albeit in a headwind. Costing fifteen grand it needs to be head and shoulders better than the GSX-R1000s and R1s of the world, and it isn’t.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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