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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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Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v (2008-current)

£10,432

1151cc, 105bhp, 135mph, Insurance group 15

After just two years in production the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport gets a new engine. So it’s out with the old two-valver and in with a new 105bhp four-valve head motor, taken from the Stelvio adventure bike and the Griso 8v cruiser (yes, Guzzi call the Griso an ‘8v’ and all the other bikes in their range with the same ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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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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Ducati 1198S (2008-2011)

£17,250

1198cc, 168bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Nobody else has a 168bhp V-twin on its books, complete with traction control, Ohlins suspension, data-recording etc, and if they did it’d probably cost more than the £14,750 Ducati 1198S. And there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have the same devastating performance all wrapped up in a chassis that has more character than Lord Of the Rings’ Gandalf. This is ...

  • 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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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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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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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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MV Agusta F41000S (2004-2012)

£14,000

998cc, 155bhp, 184mph, Insurance group 17

The MV Agusta F41000S blends a monster engine, God-given handling and heart-aching beauty to be possibly one of the most desirable two-wheeled creations of all time. Only its high price, discomfort and lack of convincing reliability prevent it taking full marks.

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

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