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Aprilia RSV4R (2010-current)

£14,132

998cc, 180bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

Aprilia’s RSV4R is a more affordable version of the all-singing, all-dancing RSV4 Factory. The engine is basically the same, without some of the Factory’s advanced electronics, but the chassis parts are slightly lower-spec. Despite this it’s still a beautifully-balanced technology-packed Italian missile. It’s monstrously fast, gives you loads of confidence in the corners, has superb ride quality, looks great (especially ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR (2009-current)

£14,599

1078cc, 142bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 17

MV’s new range-topping Brutale 1090RR, the first of the new-generation of machines built under Harley Davidson ownership, might not look very different to the old one, but it’s a revelation. It’s 85% new, boasts a dual power map, an eight-stage traction control system and is 4kg lighter than the out-going 1078RR. But most importantly it’s night-and-day friendlier and easier to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph Thunderbird (2009-current)

£11,149

1597cc, 85bhp, 115mph, Insurance group

Triumph’s all-new Thunderbird is bravely aimed at taking on Harley in the US, but in terms of spec, quality, performance and price looks the best-equipped rival ever to do just that. It performs well, handles better, is beautifully built and has all the cruiser goodies you could wish for. But if we have to be critical, it’s a bit derivative ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • 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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BMW K1300GT (2009-2013)

£13,500

1293cc, 160bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

The BMW K1300GT is a Grand Tourer in the true sense of the words. It manages to combine massive performance with supreme practicality and comfort. There’s no getting away from the sheer size of the BMW K1300GT - it’s a massive chunk of engineering that looks and feels imposing at a standstill. Get it moving, however and that bulk just ...

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