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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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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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Ducati Hypermotard 1100 (2007-2012)

£7,750

1078cc, 90bhp, 123mph, Insurance group 17

Ducati has come up with a genuinely and refreshingly different motorcycle with the Ducati Hypermotard. It offers all the fun of a conventional supermoto motorcycle with its light and agile handling, and a pathological penchant for wheelies, but thanks to its big n’smooth 1078cc V-twin engine, comfy seat and roomy riding position the Ducati Hypermotard is practical too. Kind of!   Watch ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2007-2008)

£8,949

999cc, 185bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

Suzuki has never made a bad GSX-R1000, and they still haven’t. Their flagship superbike always leads the class, never follows, and the new GSX-R1000K7 is no different. Not only does it have more power than ever before – up 7bhp to 185bhp - it’s now even to handle than ever. The user-friendly nature of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 was always its best ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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KTM Super Duke (2005-2013)

£8,945

999cc, 120bhp, 151mph, Insurance group 15

If all of life were like a KTM Super Duke it would be a short, barely glimpsed blur of action-packed vignettes. There is surely nothing more frenetic on two-wheels than the KTM 990 Super Duke short of sticking a nitrous kit, a jet turbine and a flame-thrower into the frame of a fold-up bicycle.   Watch the KTM Super Duke ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-current)

£8,675

1050cc, 123bhp, 160mph, Insurance group 15

The Triumph Sprint ST is the best sports-touring motorcycle of its generation by some margin. It’s smooth, long-legged, comfortable and handsome, with a effortless power to shrinks distances with delightful ease. What's more, the Triumph Sprint ST's more sporty bent means it handles better than any motorcycle in its class.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha FJR1300 (2001-2012)

£13,499

1298cc, 143.5bhp, 154mph, Insurance group 14

The Yamaha FJR1300 is the first from-the-ground-up touring bike the Japanese firm has built. With shaft drive, comprehensive fairing, bespoke hard luggage, massive tank capacity etc, this motorcycle ticks plenty of boxes. From 2006 on it has an automatic gearbox option (AS model) available too, as well as a restyled fairing, adjustable handlebar and seat. All of which means the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati ST3 (2003-2007)

£7,650

992cc, 102bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 15

The ignored Ducati family – the sports touring motorcycles – got a big boost with the arrival of the Ducati ST3 model in 2003. Its three valve per cylinder engine was new and unique in the Ducati range – previous sports touring Ducatis made do with other motorcycles' hand me downs. A refreshing, different sports touring motorcycle with decent reliability so far.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW K1200S (2004-2008)

£10,100

1157cc, 165bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 16

Hyper-sports touring motorcycle. One of the latest BMWs and that means it’s a seriously sorted motorcycle. The BMW K1200S has Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa rivalling power but comfort and practicality too. Some radical engineering and plenty of proven technology. The latest Japanese hyper motorcycles are edging again on power – but the BMW K1200S is never short of shove.   Watch the BMW K1200S take ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Bimota SB8R (1999-2000)

N/A

996cc, 133bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 17

Exotic, ultra-rare and built with a level of attention few manufacturers can match. But unlike the Bimotas of previous decades, the SB8R doesn’t radically out perform Japanese competition of the same time. It does manage to be a little better though and race success backed this up. Lack of dealer back up makes ownership worrying.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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