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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 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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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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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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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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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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BMW R1150RT (2001-2005)

N/A

1130cc, 95bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

The BMW R1150RT has all the comfort needed to blitz Europe – and it handles too. Proof that a motorcycle can take you a pillion and plenty of luggage to those Alpine passes can be fun once you get there. The R1150RT is lighter than most full tourers of the time and superbly built too – but it's no rocket in ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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