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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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Kawasaki Z1000 (2004-2006)

£7,345

953cc, 125bhp, 152mph, Insurance group 15

With its “My first migraine” colourschemes, bold, shotgun-style quad exhausts and huge hung-out in-the breeze motor you won’t mistake the Kawasaki Z1000 for anything else out on the road. It goes just like it looks, thanks to some huge shove, courtesy of that ex-superbike lump. 

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Benelli Tre K 1130 (2006-current)

£8,495

1130cc, 123bhp, 140mph, Insurance group 17

Arguably the most ‘complete’ motorcycle from Benelli in modern times. It may be ironic that the best bike this Italian firm, which is steeped in racing history, has built isn’t a superbike, but the Benelli Tre K is a superb, Multistrada-esque, do-anything, all-purpose street motorcycle and it really is very, very good.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda XL1000 Varadero (2001-2010)

£8,500

996cc, 93bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

In theory: the Honda XL1000V Varadero is a great idea; take the funky Firestorm motor and put it inside an adventure touring chassis. But the result didn’t live up to that and the Honda XL1000V Varadero hasn’t matched the success of the BMW R1150GS. Whileit has bags of comfort, luggage capacity and grunt, its thirsty engine, top heavy handling and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Speed Triple 1050 (2005-2010)

£7,799

1050cc, 128bhp, 150mph, Insurance group 13

Triumph's Speed Triple 1050 is one factory Streetfighter than delivers the goods. It's plenty fast enough, in fact you can hit 150mph if you can hang on. Plus it sounds beautiful and the fact that it's a big heavy lump that needs manhandling round corners actually attracts devotees. The Speed Triple always was, and remains, a bit of a Rottweiler.  ...

  • 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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Triumph Daytona 955i (1997-2006)

£7,499

955cc, 147bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

The Triumph Daytona 955i is an extremely rapid, sweet handling superbike. Unfortunately it was about four years too late in a fiercely competitive class. The R1, GSX-R1000 and FireBlade are lighter and faster. The Triumph Daytona 955i’s saving grace is its character from its gruff three-cylinder engine, distinctive understated looks and the fact few riders can use anything like all ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Ducati Sport 1000 (2005-2008)

£7,495

992cc, 92bhp, 134mph, Insurance group 15

The Ducati Sport 1000 series are mouthwateringly-styled tributes to 70s motorcycles greats boasting modern thrills and mechanicals. Great as a look-at-me motorcycle and the detailing is exquisite but it’s neither a true sportsbike nor year-round transport. For rarity, go for the limited edition Ducati Paul Smart 1000, for practicality the slightly dull, twin seat Ducati GT1000, but the best motorcycle on balance (and mst wrist-breakingly ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW R1200S (2006-2007)

£8,955

1170cc, 122bhp, 148mph, Insurance group 13

Somehow you already know if you want the BMW R1200S. The looks divide opinions, but only half as much as the Boxer engine and the Telelever/Paralever suspension do. BMW has strained the limits of these design parameters – and it only just comes off. As an oddball track motorcycle it works, but as an accomplished all-rounder it falls short of ...

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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