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Ducati Monster 1100S (2009-2013)

£10,195

1078cc, 95bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Multistrada 1200S (2010-current)

£15,795

1198cc, 150bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

The all-new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S looks set to redefine not just the ‘adventure bike’ or ‘tall-rounder’ class, but motorcycling in general. The base package (detuned 1198 V-twin, chassis bristling with Ohlins and Brembo, loads of equipment) is good enough in itself to top the segment. But what truly takes the Multistrada to another plane is its revolutionary ‘riding mode’ ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW R1200GS Adventure (2010-2013)

£11,600

1170cc, 110bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 14

The world’s biggest monster traillie is a ridiculous concept that on paper at least shouldn’t work at all. It weighs 223kg, the suspension is three inches taller than the standard R1200GS and with a 33-litre tank full of fuel you need to be Britain’s strongest man to lift it off the sidestand. But in reality it’s one of the best ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Norton Commando 961 SE (2009-current)

£15,995

961cc, 79bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

Revived Norton’s new Commando 961 SE is a ‘feel good’ bike par excellence. It gives riding and owning pleasure by the skip-load and is a machine you’ll park up and spend hours admiring in the garage with a cuppa. Yes, in this full-bling, limited edition, £16K, SE trim, the 961 is arguably more ornament than transport, but that’s’s arguably irrelevent ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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BMW S1000RR (2009-2011)

£13,735

999cc, 190bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

BMW’s S1000RR is the German company’s first venture into modern superbike territory and what a serious effort it is. Although it shares similar technology to the competition (GSX-R1000, Fireblade, ZX-10R etc) of dohc, 16-valves, stacked gearbox and so on, the engine delivers a mighty class leading claimed 190bhp at the back wheel. Add a good gearbox, impressive fuel injection and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod Muscle (2009-current)

£13,845

1250cc, 109.2bhp, 145.1mph, Insurance group 16

Harley’s cruiser V-Rod has been about since 2001, and the new Muscle is… is just another styling exercise to bolster what is arguably a tired range. The Muscle is essentially a reworked V-Rod with design touches (muscular, flowing lines) to front it up as a serious boulevard traffic light blaster. Except it isn’t that muscular – 12.25sec standing quarters anyone?

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX (2009-2011)

£11,774

1151cc, 105bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 13

The Moto Guzzi Stelvio is well built, sounds great, stylish, easy to handle, comfortable, practical and comes with that historic Moto Guzzi badge on the tank. It’s not as focussed as the BMW R1200GS Adventure on road and nowhere as accomplished off-road, but it doesn’t take itself as seriously either, it’s easy to ride and it comes with an air ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2009-2011)

£10,825

999cc, 161bhp, 178.9mph, Insurance group 17

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 is the first completely new GSX-R1000 in the big Suzuki’s history, but it feels uncannily similar to the K7/K8 model it replaces. Despite a new short-stoke engine and an all-new chassis, the K9 hasn’t captured the spirit of the grunt-filled, lightweight K5 bike as we’d hoped and still lacks the agility to keep with its rivals ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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KTM RC8R (2009-2010)

£14,995

1195cc, 159.34bhp, 169.55mph, Insurance group 17

Unashamedly a circuit-based blaster that will need a road-rider to be fully aware of what he is about to buy if it’s to be used on the road. From the competition-biased WP suspension to the 170bhp engine and the lightweight Marchesini wheels in between, the KTM RC8R cries out for corners to be taken at speed. Although it doesn’t need to ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4

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