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Ducati 1199 Panigale S ABS (2012-current)

£20,250

1198cc, 195bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

A mould-breaking motorcycle. Apart from the colour and the noise it makes, the Panigale has nothing in common with Ducati superbikes of old. The chassis is ‘frameless’, there’s a new-generation ‘superquadro’ L-twin engine and it comes with the very latest electronic rider aids, which work. Producing a claimed 195bhp and weighing 188kg, wet, it has a fearsome power-to-weight ratio, but ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha YZF-R1 (2012-current)

£12,399

998cc, 157.75bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Not much has changed with the 2012 R1, but the big news is it now has a six-stage traction control system, incorporating anti-wheelie in its two most intrusive levels. It also has a restyled nose, a slotted YZR-M1-style top yoke and a longer, softer rear shock. The changes aren’t enough to compete with the new-generation of hardcore superbikes, like the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki GSX-R750 (2011-current)

£9,899

750cc, 148bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 16

After years of gentle evolution Suzuki has gone to town on its 2011 GSX-R750. Weighing in at 190kg, fully-fuelled and ready to go, it’s a massive 8kg lighter than the old model, giving the 148bhp GSX-R750 a mouth-watering power-to-weight ratio. The 750’s rolling chassis and bodywork is completely new, but it doesn’t get the GSX-R600’s radical engine overhaul and the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2011-current)

£8,799

599cc, 125.8bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Suzuki has slashed an incredible 9kg from the 2011 GSX-R600. The engine has more midrange, a close ratio gearbox and for the first time, Showa Big Piston Forks and Brembo monobloc radial front brakes. Aside from a handful of components, the GSX-R600 is completely new. The easy-going nature of the bike is still there, but it’s sharper, more agile and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Special Edition (2010-2012)

£16,474

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

It might look like a common or garden 180bhp V4 Aprilia RSV4 Factory, but this special edition version (only 350 are being made, 50 to come to the UK) has moved road-going superbikes on as much as the BMW S1000RR did. It’s loaded with cutting-edge electronic riding aids, which make you faster and safer. Its new traction and wheelie control ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 848 Evo (2010-2012)

£10,995

849cc, 126bhp, 166mph, Insurance group 17

Ducati’s new 848 Evo is a masterpiece. Replacing the current 848, which has been with us since 2008, the 848 Evo has 1198R Brembo Monobloc brake calipers, a non-adjustable steering damper and tweaks to the engine to make it rev harder and faster. These subtle tweaks are enough to put the Ducati into a different league. It’s now every bit ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda RVF400 (1994-1996)

N/A

399cc, 59.4bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 12

Honda’s RVF400 was a pin-up race replica that had sports bike fans dribbling down their paddock jackets in the mid-nineties. The trouble was that Honda never officially brought the NC35 (its ‘factory’ code name) into the UK, which was a crying shame, although many have found their way here as ‘grey’ imports. Replacing the VFR400R (NC30), which Honda did officially ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Suzuki RGV250 (1987-1997)

N/A

249cc, 56.6bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 15

Back in the late 1980s and early 90s the two-stroke RGV250 was the closest thing you could get to a Grand Prix bike on the road. If you were lucky enough to own what we regard as the best RGV250: the ‘N’ model, complete with its twin, piggy-back exhaust cans, upside down forks and a banana swingarm, here was a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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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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