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Ducati 1199 Panigale R (2013-current)

£26,995

1198cc, 195bhp, 180mph, Insurance group

This is a bike for two types of people: the well-healed Ducati collector, or a race team owner who will strip it down and compete in Superstock 1000 championships. Acceleration is slightly more urgent out of the corners, but essentially the Panigale R feels and handles the same as the base model, S or Tricolore. It is, of course, a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MV Agusta F4 RR Corsacorta (2011-current)

£19,999

998cc, 201bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

It’s the most powerful and refined F4 MV Agusta has ever produced. Making a claimed 201bhp at the crank, it just pips the ZX-10R’s 200.1bhp crank figure to make the Italian beauty the most powerful 2011 road-going superbike. It has a new short-stroke engine (hence the Corsacorta tag) with an exhaust note to die for, traction control, Ohlins suspension, an ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 1198SP (2010-2011)

£17,995

1198cc, 170bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 17

Replacing the 1198S, Ducati’s new 1198SP features an electronic quickshifter, an Ohlins TTX rear shock, slipper clutch and a lighter, larger 18-litre fuel tank. Overall weight is down 1kg to 168kg dry. Short of spending over £30k for the limited edition homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198. It’s a brutally grunty machine, which needs ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta F4 1000 (2010-2013)

£14,250

998cc, 186bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

MV’s new-generation F4 is still an unashamed racing bike with lights, but the Italian firm have smoothed out all the old rough edges and created a thoroughly usable superbike for the road. It’s 10kg lighter too. It’s still not as soft or cuddly as a Japanese 1000, but it has considerably sharper teeth and is a thousand times more exclusive ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Ducati 1198S (2008-2011)

£17,250

1198cc, 168bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

Nobody else has a 168bhp V-twin on its books, complete with traction control, Ohlins suspension, data-recording etc, and if they did it’d probably cost more than the £14,750 Ducati 1198S. And there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have the same devastating performance all wrapped up in a chassis that has more character than Lord Of the Rings’ Gandalf. This is ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Kawasaki ZX-10R (2008-2010)

£8,950

998cc, 185.4bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

The new Kawasaki ZX-10R scores an easy five out of five; it surely must be the fastest production 1000cc bike of the current crop. But this ZX-10R is not all about Kawasaki’s new blistering engine and head-banging attitude, it’s controllable and handles much better than the previous ZX-10R and despite the blistering pace is actually easier to ride. Not for ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2001-2002)

N/A

988cc, 160bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 16

This Suzuki GSX-R1000 is the original ‘Gixxer-thou’ – THE top dog sports bike of its day. Later Suzuki GSX-R1000s became smaller and more revvy as well as faster round circuits and arguably easier to handle. The original Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1 and K2 models are still supremely competent sports bikes and pretty decent all round machines too.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBR600F (2000-2007)

N/A

599cc, 108bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

When the Honda CBR600F got fuel injection, it also had its personality split. From this point on, two Honda CBR600s would run concurrently: the Honda CBR600F and the Honda CBR600FS (now superseded by the Honda CBR600RR). One a sporty all-rounder, the other, a full-on sportsbike. The Honda CBR600F was, and remains, a brilliant motorcycle with real power and excitement but with the ...

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

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