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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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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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Bimota DB8 (2010-current)

£22,500

1198cc, 170bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

Bimota’s DB8 superbike may look the spitting image of the 160bhp Ducati 1098-engined 2008 DB7, but it’s different in three distinct ways. It’s powered by the bigger 170bhp Ducati 1198 superbike motor, it has a pillion perch and it’s cheaper, to the tune of £1700. The DB8 test bike we rode from their factory is easily the best Bimota we’ve ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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