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Ride & Handling

  • rating is 5 (11)
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Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP (2014-current)

£14,999

999cc, 178bhp, 186mph, Insurance group

Honda has given Fireblade fans a reason to smile. With its classy Öhlins suspension, Brembo monobloc brakes, blueprinted engine and drop-dead gorgeous HRC paintjob, the SP is the most desirable Blade in its 21-year history. With its improved handling, braking performance and grip, the SP is destined to be a faster-lapping, easier-to-handle track day bike than any previous model. And ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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BMW R1200GS (2013-current)

£11,650

1170cc, 125bhp, 125mph, Insurance group

For 2013 the legendary GS (it was the catalyst of the whole adventure bike class back in 1980 and has become BMW’s best-selling bike world-wide) has received its biggest update yet. Almost every component has been changed; it’s more powerful thanks to a new partially water-cooled motor and is laden with the latest gadgets and rider assisting technology. The result ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki ZX-6R (2013-current)

£8,999

636cc, 135bhp, mph, Insurance group

Kawasaki has obviously tried to make the new ZX-6R more usable for the environment in which it’ll be most used – the road. And in many ways they’ve succeeded. The new 636cc motor boasts a more usable spread of power and torque, both on the road and track, it’s less manic, and easier to get the most out of for ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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Triumph Trophy 1200 SE (2012-current)

£14,299

1215cc, 132bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 17

Like the preceding Explorer adventure bike, Triumph’s new tourer, the Trophy,  has probably swept to the top of its class first time out by, if not being shiningly the best at anything, then certainly being the best tourer overall. It has a fabulous powertrain, decent handling, glorious comfort and more gizmos than you can shake a hefty stick at.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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KTM 690 Duke (2012-current)

£6,999

690cc, 67bhp, mph, Insurance group

With the 2012 Duke KTM have made a bike that can give an experienced rider the thrill they are looking for whilst being a more usable package with a broader appeal to a wider spectrum of riders than the previous version. The Duke is spot on for commuting and hammering down twisty country roads, where bigger, more powerful bikes would ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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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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Ducati Diavel (2011-current)

£14,995

1198cc, 162bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

We’re absolutely blown away by the Diavel. It’s so light, fast and sophisticated, so good handling and fun, it completely turns on its head everything we thought so-called ‘cruisers were about until now. Or, to put it another way: the Diavel does to the cruiser bike class pretty much – if not more – what Ducati’s Multistrada did to the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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KTM 450 EXC (2010-current)

£7,349

449cc, 50bhp, 93mph, Insurance group

Unless you’re enduro god David Knight who prefers the extra grunt of the 530, the 450 EXC is everything you could want in an enduro bike. Light, more power than most of us know what to do with and it’s fitted with some of the best quality suspension fitted to any motorcycle.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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