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Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP (2014-current)

£14,999

999cc, 178bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

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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Kawasaki Z800 (2013-current)

£7,499

806cc, 111bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

We’re genuinely shocked how good the Z800 is, given how uninspiring the old Z750 was - it’s a fitting tribute to the Zed’s 40th birthday. The ride quality is sumptuous, the motor smooth and there’s power spilling out of it at every rpm. It’s a real joy to ride. All the hard work Kawasaki has put into improving the engine, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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KTM 690 Duke (2012-current)

£6,999

690cc, 67bhp, 115mph, Insurance group 11

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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Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer (2012-current)

£12,399

1237cc, 127bhp, 131mph, Insurance group 17

The surprise with the Crosstourer is two-fold: first that the 1200 V4 powertrain works so well in an adventure bike package (it already seems so familiar and ‘right’ to me it seems like it’s been around for years) and second that it genuinely brings a new and tempting dimension – namely V4 performance and sophisticated automatic transmission – to the ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VFR800X Crossrunner (2011-2014)

£9,499

782cc, 101bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

The Crossrunner has already proved controversial for being passed off as a new bike when, effectively, it’s little more than a re-worked, re-styled nine-year-old VFR800 with some ‘parts bin’ equipment. But there’s no denying that, as a concept, as a two-wheeled ‘cross-over’ machine, the Crossrunner simply works. It’s one of the best, friendliest and truly versatile bikes around – anywhere. ...

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

£14,995

1198cc, 162bhp, 169mph, 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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Triumph Tiger 800 XC (2010-current)

£8,699

799cc, 94bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

The new 800 XC is very much the bigger, burlier brother of Triumph’s two new Tigers. From the moment you swing your leg on board it’s clearly a taller, seemingly more substantial machine. The combination of 21-inch wire front wheel (in place of the 800’s cast 19incher), longer travel (by 40mm) 45mm forks (the 800’s are 43mm) and slightly wider ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Triumph Tiger 800 (2010-current)

£8,099

799cc, 94bhp, 130mph, Insurance group

Triumph’s new Tiger 800 is the slightly more basic, more road-orientated and novice-friendly (not to mention cheaper) version of its two, new, three cylinder dual-purpose machines. The other is the Tiger 800XC. It’s a great bike, too –  impressing immediately with excellent ergonomics, and a superbly linear and progressive power delivery.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Kawasaki Z1000SX (2010-2013)

£9,199

1043cc, 138bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Loosely based on Kawasaki’s excellent Z1000, the SX fits snugly in to the gap between said naked bike and the track orientated ZX-10R, making it a grown-up bike for the real world. The near 140bhp inline four motor gives sporting potential, but creature comforts like a new seat, vibration reduction and additional fairing make it a viable long-distance touring bike. For many riders this ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Honda CBF1000 (2010-current)

£9,499

998cc, 106bhp, 145mph, Insurance group 14

There wasn’t anything really wrong with the old bike apart from it appeared a little dated and it was more of an ugly duckling rather than a stunning swan. However, Honda have addressed that, given the CBF a new face, new clocks, lightened the frame and improved fuel economy. Great ergonomics, easy to ride, just enough power, relatively lightweight handling, ...

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

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