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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 S1000R (2014-current)

£9,990

999cc, 160bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 17

Very few performance bikes give you so much of everything, as the S1000R does. It’s two hugely capable bikes in one: it’s smooth, comfortable and safe, thanks to its flawless electronic rider aids, perfect throttle and usable power, but it’s wild when you want it to be, too. It’s exactly how you’d imagine a superbike with straight bars and no ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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BMW S1000RR HP4 (2012-current)

£16,950

999cc, 193bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

As if the standard S1000RR wasn’t good enough already, BMW have made it even faster, lighter and more technologically-advanced, with this HP4 version. The jewel in the HP4’s crown is the new electronic Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) suspension system, which adjusts the rebound and compression damping as you ride along. It gives the BMW the perfect suspension setting whether you’re ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 2.5
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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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Kawasaki ZZR1400 (2012-current)

£11,699

1441cc, 200bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

Simply put Kawasaki’s new ZZR is the new king of speed and power, beating the formidable Hayabusa hands down. It produces more power and torque, and accelerates quicker than any other road bike but unfortunately is still restricted to an agreed 186mph limit, but will get there in breathtaking time, hitting the limiter with ease, still with plenty in reserve. ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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BMW S1000RR Sport (2012-current)

£13,735

999cc, 193bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

You might have to squint to tell the difference between the old and new one (the new tail unit and higher swingarm pivot is the clue), but the 2012 S1000RR is a giant leap forward. The first S1000RR was already leagues ahead of the competition, thanks to its huge power and cutting-edge electronics, but BMW has improved their fire-breathing superbike ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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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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