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Ducati 899 Panigale (2013-current)

£12,495

898cc, 148bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 17

A step forward from the old 848, now littered in rider aids like traction control, ABS, EBC (Engine brake Control) all as standard quick-shifter. The ergonomics are more rider friendly, it’s easier and more forgiving and it looks stunning mirroring the line of the original Panigale. But, more importantly, the 899’s quicker and lighter than the old bike, too. Despite ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Honda Fireblade SP (2014-current)

£14,999

1000cc, 178bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 17

For the first time in 14 years, Honda is offering a higher-spec version of their trusty Fireblade. The Fireblade SP has a blueprinted engine, Ohlins suspension, Brembo monobloc brakes and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP trackday tyres. Underneath the glitz, the SP is based on the updated 2014-model Fireblade, which has a revised riding position, a taller screen, revised frame flex ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph Speed Triple R (2012-current)

£10,999

1050cc, 133bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

Based on the Speed Triple launched at the beginning of 2011, this high-spec R version has Ohlins suspension, lightweight wheels, Brembo monobloc brakes, cosmetic changes, a brand new gearbox and a 2kg reduction in weight. It’s added a dynamic new dimension to the hugely popular Speed Triple, turning Triumph’s feisty street-fighter into to a hugely competent trackday tool.

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Triumph Speed Triple (2011-current)

£9,599

1050cc, 133bhp, mph, Insurance group 14

2005 was the last time Triumph updated the Speed Triple by giving it the new 1050cc engine. Five years on and Triumph saw fit to update, overhaul and completely transform its biggest selling bike – 65,000 models sold since 1994. For 2011 the Speed Triple has an all-new chassis package, frame and swingarm included, to turn MCN’s favourite big-bore naked ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati Streetfighter (2009-2012)

£12,095

1099cc, 155bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

It might not have the traction control, Ohlins suspension and Marchesini wheels of the more expensive ‘S’, but this base-model Streetfighter, complete with its retuned 1098 superbike engine, is still one hell of a machine and a better value package. Super naked machines like these make more sense on the roads than small, uncomfortable race replicas. The Ducati combines high ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Yamaha FZR400 EXUP (1988-1994)

N/A

399cc, 64bhp, 130mph, Insurance group 11

The Yamaha FZR400 was always over-shadowed by the class-leading Hondas, both the CBR and V4 NC30 and NC35s, and, on track, was a little behind Kawasaki’s ZXR400 for sheer speed. However, the rev-happy Yamaha FZR400RR attracted the hooligans by the bucket load, drawn to the high-revving engine, sharp handling and high corner speed. And, as it was also always considerably ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Italjet Dragster (1998-2003)

N/A

cc, 14.5bhp, 70mph, Insurance group 2

Italian manufacture Italjet are best known for their futuristic-looking Dragster scooter, which came into the UK from 1998-2003. With funky styling, a Ducati-type steel trellis frame and hub centre steering the Dragster has developed a cult following, and spawned dedicated websites like www.italjetdragster.com. There are still companies providing spares, accessories and tuning parts, like www.italjet.co.uk. You can still see modified ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW S1000RR (2009-2011)

£13,735

999cc, 190bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

BMW’s S1000RR is the German company’s first venture into modern superbike territory and what a serious effort it is. Although it shares similar technology to the competition (GSX-R1000, Fireblade, ZX-10R etc) of dohc, 16-valves, stacked gearbox and so on, the engine delivers a mighty class leading claimed 190bhp at the back wheel. Add a good gearbox, impressive fuel injection and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda VFR1200F (2010-2011)

£12,325

1237cc, 160bhp, mph, Insurance group

The new VFR is a good bike – but it’s not a great one. And after all the hype and expectation (Honda themselves are pumping it up as “the Ultimate Road Sports Motorcycle” and it’s simply not) that is not good enough.Logically, to justify its almost £12K tag, the new VFR should offer abilities and specification head and shoulders above ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Aprilia Mana GT (2009-2011)

£8,174

839cc, 76bhp, 120mph, Insurance group 13

The £6999 Mana 850 GT ABS is a clever bike and so much more than just a motorcycle with a big scooter engine. The new fairing and ABS add an extra layer of practicality and safety to a package which seems ordinary on paper, and a bit dull to look at, admittedly, but the Mana 850 GT ABS is absolutely ...

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

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