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Kawasaki Z1000SX (2014-current)

£9,199

1043cc, 140bhp, 165mph, Insurance group

The 2014 Kawasaki Z1000SX is a clever, considered and very worthwhile update of an already excellent machine. The Z1000SX was already something of a connossieurs’ choice: fast, effective, decently equipped, involving, good value and yet understated and unshowy too. Kawasaki hasn’t lost any of that. It hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bath water. Instead it has corrected or ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta F4 (2013-current)

£14,499

998cc, 195bhp, 185mph, Insurance group 17

With its new short-stroke engine, ride-by-wire throttle, frame and a host of clever electronic upgrades, this the F4’s biggest overhaul since MV turned their flagship superbike back from a 1078cc, into a 1000 in 2010. Like a well set-up race bike it carves through corners with minimal effort, making it the best-handling F4 ever. It’s also the first production bike ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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KTM RC8R (2011-current)

£13,499

1195cc, 175bhp, mph, Insurance group 17

KTM have listened to the criticism of poor fuelling and harsh throttle response and come up with a heavily revised package for 2011. More power, better fuelling with the same stunning looks and responsive handling. No electronic rider aids make it rewarding and engaging to ride either on or off the track.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati Monster 1100S (2009-2013)

£10,195

1078cc, 95bhp, 125mph, Insurance group 14

Like the Ducati Monster 696 that arrived earlier in 2008, the bigger capacity Monster range was, after 15 years, in desperate need of an update. And the result is the best air-cooled Monster ever. Only subtle styling tweaks have been applied, but serious thought and attention has been lumped on the engine and chassis components. If it’s a pleasurable, no-nonsense, ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • 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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Aprilia RSV4R (2010-current)

£14,132

998cc, 180bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

Aprilia’s RSV4R is a more affordable version of the all-singing, all-dancing RSV4 Factory. The engine is basically the same, without some of the Factory’s advanced electronics, but the chassis parts are slightly lower-spec. Despite this it’s still a beautifully-balanced technology-packed Italian missile. It’s monstrously fast, gives you loads of confidence in the corners, has superb ride quality, looks great (especially ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph Thunderbird (2009-current)

£11,149

1597cc, 85bhp, 115mph, Insurance group

Triumph’s all-new Thunderbird is bravely aimed at taking on Harley in the US, but in terms of spec, quality, performance and price looks the best-equipped rival ever to do just that. It performs well, handles better, is beautifully built and has all the cruiser goodies you could wish for. But if we have to be critical, it’s a bit derivative ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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BMW K1300GT (2009-2013)

£13,500

1293cc, 160bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 17

The BMW K1300GT is a Grand Tourer in the true sense of the words. It manages to combine massive performance with supreme practicality and comfort. There’s no getting away from the sheer size of the BMW K1300GT - it’s a massive chunk of engineering that looks and feels imposing at a standstill. Get it moving, however and that bulk just ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Ducati 696 Monster (2008-current)

£6,995

696cc, 67.5bhp, 128mph, Insurance group 11

The new 696 Monster is Ducati’s most important bike, this is the bike that brings in the money and the sales, and thankfully it seems Ducati have got it spot on with the all new Monster. Thankfully they’ve not played around with the styling too much, and just improved the old bike as a package, in terms of engine performance ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade (2008-2009)

£9,300

999cc, 175.3bhp, 179mph, Insurance group 17

Since 1992 the name FireBlade has conjured visions of a hard-charging superbike with attitude. While this is true of the very first two models, since then the FireBlade became a model of respectability. The 2006-07 model was arguably the best road-going superbike by being fast and bland in the same wheelbase. The 2008 FireBlade comes with attitude from its rev-happy ...

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

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