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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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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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KTM 1290 Super Duke (2013-current)

£13,499

1301cc, 160bhp, 159mph, Insurance group 17

It’s a massive leap forward over the old Super Duke which was far from a bad bike. The new 1.3 litre KTM has arm-ripping power, the best mid-range and roll on speed figures we’ve ever tested and is the most powerful naked bike on the market. It also has a flip side. It’s relatively light, easy to ride and perfectly ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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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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Honda VFR1200F (2012-current)

£12,999

1237cc, 160bhp, mph, Insurance group

The VFR1200F remains a good, bordering on great bike. Its quality and finish is peerless; its refinement, ergonomics and ease-of-use impeccable. And the cherry on the top is that unique-sounding and fabulously grunty, flexible and, yes, fast V4. But it's not stunning, hasn't 'moved the game on' like an all-new Honda V4 probably should have done and it does have ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • 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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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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Kawasaki Versys 1000 (2012-current)

£9,499

1043cc, 116bhp, 140mph, Insurance group

Its odd looks will always raise questions, but the engine won’t, it’s a peach. There’s loads of low down, a nice spread of torque and the dollop of top end power should see it as the quickest bike in this category. It’s also extremely comfortable, will eat mile after mile all day long and handles reasonably well (up to a ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • 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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