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Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2012-current)

£10,999

999cc, 182bhp, 186mph, Insurance group 17

The now old GSX-R was an exceptional bike, winning AMA and world endurance titles and narrowly missing out on a BSB title. Suzuki have simply improved the weak points, namely better brakes, more midrange, lighter handling with a few cosmetic tweaks, which in the end produces an exceptional road bike with real world manners. It may lack sophisticated traction control ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Kawasaki ZX-6R (2013-current)

£8,999

636cc, 135bhp, mph, Insurance group

Kawasaki has obviously tried to make the new ZX-6R more usable for the environment in which it’ll be most used – the road. And in many ways they’ve succeeded. The new 636cc motor boasts a more usable spread of power and torque, both on the road and track, it’s less manic, and easier to get the most out of for ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 5
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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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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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Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC Special Edition (2010-2012)

£16,474

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

It might look like a common or garden 180bhp V4 Aprilia RSV4 Factory, but this special edition version (only 350 are being made, 50 to come to the UK) has moved road-going superbikes on as much as the BMW S1000RR did. It’s loaded with cutting-edge electronic riding aids, which make you faster and safer. Its new traction and wheelie control ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 1198SP (2010-2011)

£17,995

1198cc, 170bhp, 175mph, Insurance group 17

Replacing the 1198S, Ducati’s new 1198SP features an electronic quickshifter, an Ohlins TTX rear shock, slipper clutch and a lighter, larger 18-litre fuel tank. Overall weight is down 1kg to 168kg dry. Short of spending over £30k for the limited edition homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198. It’s a brutally grunty machine, which needs ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Ducati 848 Evo (2010-2012)

£10,995

849cc, 126bhp, 166mph, Insurance group 17

Ducati’s new 848 Evo is a masterpiece. Replacing the current 848, which has been with us since 2008, the 848 Evo has 1198R Brembo Monobloc brake calipers, a non-adjustable steering damper and tweaks to the engine to make it rev harder and faster. These subtle tweaks are enough to put the Ducati into a different league. It’s now every bit ...

  • MCN rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Bimota DB8 (2010-current)

£22,500

1198cc, 170bhp, 180mph, Insurance group 17

Bimota’s DB8 superbike may look the spitting image of the 160bhp Ducati 1098-engined 2008 DB7, but it’s different in three distinct ways. It’s powered by the bigger 170bhp Ducati 1198 superbike motor, it has a pillion perch and it’s cheaper, to the tune of £1700. The DB8 test bike we rode from their factory is easily the best Bimota we’ve ...

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

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