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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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Suzuki GSX-R600 (2011-current)

£8,799

599cc, 125.8bhp, 165mph, Insurance group 15

Suzuki has slashed an incredible 9kg from the 2011 GSX-R600. The engine has more midrange, a close ratio gearbox and for the first time, Showa Big Piston Forks and Brembo monobloc radial front brakes. Aside from a handful of components, the GSX-R600 is completely new. The easy-going nature of the bike is still there, but it’s sharper, more agile and ...

  • 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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Yamaha YZF-R7 (1999-2000)

N/A

749cc, 106bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 17

The Yamaha YZF-R7 was a limited edition machine top dollar machine only sold to the public so Yamaha could race it in World Superbike. Just 500 were sold for road use (40 in the UK) and they were about £22,000. Also known as the OW02, the Yamaha YZF-R7's race success was limited partly due to the rules favoring twin cylinder ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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Triumph TT600 (2000-2003)

N/A

599cc, 108bhp, 155mph, Insurance group 14

Triumph wowed us all when they beat all the Japanese manufacturers to putting a fuel injected engine in to a 600cc sportsbike. Shame about the glitches. Later Triumph TT600s are better but the handling and brakes have never been in doubt: they’re awe-inspiring. Dodgy looks but a true Brit.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4.5
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MV Agusta F41000S (2004-2012)

£14,000

998cc, 155bhp, 184mph, Insurance group 17

The MV Agusta F41000S blends a monster engine, God-given handling and heart-aching beauty to be possibly one of the most desirable two-wheeled creations of all time. Only its high price, discomfort and lack of convincing reliability prevent it taking full marks.

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 4
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Bimota SB8R (1999-2000)

N/A

996cc, 133bhp, 170mph, Insurance group 17

Exotic, ultra-rare and built with a level of attention few manufacturers can match. But unlike the Bimotas of previous decades, the SB8R doesn’t radically out perform Japanese competition of the same time. It does manage to be a little better though and race success backed this up. Lack of dealer back up makes ownership worrying.

  • MCN rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 3.5
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Aprilia RS125 (1995-2012)

£4,219

125cc, 15bhp, 93mph, Insurance group 12

The Aprilia RS125 has remained the top motorcycle for most right-thinking teenagers since it first rolled out of the factory in 1995. It oozes big motorcycle style and handles like a dream. It’s expensive to buy and run thanks to pricey two-stroke motorcycle oil, but, if you can afford it, the Aprilia RS125 is worth every penny.   Watch the Aprilia RS125 take on Honda's CBR125R and ...

  • MCN rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 3

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