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Insurance comparison: Exotic superbikes

Exotic sportsbikes are traditionally expensive to buy, run and insure, so we put six of the best second hand examples from the past decade through MCN Compare to see just how expensive (or not) they are to insure.

Despite the reputation none of the bikes listed below cost more than £320 to insure. The oldest of the bunch, the Honda SP-2, even comes in under £200! Not bad for a bike designed purely as a race bike to beat Ducati in WSB.

All quotes are fully comp for a 46-year-old male retail manager living in Hull with five years No Claims Bonus.

2008 Honda SP-2, £170

What we said then: The Honda SP1 and Honda SP2 were built to prove a point; that the world's number one bike maker could beat Ducati on the track, using a V-twin. Sadly, that makes the Honda SP1/2 less satisfying, because it has an on/off fuelling set up, too much power for the chassis and a cramped riding position. On the upside, the Honda SP1/2 is beautifully made, sounds awesome and makes 90% of riders look faster than they really are.

2014 KTM RC8R, £203

What we said then: 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.

2009 Ducati 1198, £261

What we said then: Nobody else has a 168bhp V-twin on its books, complete with traction control, data-recording etc, and if they did it’d probably cost more than the Ducati 1198. And there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have the same devastating performance all wrapped up in a chassis that has more character than Lord Of the Rings’ Gandalf. This is truly one of those motorcycles that everybody should be allowed to ride once in their life for the experience of riding the best V-twin ever made.

2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory, £296

What we said then: Aprilia built the RSV4 as a race bike first, road bike second. You won’t even scratch the surface of what it’s capable of on the road in terms of power and handling. It has more grip and poise than you know what to do with, it goes like stink and its barely legal exhaust sounds like the Devil clearing its throat. Size-wise, it’s a somewhere between a 400 and 600cc sportsbike, so it’s cramped for taller riders and it’s low-speed fuelling manners can be a bit iffy. That aside, the Aprilia is an incredible sports bike.

2014 Ducati 899 panigale, £303

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

2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale, £319

What we said then: 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 is remarkably easy to ride. Gone is the out-going 1198’s excess of almost uncontrollable torque and in is a smooth power curve and a searing top end. Like Ducatis of old its super-stable in fast corners, but now it steers as fast as a Japanese superbike. It’s a very clever motorcycle and very, very good.


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