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Litre sportsbikes for less than £3,000

Published: 14 November 2013

1998/99 Yamaha YZF-R1
In 1998 theYamaha YZF-R1 arrived and rewrote the rulebook when it came to litre sportsbikes. Where the FireBlade had effectively created the genre in 1992, the R1 moved the game on a giant leap by introducing new technology that brought with it both incredible power figures and previously unheard of levels of handling. Fifteen years later this revolutionary sportsbike can be yours for less than £3,000.

Click here to view R1’s for sale on MCN.

Age has done nothing to dilute the R1 engine’s potency. It may ‘only’ make in the region of 140bhp, but it contains something that is lacking in quite a lot of modern litre bikes – useable midrange. The R1’s inline four engine (with five valves per cylinder) comes packed with drive as well as containing a fearsome amount of acceleration that is more than enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And the same is true for the chassis.

Early R1s gained a reputation for having a lively chassis and while this is certainly true, a steering damper and a set of modern tyres makes it far calmer, meaning you can enjoy the handling. Age has failed to tarnish the R1’s handling and unlike the 1992 Blade, which can feel dated, the R1 is very much a modern sportsbike when it comes to agility.

If you are looking to spend a maximum of £3,000 on a litre sportsbike a 1998/99 R1 will certainly tick all the right boxes. As well as rapidly becoming a biking icon, the R1 is also a fine machine to ride that is fast without being uncontrollable.

To help you get an idea of what it would cost to insure, we have ran some quotes on MCNcompare.com based on the following riders:

Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£286.68 (excess £125)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£238.39 (excess £125)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh –
£128.49 (excess £550)



2000/01 Honda FireBlade 929
After kick-starting the sportsbike class in 1992 the Blade steadily gained weight as Honda attempted to tame their creation. In 2000 they decided that a Blade should be sporty again and the 929 model took the brand back to its routes. A great all-round sportsbike, the 954 version is better still but slightly pricier.

Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£243.21 (£125 excess)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£172.36 (£125 excess)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh –
£110.18 (excess £550)

2001/02 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Raw, rough and extremely fast, the GSX-R1000 arrived kicking and screaming in 2001. Although the build quality is a little suspect, the GSX-R is an incredible machine that dominated the litre bike class for several years.

Rider 1, aged 25 from Hull -
£266.88 (Excess £550)

Rider 2, aged 35 from London -
£233.98 (excess £125)

Rider 3, aged 45 from Edinburgh -
£136.35 (excess £550)

Insurance due soon?
Compare 43 prices from leading bike insurance brands at MCNcompare.com   
Plus, if you purchase a policy, you will receive a free £10 eVoucher to spend on helmets and clothing at Sportsbikeshop. T&C’s apply see MCNcompare.com for full details.

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