Exotic European superbikes for £6000: 999S v RSV1000R v F4

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Time flies so fast, it’s easy to forget these mouthwatering European superbikes are getting on a bit. In your mind’s eye it’s still easy to think of ‘exotica’ like the Aprilia RSV1000R, Ducati 999S and MV Agusta F4 750S as dream bikes, completely out of reach of most of us – just like the RSV4R, 1198SP and F4RR are now. But happily that’s not the case.

Back in 2000 when this MV Agusta F4 750S was sitting on a shiny showroom floor, it cost £11,900. That’s a fifth of what my house was worth back then. Unsurprisingly, it seemed a lot of money for a motorcycle – but now, 11 years on and 4294 miles later, it’s up for £5999 at Robinsons of Rochdale, the dealers where all three of our bikes are for sale. Today, it’s the kind of money you’ll spend on a naked commuter, like a Yamaha XJ6 or Honda CBF600.

It’s the same story with the 999S. The Ohlins-equipped ‘S’ model was impressive in its day, but cost a wallet-tightening £13,950. Right now, however, this 19,000 mile 2003 model is up for sale for just £5595.

The Aprilia RSV1000R always had one foot in the exotica camp and the other in the affordable zone. It’s an Italian V-twin, built to the kind of high standard that belied its relatively low price tag. Back in 2006 when this bike was new, it cost £8999. Today, with 10,414 miles on the clock it’s a paltry £5399.

Find out which exotic European superbike is our winner, and what buyers should look out for, by reading the full test in this week’s issue of MCN (September 14) – on sale now.

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