Top 10 Superbikes for under £5,000

Yesterday's exotica at a bargain price

IF YOU'VE got £5,000 and you want to buy a superbike this weekend, what are your options?

That's what I set out to explore in this top ten feature. I wanted all the bikes to be as close to 1,000cc as possible and not a penny over £5,000. These are all bikes that I've found in classified adverts today and they're all bikes I'd put some serious thought into buying.

Some are obvious choices and cult classics. A few are in there as they offer the exotic for a bargain price and I've thrown a couple of slightly left field ones to consider too.

So, in no particular order, here are 10 great superbikes you can bag this weekend for under five-grand.

2005 Aprilia RSV-R Factory

The later model RSV was always a good motorcycle, popular but it never rally captured the imagination. The Factory version is a stunner. The motor is the same as the RSV-R but the Factory has slightly lighter OZ wheels, Ohlins suspension front and rear, radially mounted Brembo brakes, an Ohlins steering damper and carbon goodies.

The model shown looks fantastic in black. It's a 2005 with 6,300 miles and it's up for £4,999.

There are 7 owner reviews of the Aprilia RSV-R Factory in our reviews section.

2008 Yamaha YZF-R1

The 2008 R1 is pre-big-bang, it was launched at a time where bikes like the new Fireblade and RC8 were getting more press and as such, I didn't get a great deal of love. However that all plays to your advantage. It's still a fantastic bike, very quick and I think prettier than the slightly chubbier modern R1s, which, by the way, retail for £12,000.

This model comes with a Yoshimura exhaust. It's a 2008 with 8,100 miles and it's up for £4995.

There are 21 owner reviews of the 2008 Yamaha YZF-R1 in our reviews section.

2001 Honda VTR1000 SP1

It's one of the oldest bikes in my line-up and it's got one of the highest mileages but it is an SP1. They are great bikes, they still stand out today and they offer great performance. They're firm as standard and aren't hugely comfortable and have woeful fuel range but the miles you cover will be glorious. I wanted to get an SP2 in here and did find one for £5500 but for our budget, we'll have to stick with the SP1.

This model is totally standard. It's a 2001 with 24,000 miles on the clock and it's priced at £4,195.

There are 3 owner reviews of the Honda SP1 in our reviews section.

2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R

I'll be honest, I wanted to get an original 2004/2005 ZX-10R in here as they're a frantic and enjoyable bike to ride but the original bikes are generally multi-owner, higher mileage and rarely standard. I picked this 2008 ZX-10R as they're amazingly good bikes, all but forgotten. The 2006/2007 model bikes were so ugly Kawasaki should apologise and take them back but the 2008 just about gets away with it. Old-school fast and comfortable.

This is a one-owner model in the proper colour. It's a 2008 with 5,000 miles and it's up for £4,995

There's 1 owner review of the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R in our reviews section.

2006 Triumph Daytona 955i

I know. What the hell is this doing in here? Well, they can't all be frantic, head-banging licence-losing missiles. The Daytona 955i is a great bike. Alright, so you wouldn't want to try and set a lap record around Donington on it but but it is still fast. Country-road blasts in roomy comfort, it's great. Not to mention the three-cylinder engine which sounds fantastic with a pipe. And slippers. No, only joking. Look how cheap it is.

Finished in British Racing Green. It's a 2006 model with 4,500 miles and it's going for £3,299

There are 14 owner reviews of the Daytona 955i in our reviews section.

2008 KTM RC8

This was the only one I could find within our price bracket. The early models had a couple of issues with fuelling and slightly hesitant gearboxes but on the whole, the original RC8 is the pure knife-edge KTM experience. With 22,000 miles up, that works out at around 4,000 a year. Hardly high but it's been used. If you could afford another £1,000 then you'll open up your choice quite a bit.

They're still a rare sight in the UK. This is a 2008 model which has covered 22,000 miles and it on sale for £4,991.

There are 3 owner reviews of the KTM RC8 in our reviews section.

2003 Ducati 999S

The keen-eyed among you will notice this isn't a standard 999S. While there are a handful of 999S models under £5,000, I picked this slightly modified version. I usually like my motorcycles stock but this one has been dressed-up to look like a 999R and I think it looks pretty good. It features 999R carbon-fibre fairings, Termignoni exhausts, a red frame and a few carbon extras. It looks the part.

It's a bright red Ducati. A 2003 model with 6,000 miles and it's up for £4,995

There are two owner reviews of the Ducati 999S in our reviews section.

2004 Honda CBR954RR Fireblade

I played with the idea of a 'modern' 2008 model, some of which just scrape in under £5,000 but the oh-so-boring burgundy paint scheme and high mileages swung things in the 954 direction. It's a sublime motorcycle, a memorable bike and really really fast. It has more fight than the 929 and it's not as sterile as the first 1000RR.

Red is the colour to have. It's a 2003 model with 17,000 miles on the clock and it's priced at £3,495

There are 15 owner reviews of the Honda 954 Fireblade in our reviews section.

2001 MV Agusta F4

You might run a mile with this one but MV's F4 is a bike many of us would love to own. This one is slightly different as it's an F4 750 but with the engine from a 1000. Eject! I rang the dealer selling it and when the owner blew the original motor he couldn't find another so fitted a 1000. It could be a rocketship or it could be a pig butputting a 1000cc engine in the 750 chassis is no different to what the factory did. You can get a standard 750 for around £5,500 so you may want to stretch the budget. There's no denying it looks the part though.

Comes with a spare but broken 750 motor. It's a 2001 model with 11,000 miles and is on for £4,999

There's one owner review of the MV Agusta F4 750 in our reviews section.

2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5

It's hard to pick a 'best' from this list. I like them all but I'd have to come up with a good reason not to buy a K5 1000. They're a truly do-it-all superbike, with a proper, torquey and gutsy engine. Way too fast for most things you'll do on it but still comfortable and really well built. It's a rider's bike and the people I know with one aren't interested in trading up and that says something.

This one comes with a Yoshimura exhaust. It's a 2005 model with 9,800 miles and is up for £4,250.

There are 28 owner reviews of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in our reviews section.

Which one would you go for?


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