[Featured image credit: Jocelyn from United States, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]
Would buying a super expensive motorcycle bring you inner peace and happiness?
The vanilla answer is the one you’re probably expecting: it depends.
Relax. I am not here to discuss the philosophical aspects of money and its larger role in life. This is simply about motorbikes that money can buy you.
Personally, I wouldn’t dream of breaking the bank for a motorcycle. But perhaps you are tired of riding the old and naked street fighter lying in your garage and have enough money to burn. Then let me not be the one to discourage you.
And frankly, there are quite a few super exciting motorcycles that are worth their astronomical price tags.
Note, there are some motorcycles that are priced way over the six-figure mark, but you are more likely to find the batmobile than one of those. In this list, we have included 8 motorcycles that are relatively easy to find.
In addition, we will take a look at 3 more models that are my favorites and will cost you an arm, a leg, and some more appendages.
Most Expensive Motorcycles: 8 (Relatively) Workable Options
1. Ducati Superleggera V4 ($100,000)
Love has a different meaning for everyone. And for some riders, it is all about Ducati.
And if you want to feel the joy of owning the “most exclusive Ducati ever produced,” this one would be right up your alley. And even though it is made from components designed for the highest level of racing, it’s still a street-legal motorcycle.
But let’s see what’s in it for you that a $5,000 motorbike can’t deliver.
With a carbon fiber frame, this Italian stunner has a mind-numbing power-to-weight ratio of 1.54 hp/kg. At around 350 kg, it is incredibly light but the strength of the carbon fiber body makes it robust enough to handle the massive 234 HP power output.
Is that all? Not by a long shot. It has a special GP16 aerodynamic design that ensures excellent high-speed stability. Also, it’s packed with more tech than you will find inside the Googleplex campus.
But only 500 units of this exclusive motorbike have been produced by Ducati. So, to get your hands on this special-order motorcycle, you need to be not just rich, but really fortunate.
2. Arch KRGT-1 ($90,000)
If you don’t know this already, Arch Motorcycle Company was founded by Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger. Developed from a 2005 Harley-Davidson Dyna, this motorbike is the brainchild of Reeves himself.
As you’d be right to expect, the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the KRGT-1 are mind-blowing. Each component is specially designed for the bike and everything seems to fit in place. All in all, this is a glossy beast that is sure to turn heads.
Most of the frame is made from 1200 pounds of machined billet aluminum and the performance cruiser is powered by a robust 124ci V-Twin. The suspension and handling are perfectly balanced and the overall ride experience is remarkable, to say the least.
The entire building process is done by taking feedback from the owner and Arch pays special attention to ensure a premium ownership experience. The astronomical price tag befits a Hollywood superstar. But one has to admit, it’s a custom-built showpiece and not your average grocery getter.
3. BMW HP4 Race ($78,000)
This is a limited-edition non-street-legal race bike by BMW that is designed to push the limits. This race machine has a carbon-clad body and wheels and it weighs a ridiculous 322 lbs. Honestly, it puts the word “lightweight” to shame.
Each of these motorcycles is hand-crafted to perfection in the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin. Then they are painstakingly crash-tested to ensure the durability of the chassis and wheels. Every component including the engine, suspension, and electronics meets the World Championship quality.
The ride dynamics have been specially optimized to improve handling and braking while making full use of the 215 HP of power that the four-cylinder engine delivers. Imagine a motorbike equivalent of Wolverine with carbon fiber claws. This one is it!
The HP4 Race is a worthy competitor of the Ducati Superleggera in terms of performance and exclusivity. And considering the technology packed in it, this bomb of a motorbike deserves its astronomical price. However, the manufacturing is limited to 750 units only.
4. Kawasaki Ninja H2 R ($56,500)
This is a top-of-the-line non-street legal superbike from Kawasaki that can make many speed enthusiasts go berserk with excitement. The drool-worthy design comes with a mirror finish and a chassis that ensures the best combination of speed and stability.
The H2R is powered by a 998cc four-stroke engine, mated with Kawasaki’s in-house supercharger. Combine that with an aerodynamic and lightweight design and the result is terrific acceleration. That pushes the motorbike to its top speed of around 248 mph in no time at all.
There are plenty of electronics that will calibrate and measure everything – including what you ate for lunch. In addition, it has top-of-the-line components and a more comfortable riding position than machines designed only for the track.
And the best part is, it is not designed to perform on tracks alone. The Ninja H2R is a true all-round performer.
A warning though. Do not pick this motorcycle if you hate to be the center of attention. The H2R is sure to seize lots of interest wherever it goes.
5. Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide ($49,999)
If you want to look beyond the standard two wheels, check out the flagship three-wheeled Harley. The trike chassis adds to the overall comfort levels and provides extra security.
In fact, comfort levels are good enough for riders to call the Tri Glide a “lounge chair on wheels”.
Powered by a Milwaukee 117 V-Twin, the Tri Glide also has state-of-the-art Reflex Linked Brembo brakes and a plush suspension. There is an array of electronic features to make your life easier, along with a whooping luggage space of 6.8 cubic feet. For infotainment, there is Boom! Box GTS with a touchscreen and three-way Rockford Fosgate speakers.
While it costs like an above-average car, the Tri Glide can put those cars to shame with its luxurious features. Being a premium touring motorcycle designed for long adventures, it looks and feels exclusive indeed.
In case you want to stick to two wheels, you can try its first cousin CVO Road Glide, priced at $44,899.
6. Lightning LS-218 ($46,888)
Lightning is a relatively new brand but has made steady progress in the electric motorcycle space. With a top speed of 218 mph, the LS-218 is dubbed the fastest electric motorcycle ever made.
(Yep, there actually is such a thing.)
The superbike is powered by a 380V 12 kWh battery pack that offers a range of 100-120 miles per charge. Its power delivery is fluid and with loads of available torque, you get superb acceleration.
Moreover, the rideability will easily rival some of the top gas motorcycles in the market. The good news is Lightning is testing new battery types that will further increase the range of the motorcycle in the coming years.
In terms of sales volume, you cannot compare Lightning with top brands like Kawasaki or Honda. In fact, the LS-218 is literally assembled by hand in their production facility. Even so, the overall build quality is top-notch, to say the least.
Strictly speaking, electric motorcycles lack the exhilarating thump of a powerful engine. But if that is not an issue, the LS-218 is one of the best performers on the market.
7. MV Agusta Rush 1000 ($45,999)
When this limited-edition motorcycle was unveiled at the EICMA in November 2019, plenty of jaws hit the floor. Since then, many other jaws have met the same fate the moment the eyes made contact with this bewitching hyper naked motorcycle.
Apart from the fact that it looks stunning from every angle, the Rush 1000 is a remodeled version of the MV Agusta Brutale 1000RR. However, the four-cylinder engine has been completely updated based on Formula 1 technology and it delivers 208 HP. Goes without saying, you will love the growl that emerges from the engine.
As expected, there is plenty of carbon fiber used in the body, even though the chassis remains a combination of steel and aluminum. There are plenty of rider aids and top-end safety features that are perfect when you want to exploit the engine on a race track or an open road.
Imagine a warm glow (some may call it pride) rising through your innards every time you open the garage door. That is what the Rush is all about.
8. Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 ($39,500)
Ducati has labeled this supersport bike the “Ultimate Racetrack Machine” that even non-professional riders will love to ride. Even though the ‘Winter Test’ graphics in matte black with red accents give the SP2 a more restrained look, the aggressive racing bike design is gorgeous.
Lurking under the aluminum frame is the 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine and a braking system with powerful Brembo Stylema calipers. When you get the revs singing on a racetrack, the SP2 delivers exactly as any speed addict would want.
Thanks to the lighter carbon wheels, the motorcycle is easier to ride and maintains better accuracy during sharp turns. The wider fuel tank design also allows the rider to sit more comfortably and ride with less effort. Needless to say, there are plenty of sophisticated electronic aids that will offer all the riding data you need.
Even with the uber-expensive price, this is a high-end superbike that‘s hard to criticize. Overall, the SP2 is a hugely capable bike and has enough mojo to rival the more expensive Kawasaki Ninja H2R.
Bonus: Honorable Mentions Likely to Be Way Out of Your League
1. Neiman Marcus Limited Edition Fighter ($11 Million!)
This is a limited-edition bike that comes right out of a sci-fi dream. While fans may call it futuristic, if you ask me, it looks a bit weird. With a price tag of $11 million, this is the motorcycle equivalent of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire.
Honestly, not many motorcycle enthusiasts have heard of Neiman Marcus. The brand is mostly known for selling designer clothes and accessories at exorbitant prices.
(See the connection between limited-edition motorbikes and designer duds?)
By the way, the base model for designing this machine was the Confederate P120 Combat Fighter.
Strangely or not, not much is known about this Neiman Marcus motorcycle other than the king-size price tag. Considering the exorbitant price, this is not a bike that you can check out or test ride easily.
The original specs indicated a power cruiser with a 2.0-liter V-twin engine. The chassis is mainly top-grade aluminum with carbon fiber shrouds. The top speed is around 190 mph. However, Neiman Marcus could have made multiple tweaks to modify the performance.
Since this motorcycle is harder to find than a needle in a haystack, it’s not something you can just look for at your nearest dealership. But its price warrants the top spot on this list.
2. Yamaha BMS Chopper ($3 Million)
While this motorcycle is not for sale, it’s a superbly crafted piece of engineering that can easily find its place in the “Secret Lives of the Super Rich”. Built by Sam Nehme, the owner of BMS Choppers, it’s one of the wildest designs built over two wheels, ever.
Crafted from a Yamaha Road Star 1700, the 11 feet long beast is made from chrome and 24-karat gold plating. Only the V-twin engine of the original machine remains and the rest is the product of 3,000 man-hours of hard work.
The design may look like a fusion between an alien and a Hell Cycle, but the fluid shape has a visual appeal. It is not designed for long rides but for someone who wants to enjoy a quick ride like a king.
The price tag is mind-boggling, but that is the price to pay when you sit on a red velvet saddle with a gold base.
3. Harley-Davidson Bucherer Blue ($2.04 Million)
Not only is this motorcycle more expensive than the Ferrari LaFerrari but it has more diamonds (360 to be exact) and gold on it than all Golden Age Hollywood divas put together. The extravagant design is a result of a collaboration between Swiss jeweler and watchmaker Carl Bucherer and, well, the famous lapidary, Harley Davidson.
The actual bike is a 2017 Softail Slim S which has been rendered almost unrecognizable by over 2,500 hours of work by the production team. The entire bike is of a stunning iridescent blue shade and all metal parts are covered by 24-Karat gold plating.
What’s more? A custom-made watch by Bucherer is set on the fuel tank and integrated into a safe. Just like any other lavish detail on this anti-motorcycle, I suspect this is also a concept. After all, you’d need to be reminded of human transience if you were able to buy it.
It goes without saying that this is a motorcycle that is more of an object of art than a practical Harley that you can actually ride. Not even superheroes ride on diamond-studded bikes.
There are many who do not believe in the concept of motorcycle monogamy and have enough to splurge on ONE more special motorbike. For them, these are some top options to reduce the burden of a fat purse.
And why not? Even if money cannot buy you happiness, it can surely give you a taste of motorcycle heaven.
As for regular piston heads like me in the midst of an out-of-money experience, there is not much to choose from. Reading about these exotic machines is the closest we can get to them.