Of all the words one might use to describe motorcycling, “expensive” isn’t likely among them. In fact, some are attracted to two-wheeled transport as a strategy to save money. Compared to most vehicles, a bike is cheaper to buy, maintain, and refuel. A new bike can retail for as little as $3000 and a used one can be had for a few hundred dollars.
But, like all consumer goods, motorcycles are built for more than just one demographic. Wealthy enthusiasts, collectors, and showmen want more than an off-the-shelf commuter. Mainstream and specialty bike builders are happy to indulge their fantasies – for speed, originality, and anything in between.
This roundup of the five most expensive motorcycles on sale reveals the upper limits of bike design and engineering. Grab your helmet.
Until the John Wick series blitzed the box office, you probably wondered what happened to Keanu Reeves. While enjoying the spoils of his acting career, Reeves pursued a number of hobbies, including riding and restoring motorcycles. His enthusiasm for bikes transcended casual interest, however, and his vast resources enabled him to start a bike-building venture with Gard Hollinger.
Arch Motorcycles blends performance, customization, and attention to detail to create a unique bike for every owner. The company’s latest creation is called the KRGT-1. Powered by a 2,032cc twin-cam V-twin engine, the KRGT-1 produces 122 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque. Along with a potent powertrain, the Arch bike features billet aluminum components, an Ohlins suspension, and ISR brakes. This bike may also turn you into a ruggedly handsome middle-aged star (results may vary).
We don’t expect you to have heard of most of the brands on this list, but only hardcore superbike enthusiasts will know of Suter. Eskil Suter was a top-class GP500 racer in the 1990s, but the Swiss rider has since moved on to motorcycle manufacturing. Powered by a two-stroke V4, the MMX 500 makes 195 hp at 13,000 rpm. More astonishing than the bike’s output is its featherweight design. At just 280 pounds, the MMX 500 has a power-to-weight ratio of 1.44 pounds per horsepower and is one of the quickest two-wheeled instruments on the planet.
Exceedingly rare (only 99 examples are due for production), Suter’s track weapon comes with an astronomical price tag. Casual fans need not apply.
We imagine one could re-create the aesthetic of a Confederate motorcycle by hauling a giant magnet intro a scrapyard to collect metal samples. Like a piece of abstract art, the G2 P51 Combat Fighter is perhaps the confounding and awe-inspiring thing on two wheels. As the name implies, this bike is not to be taken lightly.
Manufactured exclusively from 6061 billet aluminum, the P51 has the stiffest and lightest chassis with the most torque-per-weight of any production bike. A 2,161cc V-twin motor produces 145 hp and 160 lb-ft, and is paired with quadruple front disc brakes (overkill is the name of the game, apparently). The P51 also features carbon fiber wheels and a fully adjustable suspension. The “entry-level” Combat Fighter retails for $125,000, but the black edition adds an extra $15,000.
Finally, a brand you recognize! Yes, Honda may be known for affordable cars, engines, and tools, but their halo bike is a whole different species. RC213V-S sounds like a serial number, but MotoGP fans will recognize the alphanumeric from Honda’s racing team. This limited-production motorcycle (only 250 units will be built) is a replica of Honda’s race bike, which Marc Marquez rode for his last two MotoGP world championship victories.
In Honda’s words, this is, “closer to a MotoGP bike than any road-going model ever offered to the public.” The RC213V-S is powered by a 999cc V4 and features titanium connecting rods, carbon fiber-reinforced fairings, an under-seat fuel tank, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, Marchesini wheels, engine brake control, traction control, and ride modes. Rarity and motorsport engineering are a recipe for delight – and expense.
Topping this list of dynamic, daring motos is something only a mad scientist (or team of them) would dream up. We’ve seen high-revving motorcycle engines make their way under the hoods of small, lightweight sports cars, but rarely do we see the reverse. In this case, a Maserati V8 has been mated with a bike chassis and the results are incredible.
The Ludovic Lazareth LM847 produces 470hp and is composed of carbon fiber, aluminum, and glass. Like the Dodge Tomahawk (the closest thing we have to compare), the LM847 uses four wheels instead of two to create a stable platform for cornering. Still, it would take guts to do anything besides holding on for dear life while riding in a straight line. Top speed and 0 to 60 mph specs haven’t been released, but we do know the Lazareth costs $217,000. That’s about twice the cost of a Maserati Gran Turismo, which uses the same engine.
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