If money is no object and you’ve got cash to burn, these two-wheeled exotics should be on your shopping list
In many parts of the world, motorcycles are an inexpensive mode of every day transportation. But let’s face it, when it comes to countries like the US, motorcycles are considered primarily a fun toy to use on the weekend or occasional getaway. While it’s true that a lot of riders in the US do use their motorcycles as every day commuters, that number is staggeringly low when compared to countries like Indian or Thailand. As such, majority of the motorcycles used there from the likes of Bajaj Auto, are of low cost and displacement. But places where motorcycles are a premium hobby? That’s another story all together.
Updated April 2023: Manufacturers release premium versions, special editions and new deluxe models every year. And each year these models cost just a little bit more. In order to keep our readers up to speed with all the latest expensive models, we’ll be updating this article periodically.
Triumph Rocket 3 – $23,895
If excess is what you are about, then the Triumph Rocket 3 delivers that in spades. An enormous 2,500cc, longitudinally-mounted triple-cylinder engine produces a mountain of torque – 163 pound-feet! – and 165 horsepower to give this near-700-pound monster simply shattering performance. Launched in 2004, the Triumph Rocket lll caused a sensation and was more muscle-bike cruiser than an out-and-out sports bike. With the re-design in 2019, the bike shed around 100 pounds of excess weight, gained more displacement, and was transformed into one of the stand-out bikes of the late 2010s.
BMW K1600GTL – $27,790
BMW made its name with expensive and beautifully-built touring motorcycles such as the R80RT and R100RT in the 1970s, before the GS adventure bike took over as the flagship model and boosted the company’s fortunes immeasurably. But BMW hadn’t abandoned its touring role completely: the K1600 appeared in 2011, and just like the S1000RR before it, took the motorcycling world by storm, with its silky-smooth inline six-cylinder engine and sophisticated chassis and electronics. Producing 160 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, the engine simply stuns everyone who rides it. As with the Honda Gold Wing Tour, the K1600GTL has a large top box to go with the panniers as well as all the toys you could ever ask for.
Honda Gold Wing Tour – $28,600
Back in 1974, Honda dared to take Harley-Davidson head-on in the large touring bike class with the flat-four-engined, shaft-driven Gold Wing. That first model was un-faired and Honda saw it as a large sports bike but soon realized that owners were using it differently and turned it into the supreme touring bike we know today, with a huge fairing and all the bells and whistles.
Over the years, the size and complexity increased, as did the comfort and mile-eating ability. In 2018, a completely new Gold Wing emerged, more compact and lighter but still a technical tour-de-force. The engine – a six-cylinder since 1987 – grew to 1,832cc (111.8cu.in.) and produces 125 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. It is silky smooth and the suspension is now electronically adjustable.
BMW M 1000 RR – $37,990
When BMW launched the S1000RR back in 2009, it took the established superbikes by the scruff of the neck and showed them how it should be done: it was brilliant out of the box and, even if it didn’t bring BMW the World Superbike Championship glory it was aiming for, it forced people to see BMW in a different light. For the 2021 model year, BMW announced the M1000RR and the sole purpose was to create a better race bike. The first BMW motorcycle to carry the ‘M’ prefix normally associated with cars, the M1000R has extensive modifications to the power plant, chassis, exhaust, and braking. It also comes with aerodynamic winglets on the fairing, echoing racing developments.
Indian Pursuit Elite – $39,999
There’s only really one company that can keep up with Harley-Davidson when it comes to beefy, all-American touring machines, and that’s Indian. This is also means they’ve been competing in the premium touring sector as well, which is where the Pursuit Elite model comes in. For about $40,000 you can get yourself one of the most comfortable, stylish baggers out there. The Pursuit Elite features a modern, liquid cooled, 108-cu V-twin that produces 122 hp and 128 ft-lbs of torque, has an electronically adjustable rear suspension. It also has a 7-in touchscreen that comes standard with Apple CarPlay and is connected to 16 speakers throughout the bike.
Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 – $40,495
Who would’ve thought that the most “affordable” motorcycle here would come from the house of Borgo Panigale, but it has, and it is the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2. Priced at almost $40,000, the V4 SP2 is the current flagship Ducati motorcycle and packs truckloads of top-shelf components, such as Brembo Stylema R brake calipers, a WSBK-derived dry clutch, a bewildering suite of Ducati electronic aids, carbon fiber wheels, and top-shelf Öhlins suspension. Meanwhile, topping all this is the 1,103cc, four-cylinder engine pumping out 210 horsepower and 90.6 pound-feet of torque.
MV Agusta Rush 1000 – $45,598
In recent years, MV Agusta has somewhat become like KTM, focusing mainly on naked motorcycles, and sitting atop MV’s 2022 lineup is the $45,598 Rush 1000. Derived from the Brutale 1000 RR, the Rush 1000 is a hyper-naked motorcycle pumping out 208 horsepower and 86 pound-feet of torque. Couple this with the Rush’s 410-pound dry weight and this is nothing short of a ballistic missile in action. Luckily, there’s no shortage of electronic aids to help you control this monster.
Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide – $49,999
While the two-wheeled Harley range ends at a not-so-low $44,899, the three-wheeled Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide takes things up a notch and not just in terms of money. The CVO Tri Glide is Harley-Davidson’s flagship trike, and it isn’t just a three-wheeled iteration of the CVO. Instead, Harley engineers create the CVO Tri Glide from scratch giving not only a unique riding experience but also unlocking an array of electronic aids to make life easier. Topping off the package are features like chrome wheels, an infotainment system, Rockford Fosgate speakers, heated seats, and LED lighting, all capable of putting some similarly priced cars to shame.
Harley CVO Road Glide Limited – $51,999
Though Indian is producing some great bagger and cruiser alternatives these days, there’s no one out there quite like Harley-Davidson when it comes luxury touring machines. They’ve been at it for a long time, with largely no disruptions, and have fine-tuned these models to the smallest bolt. Such is the case with the CVO Road Glide Limited.
The beating heart of this bagger is the famous Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine. It produces 125 ft-lb of torque and 102 hp. You also get an adjustable rear suspension, LED lights and customized gauges. The Limited also comes with the Harley Boom! Box GTS infotainment system that has Bluetooth, radio, USB connection, SirusXM (if you have the service) and a rider/passenger intercom option.
Kawasaki Ninja H2 R – $57,500
If you don’t already know, the H2 R is Kawasaki’s track-only, supercharger-equipped, carbon fiber-laden top-of-the-line “hyper” bike. From its radical design with a mirror finish, to its soul-shaking exhaust note with the signature supercharger ‘chirrup’, everything makes the H2 R as special as ever. The engine produces 310 horsepower and 121.5 pound-feet of torque which will push it to a top speed of 400 km/h (240mph), if you can find a road long and empty enough!
Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini – $68,000
Ducati is a luxury motorcycle brand to begin with. Their cheapest motorcycle, if you don’t count their separate line of Scramblers, the Monster Plus, starts at $13,000. So what happens when you combine their Streetfighter V4 model, which starts at $22,095 and mix in a Lamborghini Huracán STO? Well for one thing, the price tag skyrockets to $68,000.
Besides the Lambo inspired livery, carbon fiber accents and overall design features, the Streetfighter V4 has some other exclusive esthetic elements that were imported directly from the Huracán STO. And if you’re crazy enough to take this one of a kind bike to the track you’d have some caps for number plate and mirror removal, a racing fuel cap and motorcycle cover in the same color scheme. The only downside of this bike is the limited number of units that were built.
Bimota TESI H2 – $70,370
Bimota is not the most known of Italian motorcycle brands. But they sure knew how to win races back in the day by building high-quality chassis around pre-existing engines. And the TESI H2 is here to remind us of that history. This top of the line, utterly insane machine is made primarily out of lightweight aluminum which surrounds Kawasaki’s 998-cc inline-four engine. It’ll get you an earth-shaking 221 hp and 104 lbs of torque. And because of all the aluminum in its structure, the TESI is much lighter than Kawasaki’s H2, weighing in at 456 lbs. But the biggest attraction is certainly its next-level looks.
Indian Challenger RR – $92,229
Anyone that’s been paying attention to motorcycle racing in the past few years must have heard of King of the Baggers. That’s where the likes of Harley-Davidson and Indian modify their biggest and heaviest machines into racing bikes and have a go of it on a racetrack. This has proven so popular that Indian finally caved in and released a race replica in the form of the Challenger RR. Everything on this bike has been dialed up to 11, including the suspension, engine, brakes, chassis and, of course, the price. But what you get for that price, you won’t be able to take on the street, as the bike appears to be a track-only creation.
Arch 1s – $95,000
If you’re a motorcycle fan, you may have heard of the Arch Motorcycle company. And perhaps you may have heard of one of the owners as well. And even though the Arch is more of bespoke motorcycle builder rather than a major manufacturer, the bikes they build are nothing short of stunning in terms of build quality, performance and price.
The company currently offers three models, the KRGT-1, Method 143 and the 1s. And it is the 1s that is the jewel in their crown. Equal parts sport bike and cruiser, the 1s uses a high-torque S&S V-twin engine with in-house designed exhaust system. This 2032-cc engine produces 115 ft-lbs of torque, the brakes are ABS from BOSCH and suspension is a fully adjustable ARCH/Öhlins hybrid system. Carbon fiber is used through the motorcycle to keep the weight low, and the single-sided swing arm is manufactured in-house from lightweight aluminum. Yes this is an expensive motorcycle, but if you can afford it, there’s nothing like riding a motorcycle that was designed and built just for you.
Vyrus Alyen 988 – $193,000
Normal motorcycle riders probably have never heard of the Vyrus motorcycle company. But if you’re someone of Tom Cruiser’s stature perhaps, you may be able to afford one of these angular weapons. But the rest of us can only really stare at them in awe.
But what’s really that special about them? First and foremost you have to be in love with the esthetics of the appropriately named Alyen. If you don’t adore the looks, this bike’s not for you. Underneath all that armor, however, lies a Ducati Superquadro, liquid-cooled, 1300-cc V-twin engine. And what really brought Vyrus to the forefront were their radical Push Rod Twin Pivot Vyrus suspension and Vyrus Hydraulic Wired Steering System. Other than that, it’s really just the exclusivity of owning such an original machine that may be the reason to buy one. And if you got the bucks, and an unbridled passion for everything two-wheeled, than maybe it should belong in your garage as well.
Q: Which bike is the most expensive?
The Kawasaki Ninja H2 R is the most expensive production bike on sale priced at $56,500. There are more expensive bikes out there, but either they’re rare finds or yet to go into production.
Q: How much is a high-end motorcycle?
A high-end motorcycle can start from as low as $10,000 going up to as high as $50,000.
Q: What is the fastest motorcycle in the world?
The fastest motorcycle in the world (currently in production) is the Kawasaki Ninja H2 R which makes over 300 horsepower and can surpass 250mph.