There are lots of variables that need to be considered when writing about the most expensive motorcycles – do we include classic bikes that can only sit in a museum? Or do we only consider road bikes? What about bikes that are sold at astonishing prices at auctions but never ridden in real life? Or race bikes?
It’s tough to think so much, so we just thought of the bikes we would like to have in our garage or those that our readers should know about. So here’s a list of the most expensive and interesting bikes that we came across the internet listed in no particular order. It is worth noting that there are more expensive bikes out there, one in particular costs a stonking US$11 million, but with no credible proof of that much money changing hands for the bike, we did include it in this list so you can marvel at it. We also listed the prices in Ringgit Malaysia pre-tax, so the actual price, should you want to buy one, can be much higher than listed here.
1. 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer (RM3,330,292)
This classic bike was sold at an auction in 2015 in Las Vegas. So what makes this bike so expensive? A record holder and a celebrity ex-owner is bound to jack the price up.
Back in 1911, this Cyclone belt-driven 996cc Overhead Cams V-twin motorcycle was capable of an astounding 180km/h, which was considered super fast back in the day. Even in the early 90s the Cyclone was a rare sight, so to come across such a well maintained unit a hundred years later makes it almost as rare as a unicorn.
Below is an interesting silent video of how motorcycle racing used to be in the first and second decade of the 1900s.
2. Captain America Chopper (RM3,906,500)
Said to be the most famous bike to have ever been on Television, this Harley-Davidson started life as a 1952 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide. Legendary actor Peter Fonda had earlier bought it from a police auction, and given to bike customiser Tex Hall for the 1969 motion picture “Easy Rider” .
The bike is also known to be one of only two bikes to have ever sold for a million US dollars at an auction. Two bikes were built for the movie, one was stolen and never recovered, and this one was crashed in the final scene of the movie. It was later rebuilt and sold at auction 1996. Never watched the movie? Check out the introduction to the movie below:
3. Confederate B120 Wraith – (RM361,352)
This bike is all about the design and not much else. It is made out of aircraft grade billet aluminium and carbon fibre everything. It is powered by a twin-cylinder engine that makes 125hp and holds a record as the fastest bike in its class, it holds a speed record of 267km/h achieved at the Utah Salt Flats. Check out the video below and you will understand just how unique this bike is and how it justifies it’s asking price.
4. Vyrus 987 C3 4V – (RM405,494)
The brand and model of this bike may be a mouthful, it is one of those things that looks just as crazy as it’s name suggests. It is designed by Italian company Vyrus, and is powered by a 1200cc Ducati engine that gives it an unbelievable 211 horsepower and with exotic build materials, it weighs in at just 159 kilograms. The Vyrus company specialises in designing ultra-cool bikes powered by Ducati engines.
5. Kawasaki H2R – (RM300,000)
Just to mix things up between the unusually expensive and the real world expensive, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R is the stealth fighter of modern motorcycles. We have wrote about it numerous times and you can read about it all here, or you can read about our special test ride here, yes we ridden this bike.
The H2R is all carbon fiber and is powered by a 998cc, in-line four cylinder engine that puts out an scarcely believable 297hp with the use of a supercharger. The H2R is not road legal but if you are able to buy one, Kawasaki Malaysia will also throw in a few track days for you to test its limits.
6. MV Agusta F4CC – (RM468,470)
This bike is super exclusive (and expensive) because it actually started off life as a one-off model exclusively for MV Agusta CEO Claudio Castiglioni as his personal bike. Only 100 models were ever made and other nice touches include lots of carbon-fibre, and Ferrari know-how as the engine valves were designed in collaboration with the Italian car maker. Sadly it was introduced during a recession so most of these bikes now sit in showrooms around the world.
7. NCR MH TT (Mike Hailwood) – (RM507,845)
Now this is a real unicorn as only twelve units were ever built. Dubbed the NCR MH TT, this motorcycle was built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Mike Hailwood’s victory at the Isle of Man. It puts out 130 horsepower but its titanium frame weighs only 136 kilograms. With its price tag and exclusivity, this bike is almost exclusively for collectors only.
8. Honda RC213V-S – (RM718,796)
Now this is as close to a MotoGP bike any mere mortal is going to get. It is based on the race-only RC213V which Marc Marquez rode to two MotoGP world championships and Honda said that the new street-legal machine is closer to a MotoGP bike than any road-going model ever offered to the public.
The bike is built in an exclusive workshop in Japan and is powered by a compact 90-degree 999cc V4 engine with titanium connecting rods. Race derived features include a under-seat fuel tank, carbon fibre fairing and then there are parts that come directly off the MotoGP bike like the swing arm, slipper clutch, the magnesium Marchsini wheels, Ohlins fork, adjustable footrests and foot controls, plus parts of the Brembo brake components. Up to 80% of the bike is from the MotoGP race bike. Mental is an understatement.
9. Icon Sheene – (RM671,918)
When it was introduced in 2010, the Icon Sheene was for a while the most powerful motorcycle in the world. Built as a tribute to racing legend Barry Sheene, the bike is a work of experienced hands and modern technology.
The engine is a turbo-charged 1400cc Suzuki engine that produces 250 horsepower. The bike is also built by engineers and riders who used to work on Barry’s bikes. For example the frame is all hand made from aluminium by Barry’s former frame builder. The handling of the bike is tuned by Steve Parish, Barry’s former teammate. The overall paintwork and bespoke helmet is all done by Mike Fairholme, Barry’s former helmet painter. No kidding.
It is also built using a lot of exotic materials, watch it go in the video below.
10. Dodge Tomahawk V10 Superbike (RM2,152,122)
Many will remember the Dodge Tomahawk as the bike that took the world by storm when it was introduced back in 2003. However, the Tomahawk is not in production, it is still in concept form. But it offers some juicy statistics; it runs on the same 8.3 litre V10 engine as the Dodge Viper, it produces 500 horsepower, it weighs a hefty 680 kilograms, it accelerates to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds and reaches a hypothetical top speed of over 480km/h – 680km/h.
Watch the Dodge Tomahawk in action in the video below:
11. Yamaha BMS – (RM11,738,850)
This bike is here just because of it’s price tag and its outrageous design and the fact that it is coated in 24K gold. It is powered by a 1700c V-twin engine and is nothing out of the ordinary mechanically, but in terms of overall design, the Yamaha BMS is a rolling work of art.
12. NCR Ducati Desmosedici – (RM909,760)
The Ducati Desmosedici is already wildly expensive (rumoured to be over RM600,000 in Malaysia in stock form), but at the hands of NCR and its vast selection of trick parts, the parts have turned this already capable bike into a wild, lightweight performance monster and one of the most expensive bikes in the world. The bike produces over 200 horsepower, features ceramic matrix composite Braketech brakes, two-into-one (x2) titanium NCR exhausts and Ohlins FGR000 43mm with adjustable off-set. The bike weighs in at a feathery 144 kilograms.
13. Suzuki AEM Carbon Fiber Hayabusa – (RM782,590)
By itself the Suzuki Hayabusa is already unbelievably fast, but with some collaboration work with AEM Carbon Fiber, this Hayabusa is simply mental. Introduced at the 2008 Sema show in Las Vegas, this extremely lightweight ‘Busa allows its engine to go up till 300km/h while forged 9.5:1 turbo pistons and rods, adjustable cam sprockets and HD valve springs, a MLS head gasket give the bike an exotic and exclusive touch.
13. Harley Davidson Cosmic Starship – RM5,864,325
There’s only one way to truly describe this bike – it is a Harley-Davidson V-Rod with one really expensive paint job. Known as the Cosmic Starship, this Harley was handprinted by artist Jack Armstrong whose paintings usually fetch around US$300,000 and US$3,000,000. So judging by the price of the paintings, some are calling this bike a real bargain. We would like one to place in our living room please.
14. 1949 E90 AJS Porcupine – RM27,366,850
Retro cafe racers are all the rage these days, but it doesn’t get more retro than this, the AJS Porcupine, a race winning machine from 1949. Only four versions of this bike were ever produced. This bike in particular won the 1949 World Championship, and what makes it even more valuable is that the design for AJS bikes changed a few years later, so this bike in particular is one of the rarest motorcycles in the world. It even has the title as one of the most innovative and beautiful motorcycles ever designed, we don’t know about the innovative part, but beautiful it definitely is.
15. Neiman Marcus Limited Edition Fighter – RM43,005,050
If you are thinking this bike is not worth the price tag, you are of the same opinion as us. Neiman Marcus is actually a departmental store that deals in luxury goods, so why it is branding motorcycles under it’s name is beyond us. And besides, this bike is actually made by the Confederate Motor Company and costs US$110,000 and is limited to just 45 units. So why it would sell for RM43 million at an auction is beyond us. There is no real information online about the transaction, which could mean it is a bogus claim. But the bike is undoubtedly beautiful and is made of all the right exotic materials and is powered by an air-cooled V-Twin engine, which is quite regular really.