SUPERCAR-BEATING performance at the price of a family hatchback – that’s what gives the safety lobby the jitters about high-performance motorcycles, isn’t it?
Perhaps we should show them this lot, to reassure them that there are still plenty of motorcycles that are way out of most people’s reach, if not too expensive to ever risk actually riding.
In putting together this list of the most expensive motorcycles, we’ve stuck to machines that, so far as we can tell, are actually available to order, today. That means Honda’s €200,000 RC213V-S, for example, is out.
You may spot a one or two other uber-expensive boutique motorcycles that are absent. We’ve reasoned that if there’s no advertised price, and enquiries aren’t responded to in 24 hours, then we can’t be sure the bike is available to buy at all.
DUCATI PANIGALE R
10. Ducati Panigale R, £28,995
There’s no doubting its desirability or sheer ability, even if most of us are already out of our depth on the stock Panigale, which is about £10k cheaper. As is so often the case, the argument for the more expensive model doesn’t end with its sheer performance or drool-worthiness. An ‘R’ model Ducati is almost a sure-fire future classic, so a good investment too. This one makes 205hp and 100lbft, another two good reasons to own one.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON CVO LIMITED
8/9. Harley-Davidson CVO Limited and CVO Road Glide Ultra, £30,695
Harley’s two most expensive models together take eighth and ninth place. As well as special CVO paintwork, loads of chrome and a ‘touchscreen infotainment system’ they get the 110 cubic-inch version of the Project Rushmore ‘twin-cooled’ engine (the cylinder heads are water-cooled) instead of the stock 103 cubic-inch one found in the Ultra Limited, at £9k less. That’s 1800cc instead of 1690cc when translated to European. Is it worth nearly £30k? Buyers will no-doubt think so. In fact most are likely to bust the £30k mark by adding even more options
MV AGUSTA F4RC
7. MV Agusta F4RC £31,299
This is the homologation special of MV’s F4 RC WSBK race bike, making 212hp and weighing just 175kg dry. It’s a real race bike for the road (or track) with a price that doesn’t seem too far-fetched to us. MV describes it as an ‘ultra-refined, exclusive fireball of a bike’. At over £30k, we hope they’re wrong about the fireball bit.
6. Hesketh 24, £35,100
An outrageously enormous S&S 1950cc V-twin engine tuned for more torque than power (125hp and 144lbft – 44lbft more than the Panigale R) with Öhlins suspension and a historic British brand name on the tank. Is it worth £35,000? If someone’s willing to pay that much then we guess so. Not many buyers are needed, since the machine takes its name from the number planned for production – 24.
5. Lightning LS-218, £35,949
The LS-218 is the street version of the Lightning superbike that set an electric land-speed record of 218mph – hence the name. It went on to win the 2013 Pikes Peak hill-climb, beating all the petrol-powered bikes in the process. The key figures are 200hp, 168lbft and a 100mph range at motorway speeds. Time to finally quit the petrol habit? Depends if you’ve got £36,000 spare for the most expensive 20KWH version. It’s not altogether clear when you would get it, as the firm’s websites only says it’s ‘accepting reservations’. Or how, since that firm is in the US, with the price listed only in dollars ($46,888).
KAWASAKI NINJA H2R
4. Kawasaki Ninja H2R, £41,000
We know this one, right? It’s the full-power version of Kawasaki’s supercharged Ninja H2, unfettered by construction regulations for road use. It makes 310hp and 122lbft, has a top speed of 250mph and features unique mirrored paint mixed with a layer of actual pure silver. Having spent £41,000, you’ll then face the question of what to do with it, as it’s not road legal, unlike the Ninja H2, which is 200hp and £22,000. Actually getting one isn’t a given, either. A Kawasaki spokesman said: “The new stock will arrive in the UK early next year, albeit in small numbers. So early approaches to your local dealer would be advisable.”
VYRUS 984 C3 2V
3. Vyrus 984 C3 2V, “Upwards of” £45,000
A 1078cc Desmodromic Ducati V-twin in a bike weighing 158kg dry, with Vyrus’ fancy Progressive Link front suspension arrangement and hub steering. Prices aren’t listed on the exclusive Italian marque’s website (because if you need to ask…) but UK dealer Pro Twins, in Godstone, Surrey, says the 984 C3 2V costs “upwards of” £45,000. It’s one of three models available, each described as a “work of art”. Which is good, because at this price we’d be scared to do anything except put it on show.
BROUGH SUPERIOR SS100
=1. Brough Superior SS100, £49,999
Not cheap, these revived British marques, are they? The SS100 is a ‘high performance, luxury motorcycle’ commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 1924 Brough Superior model of the same name. It’s a 997cc liquid-cooled V-twin making 127hp and 88lbft, with a titanium frame and a weight of 186kg dry. Each one is made to order, probably for millionaires.
ENERGICA EGO 45
=1. Energica Ego 45 £49,999
And speaking of not cheap, neither are these electric sports bikes. This is a special edition of the Energica Ego, an Italian superbike making 136hp and 144lbft. That’s the same as the Hesketh 24’s peak torque figure, but this makes it from 0rpm. The 45 celebrates the 45th anniversary of the manufacturer, CRP Group, with special features including carbon-fibre fairings and ‘elements made with 3D printing’. It also comes with a free factory tour, requiring the signing of an ‘obligatory non-disclosure agreement’. Whatever you do, don’t eat the everlasting gobstoppers.