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Top 5 Most Expensive Motorcycles 2022

Fast enough to outrun the sun. The Kawasaki H2R at home in its intended track environs.

Fast enough to outrun the sun. The Kawasaki H2R at home in its intended track environs. (Kawasaki/)

A motorcycle is a material thing, no doubt. But they’re usually infused with enough spiritual, experiential, and emotional energy to be more than just playthings for the rich or entries in investment portfolios.

We like shiny, fast things. Making motorcycles that ruin the fun-per-dollar ratio is an art. Some motorcycles just aren’t designed to be safely parked in Cook County, Illinois. The world needs semi-unobtainable things. And it needs us, the people who can’t buy them, to marvel at their existence.

“Most expensive anything” is a popular topic for dreadful link bait and content farm articles, so some specificity is called for here. A 2016 Honda RC213 that’s still in its crate and sold for $250K earlier this year does not count as a “most expensive production motorcycle” in 2022. If you covered your Hayabusa in carbon fiber back in 2013, that doesn’t count either.

For our purposes, these are new production motorcycles, assembled in the year of our Lord 2022. They’re not one-offs, vintage unobtanium, or authentic racebikes with Barry Sheene’s ass groove still embossed into the seat. They also need to be currently deliverable. Vaporware need not apply.

Motorcyclist’s global research team has identified five examples of glorious motorcycle excess. These are streetbikes made in a factory-ish setting with a manufacturer declared MSRP. Ideally, enough of them have been made to fill a small showroom. They may or may not come with a foot servant. Every available option has been added to maximize expense and fanciness.

So let’s go. Here are the five most expensive motorcycles a person (not you, obviously) can buy. Feel free to comment in the peanut gallery below.

Kawasaki Ninja H2R

Mirrors and license plate holders need not apply.

Mirrors and license plate holders need not apply. (Kawasaki/)

Not intended for anything as mundane as street use, the $56,500 MSRP Kawasaki H2R is a familiar presence on most “Most Something-or-Other” lists. Although it comes with no mirrors and no place to mount a license plate, a judicious rider could likely get by in a laws-optional place such as Chicago or Texas for a month or two without much risk of a ticket. Obviously, Motorcyclist strongly discourages the use of the Kawasaki H2R anywhere but a closed-circuit course. If 2021 was any indication, the ordering period for the 2023 H2R starts in October and will likely last until December.

Featuring a host of carbon fiber winglets, two of which replace the mirrors, and other aerodynamic fittings, the H2R’s single-minded design centers around pure speed. The bike is built around the legendary 998cc supercharged inline-four DOHC 16-valve engine that you’ve been YouTubing since 2014. While the “standard” H2 makes 227 hp (with 20.5 psi of supercharger boost), the H2R is configured to put out 310 hp, with 121.5 pound-feet of torque at 12,500. With a ram-air intake a claimed 326 hp comes into play. A not-tiny curb weight of 476.3 pounds extends over a 57.1-inch wheelbase.

Here’s something to engage the imagination: The H2R rider sits atop the supercharger’s forged aluminum impeller, which famously breaks the sound barrier as it revolves at nearly 130,000 rpm. However, the famous chirping sound is actually relief valves opening to relieve boost and not the sound barrier being broken.

While we did our best to achieve maximum cost, Motorcyclist was only able to add four accessories including a set of handlebar weights, adding a mere $339.06 to the $56,500 list price. So let’s call it $56,839.06 before dealer fees and taxes. You can outrun almost anything aboard the H2R except the dent in your wallet.

Ducati Panigale V4 SP2

You’re buying a Ducati V4 SP2, so don’t cheap out and settle for the lumpen $5,514.12 titanium exhaust system.

You’re buying a Ducati V4 SP2, so don’t cheap out and settle for the lumpen $5,514.12 titanium exhaust system. (Ducati/)

We were hoping the $100,000 Superleggera was still for sale, but Ducati North America has informed us the production run has ended with all models spoken for. Not terribly surprising. Next up, the Panigale V4 SP2, with a relatively modest $39,500 MSRP. Our work was definitely cut out for us. But by using Ducati’s Configurator to add every single possible option (hello, $16.84 Clutch Fluid Reservoir Sock), we were able to achieve a $59,384.47 MSRP. Add on freight, delivery, and taxes and we’re confident we could hit the mid-$70K range.

That price gets you a track-conquering beast with actual MotoGP DNA in its 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale V-4 engine. You get four distinct maps—Full, High, Medium, and Low—to express 210 hp and 90.6 pound-feet at 12,500 and 11,000 rpm, respectively. Carbon wheels (or optional magnesium rims for $5,436.60) ride on Öhlins 43mm fully adjustable suspension with electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment, which in turn keep the aluminum alloy front frame engine and rider traveling at heroic speeds above the track of your choice. Every Ducati rider aid yet invented is included. Optional heated handgrips are available; hey, April trackdays are cold.

Of course, this bike is only to be used in closed-course settings. But don’t let that stop you from adding the Carbon Number Plate Holder ($469.04), which you should remove before hitting the track.

MV Agusta Rush 1000

Subtlety may be an art, but it’s a boring art. The MV Agusta Rush 1000.

Subtlety may be an art, but it’s a boring art. The MV Agusta Rush 1000. (MV Agusta/)

The Euro 5-compliant Rush 1000 arrives at a mere $45,598, but with the help of the extensive array of optional equipment on the beautifully designed MV site, it took just a few minutes to add $10,974.37 to the MSRP. To be fair, MV Agusta includes a race kit for the Rush 1000, which provides a CNC gas cap, auxiliary lights, CNC brake and clutch levers, carbon fiber instrument and exhaust covers, bike and seat covers, and an AGV helmet. It also includes a SC-Project exhaust with a corresponding ECU tune, which unfortunately isn’t street-legal. Regrettably, this brings the total down to $4,455.24, for a cost of $50,053.24.

What do you get for your money? You get a hyper-naked bike derived from the Brutale 1000 RR with upgraded rider aids, plus a 998cc inline-four engine with different cam timing for better low- and midrange torque. You get a more robust six-speed transmission with a reprogrammed electronic quickshifter. And you get the only production motorcycle with radial valves and titanium con-rods. Last but not least you get cornering ABS.

All this adds up to a claimed 208 hp at 13,000 rpm with around 86 pound-feet of torque at 11,000 rpm. Which brings up an important element of Rush 1000 ownership: You might want to open a standing account with the tire provider of your choice, or better yet, invest heavily in tire manufacturers.

2022 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri-Glide

Motorcycle parking no more. Time to find a car-sized spot.

Motorcycle parking no more. Time to find a car-sized spot. (Harley-Davidson/)

Swear you’ll never ride a trike? Joke’s on you, Future-Old-Rich-You. While you’re busy learning expensive macramé or whatever Future-Old-Rich-You does for fun (you gave up motorcycles, remember?), trike riders are piling on miles, taking road trips, and generally having a blast, passenger included. And they likely don’t care what either you or Future-You thinks.

The cherry on top of The Motor Company sundae is the Harley-Davidson CVO Tri-Glide, coming in at a $49,999 MSRP and 1,269 pounds, ready to roll. Disappointingly, the H-D site doesn’t allow for a shopping spree of options to make the price even more eye-popping. But it’s a premium bike, or trike, so all available options already come standard. Unlike trike kits which retrofit existing two-wheeled chassis, H-D trikes are engineered from scratch, allowing for rider aids like ABS, Cornering-enhanced ABS, Traction Control, and linked braking to be seamlessly integrated.

You’d better like the one paint option, which is Dante’s Red with Dante’s Black Sunglo Fade Flame Pattern. You also get Tomahawk Contrast Cut cast aluminum wheels, Rockford Fosgate Stage I audio, dual-zone heated seating, and extensive LED lighting. The engine is the venerable oil/air-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 117ci.

Since it’s a Harley and therefore different from all other motorcycles, Motorcyclist decided to include the cost of the traditional and nigh-inevitable merchandise and apparel in the total cost figure. Matching helmets, Bluetooth accessories, riding jackets, chaps (with fringe, duh), gloves, and boots add $3,367.95 before sales tax. So let’s call it $53,367.94 before dealer fees and the taxman. Remember: Ride to live and live to ride longer than those opinionated aging hipsters.

Bimota Tesi H2

Bimota Tesi H2, shown in Carbon option.

Bimota Tesi H2, shown in Carbon option. (Bimota/)

Want to pair undeserved wealth with an embarrassment of engineering beauty? The house of Bimota needs no introduction as far as racing heritage and chassis innovation. The company was born when three friends working in the A/C and heating business in the ‘70s used a portmanteau of their names (Bianchi, Morri, and Tamburini) to create a brand name for a company that perfected the art of making superior frames for ‘70s-era Hondas and Kawasakis. Love the Ducati 916 or MV Agusta F4? You’re already a fan of Massimo Tamburini’s later work.

Bimota was acquired by Kawasaki in 2019; the gorgeous Tesi H2 debuted a year later and quickly attracted attention for its front-hub steering and front-swingarm suspension. As the name implies, its beating heart is derived from the unholy supercharged 998cc DOHC inline four-cylinder Kawasaki H2 engine.

The Italian 64,000-euro MSRP comes out to $67,843.20 at the time of this writing. Not impressed? In 2020 dollars, it added up to $75,000. Italy tacks on a 22 percent value-added tax, putting the Italian MSRP at 78,080 euros. Unfortunately, Bimota’s site doesn’t allow for a shopping spree of add-ons and options aside from picking a “Standard” or “Carbon” body style and livery. A personal visit, or at least a call arranged by well-paid personal assistants, will no doubt unlock more ways to spend freely on your new Bimota Tesi H2.

We’ll allow that the Tesi H2 pushes the boundaries of “production motorcycle,” as it must be ordered, after which prospective buyers are vetted. But the price, exclusivity, and it-factor make it worthy of consideration. Bimota will be pleased to hear it’s in the expensive-motorcycle club.

The supercharger impeller reaches speeds of nearly 130,000 rpm, at which point it pumps more than 200 liters of air/second into the engine.

The supercharger impeller reaches speeds of nearly 130,000 rpm, at which point it pumps more than 200 liters of air/second into the engine. (Kawasaki/)

A man with one of the best jobs in the entire world puts the V4 SP2 through its paces.

A man with one of the best jobs in the entire world puts the V4 SP2 through its paces. (Ducati/)

Stoppie on by! Brembo Stylema R front brakes keep corner entry speeds high and tight.

Stoppie on by! Brembo Stylema R front brakes keep corner entry speeds high and tight. (Ducati/)

Any Rush 1000 passenger gets put on a pedestal. Here we see that very tiny, uncomfortable pedestal.

Any Rush 1000 passenger gets put on a pedestal. Here we see that very tiny, uncomfortable pedestal. (MV Agusta/)

A play in four acts: The “regular stock” Rush 1000 4-2-1-2-4 exhaust.

A play in four acts: The “regular stock” Rush 1000 4-2-1-2-4 exhaust. (MV Agusta/)

Start imagining yourself here now. This could be you and your loved one in a decade or two.

Start imagining yourself here now. This could be you and your loved one in a decade or two. (Harley-Davidson/)

Command center with spacious TFT screen and Boom! Box GTS sound system.

Command center with spacious TFT screen and Boom! Box GTS sound system. (Harley-Davidson/)

Twist quickly to blur the world: the view aboard the Bimota Tesi H2.

Twist quickly to blur the world: the view aboard the Bimota Tesi H2. (Bimota/)

Get naked! The magical front-hub steering and front-swingarm suspension of the Bimota Tesi H2.

Get naked! The magical front-hub steering and front-swingarm suspension of the Bimota Tesi H2. (Bimota/)

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