Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon (PS28,500)
We know that the 326PS R full-bore version of Kawasaki’s supercharged wonder is more expensive and will cost you an incredible PS49,500 in 2020. However, this track-only model doesn’t fall under this definition. The standard H2 version, which is road legal, produces 207bhp and delivers similar supercharger thrills. Also updated in 2017 with revised mapping and other improvements. It isn’t a sports bike, and it’s too heavy for that. It’s a modern, speedy, and wacky successor to the Kawasaki ZZ-R1400/ZZ-R11 and is highly desirable. This price, however, seems reasonable in this context. You can get the standard H2 for PS26,000, while the limited edition Carbon’ version with carbon fibre upper and lower fairings is limited to 120 copies worldwide.
Ariel Ace ‘Iron Horse’ PS29,686
Although Ariel has been focusing on its Atom sportscars since 2001, the revived British brand has also taken its motorcycling heritage seriously. It was the first Honda VFR1200 V4-powered Ace. The Ace’s stunning, milled aluminium frame and optional girder forks made it a delight to ride and look at when it first launched in 2014. Although boldly unorthodox and not a pure sports bike, it’s still a high-performance road cruiser and is distinctive enough to warrant its outrageous price. In 2018, the sportier, 203bhp and carbon-bedecked R’ model was launched for a higher PS60K price. With only 10 copies left, the Somerset company has recently released an ‘Iron Horse,’ a more accessible PS30K. You don’t have to worry about it, however, as all the Ace goodies remain, including the alloy frame, Ohlins suspension, girder fork, and Ohlins suspension, plus carbon fibre bodywork. It’s just how it should be…
Honda GoldWing Tour DCT, PS30,699
For over 40 years, the GoldWing has been synonymous with luxury full-dress touring and success. Honda had to build a new version of this iconic model (the original version had not been modified since 2001). But boy, did they deliver in 2018. The new Wing is lighter and compact than its predecessor, but it has all the other features you would expect. The new Wing’s smooth flat-six produces a soaring 125bhp. Its twin-spar aluminium frame and innovative double-wishbone front suspension give incredible handling and comfort. But the most impressive feature of the bike is its amazing tech and equipment. This is what makes the PS30K price so worth it. The LCD screen is electrically adjustable, and the TFT dash, which looks like a car, is stunning. There are multiple rider modes, cruise control and satnav. You can also have heated seats and grips. Apple Car Play is available. A new base model, with a lower specification and without a top box, is available for a tempting PS22K. But when it comes to excess, the Tour version has Honda’s DCT semi-automatic transmission gearbox, which wants nothing.
Harley-Davidson CVO Limited (PS35,595)
American giant Harley-Davidson’s ElectraGlide was the first to offer a ‘dresser tourer’ back in 1960. This included the ‘Batwing fairing, which was made available as an option in 1969. Although the styling of the V-twin hasn’t changed much over its lifetime, technology and sophistication have advanced significantly in recent years. The Ultra Limited is available at PS24,695 and comes with the latest version, the 114cc (1868cc), ‘Milwaukee Eight’ V-twin (producing 164Nm of torque), LED lights. TFT dash, Brembo brakes, Brembo brakes, and a sleek ‘infotainment” system. If you need more, and this is a bike you will want to ride, there are many options. For 2020 Harley’s Custom Vehicle Operations division (CVO) offers a limited edition, fully loaded version called the “CVO Limited”. This bike, priced at PS35K, features a bigger 117ci (1923ccc) engine that produces 166Nm and special paints and engine finishes. It also comes with Harley’s extensive accessories catalogue. Harley’s don’t get flasher.
Horex VR6 Cafe Racer, HL, PS35.924
Horex, a lesser-known German marque, originally traded between 1923-1960. It was revived in 2011, producing a high-end, narrow-angle V6-powered roadster. The company was bankrupted in 2014, but new investments soon allowed it to relaunch the business. It now makes two versions of the machine, the VR6 Classic (and VR6 Cafe Racer), which cost well over PS30,000. They produce a staggering 163 bhp, have an aluminium ‘bridge’ frame and carbon fibre sub-frames. Both machines have retro styling, top quality components, and are well built. The HL variants, which are even more expensive, have a special livery inspired by the classic Horex Regina and other accessories like badging, wheels, and special wheels. Although there are no UK dealers, the factory near Munich claims it would welcome UK buyers. It is about as exclusive as luxury bikes can get. However, it is a great performer and a good value for money, considering it’s a little-known bike.
MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Serie Oro PS36,338
Italian legends MV Agusta have a long history of luxury motorcycles and roller-coaster commercial success for much of their history. Motorcycling royalty was born from the original concern, an offshoot of Agusta helicopters. It dominated GP racing in the mid-to early-’70s with transverse triples or fours ridden most famously by Giacomo Agostini, Mike Hailwood, and John Surtees. The luxury four-cylinder road-Sportster that followed MV was also successful. However, MV was overtaken on the track by the Japanese two-stroke and outpriced on the road by bikes like the Kawasaki Z1. Cagiva revived the brand with a new line of luxury-priced, four-cylinder nakeds (and later three-cylinder naked) and superbikes in 1999. However, its fortunes have fluctuated, as has its own. The Brutale super naked is a fully-updated four-cylinder version. Its 2020 offering is the ‘Serie Oro’, a limited edition of high specification, high-spec Brutale. Soon, it will be available. It’s expensive, but it’s true to MV tradition: Beautiful, exquisitely-specced and mind-blowingly quick (MV claims it has 212bhp and is the ‘fastest naked motorcycle in the world’).
Ducati Panigale V4 25 Anniversario 916 PS36,995
Although we may not afford the Superleggera, it is a consolation to know that there is still a Panigale V4 limited edition available. We have also seen some newer models. Last year, it was launched to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the world-beating Ducati Ninja 16. Only 500 Panigale V4 S were made. Each is individually numbered with Carl Fogarty-inspired livery and titanium Akrapovic exhaust.
Brough Superior Anniversary EUR100,000. / PS84,527
The legendary British marque Brough Superior traded from 1919 to 1940. It is best known for its SS100 V-twin motorcycle, the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles. This motorcycle, now the most expensive of all the classics, has broken record prices and continues to trade between 1919-1940. Brit Mark Upham bought the rights to the brand in 2008. He then teamed up to create a modern interpretation of the brand, which was put into production by Thierry Henriette from Boxer Bikes. The unique liquid-cooled, 88 degrees V-twin engine, novel Beringer brakes, and Fior fork with Ohlins shocks are some features. Its retro-inspired design is made entirely from aluminium, carbon fibre, and titanium. The machine is worthy, boasting 120bhp, exceptional build quality and detail, and exclusivity that only PS60K+ can afford. To commemorate the brand’s 1919 roots, the new Anniversary’ edition was revealed last year. It features unique body panels, machined billet wheels, four slash-cut exhausts, and new mudguards. It is one of the rarest and exquisite motorcycles available. Only 100 will be made.
Confederate FA-13 Combat Bomber $155,000/PS118,000
Confederate, an exotic performance cruiser company, was founded in 1991. They quickly established a reputation for their street-cruiser style and high-spec chassis. They’re so popular that they are highly sought after even though they are expensive, particularly by the wealthy and famous like Tom Cruise, an actor and bike enthusiast. The 2020 line-up includes the F-117 Fighter, a performance cruiser that produces 140 bhp; the P-51 Combat Fighter, which produces 145 bhp and a machined aluminium monocoque. Both are $125,000, and the FA-13 Combat Bomber is a limited edition version of the P-51 in anodized grey with carbon wheels. All this for just $155,000 – or a staggering PS118K.
Bimota Tesi HD2, PS50,000 – Or is it?
This isn’t the most costly, but it is the last. Kawasaki is now part-owner of Bimota. The supercharged hub-centre-steered marriage between the Bimota Tesi (at PS50,000) and Kawasaki K2 is expected to be available in June. A price estimate of around PS50K. But others with question marks still surrounding them are the similarly-supercharged Hesketh Valiant SC (at PS50,000), the AMB001, a turbo-charged joint project between Brough Superior and Aston Martin with a projected price of EUR108,000 (but still only a concept and destined only for the track) and the aforementioned electric Arc Vector (PS90,000, still a concept and Arc have now called in the receivers). This category of bike is more about dreaming than anything else.