The Most Expensive Motorcycles From Every Major Brand, Ranked Worst To Best

Generally speaking, motorcycles are one of the most economical and affordable modes of transport, providing a fun, inexpensive alternative to the increasingly costly automobile. However, they are also a way of life, and many of us would like to own and cherish a high-end motorcycle, just as we would a nice car. Thankfully, this dream is far more attainable for the average motorcyclist, with most flagship models costing less than the average sedan but with many of the same features and materials found on a luxury sportscar.

There are some genuinely striking designs in this ranking from various segments, including adventure bikes, grand tourers, cruisers, and high-performance sport bikes. They all represent the best in engineering, manufacturing methods, and technology that the major motorcycle brands can muster, and much attention to detail has gone into their research and development.

For this ranking, we have confined our choices to models widely available to consumers while disregarding one-off bikes and those designed purely for the race track. The most expensive road-going motorcycles from the most popular brands are ranked according to their value, integrity, exclusivity, features, and rideability.

10. Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650

Enfield's flagship cruiser was released in 2022, joining the ranks of the already popular Continental GT and Interceptor models as part of its diverse range of 650cc motorcycles. Riding on the coattails of the popular Meteor 350 cruiser, this felt like a natural progression for the brand, and it introduced some notable additions.

Aesthetically speaking, the Super Meteor 650 looks like a beefier version of the 350 model, with the same cruiser profile of low-slung saddle and raised bars. Still, this time, Royal Enfield elected to replace most black powder-coated elements with chrome, typical of many classic American and Japanese models. Buyers can add a touring seat and tall windshield, which improve comfort on long hauls and help complete the cruiser image.

Some unique additions include alloy wheels, LED lights, upside-down forks for better handling, and a more modern instrument cluster combining digital and analog displays. For the engine, Enfield stuck to the tried and trusted 648cc parallel twin block that it uses across the 650 range, which is a dependable, albeit slightly underpowered unit overall.

As the most expensive bike in the Royal Enfield range, the Super Meteor 650 lacks the versatility and timeless classic design of the Interceptor and the effortlessly cool cafe racer profile of the Continental GT. As such, it is an outlier among its peers and might prove less popular over time, especially given that it costs just a few hundred dollars less than the comparable Kawasaki Vulcan 650. For these reasons, it places lowest on this ranking.

9. Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa

The Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, often referred to simply as the Busa, is the brand's high-performance pin-up model that was once unrivaled as the fastest street-legal thing on two wheels. The Hayabusa was introduced in 1999 and quickly gained popularity as a trailblazing bike of its day that reached a blistering top speed of over 190 miles per hour.

Hayabusa means peregrine falcon in Japanese, which makes sense when you look at its bulbous yet streamlined body, which took cues from ornithology for its aerodynamics. While it is like no other sport bike in this regard, it divides opinion on whether it could be described as attractive, especially compared to the slick, svelte bikes that dominate the segment today.

Suzuki went all-out when creating the 2024 Hayabusa by furnishing it with a powerful 1,340cc engine, making it the most powerful Hayabusa ever built. As far as features are concerned, the Hayabusa is expectedly well-appointed, with ride-by-wire technology, a highly advanced ABS with intelligent braking, and a specially developed onboard computer that constantly measures and optimizes performance.

Of all the high-performance bikes in this ranking, the Hayabusa is the best value, with a base price of $19,599. However, having been around for a quarter-century, the model may be getting a little long in the tooth compared to its peers. It is well overdue for a significant overhaul, placing among our lowest in this ranking.

8. Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited

Harley-Davidson needs no introduction as the quintessential American cruiser brand. Its CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) Road Glide Limited is the premium, high-end touring model that represents the pinnacle of Harley-Davidson's offerings.

The CVO Road Glide Limited combines elements of the classically styled machines that Harley is renowned for and adds a host of modern features that might be found on its latest line of adventure-touring models to create something of a hybrid that looks reminiscent of a 1980s Honda Gold Wing. Like the Gold Wing, it includes a large, bulky faring, plenty of luggage space, a comprehensive infotainment system, wide floorboards, and a spacious throne for your pillion passenger.

Some might find the look of the CVO Road Glide Limited a little dated, with faring that appears to be bolted on as an afterthought. However, it becomes far more impressive when you throw in its cornering ABS, multiple modes of traction control, torque slip control, and integral tire pressure monitoring, combined with the cutting-edge Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin power unit.

Ultimately, fans of the Harley-Davidson aesthetic would choose this bike over the comparable Honda Gold Wing in a heartbeat. Still, weighing up the options, one has to wonder whether this is worth almost twice the price of its Japanese rival. Given its niche appeal and $51,999 base price, the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited might require a lot of convincing.

7. KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R adds a little spice to this ranking as the sole adventure bike in the lineup. It is the flagship model out of KTM's impressive range of ADVs, to rival the likes of Honda's Africa Twin and BMW's R1300 GS. This segment has grown exponentially in popularity, and the Austrian company had to pull something special out of the bag to keep up with its German and Japanese rivals. With the 1290 Super Adventure R, they may have met their match.

In profile, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R has typical characteristics for this segment, with its high ground clearance, knobby tires, upswept exhaust, high upright seating position, and raised handlebars. On closer inspection, the tilt-adjustable 7-inch TFT display dominates the entire front console, and this is where the motorcycle's features come into play.

The screen is accessed using a six-way switchgear on the handlebars, which allows you to operate multiple functions, including switchable ABS and traction control, cruise control, ride modes, and its Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control system. It also provides a complete entertainment and navigation solution with Bluetooth functionality. Power is provided by its 1,301cc two-cylinder V-twin, and it has a six-speed manual transmission, all of which meet KTM's typically high standards.

With the 1290 Super Adventure R, KTM has met the challenge of producing an adventure bike that is robust, stylish, technologically advanced, and capable of going almost anywhere. If this ranking was for the fun factor alone, this $20,299 bike would place much higher. However, it faces some stiff competition among some of the most elite motorcycles that money can buy.

6. Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1100

Aprilia is a popular Italian brand that is steeped in racing heritage, although sometimes it feels like it remains in the shadow of its compatriot, the Ferrari of motorcycles — Ducati. However, its product line is undeniably impressive, as evidenced by machines such as its Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1100 high-performance sport bike, an upgraded and more powerful version of the already impressive Aprilia RSV4.

The Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1100 is where the race track experience meets the street as a race-optimized, factory-edition powerhouse that marries hi-tech components with the latest manufacturing methods and materials to produce a flagship road rocket. These include a finely-tuned Öhlins semi-active suspension, which can be programmed via its switchgear. This is the major difference between the factory edition and the regular RSV4, as it includes the same 217-horsepower, 1,099cc engine as its sibling, albeit tuned to provide more torque. You also get a flashier livery with the all-important Factory lettering.

While the flagship Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1100 is undoubtedly impressive, one has to wonder whether it is worth a full $7,000 more than the regular Aprilia RSV4 model, especially when introduced to regular road conditions. As such, while it is undoubtedly an exclusive machine, at $25,999, it may be surplus to most riders' requirements.

5. Yamaha YZF-R1M

Yamaha's R Series of motorcycles has become legendary since the very first YZF-R1 rolled off the production line in 1998. It was born out of the superbike heyday of the 1990s, as the brand needed a new flagship sport bike to add racing pedigree to its range. Fast forward to today, and the Yamaha YZF-R1M is among the best street-legal performance motorcycles to come out of Japan.

The YZF-R1M is an elite version of the standard Yamaha YZF-R1, with additional features and advanced technology aimed at providing riders with a superior track and street riding experience. It features a highly tuned 998cc inline-four-cylinder engine known for its high-revving nature that produces great amounts of power and torque.

The engine is enhanced by a comprehensive suite of rider aids, including wheelie control, slide control, traction control, a ride-by-wire, chip-controlled throttle, multiple rider modes, and ABS. The YZF-R1M's electronic suspension constantly monitors track conditions in real time and adjusts to optimize performance. A full-color TFT instrument panel and LED lights and signals bring the bike up to date, and several superbike components such as magnesium wheels, supersport braking components, and an Öhlins gas-charged suspension further improve its racing performance.

While superbikes are not for every motorcyclist, for those who possess the skill and the nerve, they offer the ultimate adrenaline rush. With the YZF-R1M, Yamaha has helped many mere mortals realize the superbike dream, with a $26,999 machine derived from its MotoGP performance bikes that is hard to fault.

4. Honda Gold Wing Tour

As soon as you set eyes on the Honda Gold Wing Tour, it strikes you as being on another level to the average touring bike. First introduced in 1974 and continually developed over 50 years, the new Gold Wing is a masterpiece of automotive design that appears to have as much in common with a luxury sedan as it does a motorcycle.

With its long, low, and notably wide frame, the Gold Wing Tour is immediately imposing. Still, it is comfortable with its spacious saddle, large floorboards, luxurious pillion seat, and upright riding position. Meanwhile, a tall windshield and wide dash deflect air around the cockpit, adding to rider comfort and reducing wind buffeting as you easily cover long distances. It gives the impression of being the motorcycling equivalent of taking a deep bath.

Riders are treated to several electronic assists and luxuries, including built-in navigation, a multi-speaker sound system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, adjustable cruise control, traction control, load handling, and onboard heater levels. Still, the real draw of the Gold Wing Tour lies beneath the faring. It boasts a massive 1,833cc six-cylinder engine, with throttle by wire, four selectable driver modes, and a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission.

With a base price of $25,600 for the manual version and $32,900 for the automatic DCT option, this motorcycle is among the most expensive on the road. However, compared to the price of a new sedan, it is relatively cheap and much more fun. The Gold Wing Tour places highly on this ranking due to its heritage, features, value, and sheer wow factor.

3. Triumph Rocket 3

The good folks down at Triumph must have felt pretty adventurous the day they greenlit the Rocket 3. While Honda once tried its hand at creating the world's most imposing motorcycle with its Rune model, it sold at a significant loss, so following in its footsteps and building the bike with the largest engine capacity was quite a gamble. The result was as impressive as it was ambitious, and the Rocket 3 is in a class all of its own, featuring the highest build quality, specification, and technology that the Hinckley, U.K. plant has ever produced.

The centerpiece of the Rocket 3 is its monstrous 2,458cc inline three-cylinder engine, which produces 165 horsepower via a shaft drive mounted on a single-sided swingarm. Front and rear suspension duties are courtesy of Showa suspensions, which are automatically adjustable via its TFT instrument display. This is the focal point of the dashboard and it's where you also select your rider modes and perform other adjustments.

While the Rocket 3 is known for being one of the largest and most powerful production motorcycles available, its seat height of just over 30 inches is quite accommodating. Despite its size, it looks very comfortable, with a relaxed seating position, wide bars, and Bluetooth connectivity, making it well-suited to touring over long distances and somewhat practical. In terms of exclusivity, heritage, rideability, and features, the $25,495 Triumph Rocket 3 takes some beating.

2. Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon

There is much more to the Kawasaki company than one may think. Kawasaki Heavy Industries is involved in aviation, railways, shipping, energy, industrial equipment, and, of course, motorcycles. The considerable amount of experience, resources, and knowledge laid the foundation for the Kawasaki Ninja H2, launched in 2015.

While its upgraded sibling, the Ninja H2R, is currently the fastest and most powerful production motorcycle in the world, the street-legal Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon is still a force to be reckoned with. It is known for its exceptional power, advanced engineering, and unique 998cc, four-cylinder supercharged engine, which produces an incredible 200 horsepower.

This is mounted on a lightweight trellis frame fared in carbon fiber bodywork, hence its name. Beneath the surface, the H2 Carbon is teeming with tech to keep this powerful machine stuck to the road, with a host of engine management and chassis management features, such as corner management, launch control, engine braking control, traction control, and advanced ABS functionality.

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon is priced at $35,000, which makes sense when you consider its exclusivity, build quality, and materials. This is a high-performance machine in every sense of the word and should be earned through many hours on and off the track and a deep understanding of the skills and dedication it takes to ride motorcycles at high speeds. It might have been the best sport bike on the road today, but one other machine gives it a run for its money.

1. BMW M 1000 RR

BMW Motorrad is known worldwide for utilizing cutting-edge manufacturing methods to create some of the finest motorcycles that money can buy, including the GS series of adventure bikes, the K series of touring bikes, and the R series of heritage bikes. It also produces some impressive sport bikes, including the popular S1000 RR model, which has now been enhanced to create the BMW M 1000 RR – one of the most formidable motorcycles allowed on the road.

Looking at the M 1000 RR, it is immediately apparent that this is no ordinary sport bike. It is entirely clad in aerodynamically tested carbon fiber and includes large carbon fiber winglets at the front to increase downforce, giving the impression that without them, the bike would flip over backward when accelerating.

The 999cc four-cylinder engine is just one centimeter larger than the Kawasaki H2's, but it produces five more horsepower and pushes the M1000 RR to a top speed of 189 miles per hour. Home comforts are somewhat lacking, although heated grips come as standard. As expected, most features are performance-focused, including launch control, slide control, dynamic traction control, multiple riding modes, and BMW Motorrad ABS Pro.

When asked why he wanted to attempt to climb Mount Everest, ill-fated climber George Mallory replied: "Because it is there." You get the feeling that BMW Motorrad had a similar attitude when they devised the M1000 RR. As a $38,740 homologated racing vehicle, it has no real place on the road other than to ferry you to the track. They simply wanted to build the best-performing bike they could, just because they could. The result is astounding.