Why $100k Motorcycles Are A Lot More Relevant Than You Think

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By Troy Siahaan

A strange thing happened after publishing both the written and video reviews of the Ducati Superleggera V4. A surprising number of people responded – why?

Why does a motorcycle like the $100,000 Superleggera V4, or the Desmosedici before it (which was “only” $75,000, if I remember right), exist? What’s the point? If it’s just another toy for the rich and/or famous to flaunt in their living rooms with zero miles on the odometer, then how is that advancing motorcycling in any way?

Ducati isn’t alone in the criticism, either. Aprilia recently went wild with the $50,000 RSV4 X – a premium, mostly carbon, version of the RSV4 1100 with 225 hp, 365-lb dry weight, neutral below first gear, and only 10, yes 10, being made. BMW’s $78,000 HP4 Race is another all-carbon wonder. With a claimed wet weight of 377 pounds, it beat the Superleggera V4 to the punch with a carbon frame and wheels, though its 215 hp suddenly sounds laughable in this company. All are meant to showcase what a manufacturer can do, but inevitably get pushback and criticism.

I get that no motorcycle is immune from criticism – hell, I’ve made a career out of it – and reading the comments for the Superleggera V4 reminded me of another halo bike that seemed mesmerizing on paper but received mixed reactions: Honda’s MotoGP bike for the street, the $184,000 2016 RC213V-S.

Going back to the laughable power thing, Honda really took it to another level. In this particular case, the criticism surrounding it was entirely justified, as models coming to the US were neutered beyond imagine – to the tune of 101 horses. You can thank corporate lawyers for that. Even when fully uncorked Honda says it makes 212 hp. Don’t get me wrong; that’s a …read more

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