Would you pay $1 million for a motorcycle? Some people have. The rarest and most unique motorcycles tend to fetch a lot of money at auctions. Collectors who appreciate the craftsmanship and engineering that goes into these bikes, made by the top brands in the world, will shell out plenty of money to get their hands on a rare or one-of-a-kind bike. The prices paid for high-end motorcycles seem to rise all the time. Here are the 10 most expensive motorcycles ever sold at auction – to date.
10. Neiman Marcus Limited Edition Fighter – $110,000
Neiman Marcus is known for selling expensive and unique products. The company prides itself on putting a unique spin on familiar items. Case in point, the Limited Edition Fighter motorcycle that the company had manufactured by custom bike maker Confederate Motors out of Birmingham, Alabama. Only 45 of these were made, and it is definitely unique looking.
It seems like a bike you would see in a futuristic sci-fi movie. However, this motorcycle can reach speeds of 190 mph, has an ultra light carbon fiber frame, boasts aluminum and titanium parts, and has a custom braking system. For only $110,000, this motorcycle can be yours.
9. Coventry Eagle – $120,000
The Coventry Eagle is a classic British motorcycle made by the Royal Eagle Company. Given that the first one was made in 1903, it’s a very rare bike that is coveted by people who appreciate the history of motorcycles. Particularly rare and prized is the “Flying 8” version of the Coventry Eagle, a two stroke engine motorcycle that was made during the Great Depression of the 1930s. A Flying 8 recently sold at auction for $120,000.
Sadly, the Royal Eagle Company went out of business in 1939 on the eve of World War II. However, the Coventry Eagle lives on in the hearts of British citizens and motorcycle fans everywhere. There are believed to be fewer than 10 Coventry Eagles left in existence today. No wonder the price is so high!
8. Harley Davidson Rocker – $130,000
For many people, Harley Davidson is the ultimate motorcycle brand. It’s certainly the best known motorcycle brand in the world. One of the company’s hottest and most sought after bikes is the Harley Davidson Rocker, which has sold at auction for as much as $130,000. A soft tail bike, the Rocker is viewed as a feat of modern engineering.
The motorcycle has a 240 millimeter tire that gracefully rolls out the back of the bike under a slammed fender. The fat rear tire is offset by a skinny 90 millimeter-wide, 19-inch front tire. This motorcycle is also known for having exceptional handling and being very comfortable to ride on long road trips. Harley Davidson adapted the Rocker from a design created by a German motorcycle company called House of Thunder.
7. Hildebrand Wolfmüller – $150,000
What makes the Hildebrand Wolfmüller worth $150,000? The fact that it was the world’s very first production motorcycle. Hildebrand Wolfmüller first began manufacturing the bike in 1894. Production only lasted three years – to 1897 – and the motorcycle is, as one would expect, primitive by today’s standards.
It has a two-cylinder four-stroke engine, and seems more like a bicycle or moped than a full-fledged motorcycle. The stone age appearance and limited functionality is probably the reason why this bike has not fetched even more money at auction. Still, for being the first production motorcycle and paving the way for everything that came afterwards, the Hildebrand Wolfmüller is worth a good amount of money. Interestingly, it was made by German steam-engine engineers who were tinkerers and hobbyists in their spare time.
6. Hubless Harley Davidson – $155,000
Talk about a chopper. The Hubless Harley is a vintage bike from the 1960s, and looks every bit like something that was used in the movie Easy Rider. With a low slung seat, high handlebars, and a unique Peterbilt engine, this motorcycle is the ultimate in cool. Even in the cannon of impressive Harley motorcycles, the Hubless stands out.
The ride is not for everyone though, as this bike can be difficult to handle for civilians. But for true bikers, the Hubless Harley Davidson is a work of art that needs to be taken out on the open road. This motorcycle has sold for $155,000, but is likely go for much more as it ages and matures. Just like a fine wine.
5. Ecosse FE Ti XX – $300,000
Taking a big leap in price as we enter the top five, the Ecosse FE Ti XX has sold for $300,000 at auction. Manufactured by the U.S. company Titanium, this muscular looking bike has an aluminum engine that produces 225 horsepower and gives this motorcycle a real kick. The winner of numerous “Best Bike of the Year” awards, the Eccose FE Ti XX is also one of the fastest motorcycles in the world as it can reach speeds of 250 mph.
Bike aficionados love the look and feel of this bulky and strong motorcycle. The fact that less than 100 of these bikes were ever produced has contributed to the price being driven up sharply at auction. That, and the fact that this bike is functional and can still be driven at top speeds on highways and tracks around the world.
4. Vincent Black Lightning – $400,000
This vintage British motorcycle has sold for as much as $400,00. The fastest production motorcycle in the world when it was produced in Hertfordshire, England between 1948 and 1952, the 1,000 cc engine Vincent Black Lightning set several land speed records and won many races in its heyday.
Today it’s considered a collector’s item. This bike has even been commemorated in songs and is regularly on display at automotive shows and in museums around the world. It is considered the premier motorcycle produced after World War II. Buyers at auction salivate over this motorcycle and it usually draws great interest when on the block.
3. Nehmesis – $500,000
The Nehemsis is probably the most visually striking and exotic looking motorcycle on this list. It’s a custom made motorcycle made by BMS Chopper that is actually gold plated. Named after Sam Nehme, owner of BMS Chopper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the gold-plated chopper stretches 11 feet and took more than 3,000 man hours to build by hand.
The chrome and gold plating cost around $25,000, and the wheels were each $25,000. Nehme’s clients include rappers P. Diddy and Ice T, but Nehme kept this motorcycle for himself, referring to it as his “masterpiece.” He places its value at $500,000. Not bad considering the gold plating and all. An impressive motorcycle anyway you look at it.
2. AJS Porcupine – $750,000
The AJS Porcupine was a 500 cc racing motorcycle first produced in 1945. Today it is viewed as one of the rarest bikes on the planet, which has helped to push its sale price up to $750,000. Despite competing at the Isle of Mann and winning the inaugural 1949 FIM 500 cc world championship race, the AJS Porcupine is viewed as having not lived up to its potential.
Financial woes plagued the manufacturer of this bike and successive models were outfitted with ever cheaper and weaker engines. The last of the Porcupines rolled off the assembly line in 1954. Not overly popular with civilian cyclists in its day, the motorcycle was mostly discarded. The bike is now considered extremely rare and special. It continues to fetch a high price whenever it goes up for sale at auctions around the world.
1. Cosmic Starship Harley Davidson – $1 Million
If money is no object, then you may want to consider getting your hands on this custom made Harley Davidson, known as the “Cosmic Starship.” Be prepared to write a big check though, as it’s sold for as much as $1 million. Designed by artist Jack Armstrong, whose existential modern art paintings have sold for as much as $3 million, this is the most expensive Harley motorbike ever produced.
In addition to looking great, this custom hog is outfitted with a powerful six-cylinder engine that provides lightning fast speed. This most expensive bike in the world is designed to appeal to both motorcycle lovers and people who appreciate fine art. And of course, the fact that only one Cosmic Starship Harley was ever made makes the motorcycle even rarer.