It’s no secret that motorsports can be expensive. But just how expensive can a machine as simple as a motorbike get? Well, with Keanu Reeves selling road motorcycles for a whopping £55,000+ it’s safe to say that, if you feel like it, you can drop mega dough on some serious exotica.
But what if you’re a little more extreme than that? What if you want to ditch the highways for the dirt track on something pricey? Well, if you're a dirt bike lover with a stack of cash burning a hole in your pocket, this is the list for you…
*N.B. The bikes below exclude proper factory race bikes – that’s for another list!
1. The Big Six: Husqvarna FC 450 – £7,599
Let’s start off nice and easy shall we? In the world of motocross, there are six main brands vying for supremacy: Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM and Husqvarna. With the advent of the four-stroke revolution at the turn of the century, prices for the flagship models of each brand have risen drastically compared to the old two-stroke days. Nowadays you’ll be dropping north of seven grand for a stock 450cc motocross bike. In 2018 the Husqvarna FC 450 takes the crown as the most expensive stock bike from the big players, with a price tag of £7,599.
2. Special editions: Honda CRF450R Dave Thorpe Replica – £9,049, KTM 450SX Factory Edition – £7,100
Let’s stick with the key players in the motocross world for the time being. Each year you’ll find that one or two of the big six release special edition models alongside their standard fleet. This can be done for several reasons: maybe to celebrate a milestone or anniversary, or perhaps – particularly in the case of KTM – to meet certain homologation requirements needed to race a machine in the US Supercross series. Without question, these special edition machines will always carry a heftier RRP.
Both KTM and Husqvarna released ‘Factory Edition’ models for 2018. These limited-edition machines were sold exclusively in the States and – because an official price was never announced – it’s difficult to say just how costly they are. However, rumour has it that a ‘Factory Edition’ bike would set you back in excess of £7,000.
Honda also released a special edition for 2018. Their Dave Thorpe Replica bike comes with a multitude of extras and trick bits. Readily available in the UK, this motor will set you back £9,049 – that’s over £1,500 more than the stocker!
3. Electric: Alta Redshift MXR – £8,500
A lot of people would say that electric is the future – the future of motorsport and the future of motoring in general. For now, however, electric is expensive. These huge batteries ain’t cheap to make, and so the products that utilise them are going to reflect that.
So far, Alta Motors have been the kings of the electric future in the dirt bike world. Currently they're the only guys that produce fully-fledged, race-ready electric motorcycles. Their Redshift range boasts several models, the most expensive of which is the new MXR, with a cost of around £8,500.
4. Scandi design special: Cake KALK – £12,400
Staying on electric avenue, we have recently seen a wave of e-bikes and e-dirt bikes hit the market. These range from electric push bikes to full on offroad motorcycles. One of the coolest, most unique (in terms of looks) of these bikes comes out of Sweden; the Cake KALK has an eye watering price tag of 14,000 euros – that’s approximately £12,400. But just look at it!
5. American muscle: Harley Davidson MT500 – £20,000+
When you think of Harley Davidson, you think of the long, open highways and leather-clad, goatee-toting bikers. You most certainly do not picture offroad riding. However, if you search hard enough, you can in fact find some dirt-faring machines from the famed Milwaukee firm.
A group of mud-loving bike builders undertook the task of transforming a Harley Davison Street Rod into a fully-fledged motocross machine – with spectacular results. The MP119 is a striking thing of beauty, born from the collaboration of the Diamond Range (RD Custom Bikes), Shaw Speed and Custom, Harley Davidson Europe and pro motocross racer Mel Pocock. There’s no official price tag for this one-of-a-kind bike, but the estimated cost floats somewhere around £20,000.
6. Exotic: Steve McQueen 1963 Triumph Bonneville – £73,133
If you’re looking for the most expensive dirt bike about (excluding top-of-the-line genuine factory race bikes) the 1963 Triumph Bonneville owned by Steve McQueen might just be it. This little slice of The King of Cool's history sold at Bonhams for a whopping £73,133 – about the price of a new Porsche 911!
On the other hand, if you want to feel like McQueen but not break the bank to such an extent, the Metisse McQueen Desert Racer might be the ticket.
This bike from the historic British firm is still being made today with an official endorsement from the McQueen estate. Only 300 of these machines will be produced. Granted you wouldn’t want to take it too far offroad, but you’ll look cool wherever you may go. With no set price listed, it’s hard to find a firm figure for the Metisse. However, if you search the web you will find one of these machines listed for sale at just shy of £18,000.