Classic car and motorcycle auction prices have stunned a great many petrolheads over the past few years. The prices for certain low-mileage cars and motorcycles have been caused us to pause, and self-reflect, forcing many people to “ask have we gone too far?” Well, now there’s a new record-breaking auction, and it’s not even old. On Halloween, a 2016 Honda RC213V-S became the most expensive motorcycle from Japan ever sold.
What is the most expensive motorcycle in the world?
Technically, the Neiman Marcus Fighter holds that record with a price tag of $11 million each with 45 examples. Bike’s like this hardly counts. It’s not a motorcycle; it’s a piece of art to ogle. Over the years, other high-dollar motorcycles have been other famous racing bikes, like Steve McQueen’s 1915 Cyclone Board track racer or Jack Ehret’s Land Speed Record Vincent Series C Black Lightning.
What makes this Honda RC213V-S so special is that, for one, it is a real production MotoGP bike with 199 other production mates. For two, it is the most-expensive motorcycle from Japan. The closest second is a one-of-four (two extant) 1968 Honda CB750 prototype that took the bag at £157,500 (US$221,600) at British auction house H&H in 2018, according to New Atlas.
What makes the 2016 Honda RC213V-S the most expensive motorcycle from Japan?
It is impressive because this isn’t an old, rare motorcycle; this is a 2016 Honda. However, it is one of the highest-performing bikes in the world. The cool thing is that these bikes likely have a ton of collectible potential, and there are still more out there.
The most expensive motorcycle from Japan sold for $184,000 new. The race kit ran an extra $12,000, making the total cost for the bike $196,000. While these bikes aren’t exactly the bazillion-dollar machines eating up the track in MotoGP, they are so close to it that when Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP racer, was recovering from injury in March 2021 and wanted to see if he could still ride near the limit, he did so on one of these.
The one that broke the record for the most expensive motorcycle from Japan sold for $237,700. This bike had the $12,000 racing kit, but it was never installed. The kit is still in its original factory packaging.
Are there any more Honda RC213V-S for sale?
These bikes are extremely rare. Because true MotoGP bikes are unfathomably expensive, FIM, the regulatory body that oversees MotoGP, made a rule that limits how often racers can train using the real bikes. As a result, when Honda MotoGP racers train, they often use one of these RCs. Between this and the fact that Honda only ever produced 213 examples for the public makes these bikes pretty hard to get your hands on.
Finding one for sale is a rare treat, indeed. The performance of these bikes is reason enough to likely never see one for sale. A bike like this is so extreme and unfriendly to normal riders that it is unlikely that Honda will ever make something like it for the public again.
Other makers like Ducati and BMW have also built these track bike replicas that shadow the MotoGP bikes. However, these bikes tend to be around the $75,000-$120,000 mark.
This Honda sale is significant. Not only is it the most expensive motorcycle from Japan ever, but also just the performance madness this bike is capable of. We all knew Honda would make the most expensive Japanese motorcycle.