15 Of The Most Extreme Motorcycles On The Planet
Each of these two-wheel missiles is a radical outlier in engineering and design.
What qualifies as “extreme” when we talk motorcycle design? Is it the use of exotic materials? The fitment of the latest gadgets to turn it from one motorcycle into something entirely different? Or is it just a design so perfectly executed that it makes the other models pale in comparison?
Admittedly, the term is indeed subjective, yet it doesn’t make it any less valuable. Radical design and performance have long gone hand-in-hand with motorcycle building, be it from Honda’s special HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) wing to a builder working in subzero temperatures in Russia.
A few years back, we looked at a dozen bikes that blew us away, and we thought it was time to go for another round. With that in mind, here are another 15 examples that we consider among the most extreme motorcycles on the planet—each a game-changer, a leader in its field or just something so outrageous that it qualifies by default. You might want to wear a helmet.
PHOTO : PHOTO: COURTESY OF HONDA MOTOR COMPANY, LTD.
In 2015, Honda released the approx. $262,000 RC213 V-S. Based heavily off Marc Marquez’s 2013 MotoGP World Championship–winning RC213 V, the V-S remains the closest thing anyone can buy to a real MotoGP racer for the street.
The motorcycle was neutered when it came to America, limited to just 75kW so it could get through testing. But Honda also released a full HRC Sport Kit for the V-S that unlocked all 160kW from the 1000cc V-4. Couple this with HRC’s best possible production chassis, and you have a sports motorcycle without peer.
PHOTO : PHOTO: COURTESY OF VYRUS.
Vyrus Alyen 988
Italian custom stalwart Vyrus is not known for subtlety, with bikes sporting its trademark double swingarm/hub-centre-steering suspension set up. But the Alyen 988, released in March, is over-the-top even for Vyrus.
A Ducati Panigale 1299 motor is wrapped in a magnesium Omega chassis and cloaked in load-bearing carbon-fibre bodywork that, when layered in the uni-direction format, has the appearance of high-quality woodgrain. The entire package rolls on carbon-fibre Rotobox wheels. With the look of a frilled-neck lizard transformed into a motorcycle, the Alyen 988 won’t be for everyone, but we’re very glad shops like Vyrus still exist.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF MV AGUSTA MOTOR S.P.A.
MV Agusta F4 LH44
Formula 1’s Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with MV Agusta and, over the years, has released a number of motorcycles bearing his famous LH44 label. But none have come close to the visual feast that is the MV Agusta F4 LH44.
Based heavily off the WorldSBK race replica F4 RC—in fact, it is the same bike, just with incredible paint—the LH44 retails for nearly twice the price as the F4 RC at approx. $95,000. However, when you see an LH44 in the flesh, any thoughts of it not being worth the extra cash go out the window. The red and black paint is a true masterpiece from MV Agusta, so much so that it would almost be a shame to get it dirty by riding…almost.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF INDIAN MOTORCYCLE.
Appaloosa: A Nitro Drag racer From Indian Motorcycle
Commissioned by Indian Motorcycle Europe’s head office to race in first the Sultans of Sprint series and later the Baikal Mile ice sprints in Siberia, this Appaloosa is about as far removed from the donor machine as you could get.
A dustbin fairing encapsulates a custom chassis, swingarm and motor that’s got an extra 22k shot of nitrous at its disposal when flying down the strip. With tyres wrapped in studs and 97kW on hand, this has to be the most extreme Indian build we’ve seen for many years.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF CUSTOM WORKS ZON.
The ‘Stealth Crow’ BMW K 1600 B by Custom Works Zon.
The K 1600 B is basically a brattier version of the gentlemanly K 160 GTL touring motorcycle from BMW, but even the stock 1600 B can’t hold a candle to the machine emanating from Japan’s motorcycle house, Custom Works Zon. What’s impressive is that every part you see here bolts to a standard BMW chassis. Designed to give the look of a monocoque, the ‘Stealth Crow’, as CW Zon calls it, is an otherworldly design exercise to see just what can be done with a standard chassis. The result is a breathtaking journey in carbon-fibre manufacturing, and a machine that looks unlike anything else on the road.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HAZAN MOTORWORKS.
The Musket by Hazan Motorworks
Based in Los Angeles, custom builder Max Hazan designs machines that have been flooring the motorcycle industry for the past few years, and he continues to carve out an artistic niche few can match.
One of Hazan’s most famous designs is the Musket. It’s built around two 500cc Royal Enfield single-cylinder motors cast together by Ohio-based Royal Enfield motor modifier Aniket Vardhan. Every other piece you see here, aside from the wheels and tires, was created by Hazan, including the tank, fenders, frame and seat unit. Made to order, of course, the model is rumoured to run for approx. $256,000.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF LAZARETH.
Lazareth LM 847
French custom dynamo Ludovic Lazareth gets his kicks by making truly outrageous designs, but none have been as outlandish as the LM 847. Built around a 350kW V8 Maserati motor with four single-sided swingarms, rim-mounted brakes and hub-centre steering, the LM 847 is essentially a leaning quad bike, just one with about 10 times the power. At 2.6-metre in length and weighing 400kg, the Lazareth LM 847 easily takes the mantle as the most extreme quad bike we’ve ever seen.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF BARESTEEL DESIGN.
Stingray by Baresteel Design
Electric motorcycles are very much in vogue with the world’s custom builders right now, and British Columbia’s Baresteel Design has pushed the limits of the market segment further with the incredible Stingray. Designed for the Haas Moto Museum & Sculpture Gallery in Dallas, Tex., Jay Donovan crafted an electric masterpiece with hints of retro, modern and futuristic café racer.
“I wasn’t sure what that was going to look like but I was very curious about the relationship between quality and modern technology, Donovan told pipeburn.com. “And I knew that I wanted to expand my understanding of design and engineering, their boundaries, both hard and soft, and their dynamic and philosophical relationship to one another.”
PHOTO: COURTESY OF KAWASAKI HEAVY INDUSTRIES LTD.
Kawasaki Ninja H2 R
Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a major international transport company, with a board of directors and various shareholders it answers to. As such, it makes the existence of the H2 R even more amazing, for this is a 998 cc supercharged production motorcycle—and one that comes with a factory warranty. The H2 R is the halo machine in Kawasaki’s lineup. It’s a 231kW monster, complete with the rattlesnake hiss of the supercharger, and reserved for only the bravest and skilled of riders.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF BANDIT9.
Eve Lux by Bandit9
Daryl Villanueva of Bandit9, located in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, is no stranger to the pages of Robb Report. We’ve featured his numerous times, consistently blown away by is avant-garde custom motorcycles. Commissioned by Hong Kong luxury retailer Lane Crawford, Eve runs an engine that is, frankly, the opposite of extreme—a 1967 Honda SuperSport 125cc single-cylinder motor. But it’s wrapped in Villanueva’s pressed steel chassis and sci-fi-inspired one-piece bodywork.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROLAND SANDS DESIGN.
KRV5 Tracker by Roland Sands Design
There are customs, and then there are customs from Roland Sands Design. And there’s never been a Roland Sands build quite like the KRV5 Tracker. This board track–inspired treasure uses a genuine Proton KR5 MotoGP motor as its heart, donated by American racing legend Kenny Roberts, encased in a minimalistic tubular steel chassis and garish green and red paint. No one before or since has created a custom motorcycle using a real MotoGP motor, making the RSD KRV5 Tracker one of the most bar-raising builds we’ve ever seen.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF EASTERN BOBBER CUSTOM CYCLE.
Bone X by Eastern Bobber Custom Cycle
Where does one start with the Bone X by Eastern Bobber Custom Cycle? The motorized piece of abstract art was created by Omar Jumiran in his workshop in Malaysia and uses a 1961 AJS 350 cc single-cylinder engine. The machine also features a single-sided swingarm front and rear suspension setup and 21-inch billet 6061 CNC-machined wheels. Demonstrating Jumiran’s creative vision and master craftsmanship, the Bone X took second place in the 2018 AMD World Championships for Custom Motorcycles.
PHOTO : PHOTO: COURTESY OF ZILLERS GARAGE.
Zillers Garage BMW R nineT
Dmitry Golubchikov of Moscow-based Zillers Garage used the start of 2020 to launch one of his most ambitious projects to date—this shape-shifting BMW R nineT. Keeping the stock BMW motor and not much else, the Zillers machine can change heights at the push of a button, using a pneumatic system to raise and lower the motorcycle’s stance. The body is a total deviation from Zillers usual style that leaves the motor free of a fairing and in open view. The inspiration for this custom comes from the world of aviation.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF BLACKSTONE TEK.
South Africa’s Blackstone Tek (BST) is one of the leading lights in carbon-fibre technology, mainly focusing on wheel production for cars and motorcycles. Yet in 2019, it teamed with another famous South African, Pierre Terblanche, the man responsible for the Ducati Supermono (among many other designs).
The result of the collaboration is the all-electric BST-HyperTEK. powered by a DHX Hawk electric motor that produces 80kW and 119Nm of instant torque. The BST-HyperTek is paired with its own Cross X1 smart helmet, where all the bike’s critical information is flashed up on the visor for a data presentation as futuristic looking as the bike itself.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF THRIVE MOTORCYCLE.
Thrive T 22 Synthesis
To build a custom motorcycle, you have to loosen the grip on convention. To build a custom dragster, you have to let go completely. Indonesia’s Thrive Motorcycle has done just that with its T 22 Synthesis. No longer recognizable from the donor Kawasaki Ninja 150 RR it was born from, the T 22 Synthesis is a twin-engine two-stroke dragster totalling 300cc, wrapped in aluminium tubing for the chassis and a monocoque body—just like the halo drag bikes of the 1960s.