Does Anyone Actually Care About Uber-Exclusive Special Edition Models?

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Almost every major motorcycle manufacturer offers some sort of special or limited edition model, something with a little extra pizzazz beyond the run-of-the-mill production model. Whether it’s an anniversary paint job, or dressed up in items from the accessory catalog, special edition models give us something a little, well, “special”.

Some manufacturers, however, go a step further, with special edition models at sky-high prices, that somehow still manage to sell out in a matter of minutes. We’re not talking about up-spec variants like BMW’s M models or the latest Harley-Davidson CVOs. These aren’t inexpensive motorcycles, but the ones we’re talking about are in an entirely different stratosphere.

No, we’re talking about bikes like the Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini, or the KTM 1290 Duke-based Brabus 1300 or the Ducati (again) Diavel for Bentley. You can get two M 1000RRs for the price of a single Diavel for Bentley, and almost have room to throw in a G 310 R as an impulse buy because it was sitting next to the check-out aisle.

For the most part, these are tie-in models with a luxury brand, where exclusivity is the point. Motorcycles are meant to be ridden, but even KTM’s calls the latest Brabus 1300 R a “Masterpiece Edition” and the supplied press photos have them on display in an art gallery. When was the last time you saw one of these on the road?

So, for the Question of the Day, we ask you: do you actually care about these exclusive, pricey special edition models?

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 22 comments
  • Mike buhler Mike buhler on Feb 21, 2024

    Collectibles are strange things but the people who want them will spend the $$. Obviously a Bentley branded machine is for a special level of customer.

  • John Stockman John Stockman 7 days ago

    I'm in agreement with the others about motorcycles are very dynamic and must be ridden. A motorcycle as art, of course it's art. The mechanical engineering and aesthetic value is always present to me. It's purpose to me is to be ridden, a lot. Art motorcycles usually don't handle well, are uncomfortable to ride, and the only purpose is looks. I've had the chance to ride some of those that were made solely for presentation, not riding performance. Not ride-able at all. Now some of these shown here are not choppers and probably handle well and perform. Like was mentioned, I'd rather have a garage full of different bikes I could ride for hundreds of miles any time, than the cost of one CVO or some of these 6-figure options. Nice thing is, there are choices no matter how much you have to spend. Almost all the motorcycles I've owned were fixer-uppers that needed various levels of repairs. From non-running beaters that required complete rebuilds to those that needed some TLC to get them on the road again. It's very satisfying to do all the repairs and rebuilding so you have a bike that's reliable for tens of thousands of miles. It's part of the experience for me, wrenching and riding. My first brand new bike was a Ural Tourist I bought in 2007, after 25 years of riding the bikes I had to repair so I could ride them.