No compromise | Top 10 Ultimate Track Only Motorcycles

There are dream motorcycles... and then there are ultra-exclusive, ultra-hoon track-only motorcycles for the ultimate wannabe racers among us

MV Agusta F3 XX

If you think motorcycles are becoming more expensive and more inaccessible to us mere mortals that don’t own companies and trade in stocks, then the rise of the circuit-only, track day toy is taking things to a new level.

Indeed, not only are these special honed weapons are the specialist of special, you can’t even ride them home.

But that is the point… these are motorcycles that showcase a manufacturer’s innovation and instincts without having to worry about those encroaching emissions regulations and pesky wing mirrors.

The latest track-only motorcycle to drop is the KTM RC 8C, a special 800cc sportsbike from the Austrian manufacturer that honours its success in Moto2 and MotoGP. Only 100 were available and they were snapped up in less than five minutes… 

In short, there is clearly a market for ultra-exclusive playthings for those that can afford/justify it. Here we take a look at 10 examples of motorcycles that don’t make everyday sense in the best possible way.

* prices as new

1993 Ducati Supermono [$30,000]

Much, obviously, has been made of Ducati’s 916 V-twin but less well-known is its track-only, single-cylinder little brother, the 550cc, single-cylinder Supermono. 

Built purely as a racer aimed at the then popular eponymous Supermono/Sound of Singles series, it featured many of the innovations that featured on the 916 but was also ultra-light via the extensive use of carbon fibre (such as in the airbox, bodywork, sub frame and even fuel tank).

With 65bhp on tap from a desmo four-valve single that was effectively half an 888 racing V-twin, the Supermono was equipped with the very best in cycle parts (Ohlins suspension, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes etc) and is by many considered the purest Ducati ‘desmo’ ever built. 

Unfortunately, it’s also very rare – just 67 being built up to 1995 – and pricey. Back in the day it was $30,000 new. Today they usually go for £70,000+

2006 Harley-Davidson VRXSE V-Rod ‘Destroyer’ [$19,995]

Here’s one you probably didn’t know about. Created for the drag strip rather than the race track, per se, the Harley-Davidson VRXSE was arguably the fastest production H-D ever built. 

A production drag racer (the US has a huge drag racing scene) based on the now defunct V-Rod, the VRXSE was developed by Harley’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) along with Screamin’ Eagle (hence the ‘SE’ bit)

It produced a decent 165bhp, was capable of a claimed 144mph and cost $19,995. 

Originally, just 150 were going to be built but it proved so popular 600 were finally made.

2015 Honda RC213V-S [£137,000]

Arguably the most famous and desirable production MotoGP replica of all, the Honda RC213V-S was actually sold in road-legal trim, but was necessarily emasculated to 159bhp. 

However it also came with a track-only Sport Kit including race pipe which raised the output (and noise) of the MotoGP-derived V4 to a whopping 215bhp which, along with its featherlight 170kg dry weight, ultra-compact size and race-spec suspension, brakes and wheels, truly gives the closest experience to a MotoGP bike mere mortals can buy. 

As long as you had the £137,000 required and weren’t too put off by the inoffensive styling, that is…

2015 Kawasaki H2R [£41,000]

Arguably one of the most extreme and astonishing motorcycles of recent years, Kawasaki’s supercharged H2 family has been simply sensational.

First launched in 2015 two models were made available: the £22,000, road-legal, 210bhp H2 and this, the ‘track only’ (although we’re still not sure what kind of track Kawasaki had in mind), fully de-restricted, 310bhp, £41,000 H2R. 

Not only more powerful than the road H2, the H2R is also lighter, being sprinkled with carbon fibre, better equipped (with Ohlins suspension etc) and, unsurprisingly, faster, too, being capable of over 200mph. 

It might not be much of a racer, but as a track-only missile, few motorcycles are faster or more exciting.

2017 BMW HP4 Race [£68,000]

Forget this year’s up-specced M1000RR, the 2017, track-only HP4 Race is the ultimate S1000RR – even if it’s now based on the old version. 

A £68,000, limited edition, track-only version of the then RR, the HP4 got the very best of everything including carbon fibre frame and bodywork, alloy tank, full race 2D dash, full-WorldSBK spec suspension and brakes, uprated electronics and tuned engine to, quite literally, be the best S1000RR of the era. 

The result was 215bhp, ultra-light 171kg weight and the very best components. Sure, just 750 were made, it was designed purely to give BMW an edge in racing and it’s eye-wateringly expensive, but if you want the closest experience you can buy to a full-on WorldSBK machine, this is it.

2019 MV Agusta F3 XX [If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it…]

Italian exotica legends MV Agusta have built its heritage on track success so it’s no surprise to see it here. 

The MV Agusta F3 XX is a full-on, track-only version of the F3 800 triple developed by MV’s racing department, ‘Reparto Corse’ (which literally translates as ‘Department of racing’). 

Unsurprisingly it’s dripping in carbon fibre, has a proper, race AiM dash, special SC-Project 3:1 pipe, a tuned engine producing a claimed 160CV, uprated Marzocchi forks with Ohlins cartridge and an Ohlins TTX shock at the rear, plus top-spec Brembo brakes and Marchesini wheels, you get the idea. 

In fact, the only thing they wouldn’t boast about was the price, which was only revealed to serious enquiries. Can’t be cheap then…

2019 Aprilia RSV4 X [€39,950]

You might assume the most extreme, track-only, Italian superbikes comes from the likes of Ducati or MV Agusta – but think again. 

The Aprilia RSV4X was launched in 2019 as an ultimate, track-only version of its already stupendous RSV4 superbike and, with a full 225bhp from its race-tuned 1100cc V4, weight of just 165kg dry due to extensive carbon and the lack of road gear, uprated electronics (they were among the best in the first place) and the very best in cycle parts, it was certainly that. 

It also was ultra rare – just 10 (hence the X) were built, each available at a heady €39,950, but then, if you want the best… 

Following that bike’s success, Aprilia followed it up with an equally exotic, track-only version of its Tuono V4, too – the Tuono V4X.

2021 Ducati Superleggara V4 [€86,000]

If you thought Ducati’s ‘everyday’ range was at the more extreme end already, then the Ducati Superleggara V4 is amps things up to eleven.

Technically, this isn’t a track-only model and those that can afford the startlingly expensive €86,000 asking price will no doubt want to parade it on every promenade they can find, but it is only the track where they hyper sportsbike deserves to spend its days.

Possibly the closest thing to a MotoGP machine you can buy without actually competing in it, the Ducati Superleggara is wafer light at 159kg, offers a skin-peeling 234bhp and is lavished with all manner of tech and carved wings to keep you sunny side up.

It’s not entirely uncompromising on the road though you’ll need all the patience in the world not to be tempted to break a few laws with so much raw grunt at your fingertips. 

This belongs on the track because only then will you be able to get every cent of that huge price tag.

2021 Yamaha R6 Race [£12,099]

Here’s one that’s become ‘track only’ more by accident than design – but is still a tempting option for track addicts. 

Yamaha’s R6 has historically been the fastest, most nimble and arguably best-on-track of all the Japanese supersports 600s and remains the machine of choice both in WSS and at the TT. 

The latest, restyled and uprated version debuted in 2017 but disappointed slightly in road trim by necessarily being restricted to 116bhp, although well over 120bhp is possible with a track pipe. 

For 2021, however, it proved unable to economically reconfigure it to meet the new Euro5 regulations so has been retained, in mildly modded form (no indicators, mirrors etc) as the track-only R6 Race, for £12,099 which, considering the prices of some of the alternatives here, makes it one of the most affordable ‘track-only’ bikes of all.

2021 KTM RC 8C [£31,000]

Which brings us bang up to date and where we started, ie with KTM’s mouth-watering new RC 8C. It’s based around the punchy, 890 Duke R twin cylinder engine with a bespoke frame with adjustable headstock and cycle parts which include, inevitably, the very best WP suspension and Brembo brakes. 

The ‘meat and potatoes’ of all that is 126bhp hauling round just 140kg, which makes for lively performance by anyone’s definition. 

While, with just 100 being made for a whopping £31,000 a pop means they’re bound to remain fairly exclusive, too. 

But then, if you’re after a mind-melting, crowd-pulling, track-only racer, isn’t that just as it should be?