Sit back, relax and ride... The 10 Most Luxurious motorcycles for 2021

Is there really such a thing as a luxurious motorcycle? In the year 2020 there certainly is... as this rundown of the 10 most lavish two-wheelers testify

While there is certainly truth in the well-worn cliche ‘less is more’, as with many things in our consumerist culture ‘more’ is also very often ‘better’.

The same goes for motorcycling because while we peer through rose-tinted glasses at a more basic era of riding, truth is many crave that dash of luxury modern motoring affords us. And there is nothing wrong with that.

However, when it comes to what we term here as ‘luxury’ motorcycling, we’re perhaps striking at an oxymoron. Exposure to the elements, none of the associated creature comforts of its four-wheel counterparts and not much space left when you’ve factored in the engine and the rider, lavishness isn’t exactly a byword for motorcycling.

Here then, we’re more interested in the extravagance, the excess. We’re talking about sheer indulgence and one-upmanship and, considering the year we’ve all had, we also thought we’re thoroughly entitled to more than a little luxury dreaming around Christmas time, too. 

So, here’s our current pick of the ‘most’ – in price ascending order. And because we make the rules in our own fantasties, we’ll have three of each. In every colour.

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 (£19,999)

A Moto Guzzi? Luxurious? ‘Shurely shome mishtake’ ? But no. 

We agree, there was a time not too long ago when most Moto Guzzis would struggle to be considered as credible motorcycles, let alone luxurious ones, but things have been changing under Piaggio ownership at Mandello del Lario on the banks of beautiful Lake Como – and the MGX-21 is the extravagant, most lavish result. 

Basically a high-end ‘Bagger’ designed for the US market by Miguel Galluzzi its’ based on the 95bhp 1380cc California but gets a total restyle c/o carbon fibre engine covers, bodywork, even the shrouds on the bigger 21inch (hence the name) front wheel. 

OK, that’s about your lot, which is why its first on the list and the most affordable, here. But there’s still riding modes, comfort, luggage, a fairing, bags of Italian style and exotic materials – and who would have said that of a Moto Guzzi just a few years ago?

Triumph Rocket 3 GT (from £20,200)

Triumph’s all-new-for-2020, reinvented Rocket3 is truly a wonder of modern motorcycling with pretty much the ‘most’ of everything

Its all-new, monster 2458cc triple produces a whopping 165bhp along with an even more impressive 163ftlb of torque; there’s a massive 240-section rear tyre; masses of electronics to keep it all under control and the GT version even comes with a pillion backrest, fly screen and heated grips. 

It all works brilliantly, too, so much so you question why anyone would want any more. Except, in terms of true, sumptuous, indulgent comfort, of the type with deep heated seats, adjustable screens, sound systems and more, we do…

BMW K1600GTL (from £20,270)

It’s nothing short of astonishing to realise that BMW’s ‘wunder-tourer’, the six-cylinder, full-dress K1600GTL, has now been around for a full decade, having first been launched in 2011. It was so advanced at the time it’s only now, and only in a few areas, starting to date. 

But that gives a clue as to why the Bavarian wonder features here – it’s so packed full, not just of performance and comfort but of ground-breaking tech and clever detailing that it was always going to feature in any round up of luxury machines. 

Even if you gloss over the immense, super-smooth, 160bhp performance of that 1649cc six, and ignore its size-defyingly brilliant handling, you’ve got: adjustable screen, ESA, heated grips, heated seats, central locking, three-box luggage, 4-speaker stereo, the list goes on, and on, and on… 

Admittedly a fair chunk of those, it being a BMW, are pricey optional extras and the K16’s part LCD dash is now out-dated, but it’s still a lavishly luxurious machine…

MV Agusta Turismo Veloce RC (from €22,990 (£20,876) )

Bike brands don’t get much more exotic than historic, glorious, flawed MV Agusta, so it was perhaps inevitable that the Italian legends should feature here. 

What may be a surprise, however, is the bike we’ve chosen to put in. Its latest, the new Brutale 1000, may be flash, exotic and expensive, but it’s so aggressive and minimalist it can hardly be described as ‘luxurious’. Nor can the Varese firm’s limited edition Rush. 

So instead we’ve gone for MV’s arguably only practical bike – the sports-tourer Turismo Veloce. Yes, it’s ‘only’ an 800cc triple, but its also slathered with electronics, the SCS version has MV’s clever ‘clutchless’ gear change, features a colour TFT screen, electronically-controlled suspension, auto-blipper, cruise-control plus there are optional panniers and more. 

While in RC trim it’s also got carbon, forged wheels and more power. Yes, admittedly it’s not as quick, slick or refined as, say, Ducati’s new V4 Multistrada and some may argue it’s little more than a tarted up Tracer 900 but make no mistake, this is a genuine MV with as much luxury and spec possible.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE + Performance Tourer (from £23,649)

If Kawasaki’s latest, top spec version of its incredible, supercharged sports-tourer, the H2 SX, isn’t quite the bike with the longest list of luxuries here then it certainly is the one with the longest name. 

Three versions of the H2 SX are now available, the base 197bhp model, the up-specced SE with colour TFT dash, fancy paint, riding lights etc and the ‘+’ which also gets semi-active Showa suspension. See? In terms of spec we’re getting there. 

The Performance and Tourer accessory packs, meanwhile, add an Akrapovic pipe, panniers, inners bags, tank pad and GPS bracket. Simply, no sports-tourer has more – and certainly not that whistling, addictive and blisteringly fast supercharger.

BMW K1600 Grand America (from £23,825)

Now we’re talking. If you thought BMW’s K1600GTL was already pretty impressive in terms of luxury (and it is) the ‘Grand America’ version, introduced in 2018, goes further still, which is not surprising, really, as it’s aimed at Americans. 

It’s based on the K1600B (B for Bagger) which itself was introduced in 2016 as a slightly restyled, more laid-back ‘bagger’ version of the K1600GT with more streamlined panniers, different fairing and a lowered rear end. 

The Grand America took the B and added a top box and as a result pretty much has it all – all the stuff from the GTL but more swoopy design, footboards, central locking, adaptive headlight, the list goes on. 

Again, as with the GTL, some of that, in true BMW style, is only available as extra cost accessories while its dash is also looking dated but in terms of spec, luxury and comfort, BMWs don’t come with anything more.

Indian Roadmaster Limited (from £26,499)

Revived historic American brand Indian has really taken the fight to American rivals Harley since its relaunch by new owners Polaris in 2014. Its ‘Thunderstroke’ V-twin powered big twins are a match for machines like the H-D Road King and its smaller 1200cc Scout has the beating of Harley’s Sportsters. 

The Roadmaster, however, is the most luxurious of the bunch being Indian’s full-monty, full-dresser rival to Harley’s iconic ElectraGlide tourer. 

They haven’t done it by halves, either, being noticeably bigger all-round than the Glide, slightly quicker, upholstered with a proper leather seats complete with frills besides having all the expected luxuries such as vast three-box luggage, heated (and cooled) seats, flashy TFT screen controlled ‘Infotainment’ system and more. 

The counter-intuitively named ‘Limited’ is the top spec model and it even has a five-year warranty. Told you Americans always do things ‘bigger’.

Ducati Diavel 1260 ‘Lamborghini’ (from £27,795)

Ducati’s brilliant Diavel performance cruiser already had a lot – redefining the class when it was first introduced in 2011 due to its combination of superbike performance, Multistrada-style modes and electronics and impressive spec. 

The Italian company raised the bar further with its second generation, 1260 version from 2019 which also had variable valve timing and all-round uprated spec, while the recently-announced, limited edition (just 630 will be built) is the most luxurious, high spec version yet (as it should be considering the price).

For that you get special forged wheels and livery, carbon fibre body panels etc to go with its Ohlins suspension, top spec Brembo M50 brakes, quickshifter, class-leading electronics, full colour TFT screen and more. 

Some cruisers may be more comfortable but they don’t come with any more tech and sophistication than this. 

Honda GL1800 GoldWing DCT (from £30,699)

Be honest: you knew the ‘Wing would be in here somewhere, didn’t you? Honda’s class-defining full-dress tourer set the standard for motorcycling luxury ever since the first Interstate and Aspencade models in the early 1980s. 

When it grew from four-cylinders to six with the all-new GL1500 in 1988, Honda raised the bar so high with its smooth engine, reverse gear, fully integrated, central-locking luggage, sumptuous comfort including a stereo and more, it saw off all rivals. 

More recently, however, BMW K1600 had snatched its crown prompting the arrival of this all-new 1800cc version in 2018 and, boy, what a bike it is. In simple terms it’d probably be easier to talk about what it hasn’t got than what it has. 125bhp, size-defying handling, massive TFT display, heated everything, fully integrated luggage, adjustable screen, the works. 

But what truly sets the latest ‘Wing above the average in terms of luxury is its unique semi-automatic DCT option and, even better still, option of an airbag. Now that’s class.

Harley-Davidson CVO Limited (from £35,595)

Harley’s full-dress tourer set the standard for luxury when it was first introduced in the early 1960s with luggage and electric start (hence the name) and it’s been continually raising the bar ever since. 

Honda’s GoldWing may have usurped it for performance and tech from the mid-1980s but in recent years Harley have seriously raised their game. The result today, although looking familiar and still powered by a push-rod, 45-degree V-twin has far more sophistication and luxury than you might expect. 

Those engines are now partially liquid-cooled, brakes are by Brembo, suspension by Showa. There are electric screens, flashy, fully-integrated TFT ‘Infotainment systems and three-box luggage with central locking. To be fair, all of that is pretty much a given. 

But Harley also produce, in limited quantities, a special ‘CVO’ hand customized version (CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations) and their CVO Limited ‘Glide raises the luxury bar even further. 

Not only does it get a special 117ci 105bhp engine there’s also special paint, exclusive alloy wheels, uprated electronic riding aids, heated grips and an uprated ‘Boombox’ stereo. 

It’s no ultra-high tech Goldwing or 160bhp K1600, but in terms of hand applied class on the most historic luxury bike of all, it doesn’t get any better.
 

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