Future Classics: Motorcycles to Buy and Hold in 2023

2023 Future Classic Motorcycles
What makes a brand new motorcycle a worthy investment? If you’re buying off the showroom floor, you’re definitely playing the long game, as most will depreciate significantly the second you sign the dotted line. Beyond that, the future is uncertain, and few know what the manufacturers will build in coming years or what trends will age better than others.

If you’re investing in 2023, one approach is to analyze what bikes are rare and significant now, and predict whether they’ll beat the appreciation of your average machine. Without a crystal ball to account for these things, we’ll rank the following motorcycles according to the advice of another wise sphere—the Magic 8 Ball—fitting right?

BMW R NineT 100 Years
BMW R NineT 100 Years
Anniversary edition bikes come out all the time, but when a storied marque like BMW celebrates a centennial, I wouldn’t sleep on it. In honor of the occasion, BMW Motorrad added two limited-edition 100 Years models to the Heritage lineup, the R 18 and R NineT. Limited to 1,923 units, and a brilliant representation of riding in 2023, I’d take the R NineT.

BMW R NineT 100 Years
Boasting spoked wheels and a timeless 1,170 cc air/oil-cooled boxer engine, the standard BMW R NineT will likely age better than most cruisers or naked bikes. But long before your average R Nine starts to appreciate, the 100 Years model will probably have doubled, given its unique specification and place in BMW history.

The added flavor of the 100 Years model is mostly cosmetic, consisting of 100 Years badging, special finishes and a number of BMW’s Option 719 milled parts. While you could spec-out a regular R NineT with most of these parts, the badging and paint-over-chrome finish are special, the latter of which takes inspiration from the 1969 R 75/5.

BMW R NineT 100 Years
Sure, you’ll pay an extra $4,050 for the R NineT 100 Years edition, and that might not be worth it for everyone. But when it comes to an investment-grade motorcycle, the $19,995 MSRP is pretty cheap for a bike that’s sure to be desirable in the coming decades. Jostle the Magic 8 Ball, and this one comes back ‘signs point to yes.’ [BMW Motorrad]

Ducati Panigale V4 R
Ducati Panigale V4 R
Why would someone pay $20 million for a 1995 McLaren F1? For one, because it’s awesome, but also because it’s a halo car from a golden era before electronics and boost completely ruled the roost. There are plenty of super bikes out there that fit this logic, but I’m thinking the F1’s current two-wheeled counterpart is the Ducati Panigale V4 R.

In Ducati’s words, the Panigale V4 R is “the closest production model to a competition bike ever,” and they’ve got a compelling case. At the crank, the 998 cc Desmosedici Stradale R engine produces 240.5 hp and turns 16,500 rpm in sixth gear—when equipped with the track exhaust setup and special Ducati/Shell Course oil naturally.

Ducati Panigale V4 R
The V4 R’s spec sheet is a gearhead’s treasure chest, including lightweight magnesium wheels, brushed aluminum fuel tank, gun-drilled titanium connecting rods, titanium intake valves and aluminum pistons with a DLC (diamond like carbon) treatment applied to the skirts. Then you’ve got a single-sided swingarm, Brembos, adjustable Öhlins shocks and multiple performance and track modes—the list goes on and on.

Ducati Panigale V4 R
Production numbers haven’t been published, but we’re told the bike will be a numbered series with each bike bearing its sequence number on the billet triple tree. A technical masterpiece clothed in a brilliant MotoGP livery, the Ducati Panigale V4 R is, and will always be expensive. MSRP comes in at $44,995, which is up there, but a far cry from the $100k Club. Will a mint-condition V4 R return handsomely on its investment someday? The 8 Ball replies ‘outlook good.’ [Ducati]

2023 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Highway King
Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Highway King
1968 called, and they want their FLH back. How about the opposite? With the charming aesthetic of Harley’s classic deluxe touring models, the 2023 Electra Glide Highway King is a time machine with modern Milwaukee-Eight performance.

Starting in 2021, Harley has been unveiling limited-edition throwback models as part of their Icons Collection, and the 2023 Highway King is a total knockout. The model builds on the current single-spar touring chassis and Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, with two ’60s-era color schemes of Hi-Fi Orange and Hi-Fi Magenta.

2023 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Highway King
Beyond just flashy paint, you get all the chrome, white walls, period fender designs and badges that made these bikes iconic. The saddle takes its shape from HD’s patrol bikes, and is accented by a unique chrome ring. The saddle bags are white, just like they used to be, and the detachable windshield comes with color-matched tint on the lower half.

This one certainly ticks the box for classic, but what about the future? Well, the Highway King is a 2023-only model, and just 1,750 will be built—1,000 in Hi-Fi Orange and 750 in Hi-Fi Magenta, and then it’s gone. The HD fanbase is far and wide, especially for nostalgia items. For this one, the 8 Ball reads ‘it is decidedly so,’ especially in magenta. [More]

Norton V4SV
Norton V4SV
Norton, there’s an interesting choice given recent history involving pension fund schemes, financial issues and the problematic V4SS. Recently acquired by TVS Motor, the new Norton is set to right the wrongs of recent years, and restore the brand’s status as a premium British marque. For this, the new V4SV makes a compelling argument.

The flagship of the new Norton, the V4SV looks a lot like the old V4SS, and shares much of its dimensions and specifications as well. But after thoroughly analyzing the bike and compiling a list of over 30 design faults, it was clear new Norton would have to go back to square one.

Norton V4SV
Among the lengthy list, the team addressed the issue of faulty welding in the chassis and swingarm. Both items were reworked, and the new chassis is TIG-welded aluminum and fully hand polished, contributing massively to the bike’s character. Its 1,200 cc V4 engine was also completely re-engineered, and while it’s down to 185 bhp (compared to the V4SS at 200 bhp), the 72-degree V4 provides manageable, torquey performance for the street.

Equipped with big radial Brembos, adjustable Öhlins and a full assortment of carbon fiber, billet aluminum and a little kevlar for good measure, Norton’s V4SV is certainly a work of functional art. While the V4SV will always be compared to the Ducati Panigale V4 (where it won’t win on paper), the Norton brings something different to the table, chalk it up to soul.

Norton V4SV
With an MSRP of $53,037, investing in the V4SV is a bit of a gamble, but one that could pay dividends if it becomes the bike to turn things around for Norton. For this one, the Magic 8 Ball replies “cannot predict now.” [Norton]

MV Agusta Rush 1000
MV Agusta Rush 1000
Talk about a hyper naked! The stout and stocky aesthetic of the MV Agusta Rush is probably a love it or hate it sort of thing, but considering you’ve got 208 hp on tap and a top end of over 187 mph, the MV is much more than just a funky look.

MV Agusta debuted the Rush back in 2021 as a hot, 300-unit limited edition based on the 1,000 cc Brutale 1000 RR. Boasting 13.4:1 compression, DLC-coated cam followers, four 50 mm Mikuni throttle bodies and radial valve distribution, the Rush’s inline four is rated at 208 hp at 13,000 RPM and 86 lb-ft at 11,000 RPM. Unsatisfied? Check the box for the race kit and output is up to 212 hp at 13,500 RPM.

MV Agusta Rush 1000
The rest of the machine is riddled with top-of-the-line components to handle the grunt, including radial Brembos, Continental ABS, Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa rubber and an electronically-controlled Öhlins NIX EC fork, TTX EC rear shock and steering dampener. Its six-axis IMU is also a premium unit, which controls the bike’s cornering ABS, traction control, cruise control, launch control and wheelie control.

MV hasn’t shared many details about the 2023 Rush, other than that it comes in new Mamba Red/Intense Black colors, and there’s no word on if its production numbers will be limited like the 2021 version. Either way, the MV Agusta Rush is a pretty spectacular street machine with outlandish show and go, but will it appreciate enough to eventually offset its $45,598 MSRP? The 8 Ball is hesitant on this one, and returns ‘reply hazy, try again.’ [MV Agusta]

MV Agusta Rush 1000

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