The $100k Club: Three Boutique Motorcycles with Six-Figure Prices

Arch 1s and Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro
Motorcycles have long been the cheap way to go fast, but in today’s world of excess and insane tech, the concept of a bike with a six-figure MSRP is old news. Consider the Ducati Superleggera V4, Honda RC213V-S, Mike Hailwood NCR MH TT and numerous others.

Across the majority of these machines, novelty and trickle-down race technology abound. But these days we’re seeing a new way to build a motorcycle worthy of $100k. These three fresh six-figure offerings from Praga, Arch and Aston Martin & Brough Superior vouch for a new boutique bike experience, boasting exclusivity, image and varying levels of technology.

Which begs the question: which (if any) of these rides is worth punching a six-figure ticket?

Limited Edition Praga ZS 800
Praga ZS 800 Everything old is new again, and in the case of a sultry, record-setting 500 cc twin-cam from the 1930s, history was worth repeating for Czech Republic-based Praga. In the wake of Praga’s new high-tech Bohemia supercar, the company also unveiled the new ZS 800 as a limited-edition bobber packed with exotic materials and trick engineering, all wrapped up in an evocative package.

The price of entry? $92,000.

Praga ZS 800, Praga BD 500, Praga Bohemia
There’s a thin line when mixing nostalgia and modern technology, and the crew at Praga have done a tremendous job at creating a modern bobber that hasn’t forgotten its roots. In spirit, the ZS 800 is a modern interpretation of the first bike to wear the Prada badge — the storied BD 500. Praga had been building automobiles and components in Prague since 1907. But in 1929, the company purchased ČKD’s motorcycle business, and along with it came the work of a bright young designer named Jaroslav František Koch.

Koch had designed a brilliant 500cc dual overhead cam, single-cylinder bike back at ČKD, and Praga readily rebranded it as the Praga BD 500. The 15 hp single allowed the BD 500 to reach 65 mph, and Koch himself set a record on the bike by traveling from Rome to Prague in 35 hours and 40 minutes.

Praga ZS 800 Motorcycle
Fast forward nearly 100 years, and Praga is back to building cars, this time the high-tech Bohemia supercar. While he wasn’t working on the Bohemia, engineer ​​Jan Žuži dabbled with the concept of a modern ode to the BD 500, and somewhere along the way, the higher ups at Praga got on board with the project. No stranger to two wheels, we can see Žuži and his fellow designers threw all of Praga’s technical resources into the project, and religious application of carbon fiber, titanium and CNC-machined chromoly immediately suggests that this bike is more than just a throwback.

Remember when we said the Praga ZS 800 hasn’t forgotten its roots? The ZS 800 is based on a rigid frame, so there’s no rear suspension other than the Öhlins shock under the seat. It also uses a girder-style front fork, drum brakes and an air-cooled Kawasaki parallel-twin, sourced from the W800 model.

Praga ZS 800 Girder Fork Öhlins Shock
But dig a bit deeper and the tech hits you like a speed bump at 60. The frame and girder fork are chromoly steel, and loaded with beautiful CNC-cut joints. Like the saddle, the fork is suspended by an Öhlins shock with a titanium spring, and the whole piece is alloy art on its own.

The fuel tank was crafted from forged carbon fiber, but that’s somewhat of an illusion, as the actual fuel tank looks to be a CNC-cut aluminum component, used as a structural part of the chassis. The carbon tank covers compliment carbon fender struts and the chain guard, but most notably, the wheels.

Praga ZS 800 Carbon Fiber Wheels
While they emulate an old-school wire, the wheels are also constructed from forged carbon fiber, laced with tensioned carbon spokes — talk about making a statement. Trick machined covers direct air across the hydraulic drums, and vintage-looking, 18-inch Dunlop rubber completes the look.

Under the saddle, a Kawasaki-sourced 800 cc air-cooled twin supplies 50 hp to a five-speed transmission. Praga cites that the Kawasaki’s bevel-gear cam drive pays tribute to the period, and it’s certainly the most approachable engine on our $100k list, but needless to say underpowered among its peers. Its published dry weight of 313 lbs makes it the lightest, however, and weight distribution is said to be 50/50.

Riding the Praga ZS 800 Motorcycle
Just 28 Praga ZS 800s will be built, and you’ll have to shell out $92,000 to get one. For its part, we’ll admit that the ZS 800 is the most affordable bike on our list, and certainly the easiest to hop on and ride — especially for less experienced pilots. If it’s nostalgia that trips your trigger, the Praga is sure to make a statement wherever it goes, and we’re willing to bet you won’t find another one in the parking lot.

Arch Motorcycle 1s
Arch Motorcycle 1s
The sport cruiser market is hotter than ever, with Indian, Buell and Harley Davidson unleashing more aggressive bikes targeted at the performance-minded masses. But California-based Arch Motorcycles takes its stab at the top 1% of the market with the new 124 ci S&S-powered Arch 1s.

The boutique experience that starts long before the first weld bead, and ends with you writing a check for $128,000. So what do you get for the money? Let’s dig in.

S&S-powered Arch 1s
Arch Motorcycle formed in 2011 as a somewhat of a meeting of the minds, between famed actor and enthusiast Keanu Reeves and bike builder Gard Hollinger. The two had met several years prior, when Reeves tasked Hollinger with building a fully custom Harley Davidson, with nearly every aspect of the bike reworked. Reeves was floored over the bike’s performance, and he eventually convinced Hollinger to go into business together.

Since then, the duo has made a name for themselves perfecting what they call the “American performance cruiser” ever since. Their razor-sharp designs emphasize performance through mechanical simplicity, and the most trick raw materials money can buy.

Arch Motorcycle 1s Single Sided Swingarm
The new Arch 1s builds on the previous KRGT-1 model, with more aggressive geometry and ergonomics, and the same thundering S&S 124 ci v-twin. The whole package is much tighter than the KRGT-1, with a shorter wheelbase, more aggressive rake and a chiseled new single-sided, billet-aluminum swing arm. The bodywork is made up from various carbon fiber and aluminum bits, and facilitates more aggressive ergonomics than the KRGT-1, as does the switch from forward to mid-mounted controls.

Underneath the skin, a steel mainframe supports the neck and air-cooled mill, while a billet-aluminum subframe supports the rear suspension. Fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension keeps the bumps in check, and ISR four- and six-piston brakes with standard ABS should provide more than adequate braking for spirited riding.

Arch 1s 124 ci S&S Engine
Thinking back on the company’s earliest days, it comes as no surprise to see an S&S-sourced, air-cooled v-twin between the frame rails. The 124 ci, T124 engine was designed as a nice upgrade for 2007 to 2016 HD big-twin models, and Arch turns the heat up a bit with a custom stainless exhaust and intake system. Arch reports 115 lb/ft from the 2,032 cc v-twin, routed through a proprietary six-speed transmission to the 530 O-ring drive chain.

17-inch BST carbon fiber wheels are wrapped in Michelin Power RS rubber, sized 120/70 and 240/45 respectively. Dry weight comes in at 563 lbs, roughly 30 lbs lighter than the KRGT-1, but definitely the heaviest bike in the $100k club by a significant margin.

Arch 1s CNC Aluminum Foot Controls
Naturally it takes more than trick materials and a torquey v-twin to command a six-figure price tag, and the Arch 1s makes up the difference with unique flair. The ignition key is made from billet aluminum, and activates a full-color LCD dash. Want to make fuel stops more fun? How about an exotic billet aluminum fuel cap that hinges up from the fuel tank?

Also hidden in the carbon fuel tank, is a unique induction system that funnels fresh air through filters and down into the throttle body. The kickstand, controls and the belt drive cover are all made from billet aluminum as well — all pieces of functional art in their own right. Your investment in the Arch 1s also includes the opportunity to customize the appearance and ergonomics of the bike with the design team, ensuring the seat and controls are set up for your riding style.

Riding the Arch 1s Motorcycle
The Arch 1s leads the class in terms of a boutique buying experience, and we’re down with the all-American performance cruiser image. Sure, the 1s could stand to lose a few pounds for the price, but on our list, the Arch is the most rideable bike. Rideable as in, hop on and watch the odometer climb, and that’s what it’s about, right?

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro
Aston Martin & Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro A luxury automaker teams up with a motorcycle manufacturer to build a hypercar-inspired track bike. That sounds expensive, and it is.

But in the case of the Aston Martin & Brough Superior AMB 001, these two historic English names seem to have brought out the best in each other with the limited-edition, 180 hp AMB 001, unveiled in 2019. With all 100 limited-edition bikes sold, the duo has now upped the ante with the new 225 hp AMB 001 Pro, limited to just 88 units.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro Front Aero
If the Brough Superior name is unfamiliar, here’s a quick refresher. Brough Superior was founded in 1919, after George Brough left his father’s company, Brough Motorcycles. Seeking to maximize quality, each Brough Superior product was allegedly assembled twice.

After initial assembly, the bike was torn back down for the required paint and plating work. Also every finished bike was tested and personally certified by Brough himself, and if the bike failed to meet his approval, it was sent back to the factory until it did. Brough Superior motorcycles were considered the Rolls-Royce of the bike world before production ended in 1940, when the facility was retooled to build crankshafts for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines during the war effort.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro
Fast-forward to 2008, and the Brough Superior name was acquired by enthusiast Mark Upham, who met with French designer Thierry Henriette to design a new line of Brough Superior bikes. Production began in 2016 under Thierry’s ownership, and several high-end cruiser models have debuted since.

While Brough Superior’s recent offerings have become increasingly exotic, the 2019 partnership with Aston Martin, and the resulting AMB 001, is a significant leap in performance for the marque. Taking inspiration from Aston Martin’s Valkyrie AMR Pro hybrid supercar (of which only 25 are to be built), the AMB 001 Pro is the next level for the Aston and Brough Superior partnership, boasting new aero and a more powerful 997 cc v-twin.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro Turbocharger
While the AMB 001 Pro looks a lot like its predecessor, performance is said to be a new extreme, given a 25% increase in power that puts it on par with a Formula One car in terms of power to weight. The heart of the matter is a new turbocharged 997 cc DOHC v-twin, that’s CNC machined from a solid block of AL5000 aluminum.

More detailed specifications on the engine are few, but we would assume a variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler were used, as in the AMB 001. Power is reported at 225 hp, delivered through a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch, and dry weight is listed at 386 lbs.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro Fuel Tank
The (presumably) all carbon fiber bodywork is very similar to the AMB 001, with the exception of new front aero. A carbon front spoiler is affixed to the body, along with stabilizing wings to improve downforce. Other aero features along the body are said to create a tunnel effect, directing air around the rider, along with a rear fin to improve stability.

Aston and Brough Superior also wax poetically about how thin (in microns) the badging is on the bike. I suppose there’s a level of performance where that’s relevant, but I question it here.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro Back Wheel
There’s clearly plenty to talk about with the AMB 001 Pro, without even touching on the other mechanicals. In broad strokes, the bike’s based on a full CNC-machined aluminum chassis with the engine as a stressed member. A Fior-type fork is used up front, while the rear swingarm pivots from the engine cases — both made from CNC-cut aluminum with adjustable mono-shocks.

Michelin track slicks wrap the 17-inch carbon fiber wheels, with the rear being a solid carbon disc. A pair of radial four-piston brakes and a single two-piston rear provide clamping force. Just one livery is offered, denoted as Aston Martin Verdant Jade, with matte-finish carbon fiber and Cerakote mechanicals.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro Dash
Billed as an even more exclusive ride than the previous AMB 001, it should come as no surprise that just 88 AMB 001 Pros will be built, and the price hasn’t really been published. Considering the 100 AMB 001s built sold out at $120,000 a piece, expect to pay significantly more for the Pro.

We can confidently assume that the AMB 001 Pro is the most expensive bike on the list, but then again, it really should be. Dollar for dollar, the Pro really feels like a six-figure bike with six-figure technology and image. The downside, of course, is that it’s built for the track only.

Aston Martin and Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro Front Aero
All three of these boutique motorcycles are an exclusive experience in their own way, and it all comes down to what you want to show for your six-figure investment. Nostalgia, techy road performance or the nth degree of engineering attainable in a “production” bike.

For your money, I’d buy the Aston. For mine, I’d have the Arch.

Arch Motorcycle 1s Fuel Tank