Common Tread

Lotus C-01: A used bike for the economic one percent

Aug 17, 2016

Earlier today, Lemmy served up a really neat craigslist find, in the form of a blown Yamaha WR250X. Good choice for crazy fun, if your tuning skills are up to the task. Now, to give equal time to the economic elite who outsource their tuning and cost be damned, here's another bike up for sale: a 2014 Lotus C-01.

This rare motorcycle goes on the block at the Mecum Auction in Monterey, California, this week. You can get more details on the bike at the Mecum website, but just to prepare you for the sticker shock, the expected price is $370,000 to $450,000, or roughly three times what it cost originally. Not a bad rate of return, if you can get it.

Why so expensive? Rarity and pedigree. Only 100 of these bikes were built and Mecum says this one may be the only example in North America. The design is based on a concept by Daniel Simon, who also penned the Tron: Legacy lightcycle of movie fame. And it carries the name (and, in this case, the traditional colors) of one of the marques that enjoys a lot of fondness in the car world. I can imagine this being the perfect, sole two-wheeled addition to some wealthy car nut's collection. The buyer isn't going to ride it anyway, so it might as well go to a car guy without an "M" on his driver's license.

The Lotus is powered by the V-twin from the KTM RC8R sport bike. Of course there's ample amounts of carbon fiber and titanium and other trick bits.

So what do you think? Overpriced oddity with a funky 19-inch front wheel and a really ugly license plate bracket, suitable only for a car guy who doesn't understand that 19-inch front wheels are for cruisers or dual-sports? Or incredibly rare and beautiful collectible with a heavy dose of car-world cool that makes it worth twice the price?