Home » This Absurd Motorcycle Costs More Than A Nice House And Looks Like A Computer Glitch

This Absurd Motorcycle Costs More Than A Nice House And Looks Like A Computer Glitch

Ransom Bike Monster Machine Ts2
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Boutique motorcycles are such a wonderful thing. Is a Honda Gold Wing too boring for you? Is a Harley-Davidson not expensive enough? Look no further than the wild builders putting together handfuls of bold bikes. There’s a new outrageous motorcycle out there and it comes from Ransom Motorcycles. Reportedly, this shocking motorcycle, which looks like a computer glitch or melting metal, will cost “high six to seven figures” and it’s backed by a 185 HP engine. This is the Ransom Archangel, and it’s a real motorcycle you’ll be able to buy.

I ran across this motorcycle today while scrolling through Forbes cover stories. My mouth then fell to the floor and I had to figure out what was going on. A lot of motorcycle news today is dominated by new electric motorcycles, the launches of small displacement bikes, and all sorts of new models coming over from China. The Ransom Archangel is none of that. It might be the least practical motorcycle I’ve seen in a while and for the expected price of “more than some supercars,” there are probably more logical ways to spend money. Since prices get as high as over a million dollars, you could buy a really nice house!

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Yet, I can’t stop looking at this Eldritch monster of a motorcycle. I want to ride it and see what it’s like to ride on something that looks like it’s melting before your eyes.

Who Is Ransom?

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The Archangel is the work of custom bike builder W. Robert Ransom. Ransom describes himself as the guy you want to visit when your Bugatti no longer excites you.

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According to the Forbes profile, Ransom has been building custom motorcycles since 2001 and he has been tinkering since he was a kid. Ransom founded Ransom Motorcycles in 2004 as a boutique brand catering to the most discerning of clients. In other words, you have to have the kind of wealth as Elon Musk or royalty to buy one of his motorcycles. Ransom notes that he doesn’t have a team. The motorcycles are built by his hands in his shop, and each bike is a functional piece of art. His site compares his work to that of a painter, but instead of a brush and colors, his strokes are done through welding and metal.

Aside from style, Ransom makes his bikes stand out by going with different powerplants than the typical custom chopper. Where many others do V-twins, Ransom saddles his machines with engines out of sportbikes. Forbes notes it’s not just because of being different, either, as Ransom spent his younger years swinging his legs over Honda CBRs, Kawasaki Ninjas, Suzuki GSX-Rs, and Yamaha FZRs. So, Japanese sportbikes are practically in his blood.

That said, Ransom is quick to point out that he doesn’t build sportbikes. More on that in a bit.

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A portfolio of Ransom’s motorcycles can be viewed on his website and all of them look like bikes meant to be in a video game. True to his word, all of the bikes come powered with Japanese sportbike power. Last fall, Ransom got some headlines for his 2022 creation of what he called the world’s first all-titanium Suzuki Hayabusa. And I mean all-titanium, from the frame to the body panels. Back then, the motorcycle was still being built even after 2,000 hours of work went in.

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The Archangel is another creation that Ransom began showing off in 2022, but it would appear that motorcycle media never noticed it until the aforementioned Forbes piece.

The Top Angel

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This motorcycle is heavily about its striking looks, but that isn’t all of it.

The Archangel is constructed out of hand-formed aluminum. Ransom starts with a dagger shape over the front wheel and ends the body with a spear shape over the rear wheel. It looks like it could be a rolling sword, fitting for a bike named after heavenly warriors often depicted with swords.

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This all-metal bodywork is all over the motorcycle and it bends around the motorcycle’s radiators and front wheel. Spiking off of the radiator shrouds are two long winglets, said to produce downforce at high speeds. The bodywork also covers up the headlight, then it slides out of the way when you ride the motorcycle.

When you look closer, it’s clear that Ransom doesn’t stop with bodywork. His Archangel motorcycles also get custom 4130 chromoly tube frames bent around the bodywork, and attached to those frames are the inline-four engines and thick forks with insane rakes. Everything is custom from the bike’s monocoque structure to the hand-formed swingarm. Oh yeah, there’s a 300-section width rear tire on the back. All of this is supported by a custom adjustable air suspension that uses the swingarm as its air tank. At its highest position, the motorcycle has 4.5 inches of suspension travel.

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As for the engine, Ransom says it’s from a Japanese sportbike and it’s a 1000cc, four-cylinder unit that makes 185 HP while having a 13,000 RPM redline. The lack of other information about the engine is intentional. Ransom feels that when you know about the engine in other builds, you will end up focusing on it. Instead, Ransom wants you to focus on the motorcycle itself and appreciate all of the fine details that took him thousands of hours to create.

Speaking of performance. Ransom doesn’t expect his motorcycles to be daily machines and he knows that some of his very wealthy clientele will probably never put a single mile on their motorcycles. That’s ok, though, because the bikes are meant to be art that you could ride. Should you decide to take your potentially million-dollar Archangel on the work commute, you should know not to expect a sportbike ride. A rake as steep as shown here will mean a bike that wants to go straight as much as it can. Also, you don’t get a sidestand, but there is a center stand so you can display the motorcycle wherever you park it. That said, the Archangel does weigh 440 pounds, so it’s not that porky.

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Who Is This For?

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Ransom advertises his motorcycles through his Instagram account and Facebook. He makes it clear that his target market isn’t just your garden variety rich person, but someone who might have the label “King” in their name. Ransom doesn’t give an exact price for the Archangel, but says its starting price is in the high six-figure range and into seven figures depending on how you personalize your exact motorcycle.

If you’re reading this and happen to have about a million bucks burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy your own Archangel. Ransom is taking $2,000 refundable reservations to secure you a spot in line. After placing your deposit, you get to iron out the specifics of your motorcycle. Then, after Ransom cranks out thousands of hours of work, you’ll eventually get your ride. The motorcycle you get will have its own Ransom Motorcycles VIN and you’ll know that each bike is slightly different from the last.

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This is a motorcycle I’ll almost certainly never be able to afford. I doubt I’ll ever see one in real life. But it is absurd in every measure. For the price of this bike, you can buy multiple nice houses, a really fast car, or investments that could make you richer. So, I can’t imagine many people will be lining up to place a deposit on one of these. Still, it’s one of those motorcycles that’s so silly it’s pretty cool. Someone prove me wrong and take this down I-94 in Chicago traffic.

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MushroomGlue
MushroomGlue
4 months ago

While I can appreciate the choice of a sportbike engine for these builds, in context they just kind of look like an afterthought; they’re a very normal, boring looking engine to have plopped in the middle of an alien-looking structure, and they’re too exposed to hide that. I feel they need to at least be dressed up a bit more to fit the aesthetic, if not replaced with something more weird-looking; I feel like a gas turbine or a wankel would be a nice fit, or some weird niche prototype engine like a liquidpiston or duke axial engine. Or just go EV, and dress it up to look weird; a custom open-frame motor could be fun. Functionality, reliability, and cost are pretty much irrelevant anyway, so why not?
All of that said, I can’t say I’m a fan of the looks (especially with the rider for size reference; needs to be far more imposing to stand a chance of carrying off those looks) but I guess I’m several zeros short of the market for one of these anyway.

Aaronaut
Aaronaut
4 months ago

Sure, it’s hand built with high-end materials and blah blah blah… but this is just proof that wealth doesn’t buy taste. What stupid and hideous bike.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
4 months ago

I’d be just as interested to read an article about the people that have bought Ransom bikes and the prices they paid for them. Does a Ransom appreciate or even hold it’s value?

I just watched a Bikes and Beards (I know, I know…biblethumpers) vid where he bought an OCC chopper built for Geico. It was a supercharged monstrosity that came with an enclosed trailer and took some effort to get running. I think he paid $10k for the bundle and was a laughably ride bad when ‘working’.

Where do I look for a preowned Ransom?

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
4 months ago

Yeah, I saw that bikes and beards as well. I always kinda suspected that the end result for OCC would be poor quality as a bike, but it was even worse than I’d have thought. Also, realizing it’s just a tax writeoff for the people buying them makes the whole thing make a lot more sense.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
4 months ago
Reply to  Andreas8088

I also never thought about the tax angle.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
4 months ago

All aesthetics (nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but you could just buy a sculpture), but it hurts my eyes to look at – at least one thing I don’t have to fret about not being able to afford.

MEK
MEK
4 months ago

Can someone please explain that exhaust to me? It looks like a complete tacked afterthought to me. Like the designer realized at the last minute that the pipes actually had to dump somewhere that wouldn’t set the riders pants on fire so he just put a elbow on it and sent it out the side.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
4 months ago
Reply to  MEK

Had that thought too. Weird that you might put the header down first in a tight right-hander.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
4 months ago

I love the contrast where we’ve got a multi-million dollar motorcycle built for kings, and one of the photos shows us some yahoo in blue jeans and a Walmart puffy jacket taking it for a spin around the parking lot of the neighborhood playground.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
4 months ago

I believe I’d rather have an Arch Motorcycle and keep a few six figures in my investment account.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
4 months ago

So this is the opposite of Allen Millyard building a V12 that looks like it came from the Kawasaki factory when actually he built it with a hacksaw? Or his 5 cylinder two stokes? Never mind the 5000cc V twin or the viper engine bike that looks like it came from some insane yet boring alternate universe showroom?
This? Meh.

Arthur Flax
Arthur Flax
4 months ago

Ducati is producing a limited edition replica of its Panigale Moto GP champion bike for around $70,000. And Honda sold its 2015 RC213V-S Moto GP replica championship bike for 200,000 Euro. I recently saw one for sale for $265,000, a little more than the original price. Both bikes can be configured for the street or track.

So even if I’m a gazillionaire, do I want a million dollar bike with no provenance or rear suspension? Mr. Ransom has some following as an motorcycle artist so there is some provenance to this work, but he’s not super well known and hasn’t won a world championship. But then I can’t get past those choppah roots and lack of rear suspension. For my mega bucks, I want a bike that is rideable and a 185 hp bike without suspension isn’t. (If there is a hidden monoshock, I apologize and take my money!)

I give Ransom kudos for the outrageous price though! I love the idea of Veblen goods; that is products that sell better when the price goes up. (Found Mr. Veblen on Wikipedia and he makes me sound smart!)

Last edited 4 months ago by Arthur Flax
Hamish48
Hamish48
4 months ago

I don’t know very much about motorcycles, but I recognize superb design and workmanship when I see it. This thing is awesome in every way.

Plesiomorphus primitivus
Plesiomorphus primitivus
4 months ago

Absolutely the triumph of ‘aesthetics’ over every other conceivable consideration. Why even ride it? just park it in your living room and tell people how cool it is.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago

Ransom- money you are forced to pay in return for nothing you need or something taken from you. Sounds about right. That kind of power isn’t controlled especially by someone who would spend a million dollars on it. So stupid purchase by people who have less knowledge on the value of money than the Clampetts and far less common sense. Let’s hope they park them away in an temperature controlled environment or at the worst only kill themselves in a clearly deluded moment that they know what they are doing because they had too many hits in their utube videos.

Chronometric
Chronometric
4 months ago

At least if you buy a supercar, you can drive it if you have the guts and are willing to take the depreciation. This thing is purely a conversation piece and probably a terrible investment. Impressive skills but questionable artistic merit.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
4 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

You can drive this……… It’s fully functional.

Chronometric
Chronometric
4 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Would you drive this to work? Or anywhere else? Did you see that exhaust? I bet the same level of concern for ridability went into balance, throttle response, and steering. This guy is a sculptor, not a motorcycle designer.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
4 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Would you drive a supercar to work? Or anywhere else?

I think it’s barely practically functional on the same level that many of the craziest supercars are barely practically functional.

Chronometric
Chronometric
4 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

If I could afford a supercar I would definitely drive my McLaren / Bugatti / Ferrari to work. I have often said I’d like to be rich enough to afford a supercar and drive it like a Mustang.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
4 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

As a motorcyclist with zero hatred for (old-school, real) choppers I don’t know that anything without a rear suspension is ‘fully functional’.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
4 months ago

You’re making me remember driving farm trucks with rubber block walking beam suspension, which is basically no rear suspension. And this is on a 50k lb truck that I do hardcore offroading in.

Millermatic
Millermatic
4 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I’m not seeing headlights, brake lights or turn signal indicators. Or any instrumentation. I’m thinking this isn’t road-legal.

Edit – OK… I see how the headlight works. That’s… poorly done.

Last edited 4 months ago by Millermatic
Unclewolverine
Unclewolverine
4 months ago

The exhaust is awkward but the rest is pure art! Those saying it’s hideous can go back to your cookie cutter Harleys and 1 of 300,026 mustangs and vettes. But I love the look of my R1200C and most people hate them so maybe me and my art degree are wrong.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

Yeah but for the money you can buy 1,000 Harleys and drive them.

Millermatic
Millermatic
4 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

I like the R1200C. But in _this_ case… yes. You and your art degree are wrong. So says _my_ art degree.

Unclewolverine
Unclewolverine
4 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

So it’s an art degree duel then? Let’s see who is the biggest disappointment to their parents to settle this! BA in photo realistic drawing, minor in psychology–yets works a mailman….

Millermatic
Millermatic
4 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

BA in sculpture. Worked in an industrial foundry for a while afterwards. Not what my parents envisioned when I started out pre-med. They were even more horrified when I went to an MFA program. Dropped out and wound up “respectable” in the end.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
4 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

Wow! The person that likes the R1200C is on the autopian! Small world! </s>

Unclewolverine
Unclewolverine
4 months ago

I actually laughed out loud!

SageWestyTulsa
SageWestyTulsa
4 months ago

If poor taste was flammable, you sure wouldn’t want to smoke around one of these bikes. It’s like an Affliction t-shirt you can ride.

Black Peter
Black Peter
4 months ago
Reply to  SageWestyTulsa

COTD!!

Millermatic
Millermatic
4 months ago

I want Adrian to chime in on this.

My take? These look like something H.R.Giger would have designed if he had absolutely no talent.

Barf. I find it offensive that someone can make a living designing these.

Last edited 4 months ago by Millermatic
Facundo Piedrafita
Facundo Piedrafita
4 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

Agreed. Or something a 9-year old would draw while bored in class.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

I would require the builder to drive on coast to coast and back before buying one

Fred Flintstone
Fred Flintstone
4 months ago

This creation screams Arlan Ness…. on MDMA with a pinch of meth.
Pretty much nearly impossible to ride, except maybe in a straight line, but strangely pretty.
Although, if I had the money to buy this I’d almost certainly buy something (anything) else.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago

I’d donate the money to charity before buying one. Better investment and no chance of dieing. And outside of donating blood and semen I’m not that charitable a person

Last edited 4 months ago by Mr Sarcastic
BubbaX
BubbaX
4 months ago

That exhaust! The end is nigh! Rev. 4:1
Μετὰ ταῦτα εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ θύρα ἠνεῳγμένη ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἡ φωνὴ ἡ πρώτη ἣν ἤκουσα ὡς σάλπιγγος λαλούσης μετ’ ἐμοῦ, λέγων: ἀνάβα ὧδε, καὶ δείξω σοι ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα.
After this I saw, and behold! An open gate in the sky! And I heard the same voice, as a trumpet, as before, saying to me: Mount here and I will show you what must be done.

Christo Arvanitis
Christo Arvanitis
4 months ago
Reply to  BubbaX

Greek American here… well played.

F.Y. Jones
F.Y. Jones
4 months ago

It looks so tiny with a rider on it.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
4 months ago
Reply to  F.Y. Jones

I thought it was going to be a half foot taller and longer

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
4 months ago

I’d mount it like the 72 virgins I was promised…

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago

See this proves how wrong buying one of these or being a suicide bomber is. (Nothing against the peaceful people and religion of Islam) But if you want me to commit suicide I don’t want 72 virgins. Give me 72 porn stars. Can you imagine having to convince 72 virgins to have sex and then start doing the more fun naughty things? Hell it suked trying to convince one. Give me 72 women with a healthy sexual appetite who will train me. Or a couple dozen porn stars and the rest who know how to cook and make me exercise. We need to think before we act people.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
4 months ago

It’s not my thing, and I think the exhaust looks silly, but I agree, Mercedes, it would be BANANAS to see it out in the wild!

A. Barth
A. Barth
4 months ago

It’s not my taste at all, but I appreciate the skill and the labor that went into it.

Having said that, I prefer even art-like bikes to work as bikes. A Vincent Black Shadow looks amazing sitting still, will pull your arms off while you’re riding, and can also have a stratospheric price tag. That’s where my mythical money would go.

Richard
Richard
4 months ago

I thought the glamour shots looked dumb, but the photo with rider? Literally lol.

Probably an H2 engine, right?

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard

The exhaust is a goddamn crime positioned like that.

DaChicken
DaChicken
4 months ago

Did he simply run out of time or money when it came to fitting that exhaust system? Oof.

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
4 months ago

Might have to resort to kidnapping for Ransom money.

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