Sure, there are a few modern motorcycle badges with nods to the early days, but it’s hard to beat the number of emblems and logos of yesteryear that hold our attention. At the recent Cycle World Rolling Concours show during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, we captured a mere sampling of creative branding and labeling found on the tins of old bikes.
The classic BMW roundel. Whirling propeller? Bavarian flag? Whichever story you believe, it’s a cool logo.
Simple, clean font. Chrome on black. This works…well.
I can imagine an artisan toiling over the details to achieve this beauty.
Suzuki’s graphic designer handled the legibility well and employed the power combo of black, white and red.
I love an emblem with some weight to it. A hunk of metal and a splash of paint.
Whichever way you throw, it will stand.
Bold composition for a bold machine.
Sometimes the mark is simply screened on like this white-on-black illustrative graphic.
Sometimes it’s the graphic backdrop that makes a dimensional emblem look even better.
It’s not sculptural or 3-D, but it’s a darn good type treatment.
This bold branding is preserved in a clear dome.
You got yer flags, lettering, name and a mass of checkers. It does a lot, but still looks cool.
Don’t forget how nice some of the side covers are out there. This Titan’s “500” has its own little boat to ride in.
They didn’t have to make this gold…but they did. Mirrored goooold.
Sometimes less is more. No tribal patterns here. No swooshy paint swashes.
BMW’s roundel surrounded by the embossed chrome “toaster” panel and double-pinstripes.
When I hear the term “tank badge,” I think of this.
Classic, dimensional branding. Triumph saw value in creative textures, colors and composition.