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Top 13 Motorcycle Logos Explained

Top 13 Motorcycle Logos Explained

If you’re looking for inspiration to create a great logo for your motorcycle company — then you’re in the right place.

This article is for those people that want to know the history and meaning of the most famous and successful motorcycle brands’ logos.

Looking through their emblems will be helpful for you if you want to get an idea of how you would like your motorcycle brandmark to look like.

What do motorcycle logos mean?

We all know that motorcycle logos are one of the best and most stunning brandmarks that we see today.

Some of the most popular brands of motorcycles, like Harley Davidson, Ducati, BMW, Aprilia, Honda, and others, have their own distinct and impactful logos.

And if you’re curious about the reason behind the creation of their emblem, then I’ve got you all covered.

In this article, I will be explaining to you the meaning of different famous motorcycle logos.

I will not only discuss the appearance of the logos, but instead, I will go deeper into their history and symbolism.

I will also include an explanation of why these well-known brands of motorcycles use different elements like shields, wings, tuning forks, and others as their emblems.

By the way, if you’re needing a professional designer that can help you establish your own brandmark, shoot me an email here.

So without keeping you waiting, here are the top 13 best motorcycle logos and their explanations.

13 Best Motorcycle Logos

  1. Harley Davidson
  2. Ducati
  3. BMW
  4. Aprilia
  5. Honda
  6. Yamaha
  7. Suzuki
  8. Kawasaki
  9. Moto Guzzi
  10. Triumph
  11. Indians
  12. KTM
  13. Zero

You can also check out my other article where I explained the best luxury car logos.

What do motorcycle logos have in common?

Just like in luxury cars and airline logos, the brand marks of motorcycle brands also have something in similar.

As you can notice on the different famous companies’ motorcycles, their emblems are either black, white, or red.

The best explanation for that is that those colors are the most suitable ones to use for expressing passion, power, and professionalism.

What do motorcycle logos have in common?

Another thing that you will notice is that some of these brands, like Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, and Moto Guzzi, use different kinds of elements that have their own symbolism.

To be specific, Harley-Davidson includes a shield in its emblem to represent protection.

Honda uses a wing that is said to be inspired by the goddess of victory.

Yamaha chose to design their emblem with three tuning forks, which represent the company’s core principles.

However, the eagle on Moto Guzzi’s logo is a tribute to the death of one of its founders, Giovanni Ravelli.

Aside from the elements used in these motorcycle brand logos, one of the most striking similarities is the manner in which they are displayed.

As you read through this article, you will learn that even though these companies have their official brandmarks, they still chose to modify them.

Some of them change the fonts, colors, and arrangement of the emblem depending on their motorcycle units.

So if you want to learn more about the history and meaning of the logos of the most famous motorcycle brands today, just keep on reading.

1. Harley Davidson

One of the most famous brands is Harley Davidson, which is also one of the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers.

The shield on the Harley Davidson’s logo portrays protection.

The whole concept of the brand’s logo symbolizes a sense of authority and power that it gives to the customers.

Harley Davidson

It is intended to imitate the authority and power that come with riding, as well as the capacity to take responsibility for your own life.

The emblem is designed in a shield shape with a broad horizontal bar at the center, which is meant to portray protection.

The choice of the colors black and white shows the company’s professionalism, and the wordmark is written in a blocky sans serif font.

See the logo in use:

Harley Davidson

Moreover, as you can see in the sample image above, the letter “T” in the word “motor” is written to look like an arrow shape.

The arrow-shaped “T” can be accompanied by directions, which is also related since riders use directions every time.

By the way, take note that you won’t see the same emblem on all the Harley Davidson motorcycles since they usually modify it.

Sometimes they change the font, the style, and the emblem itself depending on the motorcycle unit.

2. Ducati

If you’re curious about the origin of the brand name “Ducati,” it is actually named after its founders, Bruno, Adriano, and Marcello Ducati.

The white band on Ducati’s logo shows speed.

The modern Ducati logo features a red inverted triangular symbol with a white band inside.

Ducati

The inverted triangular symbol also looks like a shield, which portrays boldness.

On the other hand, the curved line or white band in the emblem represents speed and acceleration.

The bright red color of Ducati’s logo resembles victory and success, which they actually achieved throughout the years.

See the logo in use:

Ducati

However, when you buy a motorcycle from Ducati, you will notice that there is no emblem displayed on the vehicle.

That’s because the company only displayed the wordmark “DUCATI” and left the actual logo.

In addition, the color of the wordmark changes based on the color of the motorcycle.

You may see it in white, black, and red, but you might mostly see it in red since it is the brand’s color.

3. BMW

The abbreviation of the BMW company is Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works.

The overall look of BMW’s logo was believed to be a propeller.

BMW is known as a famous manufacturer of motorcycles and automobiles, but the company actually started by creating aircraft engines.

BMW

Although the company didn’t confirm that its logo was inspired by the appearance of a propeller, many people believe it that way because of its history.

On the other hand, the combination of blue and white in the emblem represents the colors of the state of Bavaria, the company’s home state.

But because state coats of arms or other sovereign emblems are prohibited from being used on business trademarks, BMW used an inverted blue and white pattern.

See logo in use:

BMW

In 2020, BMW introduced its new logo, which is said to be used for the brand’s communication only.

The company changed the black color of the emblem to a transparent color.

This new logo will usually be seen on BMW’s automobiles because they retain the original logo on motorcycles.

4. Aprilia

Aprilia is the second-largest manufacturer and seller of motorcycles and scooters in the world, selling more than 300,000 units annually.

The choice of color on Aprilia’s logo is associated with postwar times.

The current logo of Aprilia looks like a Latin inscription on a red background, which was not chosen by chance.

Aprilia

Since the company was established in the postwar years, the color red has been associated with people’s distress and sorrow.

However, the brave spirit was not broken; in fact, the obstacles only strengthened it.

As a result, the owner of the company gets through all the problems and leads his business to success.

See logo in use:

Aprilia

On the other hand, the white color or the wordmark represents the company’s simplicity and positivity.

Just like Ducati, Aprilia also doesn’t place the brand’s overall logo on its motorcycle units.

Instead, they are just displaying the wordmark alone, which is also modified depending on the color of the motorcycle.

5. Honda

Honda is a Japanese company, created by the Tokyo motor mechanic Soichiro Honda, and is considered the leading manufacturer of automobiles and motorbikes.

The wing symbol on Honda’s logo was inspired by the goddess of victory.

The history of the Honda company’s “wings” may be traced back to its founder, Soichiro Honda.

Honda

Their first image appeared in 1947, inspired by a sculpture of the goddess Nike (an Ancient Greek goddess of victory).

Soichiro Honda used the goddess Nike’s (Victory) wings as the inspiration for his design.

However, Honda uses different emblems for motorcycles and automobiles.

See logo in use:

Honda

Its cars are distinguished by a stylized letter “H” as their logo, while for motorcycles, this is an image of a stylized wing of the goddess Nike with the brand name underneath it.

Everything is in the color red, which is meant to portray the power of the company in the business industry.

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