Famous motorcycle brands: Motorcycle logos, names, and meanings
How many famous motorbike brands and motorcycle logos can you imagine right now? There is no shortage of options, from Yamaha and Honda in Japan to Harley Davidson in the US. Each of these companies has its own unique image, product portfolio, and incredible history.
Motorcycle brands, just like car companies, rely on their branding not only to capture customer attention, but also to create a sense of affinity with riders. For most motorcycle enthusiasts, their bike isn’t just a mode of transportation; it’s a way of life, and a commitment to a certain community.
While some motorcycle companies use the same logo across their entire vehicle collection (like BMW), others have distinct images from one part of the product line to the next.
Today, we’re going to be exploring some of the best-known motorcycle logos and names in the world, focusing on the unique image these organizations bring to the market.
Motorcycle brands: Famous motorcycle insignias
Motorcycle brand symbols are emotive emblems, chosen by the company to convey the unique personality and focus of the brands they represent.
Many of the most popular motorcycle companies mentioned above sell various pieces of equipment, from helmets to jackets, showcasing the same iconic logos.
These products are just another way for fans to champion their love of the brand.
Today, we’re looking specifically at some of the best-known companies in the motorbike world.
Let’s dive into our list of the best motorcycle names and logos…
An Italian motorcycle manufacturer introduced just after World War 2, Aprilia started life as a company focused on the creation of bicycles before eventually moving onto the creation of small-capacity motorcycles and scooters.
Today, Aprilia enjoys a significant amount of success producing all kinds of sports bikes and has a strong presence in the motorsport world.
The Aprilia logo is one of the simplest on this list, ideal for making a minimalist but powerful impact. The image features the name of the company in all lowercase letters, which helps define the brand as a more approachable and friendly company.
The bright red rectangular background stands for passion, excitement, and vivacity.
Though most people may know BMW for its cars, the company also produces a wide range of other vehicles, including motorcycles. BMW Motorrad is the name of the subsidiary responsible for building motorcycle and aircraft engines since 1921.
The first BMW motorcycle to arrive on the market was the boxer-engine R32, introduced in 1923.
The motorcycle logo used by BMW is the same as the logo used for the larger vehicle brand. The circular emblem features the inverted colors of the Bavarian flag to highlight the heritage of the company, and its original founding location.
One of the most recognisable motorcycle insignias on this list comes from Ducati’s motorcycle subsidiary. Ducati Motor Holding is the motorcycle-focused division of the Italian brand, Ducati, which is owned by Lamborghini, and subsequently the Volkswagen Group.
Ducati’s motorbike division first appeared in 1926 and is best-known for producing some of the fastest bikes to hit the market in their time.
The motorcycle insignia used by Ducati is simple but effective, the shield-shaped design fits easily onto a motorbike, while the bold red coloring signifies passion and drive.
The block letters of the “Ducati” wordmark are confident and eye-catching.
It’s hard to find anyone in the biking landscape not familiar with Harley-Davidson. Easily one of the most famous Motorcycle company logos in the world, the Harley-Davidson symbol has a presence all around the globe.
Harley-Davidson was first launched in 1903, and now stands as one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers.
The brand logo is an eye-catching emblem featuring the name of the company in a black banner with an orange outline, placed on top of a shield shape reading “Motorcycles”. The combination of orange, white and black, combined with chunky stylized type gives this logo a powerful image.
Similar to BMW, Honda is a company you may recognise for its presence in the car manufacturing market. However, the motorcycle emblem used by the company is a little different to the symbol used for the Honda Cars logo.
The logo for the Honda motorcycle brand features the same wordmark as you’ll see in the official Honda logo, though in a slightly darker shade of red. In place of the silver “H” shape, we see a bold wing, depicted in deep red.
The image of this motorcycle logo is excellent for conveying a sense of speed and power at the same time. The lines of the wing almost look metallic, highlighting the manufacturing prowess of the brand.
Introduced over 120 years ago in 1901, Indian Motorcycle is one of the better-known motorcycle brands in America. The manufacturing company was initially named “Hendee” but changed its name to the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company in 1923.
Indian Motorcycle now produces a wide range of bikes, including the famous Challenger and Challenger Dark Horse, introduced in 2020.
Elegant and sophisticated, the Indian Motorcycle logo combines a cursive wordmark with a bold tagline written in sans-serif font. The combination of typefaces, combined with the red and brown coloring, create a powerful and passionate-looking brand.
Another well-known option on our list of motorcycle brand emblems, the Kawasaki logo belongs to Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, a public multinational corporation responsible for designing all kinds of products, from aerospace machinery to motorcycles.
Kawasaki produces a host of high-performance bikes, including Ninja sport bikes, cruisers, dual-purpose bikes, and motocross motorcycles.
The logo, like many of the options covered in this list, is depicted in red to convey passion and vitality. The sans-serif wordmark makes the company appear bold and fun, while the unique design of the “K” differentiates the brand.
Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen, or KTM, is an Austrian producer of motorcycles, sports cars, and bikes. The company traces its origins all the way back to 1934, though the company maintains it was “officially” formed in 1992.
Best-known for off-road motorcycles like the enduro, motocross, and Supermoto, KTM has a strong presence in the motoring world today.
The KTM logo is a bold emblem depicted in orange and black. The bright orange rectangle highlights the creativity and energy of the brand, while the strong black lettering gives the company a sense of stability.
This is one of the few companies to use orange in its logo, aside from Harley Davidson.
Launched in 1955, Royal Enfield of India is a British motorcycle company with a headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in India. Currently the oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production, Royal Enfield built its first motorcycle under a different name in 1901.
The Royal Enfield motorbike emblem is simple but elegant, featuring the name of the company in a custom font. The unique typeface allows elements of the letters to flow together.
Like many of the motorbike logos we’ve looked at so far, this wordmark is depicted in red, a color often associated with passion and energy.
The Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese brand headquartered in Minami-Ku in Japan. This company is best-known for creating a host of different vehicles, from standard automobiles to all-terrain vehicles, wheelchairs, and motorcycles.
Currently one of the biggest automakers in the world, Suzuki has earned a reputation for producing a diverse selection of transportation tools.
The Suzuki emblem is bold and eye-catching, featuring a stylized “S” in bright red, placed alongside a wordmark in blue. The combination of colors conveys both reliability and intensity.
Re-established in 1983, Triumph Motorcycles Limited was introduced by John Bloor after the company’s original brand went into receivership. The new organization continued the line of motorcycles which had begun production in 1902.
Triumph is best-known for producing more lightweight motocross bikes, but the company also produces a host of tourer bikes and alternative vehicles too.
The Triumph logo is simple but effective. The wordmark is a subtle serif typeface with bold, black letters on a white background.
The most unique element of the connection between the line in the “H” and one of the legs from the “R”. The line connects like a road, highlighting the focus of the brand.
The Yamaha Company from Japan doesn’t just produce iconic motorcycles; it’s also responsible for building a variety of outboard motors and boats. The company first appeared in 1955, after separation from the Yamaha Corporation.
Currently, the company sells everything from motorcycles and scooters, to motorized bicycles, sail boats, and personal watercrafts. The diversity of the company makes it one of the biggest brands in the Japanese market, and the world.
The bright shade of red in the Yamaha logo helps to convey the excitement and vivacity behind the brand. The logo also features an eye-catching symbol with three tuning forks representing the corporative relationship of production, technology and sales for the brand.
Otherwise known as the MV Agusta Motor SPA, MV Agusta is a motorcycle manufacturer launched in 1945 as one of the branches of the Agusta aircraft company. The abbreviation of “MV” stands for “Mechanics” (Meccanica) and “Verghera”, the location where the first MVs were produced.
The MV Agusta Company has achieved a number of racing wins over the years with their motorcycle team, and are well-known for a wide range of classic street and race model bikes.
Though a little outdated in the eyes of some brand experts, the MV Agusta logo still has an impact, with its golden gear in the background, and set of blue wings. The coloring certainly sets the company apart from other motorcycle companies.
Created in 1921, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European manufacturer committed to continuous motorcycle production. The brand is noted for its role in Italy’s motorcycling history, as well as its worldwide impact on motorcycle innovation.
Moto Guzzi has had a number of influential parts to play in the transformation of the motorbike over the years, introducing innovations like the first motorcycle center stand and eight-cylinder engine.
The Moto Guzzi logo features the name of the company in bold sans-serif letters. The blocky nature of the typeface conveys the strength and resiliency of the brand.
The soaring bird above the wordmark is a depiction of freedom and speed.
Introduced in 1911, more than 110 years ago, Benelli Motorcycles is an Italian motorbike brand based in the Pesaro region. Though a slightly lesser-known company than some of the motorbike brands on this list, the motorcycle symbols associated with Benelli have spread across the globe.
Benelli currently belongs to the larger Qianjiang Motorcycle brand, owned by the Geely holding group. The current products in the company’s portfolio include various racing, touring, and sporting bikes, as well as scooters.
Benelli’s logo is a highly sophisticated badge, designed to highlight the history of the brand, and its position in the Italian motorcycling industry.
The lion on the emblem depicts the strength and power of the company.
The Norton Motorcycle Company, previously known as Norton Motors, is a motorbike brand based originally in Birmingham, England. The company was first launched in 1898, and it was re-launched again in 2008, after a period out of production.
Norton bikes aren’t as well-known across the globe today as some of the motorcycles on this list, however they do have quite a significant presence among fans and collectors.
Norton’s motorcycle logo is one of the simpler options mentioned here, but it still has a fantastic impact. The decorative typeface is designed to tie the letters together and make them look almost like the body of a motorbike.
Victory motorcycles was one of the most popular and well-known manufacturers of motorcycles in America. The company began production of motorbikes in 1998, and eventually began winding down its operations in January 2017, to be succeeded by the traditional motorcycle company, Indian.
Over the years, Victory produced a wide range of models, ranging from the Vegas to the Gunner, and the Hammer 8-Ball. There are still a number of Victory motorbikes on the road today, although the company has officially shut down production.
Victory’s logo is an eye-catching and bold emblem, featuring the name of the company placed on a silver banner over a large silver and red V. The design is vibrant and spirited, intended to show the strength and potential of the company.
An Italian manufacturer of custom and production bikes, Bimota was originally founded in 1973. The name of the company is actually a portmanteau taken from the first two letters of each of the surnames of the three founders, Bianchi, Morri, and Tamburini.
Bimota is best-known for its collection of racing motorcycles, ranging from the HDB1 to the Bimota YB3. The current motorcycles in production include the KB4 and the Tesi H2.
Funky and fun, the Bimota logo uses thick sans-serif font in all lowercase to depict the name of the company. The “B” emblem used in the logo uses a very short ascender, so it almost looks like a wheel.
The Hero MotoCorp Group, previously known as Hero Honda, is a multinational manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, headquartered in India. The company is currently the largest two-wheeler manufacturer worldwide, and in India, where it has a 37.1% market share.
The company has produced a number of vehicles over the years, including the Hero Honda Passion and the Hero Karizma R. Though the brand previously had a collaboration with Honda, this was terminated by 2010.
Hero’s logo uses a unique combination of shapes and white space to create a “H” design using black, white, and red blocks. Underneath, the wordmark “Hero” also has its own innovative typeface, highlighting the creativity of the brand.
An Italian motorcycle company and one of the older motorbike brands on our list, Beta was introduced in 1904, and continues to produce vehicles today. The brand is best-known for its popular observed trial bike collection.
Over the years, Beta motorcycles have been embraced by some of the world’s biggest trials champions, including Albert Cabestany, Dougie Lampkin, and Jordi Tarres. The production in 2018 exceeded 20,000 motorcycles.
Beta’s logo is a bold and playful symbol, excellent for depicting the unique personality of the brand. The image includes the name of the company in block sans-serif letters, as well as a large “B” written inside of a red circle.
Launched in 1985, Gas Gas is a Spanish motorcycle manufacturer specializing in the production of off-road motorcycles for enduro and trials competitions.
The company was purchase by the KTM Motorcycles Company in 2019. Following this sale, the off-road models of Gas Gas were sold to motorbike company Rieju.
Gas Gas has a strong relationship with a number of motorcycle champions, including Jordi Tarres – who the brand lured away from Beta.
Like a number of major motorcycle brands, Gas Gas uses bold red elements in its logo to highlight passion and strength. The emblem includes the name of the company, and an innovative emblem which uses white space to depict a “G”.
Slightly lesser-known than some of the other motorcycle logos on this list, the Husqvarna emblem belongs to Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH – a Swedish-origin Austrian vehicle company.
This brand is best-known for the production of motocross, supermoto, and enduro motorbikes.
The brand originally began producing its bike collection in Huskvarna in Sweden as a subsidiary of another firm. Today, the brand is owned by the PIERER Mobility Group.
Husqvarna has an eye-catching emblem showcasing the history and heritage of the brand. The use of a deep blue instead of the more common red hues in motorcycle brands references the company’s heritage, and its reliability.
A Taiwanese motorcycle and scooter company located in Hukou, Taiwan, Sanyang Motor, or SYM was introduced in 1954. The company currently has a range of three primary production facilities located in Vietnam, China, and Taiwan.
Best-known for producing a range of motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs, SYM motors also produces a range of mini trucks and automobiles under the Hyundai brand name.
The SYM Motors logo is wonderfully eye-catching, using a combination of blue and red to highlight reliability, trustworthiness, and passion.
The design of the typeface is tilting slightly to the right to showcase motion and speed. The “Y” in the wordmark also has a red arrow pointing to the right.
Celebrating famous motorcycle brands
There are plenty of amazing motorbike brands and motorcycle logos around the world today, highlighting just how powerful the right image can be for any company.
Just like automotive brands, motorcycle companies rely on their symbols not just to differentiate themselves, but also to capture the hearts and minds of their audience.
While there are some common themes in motorcycle brand symbols, like the use of bold block text and red coloring, each company takes its own unique approach to brand design.
If you’d like to learn more about motorcycle symbols, car emblems, or other well-known logos, you can check out other great Logofile posts here on Brand Fabrik.