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What the Colour of Your Motorcycle(s) Says About You

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mouth, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. There is actually a lot of information out there about what our colour choices say about our personalities. Not surprisingly, it’s as subjective as the day is long. Also not surprisingly, there isn’t much out there specific to customer buying trends in the motorcycle industry. Perhaps no one really cares. With one large segment of the industry (dirt bikes), the decisions have been made for you: Hondas are red, Yamaha's are blue, Kawasaki’s are green, KTM's are orange, BMW's are white...the colour of your bike says nothing more than where you need to go for spare parts. It takes about three years for colour trends to react to social influences, and perhaps motorcycle buyers just aren’t that into it.


    Technically, black is not a colour; it’s the absence of colour. It’s also one of the most popular, um, “paint jobs”, for motorcycles. Especially cruisers.

    “Over the years, Suzuki and other manufacturers have tried a myriad of different colours in their cruiser lines, but none have been as successful as an all black unit”, said Wayne Hughes, Sales Manager for Suzuki. Long associated with the macabre and the whole bad-guy thing (Dracula, Darth Vader, Simon Cowell), in a vehicular context, black symbolises sophistication and luxury. On motorcycles, let’s face it, it’s dead sexy. No, really.


    White on the other hand, is the absorption of all light, so it’s the sum of all colours, which is weird, because it seems more like the absence of colour altogether. The canvas is white before you paint on it, right? This explains why white is so often associated with concepts of purity (the driven snow, angels, Apple stuff). Heroes wear white hats and ride white horses (but not the white pony), so maybe you chose a white bike because you’re really just an all-around nice person who’s sort of a purist with style.


    Red evokes strong emotions: “seeing red”, “painting the town red”, or “red-blooded” passion. It’s also inextricably linked to excitement, vis a vis Ferrari’s rosso corsa, or “racing red” (the only legitimate colour for any Ferrari, if you ask me). But, you can’t talk about red motorcycles without talking about that other Italian maker of fast, beautiful things: Ducati. Red bikes on the street are pretty much Ducatis until proven otherwise, but yes, it’s popular in any brand. “It’s a colour that screams speed,” says Suzuki’s Hughes, and it’s difficult to separate the words “speed” and “Ducati”. Red apparently projects action, power, and masculinity. Hmm.....


    The colour green is associated with nature, tranquility, and good luck, but when it comes to motorcycles, green just means Kawasaki. Period. Never mind the sparkly Kelly-green of the Triumph Street Triples and the electric-vomit-green of the early BMW 1000RRs. If you see green on a motorcycle, you’re probably looking at a Kawasaki. While the colour green can have a calming effect (i.e., going to the green room before going out on stage), according to Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy to live with. “You blend in with so many other ordinary things”. Unless it’s Kawasaki green, which, by design, blends with absolutely nothing on the planet. It was a stroke of marketing genius when the brand adopted the colour back in 1968, developed by the late custom car painter, Molly Sanders, who rightly pointed out that no other brand was using that colour. And nobody has since, on or off the road. Not that they couldn’t if they wanted to; colours can be patented.


    This is the most commonly listed favorite colour among men, as evidenced by the well-known fact (in colour-psychology circles, that is) that bluebies can be rigid blokes who stick to what’s familiar and stubbornly do things their way, even if there’s a better way (like mine). That’s blue’s dark side. Conversely, it’s associated with loyalty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and sincerity. Bluebies make true-blue friends. Blue conveys a sense of calm and security, two traits that don’t ordinarily come to mind when thinking about one of the most popular sport bikes ever made: the Suzuki GSXR. Its blue and white livery is its biggest seller.


    Yellow invokes warmth and cheer, and on the road, it’s high-visibility is literally, an attention-getter, hence, another Ferrari-favorite: Modena yellow. Personality traits associated with the colour yellow are rather cerebral: using one’s mind instead of physical traits to accomplish goals, good at networking and problem-solving, while also arrogant, pretentious, and snobbish.


    The high-energy, high-vis vibe this colour gives off make it a favorite for motorcycles, both on and off the road. KTM adopted the colour when emerging from bankruptcy in 1994 as a way of establishing brand identity. Good job; every KTM since then has featured this colour. According to psychology, people who’s “personality colour” is orange are extroverted and sometimes flamboyant risk-takers who aren’t very good housekeepers.

    What colour is your bike and why did you choose it?
  2. I have to sadly admit that none of my present machines are yellow, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to fix that soonish.

    As for the
    I'm from Glasgow....we are all like that!

    Liking yellow motorbikes is a mixed blessing........

    Ducati are really good at yellow..... pity about the bikes. ;-)
    BMW have never really got the hang of yellow. :-(
    Suzuki were good at yellow, years ago, I had a yellow X5, and, if I could find an affordable one, I'd buy a yellow Stinger even now.

    Biggest trouble is that so many of the modern machine paint jobs are so chopped and buggered about that there isn't a clear dominant colour....it's bits of yellow and bits of pink and bits of black and so on.

    BTW, part of the plan for at least one of my machines becoming yellow relies on the use of PlastiDip. Has anyone experience in using that stuff?
  3. Plastidip? Sounds like a party finger food...do you have to apply and sand back etc?

    I think kwaka green is like Wasabi...you either hate it or love it...
    But it is hard to match for colour though...might go custom for next bike...nice dark metallic purpley sort of colour.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Looking back, every bike I've owned has been black and red. Not one was bought with colour in mind, it just ended up that way.
  5. When I bought the VFR nearly three years ago it was Candy Tahitian Blue, a stock Honda colour, as on my Hornet, and several models of the Blackbird, but not stock for the VFR of that year. I think that's why the eBay auction had attracted thirty one watchers but not one bidder: people probably thought it had been crashed and needed a repaint.
    When I examined it more closely after I bought it I discovered that it had, in fact, had three colour lives: it had originally been bottle green, then been repainted red and then blue.
    When I had it repainted again I stuck with Candy Tahitian Blue, because it was the Hornet's colour and because it made the bike stand out a bit from the standard '95 colour palette.
    And, yes i am a rigid bloke who sticks to what is familiar and stubbornly does things my own way :LOL:.
  6. Well that doesn't sound like me!!! Pfft to Orange
  7. My perception of the colour of my bike is white, blue, black and silver in almost equal measure, what does that mean?
  8. You can't make up your mind what sort of person you are?
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  9. Tin foil over your eyes? Not an illegal visor?
  10. An old north sydney bears supporter perchance?
  11. like I tell the coppers, 1% ters dont ride coloured motorcycles Officer, mines blue.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Way back when I sort of followed a team it was St George, but that was well before the whole Super League fiasco and I haven't bothered since. I've also owned more Kawasakis than anything else but always in black and red. If I could have had the one I wanted most recently it would have been a KLR650 in sunburst orange, but they decided not to import that colour into Auz last year which is a pity, as imho it was the best colour scheme/graphics combo they had on that bike in '14.
  13. I had a 95 ktm250exc, it was white, so it must of been every ktm since 96 that has been orange not 94, just sayin :)


    But I do ride an orange bike now, xr1200

    • Like Like x 1
  14. #14 CrazyCam, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
    Hornet1. Hi Hornet.

    When I got one of the earliest 600 Hornets in Oz, it was a really nice blue..... don't remember the name, but, as part of the deal, I had Sydney City Motorcycles paint the wheels a nice bright yellow.

    Later on, when I had a chance, I got the seat of the Hornet recovered in yellow, too, as a sort of nod to the BMW K1 paint job.

    What does it say about me?

    I'm a lair. :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Yep me too...back in the good old Langlands Teddy Goodwin days...even had a drink at the Carlton pub after training...
    See you do think about bike colour though! Very specific -sunburst orange no less.
  16. Pink.

    I wonder what a psychologist would make of that special paint job that I had done.......

    probably figure out I'm a lair.
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. Gotta be red, gotta be red... why isn't my bike red?
  18. I only thought about the colour for that one as it was going to be ordered brand new, and after looking at the black and green options as well the orange was just the best looking one for the year model (black looked better the year before). It's not that I don't like Kawasaki Green, it's just that the "bold new graphics" REALLY didn't work with anything except the orange (imho). In the end I got my Strom (great deal came up) which is ... black and red.
  19. Mmmm very pink...you like musk sticks perhaps?
  20. My current bike is silver, my previous bikes have been black, red, blue, white, yellow and multi colour.

    My preference leans toward red and black but if the deal is good enough I'll buy a floor model in a different colour to save money.
    • Like Like x 1