A selection of motorcycle paintjobs ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Anyone easily befuddled by horrific lapses in taste really should look away now
There have been some dreadful factory paint schemes over the years. Here they are in their full horror
ONE OF THE SIMPLEST things in the world is to wreck a bike’s value by applying a “one-off” paint scheme to an otherwise perfectly presentable motorcycle. But over the years it’s not just misguided individuals who have besmirched decent bikes with their visions of individuality.
Factories (by and large) have a fair idea of what their corporate style is from season to season. Usually their approach is consistent, conservative and recognizable. Occasionally they divert from the norm with varying WORDS MARK GRAHAM results. Honda’s “Urban Tiger” livery for the 1994 Fireblade shouldn’t have worked – but somehow did – even though it resembled a cross between a pair of old corduroy trousers and the stage outfit of Imagination’s Leee (sic) John.
The firm’s later ’98 ’Blade in the catastrophically jarring Lapis Blue Metallic scheme (squint below) did not work in any way. It was as close to disaster as any self-respecting styling department would care to sail. then in 1999, perhaps by way of contrition, Honda then numbed us with a ploddingly dull 1960’s Grand Prix guise on (perhaps fittingly) AVFR800.
Nor are Honda alone in crimes against aesthetic sensibilities.the other three of the Big Four have regularly produced utterly execrable attempts at capturing the zeitgeist of the time – while straying from their more usual moderately appealing offerings.
And don’t for a moment imagine European factories to be in any way exempt from the worst excesses of errant painting.and do please enjoy these horribly unsettling fragments of visual disaster zones past…