It’s fair to say that motorcyclists are a little unhinged. It’s the best thing about us. We like silly, crazy, fast, adrenalin-packed things. So when it comes to wowing us with advertising, you kind of have to go the extra mile.
Luckily for lovers of motorcycling and cool adverts alike manufacturers frequently do. These are some of the best efforts from around the world. If we missed any, be sure to let us know below in the comments thread.
Kawasaki – Radar Camera Tractor
We’ve had confirmation that the Kawasaki 263 km/h tractor ad is real, but there are still parts of this example we’re unsure of. The text on the second-last billboard panel for example. The “Kawasaki is Back” part seems legit, the bit before that… not so much.
Regardless, the tractor part is a real ad that ran in Europe. It would never fly here in nanny-state North America but this most famous of clips from a series of ads that celebrates Kawasaki’s blistering speed is truly brilliant.
Triumph – Rocket 3
You know from the very beginning this one is going to be hilarious. “With over 900 years of motorcycle manufacturing…” moves smoothly into an explanation of the engine build process – it’s grown from an embryo. The bike’s handling is taken directly from the “argument lobe of the female brain” and fun is added via “osmosis”. Is it worth the 2m40s of your life it takes to watch it? Yes.
Honda – Impossible Dream
Honda might split this ad with some non-motorcycle things like cars and boats and airplanes and robots, but there’s no question the two-wheeled Honda’s are the real stars of the show. From the monkey bike the ad’s hero first departs on, to the Cub, the Honda ATV, CBRs a VFR and more. The company that bought us “you meet the nicest people on a Honda” has outdone themselves with this epic.
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Bajaj Pulsar – Pulsar Mania
This Indian bike company is completely unknown in North America, but it’s a big deal on the subcontinent. This advert is frankly spectacular. Sure, stunt riding is a bit passe these days – it’s all been done. Right? Not really. This video puts together some truly great riding, made all the more intense because the bikes, Bajaj Pulsar 180s are little 17 hp, 13 lb-ft commuter bikes. Hardly the sort of machines you expect to bust mad wheelies, rolling burnouts and monster stoppies!
Harley-Davidson – Respected Everywhere
Subtlety is not a word one usually associates with the Harley-Davidson brand, which is why this ultra-simple and stunning ad is so clever. It speaks for itself, and it’s only a standard TV spot long.
Yamaha – WR Adventure
Ever fantasized about blowing off the office on a Friday afternoon in dramatic style and dashing off to a world of adventure with your mates? Yamaha has too, and this commercial for their WR trail bike paints an enticing picture.
Ducati – What Moves You
Perhaps the most famous Italian motorcycle marque, Ducati owners the world over speak in glowing tones of the “character” and “soul” inherent in their trellis-framed machines. In this ad, Ducati successfully captures that spirit.
BMW – Dinner for RR
How fast can a BMW S1000RR accelerate? Fast enough to pull a tablecloth out from a fully set table. That’s how fast. No, seriously. Literally. This video proves it.
Aprilia – Tricks are not our Talent
Thought that last one was hard to top? Aprilia disagrees. Strongly. I won’t spoil it for you. Click the button.
Aprilia – Real bikes
A double up, I know, but this one has a lot of the typical biker clichés: the reaching for the gloves, zipping up the jacket, strutting out to the garage – all of it. But Aprilia has thrown a twist into this campaign.