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Which bike color to use: the pros and cons of all of them

9 minutes

Each to their own, there are no rules – and that goes for colors too. However, in the world of motorcycles, the issue of color is also important and there are a few pros and cons to be considered.

Which bike color to use: the pros and cons of all of them

Our language is very rich in idiomatic expressions and speaking of colors, there are two sayings that leave no doubt about the great variety of opinions when it comes to choosing them. Sayings such as “there’s no accounting for taste” or “different strokes for different folks” argue that the choice of the color of your bike is purely up to the individual and that there are no rules in this respect.

Sometimes the decoration used on the bodywork is more eye-catching than the bike itself. It is also true that sometimes we have to opt for a color that we like less, because the motorcycle model we want is not produced in our favorite color. And, in other cases, some colors are linked to the brand that manufactures the bike, others to bike types, and some are even associated with specific riders. 

Motos de colores llamativos aparcadas en batería

Just as we choose the color of the walls in our room or the color of the clothes we wear, if we can, we should choose a motorcycle with a color that we like. And if not, we always have the option of painting our motorcycle. In this way, we will enjoy ourselves more every time we hop on and we will be more relaxed psychologically. It is true that there are motorcycles that have several colors on their bodywork, but in most cases, one color predominates over the others and is the one that is seen most clearly from afar.

Moto Honda CBR de color rojo

Color psychology and its impact on motorcycle handling

There is a relationship between colors and our perceptions of them, as well as their respective influence on our mood. Our brain actually associates colors with certain feelings or moods, so a red motorcycle we tend to associate with passion and energy, a blue one with tranquility, or a black one with elegance. However far we may agree with this, what is clear is that when it comes to choosing a motorcycle, its color plays a significant role.

Compared to other vehicles on the streets or roads, motorcycles are smaller in size, so it is essential that they are easy to pick out for other road users. This means bright colors such as red, yellow, green, orange, and others help to increase visibility and help motorcycles to be detected earlier and therefore to ride more safely. Less striking colors, such as black or gray, can make them go harder to notice in certain situations.

Moto Honda de color negro

Tips for choosing the color of your bike

When choosing the right color for your bike, there are a number of factors to take into account that go beyond purely aesthetic reasons or whether you prefer one color over another.

Visibility on the road is essential and, in this regard, there are several colors that meet this requirement perfectly. This is the case with bright colors such as red, orange, yellow, or green. Colors such as black or gray, as well as blue, tend to be less visible and pose a risk at night.

The durability of the color can also be a decisive aspect. Not all colors react in the same way when exposed to the sun, there are some that are prone to degrade more easily and quickly. Red is one of the colors that is most affected and, in the long term, tends toward pinkish or dull tones, just as yellow tends to beige, white to yellow, and black to gray. It should be noted that the other colors also degrade, but it is just not so clearly visible.

Another thing to bear in mind is that if we buy a bike with a more unusual color, it can then become a sticking point when it comes to selling it. And when buying a second-hand motorcycle, we advise you to make sure that everything is fully in order.

Moto CBR Honda vinilada del equipo Repsol Honda

Pros and cons of bright colors on the bike

The color red on a motorcycle is associated with high performance and also with racing enthusiasts. It is inevitable to relate the colors to certain types of motorcycle or brands and, although Honda has been closely linked to this color throughout history (especially in the case of Motocross, Enduro, and raid bikes), Ducati is the brand most identified with the color red and many of its bikes, including the official MotoGP bikes, display this color. Another brand that is closely associated with red is MV Agusta, whose factory produces mainly high-end and high-performance models.

Moto de motocross de color rojo

If we are looking for a striking color, yellow is one of the first that comes to mind. In nature, this color represents a warning, so it is virtually impossible for a yellow motorcycle to go unnoticed wherever it goes. Although this is increasingly less so, it is true that in Spain, especially in the worlds of theater and bullfighting, it is associated with bad luck, and if not, just ask Ángel Nieto and his rituals and superstitions. However, in the motorcycling world, Suzuki has been using yellow for many years on its off-road models and more recently on its trail motorcycles. Valentino Rossi and his followers also identify strongly with this color.

Moto Trail Suzuki de color amarillo llamativo

Both are clearly conspicuous colors and therefore help other drivers to quickly become aware of your presence on the road. However, this same reason may also entail certain risks and cause other drivers to become distracted and take their eyes and attention off the road.

Pros and cons of dark colors on a bike

Black is a more discreet color, but it is also identified with powerful and elegant motorcycles. It is also more common to see custom models decorated in this color. This is why black is often associated with people who are night owls. If there is one brand that we could associate with this color, it would have to be Harley-Davidson. One advantage of black over other colors is that it is more resistant to grease stains and brake pad residues, which is why it is often chosen to decorate the alloy wheels of motorcycles.

In terms of disadvantages we could say that it is a shade that concentrates a lot of the sun’s heat and in summer it can heat up the tank more than usual, making it more difficult to ride. In addition, dark colors can lead to additional risks, especially at night, when it is more difficult for other drivers to identify the motorcycle, which increases the possibility of an accident.

Moto Harley-Davidson de color negro oscuro

Pros and cons of other colors on the bike

White is also an elegant color, but is not used much on motorcycles because it does not cope very well with grease and other soiling that is difficult to clean. However, it blends in small scratches well and helps in spotting the bike quickly from a distance. White can be associated with touring and trail bikes, the ones which currently spend the most time on the roads. In addition, motorcycles used by the police in many countries are often painted mainly white. This can be seen in the Guardia Civil de Tráfico and in various local police forces.

Moto BMW  de color blanco

Outside the world of motorcycles, blue is a color that is connected with water and air, and also conveys security and confidence. In the area we are dealing with now, it is a shade that is associated with Yamaha in all forms of motorcycling sport. Suzuki also uses it extensively on its road bikes, which is why fans of both brands often identify with this color.

Moto de color azul rodando en circuito

Green, usually associated with nature, is a color that is closely associated with one brand. Kawasaki has been using it as its “combat color” on both asphalt and dirt tracks for more than half a century. In this case, it is the shade we know as “lime green”, which, without being quite as bright as yellow, is a color that can be easily spotted from far away. Some Triumph models are also lacquered in this tone, but in their case with the well-known “English green” shade, which is darker and more elegant.

Moto Kawasaki de color verde en un circuito

Another brand closely associated with one single color is KTM. In most of the models it produces, it is orange that predominates. This is a color that conveys energy and perfectly matches the “Ready to race” philosophy that has characterized the Austrian company since its rebirth back in 1994. It is difficult to find a KTM bike that does not have orange on its bodywork.

Moto KTM de color naranja rodando en circuito

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