Whether you’re obsessed with motorcycles or just want to know more about the history of logo design, this is the post for you.

In it, we’re sharing the top 5 facts behind famous motorcycle logos.

1. Harley-Davidson’s Shield

Of course, this is probably the most recognizable of all motorcycle logos.

But did you know it actually depicts a shield, and that it has been around since 1909?

Additionally, Harley-Davidson had its own special font created just for the logo. Now, it’s been used by multiple companies and designers to give a tough, chrome-filled look to countless products.

2. The History of Honda

Everyone can instantly recognize the gleaming, chrome silver “H” of the Honda logo. But the logo the company uses for its cars is different than the one it places on its motorcycles.

The main difference?

An upward-facing, bright red wing. Over the years (and during special occasions or limited releases) the wings have been many different colors. We especially like the basic black, or the more patriotic red, white, and blue.

It seems like a great excuse to keep collecting more motorcycles!

3. Ducati’s Evolution

If you’re a motorcycle buff, you may have noticed that Ducati’s logo has changed several times over the years.

When the company was first created in the 1920s, the logo included a bolt of thunder. Later on, Ducati’s motorcycles were branded with a bird in flight. Soon, red and green, the colors of the Italian flag, were added to the mix.

Today, Ducati’s logo is a red shield shape, with silver writing and a depiction of a slightly curved road.

Who knows what will be next?

4. Yamaha’s Musical Past

You’ve seen the Yamaha logo countless times, but do you actually know what it is?

Interestingly, it’s actually a tuning fork! This is because the founder of Yamaha wasn’t initially in the motorcycle business. In fact, he was a celebrated piano maker.

If you fall during a bike ride, this would be a great story to tell your motorcycle injury attorney!

5. The Truth About the BMW Logo

Lots of people wrongly think that one of the most famous motorcycle logos, the BMW logo, is an airplane propellor.

Well, it turns out, they’re wrong.

However, it’s not too much of a stretch, as the logo does have something to do with aviation. This is because the colors of the logo are actually based on the flag of the Bavarian region in Germany.

But while BMW actually did make airplanes during World War I, afterwards, it switched to making motorcycles.

How’s that for a fun cocktail party fact?

You’re Now an Expert in Motorcycle Logos!

Thanks to this post, you know much more about motorcycle logos than most — and you can use this knowledge to inform your own logo design.

What this article teaches us is that great care went into crafting these logos. Nothing was done randomly. Apply that same intention to your own creations.

For more design inspiration, check out our blog. If you’re ready to start making your own design, use our free online logo maker tool.