Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so a motorbike that one rider might consider beautiful could appear so ugly to others they veer off the road in disgust!
Most motorcycles are more attractive than just about any of the cars on the road, especially modern models that seem to look more like sand shoes than cars.
Perhaps the most beauty challenged style of motorcycle is the adventurer. These are, after all, very practical machines, so looks are not important.
The ubiquitous BMW boxer GS models have been among the least attractive, yet I know many owners who think they have a certain macho charm.
But it’s not impossible to make an attractive adventure bike. Take, for example the Moto Guzzi Stelvio and its replacement, the V85 TT.
Which brings us to the first in our list.
10 most ugly bikes
10 Ducati Multistrada
The original 2003 Multistrada was widely referred to as the “Uglystrada”. The front headlight and fairing assembly look more like a Dyson vacuum cleaner than a motorcycle. It also rated in the top 10 simply because Ducati usually gets styling right (Paso aside), but this was such a hideous miss. Thankfully Ducati has totally redeemed the Multiustrada since a total redesign in 2010.
9 MV Agusta F4Z Zagato
In the same vein, we expect Italian colleagues MV Agusta to get design right, even if they have trouble with reliability. In fact, the F4 is considered by many to be the most beautiful bike ever built. I agree. But it comes as a slap in the face that MV would prostitute itself for a rich Japanese businessman and produce this one-off Zagato F4 monstrosity. Some may love it, but I just can’t look at it without feeling betrayed.
8 Most Chinese bikes
Most Chinese motorcycles fall into a design black hole. CFMoto is usually an exception to Chinese ugly, but this CF250T-5 is frightful. What is it, anyway? A cross between a cruiser, scooter and a household appliance?
7 Victory Vision
Is it any wonder Victory Motorcycles was axed? This massive tourer looked like someone chainsawed a ’57 Chev right up the middle. If Elvis is high on your Spotify rotation and you still use Brylcream, it may look attractive in a ‘50s sci-fi way. It actually handled well, but it was an embarrassment to ride and on a warm day, it was unbearably hot.
6 BMW K1
One of the biggest impediments to motorcycle efficiency is aerodynamics. In an effort to streamline bikes there have been some aero design hits like the Hayabusa (some may say it’s a miss). However, there have been many more misses. Top of the aero-awful list is the K1 which is even worse than the Ducati Paso. It may have been a techno de force with ABS and 16-valve engine, but it was fuK1 ugly!
5 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Here’s another example of aero gone wrong. The new Road Glide is actually the best-handling of their touring bikes because the fairing is attached to the frame, not the forks, and it has great aero. But that bull-nose fairing is way out of proportion and looks ugly from every angle, including the rider’s seat.
4 Triumph Speed Triple
I’m going to step on a lot of toes here, because this is a much-loved bike. But the original Speed Triple with its bug-eyed twin headlights was hideous. They simply stuck out like an afterthought. Later models had reshaped lights and a small cowl above them that integrated better with the rest of the bike. Amazing how headlights can ruin a bike. Just take a look at the Ducati 999 with its stacked torch lights and the BMW S 1000 RR with its cockeyed lamps, although they’ve now gone symmetrical.
3 Honda Rune
The Honda Rune looks like something Batman would ride. If that’s your thing, great, but then Batman did wear his underpants on the outside! This 2004 cut-down Goldwing was a good idea that Honda later got right with the F6B and F6C. But this first limited-edition model was like a big plastic Batman toy.
2 Suzuki B-King
Some days I love this beast. Other days it just looks beastly. The Suzuki B-King looks like it was the result of a bunch of designers who concentrated on their own little bit. It just doesn’t have any cohesion and ends up looking like a Transformer. Also, its massive underseat pipes and lights formed a “frightened face” looking back at the following traffic.
1 Johammer J1
The award for the ugliest bike goes to the electric Johammer J1 with its fat body, corrugated bodywork, leading-link forks and antenna mirrors and mini-ape bars. It looks like a character from the film “A Bug’s Life”. Electric motorcycles allow so much more diversity of design than traditional bikes with internal combustion engines because the motors and batteries can be just about any shape, says Roland Sands. So why did the Scandinavian designers choose two make it look like a beetle?