Motorcycle Art





Introduction: Motorcycle Art

About: I'm a former bicycle industry designer turned professional jeweler. I like working with my hands and am happiest when I'm in the shop building my creations. If you need help with your project just let me know!

I really enjoy drawing- and motorcycles! Of course if I actually owned a motorcycle I'd probably seriously injure myself so I console myself by drawing pictures of them. I enjoy drawing them because, much like a bicycle, I consider them to be functional art and you can see all the mechanical bits. I especially like racing bikes as they are so clean without all the lights and such that street bikes have.

I do all my drawings using a 4H drafting pencil, an eraser and a tissue. I tend to prefer illustration board as it holds up well to my erasing- I make lots of mistakes! I generally start with a freehand light line drawing and then refine that. Getting the wheels right is probably the hardest part. Once I'm happy with that I start filling in and shading and then I blend in areas using a tissue and then pull out highlights with the eraser.

While I have done paintings in oils and acrylics (not of motorcycles) there is just something that is so simple and elegant about pencil drawing that makes it far and away my favorite 2D art form. I have recently started drawing on the computer using a tablet and it's super fun but it's a challenging transition- I'm floored by the artwork people do on computers today.

The drawings shown here are (in order) the Britten V1100, Cagiva V591 GP bike, Honda/Elf 2 experimental endurance racer and Harley VR1000 race bike. Out of the four drawings the Britten V1100 is my favorite. John Britten was the ultimate maker- the entire bike was made by hand by himself and his friends. He heat treated the engine castings in his wife's pottery kiln, formed the body work patterns using welding wire and foam, made his own carbon fiber chassis, wheels and bodywork and completely changed the way a lot of people in the motorcycle industry looked at motorcycles. Many of his engineering concepts had been done before but he was one of the first guys to put them all together into a very competitive machine that took on the big manufacturers. I gave this drawing to a neighbor of mine that lost his leg in a motorcycle accident as he's a huge Britten fan and whenever we meet we always talk about motorcycle technology and design. Whenever I look at the Britten I'm always inspired to go out in the garage and work on my own bicycle projects. :)

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    how much would you charge to draw up a "Honda Hawk"?

    1 reply

    Boy I really don't know- I have so many things in the works it would probably be a couple of years before I would even be able to get around to drawing something like that. I do really like the Hawk though- it's a really neat motorcycle.

    Thanks! I've really been meaning to draw more but I just have so many projects in the works!

    Just outside of Dayton,Ohio there H.D. shop that has an outline of bike in diamond plate about 30 foot tall on the front of the building facing the interstate. You might be able to find it in Google images.

    My first bike was in high school, a Honda 90cc Trail/street, little red job. Now I'm still riding my favorites, a 1967 Triumph Trophy 650cc, and a 1972 Norton Commando Interstate (big 5 gallon gas tank), oh, almost forgot the big grocery getter, a 1982 Gold wing Aspencade. Once you ride, you really never want to stop!
    The freedom, the air, the view, the power, its very addicting! Love your drawings, my daughter is a college sophomore in Graphic Arts, I'm going to show her your work, thanks again, Cheers, Triumphman

    '66 & '67 Triumphs.JPG
    1 reply

    Thanks so much! Those Triumphs are beautiful bikes. A guy that used to live around the corner from me was restoring an old Norton Manx, which was very cool.


    your good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    love your drawings

    have you considered doing books of your art?????


    1 reply

    Thanks! I've never considered doing any kind of art book. I have thought about doing a costuming one though. :)

    You should get yerself a motorcycle sir.
    I too love motorcycles and draw (architect) for a living.

    I couldn't see myself without have a bike. "Drawing" bikes just wouldn't cut it for me. I'd need one, even if a small 250 type engine, just to putt around in.

    Also, I'm sure you must be exposed to motorcycles since your drawings are very you work at a moto shop? or have some sort of connection to motorcycles on a daily basis?

    3 replies

    I don't work at a moto shop but I have studied motorcycle design and technology extensively over the last 20 years (primarily regarding suspension design) as I used to be a designer in the bicycle industry.

    wow....what a way cool job!
    that's fantastic dude.
    What was your college major? Industrial Design or Engineering?
    When I grow up and go to college (again) I'm going to become a motorcycle designer.......that's after I retire that is.

    I originally studied aeronautical/mechanical engineering but eventually ended up in the art department. I moved to L.A. in the late 80's to attend Art Center to study industrial/transportation design but ended up in the bike industry working in R&D. It was a lot of fun working in the bicycle business. :)

    Oh...and as far as "the wife thing"...well, I had the same reaction when I got married. I told my wife that I had ridden most of my life and didn't have a bike when we got married cause we were focusing on the funds for the wedding. As time went by though.....I constantly noticed that when bikes would ride by...I'd turn my head all the way round, seeing them whiz by me, always wondering when I'd be on two wheels again.

    So, when I turned 40 (I'm 48 now), I told my wife I was re-engaging on 2-wheels again....she kinda didn't like that too much.

    My response to her dislike for motorcycles was the following: "Honey, I know you don't like for me to be on a motorcycle but I tell ya what, I'm giving you a choice here. I either get a motorcycle once again or I get a mistress....I'll let you decide"......needless to say....I've been on two wheels ever since and gone through about 12 bikes since I started riding up again when turning good luck and just a word of caution. Not good to say "My wife doesn't let me have one".....just isn't manly dude.

    Your wife doesn't even let you ride...a bicycle????
    get a new wife!

    1 reply

    I ride my bike all the time. :)

    Wow! these are amazing . . .almost look like technical drawings or CAD printouts :D and all with a 4H! insane! I'm probably a bit to dependent on variety but I usually range from 4H down to 4B.

    Owning a motorcycle does carry inherent risk but what most people forget is that risk isn't binary . . .it can be managed and mitigated by practicing safe riding and wearing proper gear. More like a ladder . . .which rung do you want to stand on? It's totally understandable if you do not feel comfortable taking on that risk but if you like them that much you ought to take an MSF course or something along those lines where you get to ride on a closed course in a safe environment :D Beginner courses don't get up much past 15 miles per hour so even in a worst case scenario you still stand pretty good chances of emerging unscathed.

    Anyway, keep up the drawing!

    1 reply

    Thanks- glad you like them!
    I've come close to buying a motorcycle a couple of time in the past and I absolutely would take a safety course. I honestly probably consider it less dangerous than mountain biking and I'm really not worried about getting hurt- in all honesty I totally trust myself on two wheels. My wife on the other hand doesn't even like me riding my bicycle on the road...