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Vintage Motorcycle Ads

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Scott in Other. 11 comments

If this website was around in the 1960’s, we’d be featuring an army of beautiful women straddling motorbikes on just about every single page. The site would be filled to the brim with them. Before ‘political correctness’ was ever invented, the motorcycle industry loved to target males (sorry ladies) using some good old fashioned ‘sex sells’ tactics. They’d usually do it with headlines filled with sexual innuendo and many, MANY beautifully seductive women. Women that stared you in the eye and said “Purchase this fine motorbike and you will find yourself swimming in a ocean of pre-feminist, lose-moraled women in see-through clothing without any buttons.”

These are a collection of magazine ads from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s that pay homage to those golden days of advertising. Enjoy…

[ Thanks to Groovy Cycles and Lifelounge]

  • Andrew

    Anyone know how to wolf whistle with emoticons?

  • unitedguitar

    Man you would get fried for an advertisement like this in the states now. Then some feminist group would come up with an ad that looks the same but has a half naked guy instead of a woman. They'd be like would you buy this now? Advertisers used to be able to appeal to what they knew men would want. Now they have to sell a product on merit alone. Tough gig.

    In all seriousness though, ads like this probably wouldn't be as effective today as they were back in the 60's and 70's. Our culture is so sex driven that putting an attractive woman in an ad doesn't really stand out that much. Advertisers really have to appeal to peoples sense of adventure when it comes to selling bikes. Or if you are Harley Davidson, you sell bikes on grounds of tradition.

  • Err… I want to buy a Norton just right now…. I don't know why…

    @Andrew LOL

    'political correctness' is screwing the world and disguising the reality

  • Den

    I love old ads, great hair and fashion, one can see the ladies had a good sense of protective clothing, so much more copy in those days too. I hope that woman with the cigarette was careful not to spill any pre mix from the Bultaco's tank!

  • Jon Callihan

    I always knew there was a reason that I had a B50 BSA!

    • pas

      I recall those Norton 850 Commando ads now….whew cant imagine why

  • st

    Would you leave out the 'politically correct' BS? It's just an opening for whiny assholes to start complaining about something totally unrelated ("women don't like me…because of feminism i bet!")

    Especially since sexy ladies are, you know, still in ads directed to men. I mean, how could you not know that?

    "Man you would get fried for an advertisement like this in the states now." Have you people ever watched television or read a magazine? These ads are everywhere. The only difference in this post is that the ads are from 40 or 50 years ago. Plus, since motorcycles aren't only ridden by men, a company would be shooting themselves in the foot by only advertising to half the population.

  • SportsterMike

    I remember the Norton ads in the UK mags at the time (God I;m getting old…)
    There were also some nice Moto Guzzi ones in a similar style at the time … black stockings and suspenders if I remember rightly.. oh er

  • jak

    also interesting is how much these euro ads stand in stark contrast to the HONDA ads from the same period.

  • Den

    "You meet the nicest people on a Honda". Those ads with mums, dads, grandpearents, kids, cleargy etc. , were very different to what others were doing at the time, I do think I saw some Volkswagen ads that had some similar messages too, although with some of the best commercial graphic design I have ever seen. Look where these companies are now, the axis killed the allies in the war of the marketplace!

  • Raúl Vicente

    Advertisers always underestimated a part of their supposed target audience… And forever will, for that is the only way to sell. I love the bikes, love the ladies, hate the rubbish they're talking about. The commercials which seem to get my attention are the ones that don't even make me remember the brand of the product anyway. For me, best publicity comes from the feedback of users.