Top 100 Ugliest Motorcycles - 10 Tourers

1) Honda Pacific Coast - Sure, Honda has reached radical extremes of fiberglass bodywork on its Gold Wing series but they had never before or since attempted to completely obviate the entire engine bay, replacing it with a single expanse of slab. All it needs is a bit of an indent where the fuel tank is, and you've got a Silver Wing Scooter! There has never been another Honda where the only mechanical part you see is just part of the wheel spokes! This isn't a motorcycle, it's one half of an Accord!

2) Vincent Black Knight - I had to dig way down in the archives for this one, the historical monochrome predecessor to the Pacific Coast. At least the Vincent had some pipes sticking out, although they look like they were worms escaping from a pile of manure. On the other hand, at least the Honda had some form of detail on its hindquarters other than a single yellow pinstripe that follows no particular path other than just drooping down at a single undefined point. The engine shroud is particularly stomach-turning and doesn't even seem to fit the contours properly! As for the fairing, did it run into a raised forklift and get dented in? This is one nostalgia bike that I'm not nostalgic for at all!

3) Victory Vision - Take a Victory Kingpin, get it up to speed, then ride it right through a suspended wall of heated plasticine... and there you have it! The Victory Vision! By far the most outrageously misshapen tourer ever to originate in the USA, the Vision will give you nightmares for years to come. Although the engine is standard Victory and thus quite attractive, the rest of the pulled waaaaaaaay back bodywork is simply repulsive. The extended teardrops on the rear end are completely inexplicable: It's the only bike that you can back up to a telephone pole and completely envelop. These is the kind of Vision you need lots of peyote for!

4) Yamaha Stratoliner - Other than the superlative V-twin powerplant, nothing on this bike makes any styling sense whatsoever. It makes you really wonder how the Yamaha stylists could mess up the memorable Road / Wild Star this badly. The greatest violator has to be that front fender that doesn't at all follow the line of the wheel and seems to actually run into the tire at the brake lines. The Art Deco triple lines from the tank running into the triple clamps is just plain repugnant. Then we have the piece de resistance: the poo-into-one exhaust that completely goes insane below the side covers and becomes an uncircumcised chromed John Holmes edition.

5) Kawasaki 1400 GTR - Oh Kawi, Oh Kawi, what have you done to the Concours? You took a perfectly serviceable sports tourer and turned into this fat falcon-beaked sportsbike wanna-be with an entire bathroom cabinet full of shelves on the side of the fairing and corrugated Chrysler Crossfire stripy lumps on the slab sided saddlebags! The bodywork looks like a jigsaw puzzle and the exhaust cannon is also pieced together from chrome and black. I think that Kawi's stylists must have been peeking through the windows of Yamaha lately!

6) BMW F800ST - This is a tourer like I'm an Olympic decathlon champion. Before we get to the ugly bits (and there's plenty of them) could you please tell me how you're going to straddle that mustang bicycle seat all day with that weird NASCAR fuel cap sticking in the side of your butt and be able to walk straight ever again? By then you won't even care that what you're riding is a hideous P.O.S., with a double hunchback tank, an illogically multi panel fairing, and triple strapped on saddlebags. And what kind of flying bug collector is bolted onto the swingarm? Anyone stupid enough to buy this crap pile deserves to tour right off the end of the continent!

7) Yamaha FJR - I rode its predecessor, the FJ1100 across the continent many years back and thanks to its unadjustable girder low handlebars, I still have sacro-iliac spasms. Therefore you can imagine that I'm not likely to cut this model any slack, and there is no reason to. Although the chunk of bike down from the rider's seat tries to maintain styling continuity with the earlier FJ series, the rest of the styling is just another in a long series of slotted Yamamesses, made much worse by the unfortunate choice of navy blue and silver racing stripe that even Chip Foose couldn't pull off. I wouldn't tour this monster down to the 7-11!

8) Amazonas - The only reason this steaming pile of compost didn't make it any higher on the list is that I've never actually seen one in the stinking flesh, thus I could have reason to believe that it exists only as a Photoshopped fantasy. Fantasy or not, whatever Brazilian engineer dreamed it up had to have a very active imagination as taking a VW Beetle engine, shoehorning it into the biggest frame this side of a Boss Hoss and then sparing no expense on fiberglass panels proves that they probably suffered sunstroke on Ipanema Beach!

9) BMW R1200RT - Write 100 times on the blackboard, BartMW, "Bikes Should Not Be Brown..." Unfortunately the color choice is not this model's most significant fault, as there is barely an angle that you can approach that isn't profoundly wrong. The tank kinda becomes a sidecover but not really since there's a black panel there that does nothing and there's a whole bunch of brown coming in from the tailsection. The fairing is actually three, three, three fairings in one. First there is a top section that resembles a minifairing from a sportsbike, then there is an overly bulbous lump in the middle, and then there's the lower fairing... it isn't bad enough that it looks like the protruding boxer cylinder melted through the plastic, but why don't we paint it silver? Oy Vey!

10) Suzuki GS Tourer - Although Suzuki did a reasonable job at their GS versions of the Universal Japanese Tourer, when it came time to outfitting it for touring they decided not to spend more than $20 styling it and thus created one of the true monsters of the UJM era. Would it have been possible to incorporate any more pointless manta ray slots into the Vetter Windjammer ripoff fairing? Could the backrest be any squarer and flatter? Would it have pained the company to design a new tank so that from the side you didn't think that it was a SUZ? File this one under Trash!



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Comments 38 comments

Mark on a Max 8 years ago

It's nice to see someone else thinks the Vision was designed by someone who lost theirs.

Avboden 8 years ago

Wow, good job on showing how you know NOTHING about bikes. The F800ST? Seriously? 1 it is a fine looking bike, not great but not ugly. 2. That gas cap has NOTHING to do with your ass, you don't sit there, you sit on the seat, it ain't on the seat dude. 3. The paneling system is actually very nice. You've obviously never ridden or seen one in person so kindly shut it if you dont' know what you're talking about.

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Mark on a Max, yes, the Vision was definitely designed by Helen Keller.

Avboden, I guess you've missed a great opportunity to keep your mouth shut. For your information, I rode an F800ST from Rome to Monaco and back. It almost broke my very well padded butt. It's a hideous gargoyle and should be relegated to the Bavarian scrap pile!

Avboden 8 years ago

You must have horrible posture or one really big ass if you are hitting that gas cap. So you write the bike off because the seat isn't comfortable?

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Avboden, my ass is the size of Kansas, but even if that bike had a La-Z-Boy for a seat, it would still be UGLY! Open your eyes, dude! :)

dhodgez 8 years ago

I'm with Avboden. I think the F800ST is a beautiful looking bike and makes an excellent job of doing what it is designed to do. It's a compromise between a tourer and a sports bike.

I challenge you to name another bike that can do everything an F800ST can do and still look dam good!

danny 8 years ago

Ahhh.......the ST ain't that bad. Ever see one in pink? Your ass is like Kansas? Please avoid cabbage from April- June.

Spectolux 8 years ago

Who's Hal Licino and why is he qualified to be the motorcycle world's Mr. Blackwell (RIP)? If you're so concerned about aesthetics, help yourself now with diet and exercise....nothing worse than an ugly human on a beautifully engineered bike. :p

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

dhodgez, yes you're absolutely correct. It's a compromise alright, but it's a compromise between a pug and a hound dog. There are countless sports tourers on the market today and many of them manage to perform competently without resorting to pull-your-eyes-out-of-your-sockets puke-styling.

danny, I'm glad you like pink bikes. I'm sure they go well with the fishnets and pumps you wear at the leather bar. And yes, my ass is like Kansas and just as corny! :)

Spectolux, I'm Hal Licino, and I was publisher and editor of major national motorcycle magazines when you were too busy running your Big Wheel into the side of your dirty diaper hamper. And I may be fat, but you're ugly and I can diet! :)

Motorinfool 8 years ago

Spectolux, I'm Hal Licino, and I was publisher and editor of major national motorcycle magazines when you were too busy running your Big Wheel into the side of your dirty diaper hamper

Key word... "Was"

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Motorinfool: Key word: "Fool". :)

CB-800S 8 years ago

You know, I'm trying to salvage the eight minutes of my life that you have stolen and it occurs to me that instead of a '10 worst celebrity makeovers' type article you could have made an almost interesting article on the evolution of the motorcycle fairing with the photographs you have.

With the early 50's Vincent we see some of the first attempts to cover the engine and wrap the rider in the protection of an aerodynamic cocoon. Progressing on through the 70's and 80's with that half faired Suzuki right up to the modern day excess.

Couple of BMW's in there - they claim to have had the first motorcycle to offer a factory fitted fairing on a production bike. There's a nice comparison between European and North American styles.

Actually if you'd have simply posted the photographs and omitted all comment it would have been a better article.

Motorbikes are like dogs. There are no ugly ones, you just have to love them all.

Spectolux 8 years ago

Hey former...whatever...Hal.

I'm probably older than you, but what's the point?

Good luck with your attempt to continue being meaningful.

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

CB800S, I have a great idea on how to make "a better article." Go write your own. :)

Spectolux, I rode to school on a dinosaur. I'm way older than dirt. Good luck with your attempt to continue being a waste of time. :)

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sabrebIade 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

I think I have to agree with all but one. I do kinda like the Kawasaki 1400 GTR. It's got that " Going 100 mph sitting still" look about it.

Andrew 8 years ago

Yep, not sure how the Connie got on there. I happen to love my one. Go for a ride on one and you'll fall in love.

(Do agree about the muffler though...)

Custom Volusia 8 years ago either love em or hate em. I hate them. I think they are ALL ugly and not worth the 18k they charge. But that's just me. Man I wish they had gone a different route with the Vision!! I remember the diffent concept pics they released...a few of them were pretty cool!! Oh well. Oh, the Suzi shoulnd't be on the list, because FOR IT'S TIME it was right in line with all other bikes. So if that one is there, all the tourers from that era should be.

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

sabreblade, the GTR's basic shape is generally acceptable, it's the body details that are retch-inducing. All those vents and ridges and panels that don't seem to fit together... YUCK!

Andrew, see above. :)

Custom Volusia, it was a tough call which UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) to plug in here, but the Suzie made it since it seemed to be the one bike that made the least effort to turn from standard naked to tourer configuration.

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earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I think all of these are gut-gurgling ugly.

Taste is taste, but Hal has more than a valid point or two here!

I feel privileged to have avoided many of these as nobody was stupid enough to import many of these ugly ducklings in to Australia although we did get the Vini black knight. I spent 27 years in the motorcycle industry in total, owning 5 shops and managing all my own workshops as well as a Yamaha Distributorship. I can assure any commenter that people like Hal Licino do know shit-loads about motorcycles. Motorcycle magazines are very competitive, and any lack of knowledge is jumped on by management and subscribers alike.

I love the inclusion of the Vincent Black Knight most. Only Triumph or Francis Barnet new how to make something that ugly in those days, but some of the worst looking bikes I have ever seen are current models.

The giant Hienkel scooter although not qualified is the worst looking ride I can think of.

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks for the support, earnesthub. Coming from a person of your experience, that is much appreciated!

Spectolux 8 years ago

earnesthub is either his brother, mother or agent (aren't we terrific!) the hit-count where you need it to be yet Hal?


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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Spectolux, earnesthub is an intelligent, erudite, and clever Australian gentleman who I have not had the pleasure to meet, and who could certainly teach many of the knee-jerk myopic bozos around here a thing or two about motorcycling. If you had bothered to read any of my other Hubs, you would be aware that I make almost nothing on hits, therefore couldn't care less! I write for my considerable readership of thousands, not for Google BlabWords. See! You DID miss out a great opportunity on keeping your mouth shut and having people assume you had a functioning brain cell! :)

Mary Wallace profile image

Mary Wallace 8 years ago from Oakland-ish

This is amazing! Haha! GOOD JOB!

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks, Mary! :)

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buddygallagher 8 years ago from manila, philippines

Ruffled some feathers there didn't we? hehehe I guess a lot of bike lovers love all bikes regardless. But this is a good read considering I don't much like motorbikes at all!

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Yup, there are always people who will defend anything on the internet, even the utterly indefensible, such as the styling of current Buells, Yamahas, Triumphs, Bimotas, etc. I appreciate your kind words!

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gwelfmike 8 years ago

Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and apparently both your eyes are shut! How are you able to find a bike for you to actually ride?

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Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Once again... read the main Hub in this series for a long list of magnificent and BEAUTIFUL motorcycles.

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earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Easy gwelfmike, just take notice of Hal. read the main hub. Have a look at the many great bikes that he loves. That's experience, and he knows the difference between beautiful engineering and design and ugly engineering.

Ill lay it out for you......He knows a lot about bikes. I know a lot about bikes, thereby I know that he knows a shipload about bikes ok?

How can you see any of this crud as beautiful! The're all uglier than an orangutan's bum Id say!

I spent half a lifetime in the motorcycle industry and like Hal could name a hundred horrible bikes for many different reasons.

Motorcycle is engineering art and the birth place of ICE development. Everyone driving a car owes their engine and mechanical development to the motorcycle. Everything to do with a motorcycle needs to be minimal and functional, it is the ultimate in engineering excellence, and has always had the edge in power to weight ratio development.Now if we can just reduce the horsepower of motorcycles to lets say, something less than twice what 90% of motorcycle riders can control!

I rode the 1400cc "road bike" my neighbor's friend owns only a week ago. It had been extensively modified to produce an unusable amount of horsepower, and had 40 kilos nipped off it's weight by using a loud but light and tuned exhaust system among other modifications. So far with the glass smooth paint he has spent an extra $14,000 he is a serious motorcycle racer, but to have this street legal? Crazy.

In any gear it is violent. You cannot use all of the power even at Phillip Island, it would deck you at 250 kph and up! You can smash the highway speed limit in first gear, and it has six of them!

Kids are dying Mr. motorcycle maker!

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Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

earnestshub, you absolutely and truly come through again! I profoundly respect your viewpoints and fully agree with your comment! Thanks!

Shane 7 years ago

It's unfortunate you bash foreign bikes so harshly. Is it because of their exceptional performance, handling, or just plain overall quality? It's clear you are very one sided and highly nieve.

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Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Nah, dude, if you ever saw me you'd know that I'm so fat that I have way more than one side, and I never use my nieves, as I'm sworn to non-violence. :)

Flip  7 years ago

Having owned many bikes, comfort and dependability are the mainstays in any bike I've owned. I would have to say the Honda Pacific Coast rates the highest in such categories. It was dependable as a 50 dollar mule and as for looks, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Gave a constant 50 MPG at 70 MPH and can run all day at high speeds with ease.

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MARIAMORTA 6 years ago

I simply hate motorcycles: Cannot think of a single logical reason for a person to risk themselves in such a dangerous vehicle instead of using a car.

I am suffering all crimes I am found suffering because of motorcycle riders (Rogerio de Oliveira, Graham Priest, Matthew, and etc.), who invariably are irresponsible men, usually bisexual pretending to be heterosexual, bad professionals, bad students, drugees, and etc.

I am slaved in full democracy for shocking ten years in a row. Guess why? I stood up for my rights, just that, and did that trusting that AT LEAST in a first world nation they would believe I deserved not only equal treatment to that given to men, but perhaps better treatment in at least a few things.

Shame on me, full insanity then, for not even in the first world do they believe that... . Insanity is a cultural concept, do not forget. Insanity means contrary to the vast majority, or abnormal behavior.

Please visit my websites and help, visit especially the website on 'how you can help' immediately. I obviously need urgent help, for ten years ago. I also need to stop being slaved and get justice to best human kind may provide to me ASAP. Obviously. Call me insane again, for nobody else thinks so, otherwise I would not be like this for so long. People confound me with guinea pig, house pet, and etc.

My websites are at Pls rush. We obviously have no time.

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Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

Flip. Get over it. It's a great bike but in the looks dept. it's a scooter on steroids.

MARIAM. I have aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabsolutely no idea what the heck you just said. Some parts of it sound like one of the most idiotic and discriminatory statements I've ever read, while the rest is just gobbledigook. SAY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? :)

Flooze101 5 years ago

Agree with you, Hal. All those bikes are ugly. But hey, looks aside, I love 'em all! Thanks!

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WilCon76 5 years ago

Very nice opinion piece. That Vincent however not to your tastes is a very forward thinking motorcycle worth a relative mint in today's dollars. The R1200RT is one of BMW's best selling touring bikes. Some of them I just can't even begin to argue with.

BakedKoala 4 years ago

What!? No longer feel'n the Conours 14?

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