Top 10s

Top ten coolest MotoGP liveries

With all the carbon fairings on show during winter testing, it got us thinking about our favourite MotoGP liveries of all time

FROM cigarette companies to Playboy magazine, it's fair to say that MotoGP sponsorship is as varied and colourful as some of the people who ride the bikes on a race weekend.

We've been watching the winter testing closely and while we love the moody-looking carbon fairings of the test bikes, the injection of colour that comes from the MotoGP team reveals got us thinking about the best MotoGP liveries ever.

10. Honda RCV213V Repsol Factory Team

If you're a bike fan like me, there's a good chance when you pass a Repsol petrol station in Spain, you automatically think of MotoGP. The partnership between the Spanish oil and gas giant and Honda has been going for 25-years and has amassed 15 rider’s championships in that time. The fact that the orange bikes have been so successful and for so long are what make this an iconic livery.

9. Suzuki RGV500 Pepsi

Back in the hazy days of two-stroke 500cc racing, the RGV500 was one of the bikes to beat on the MotoGP grid. You’ll notice this isn’t the only RGV to feature in this run down, and that’s because Suzuki had a bit of a knack of getting the sponsors decals spot on for the bike and the era.

8. Honda NSR500 Rothmans

As a child of the 80s, tobacco sponsorship in motorsport was what I grew up with. From F1 to MotoGP and Le Mans, it was everywhere. And it didn’t really bother me, in fact, it bothered me more when it went away and all the racing series became bland, or worse - they tried to disguise the tobacco brand they were still being paid by with camo graphics!

7. KTM Tech3 Red Bull

Yes, I know it looks like a two-wheeled Toro Rosso F1 car but, I think Tech3’s first year with KTM is going to be their best looking yet. And I used to think the old black and yellow Tech3 was great looking but there’s something about the blue/silver/orange combo that just looks sweet.

6. LCR Honda RCV213V Castrol

I remember seeing Aaron Slight hammering around Donnington on a Castrol coloured RC45 in the mid-90s and thought it was the coolest thing since popping candy was invented. The only other time I felt like that was when LCR Honda wheeled a Castrol liveried RCV out of the garage for Cal Crutchlow to race at Silverstone back in 2018.

5. Yamaha YZR M1 Rossi Winter Test

I know it’s not a race livery but come on, this is cool – or is it just me! Taking its cues from Rossi’s sun and moon helmet design, where the sun signifies the smiley side of Rossi and the moon represents the dark, the bike is highlighted by some very mid-noughties fluro-accents on the on the number-board and front mudguard. The Doctor even wheeled out some specially made leathers to match!

4. Suzuki RGV500 Lucky Strike

Another iconic paintjob brought to you by the world of tobacco, the Lucky Strike coloured two-stroke also spawned a generation of race rep RGV250s – and a pretty natty line in shell-suit paddock jackets too!

3. Yamaha YZF500 Speed Blocks

You could choose any number of special Yamaha’s for this paintjob but I decided to go for probably the most well-known,  Kenny Roberts on his Yamaha 500cc GP bike. Kenny also used the speedblock design on his TZ750 two-stroke flat-track bike in the mid-70s.

2. Yamaha YZF M1 Petronas SRT

Another colour scheme from the incoming MotoGP season is at number two, and from another new team. Petronas SRT (Sepang Racing Team) launched this classy looking design last week and I for one think it looks spot on. Petronas are no stranger when it comes to getting the most out of a racing machine's paint job, they’ve been daubing their name on arguably the best looking F1 car of the last 10-years, the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car.

1. Honda RCV 213 Austin Powers

Whether you’re a Rossi fan or not, you can’t deny the guy (and his PR team) are pretty clued up when it comes to getting the VR46 brand in front of every photographer’s telephoto lens. The psychedelic (also known as the Austin Powers) paintjob was run at the final round of the 2003 championship in Valencia, which was also the Italian legend’s last race with Honda.

The livery was chosen after title sponsor Repsol ran a competition with Spanish motorcycle magazine, Motociclismo, in which readers were invited to create a paint scheme incorporating the Spanish company's logo. Rossi Honda and Repsol then chose this design from 15 shortlisted entries.

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