There’s always a thrill involved with motorcycles, but when it comes to customizing your own, there’s an exceptionally exciting sensation that pulses through you. However, the most significant change that your bike will endure is the paint; changing this single attribute can transform it into a completely different monster. It can be a long, arduous process when you’re trying to decide what to do with your plain ride. You don’t want to make any expensive moves until you’ve got some sort of image formed. Most first-time owners don’t even know where to begin, and even some of the more experienced bikers may hit a creative wall at certain points throughout their custom. But if you can get the perfect image, color scheme, or pattern chosen, then you have the hardest part behind you.
The real work begins once the paint has been carefully chosen, and that’s when the anxiety sets in. Unsure of how exactly the new look will complement the bike, owners have to endure some nail-biting delays until it’s all over. Unless you’re painting your own bike, this can be an excruciating wait. So, we’ve taken the liberty to select some of the better-looking custom paint jobs that we’ve seen. The work that you’re about to see ranges anywhere from drop-dead gorgeous to eccentric to aesthetically pleasing. There’s no guarantee that you’d ever be caught dead on one of these bikes; however, the skill behind their paint is admirable on its own.
20 Ronin Samurai Bike
If you’re into the bikes that aren’t so mainstream, then the Ronin bike just might be your cup of tea. It's taken from the body of the unpopular Buell 1125R, stripped down, and transmuted into this crazy creation. Ronin Motor Works bought 47 of these bikes once Buell was closing up for good, and each of them became a project. This one in particular, though, catches your eye for its cultural influence and completely out-of-the-box style. Since these bikes dumped off over fifty pounds once stripped, they were meant to be light and agile (like a samurai). So, you can see how the idea came about. But the result leaves you nothing less than speechless.
19 Star Trek Tank Art
Whether or not you’re into the Star Trek scene, this bike’s airbrushed tank art catches you off guard. Starships and meteors may not have come to mind while you were brainstorming how to execute your bike’s custom paint, but we have to give this artist props for such a great picture. The detail of the meteor shower is astonishing, especially since the canvas isn’t the largest that we’ve seen. While the hit TV show’s famed starship, Enterprise, may not be recognizable for everyone, it's certainly drawn a lot of attention to itself from fellow Trekkers. Regardless of your TV show preferences, we’re sure the driver can appreciate the epic scene unfolding right in front of you as you roll down the road.
18 Stained-Glass Custom Bike
Gothic-style cathedrals and art have long been renowned for the exquisite stained-glass. Usually, these include some sort of a religious theme, but this biker wanted to switch things up a bit. Making more of an artistic statement than a religious one, the tank art was meant to not only accept death but also admire it in its own right. You can’t exactly blame anyone that rides on an open vehicle with only a hard shell covering their skull, putting their lives in the hands of all of the morons on the road. Death is most likely a common thought that crosses your mind after so many near-miss situations. Regardless, vision and talent (and a little fear) result in some pretty notable art.
17 Hand-Painted Harley Davidson
You don’t have to be a connoisseur of fine art to have an appreciation for this bike. As plainly seen in the photo, this colorful design on this Harley Davidson was hand-painted. It’s difficult to imagine this rolling canvas driving past you on the highway, but it would be pretty cool if more bikes looked like this one.
The artist, Alexander Mijares, wanted to do this Harley justice and give it a look that expels freedom – which is the essence of Harley Davidson.
Born and raised in Miami, Mijares wanted to include Cuban influences in the bikes that he’s painted. No matter what his inspiration is, we definitely want to see more of it.
16 Daytona Flames Custom Bagger
There’s been a lot of debate around the idea that baggers should be kept a bit more limited by avoiding the big front wheel and toning down the custom paint. But if you’re one of many that believe these features only enhance the look of a stunning street glide, then you’re in luck. The pearly white base color is appealing on its own, but the splash of orange compliments it better than we would’ve imagined, although it may not be the best bagger to take on a long-distance haul unless you’re okay with bugs caked on that pretty paint job. It’s beautiful, but it would definitely require some severe upkeep to maintain that pearly exterior.
15 "The Rust Bucket"
Whether you’re into the Rat Rod look or are just plain lazy, this motorcycle custom may be your next source of mechanical inspiration. Traditionally perceived as an eyesore, the customs designer tapped into a currently unexplored market: rusty bikes. Similar to the Rat Rod scene – customizing the frame of an antique vehicle but leaving the flaws intact, rust and all – the bike was left natural but with appealing lettering and minimal paint. This bike will leave you amusingly perplexed if you have more conventional tastes because, in spite of the rusted tank, the bike looks awesome. Rightfully dubbed ‘The Rust Bucket,’ the beautifully written name was hand-painted right onto the gas tank.
14 Suzuki Hayabusa
Japanese customs with clean detail and eccentric designs are trendy and cool, but this Suzuki takes things to another level. Shiny pure-white paint wrapped around the seemingly upscale gold finishes gives this Hayabusa a very elegant vibe. The bold, green stripe across the body matched to the seat gives the bike more personality, though. Aside from the fact that this is a Hayabusa, the paint job makes this bike – at least in respect to looks. This tastefully modern color scheme compliments the personality behind the Hayabusa and evokes a generally universal feeling of envy.
13 Tribal Tank Art
It may not be unmistakably evident what exactly this artist created, but it’s definitely a neat graphic. Taking influences from tribal images and patterns, they’ve edged much of the “thing” with detailed patterns and feathers. Combine that with the all-seeing-eye reference and a serpent’s tongue, and you’ve got yourself pretty wicked – yet, relatively confusing – tank art. Living its life as a custom creation, this bike is no stranger to the unusual. However, the beautifully conceptualized art is what truly gives this bike some character. We’re confident that it’ll have a few bike shows under its belt before the end of its existence.
12 Mermaid Suzuki GSXR-1000
We all know that mermaids are pop culture’s favorite mythical creatures, but these sea-born creatures were also said to be deceitful, often leading men to destruction. With that well-known agenda in mind, you can only assume that the artist who painted this sport bike was probably aiming for an action-packed theme.
The GSXR-1000 provides the perfect canvas to paint mermaids, sharks, and crashing waves, all of the necessities for a great sea-related horror.
The raw power and danger behind a GSXR is a very unique – but also great – way to showcase your folklore disaster artwork.
11 "Spirit" Bobber With Classic Flames
If there were ever a cliché motorcycle paint job, this one just might meet the mark. But the funny thing about the Spirit Bobber is the fact that it plays on the ‘classic’ look almost too well. The white-wall tires were well coordinated with the black base color and splashes of chrome finishes. The bobber has an indescribable finesse once all of these elements have been shaped together. It may take pride in the old-fashioned look, but this bike is no joke. It'll keep heads turning so long as its owner takes it out on the open road.
10 Fighter-Pilot Sportster
While any sort of government group may seem contrary to the bike culture, quite a few of the ex-military crowd are big fans of motorcycles. However, a much lesser-known presence of the bike world is the military-inspired custom bikes that result from creative tributes.
This beautifully painted sportster wears the aggressive face of a cartoon fighter plane well.
Touches of detail, such as the imaginary rust spreading from the screws of the ‘plane,’ showcases the artists’ knack for creativity. Plus, it causes quite a few heads to turn. The sportster performs a perfect balancing act between old and new; the creativity behind the custom paint could make any veteran proud.
9 "Evil Redhorse" Indian Scout
What was once an Indian Scout has been altered into something a little more playful. In 2016, Indian Motorcycle held a worldwide contest among all of the dealerships for the best custom, the only rule being that at least three Scout accessories had to be used. This was only one of the results: Evil Redhorse, this beautifully painted and designed machine. Its aggressive skull chief pretty much sets the stage for anyone leaning on the adventurous side. Evil Redhorse is a bike that takes you back in time while you’re contrarily riding a modern-day beast. What’s not to love?
8 Jack Daniel's Indian Scout
Not too many people are willing to complain about a Jack Daniel's-inspired cruiser. However, the funky wood grain that stretches from end to end of the bike could spark a few debates. For some, this is an absolutely ugly bike; for others, it’s borderline epic. The combination of old and new decoration is a fairly tasteful aspect of the design. Wood grain may not be welcomed with open arms by many, but when you put it together with smooth stainless steel and chrome on top of glossy black paint, it softens most perceptions. The custom 'Jack Daniel' name written on the tank gives it that touch of elegance that prevents it from becoming a tacky alcohol-inspired bike. Overall, we’re pretty impressed with the keen detail that was put into the paint job on this epic bike.
7 Purple BMW S1000RR
There’s not anything particularly exciting about a purple BMW, except for the fact that this S1000RR looks exceptionally clean. It’s highly evident upon glancing at it that precision and care have been put into making this sport bike look phenomenal. The typical blue BMW emblem was swapped with a new one adorned in purple. Plus, the rims were painted to match exquisitely. Even minimal things, such as the jet-black covers and finishes, amplify the purple. The attention to detail was so precise that you find yourself simply unable to keep your eyes off of this pretty bike.
6 Nitro Fish-Tank Art
We can’t speak for the agitated fish in flames, but this flaming custom paint job is jaw-dropping. The detailed flames and marine life is about as equally puzzling as it is mesmerizing. You don’t typically encounter a fish in flames, especially as tank art on a motorcycle or even on a car for that matter. The contradiction of the art begs to question the inspiration behind it all. We have no knowledge of what sparked such a creative – but awesome – creation. At this point, it appears as if someone forgot to feed their pet fish, unleashing unbridled anger on behalf of all marine pets. No matter what the meaning may be, we’re still impressed by the sheer originality.
5 Speckled Custom Indian Scout
The classically styled Indian motorcycles are built with such pristine edges and eye-popping colors that you wouldn’t expect so many customs to be found for these. Not to mention, there’s a lot fewer aftermarket options for these bikes as compared to your typical Harley. However, this biker has found a way to make an already good-looking bike a much cooler ride.
The golden chief on the tank was already an upgrade, but using the same color to create a flaking, destructive effect turned things up a notch.
There’s not a whole lot of detail involved in this paint job, but it was definitely well planned to match the custom rims and other finishing touches that were put on this Scout.
4 Black & Purple Custom Suzuki Hayabusa
One rule of thumb that the DMV and other organizations always try to stress is the importance of driving a brightly colored vehicle on the road. But if you’re going to take this bad boy on the open road, then all of those guidelines get thrown out the window. There’s not usually anything exceptional about a glossy black paint job, but this one has gotten it down to a science. The purple flame undertones, bright purple rims, and all of those purple powder-coated crevices are a game changer. You may not be able to see this dark knight on the road, but once they’ve pulled this bike into a safe space to rest, you can’t help but admire it. Deadly and beautiful always seem to have a way of going hand in hand.
3 Ocean-Themed Custom
This multi-colored wonder catches you off guard at first, but once you take a second to take it in, it’s easy to get lost in the detail. Definitely leaning toward the wild side, this ocean-themed paint job speaks for itself. The artist was clearly a marine-life aficionado because there are very real-looking fish – including angelfish and bottlenose dolphins – that are undeniably convincing. Less believable, though, is the rainbow color that was used to make this bike look just a little more over the top. It may not be the bike that you’d like to be seen driving down a major strip, but it’s difficult to snub the stunning art altogether.
2 Yamaha R6 "Silver Star"
Instead of complaining about your plain-looking mainstream bike, you should take notes from customs mastermind Nick Angola. We’re not exactly sure what was going through his mind with some of this design, but it came out exceptionally splendid either way. The tiny, detailed spider webs and other questionable lines on this bike are so eye-catching in spite of their faintness. The Silver Star’s name was written in an incredibly unique font/handwriting. Pulling it together with the graphics – which appear to be custom as well – has earned this green machine more stares than is probably even safe.
1 Gold Suzuki GSXR-1000
Attention is obviously demanded when you spot a gold Suzuki weaving through traffic. And we’re confident that this GSXR probably gains quite a few head turns. But how many people really appreciate the air-brushed skulls? The GSXR-1000 is a bad bike that can reach a top speed of 173 miles per hour. Suffice to say, the skull theme is probably more fitting than we’d like to think about, but the golden skulls are so bold, they could also be interpreted as laughing at death in the face, which isn’t necessarily unheard of in the motorcycle community. The matching rims only contribute to the raw vibes this GSXR gives off while flying by.
Sources: Pinterest, Flickr