Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bi-Polar Weather and Retro Advertising

I haven't been up to too much lately. The weather has been quite bi-polar - from one extreme to the other. Really crappy on our days off and really nice while we're working. The weather forecaster keeps telling us to expect a lot of rain so we don't make plans. Then the weekend comes and starts off icky and before we know it part way through the day we get beautiful sunshine. If it would start off that way we'd be riding instead of having made alternate plans.

Several weeks ago at Saturday Morning Coffee one of our riding friends brought in stacks of vintage motorcycle magazines dating back into the late 60's. He was cleaning out his garage and didn't want to store them any longer. We all sat around and perused the items and chuckled at the old bikes and the stories. What struck me was the advertising. I found it interesting the differences in motorcycle advertising back in the day and the way they are marketed with half nekkid women today.

It seems that when women were used in the motorcycle ads back in the day the ads were tasteful, sultry and classy with a little skin showing. These days the women have more skin showing, but they appear to be trashy or plastic as opposed to the pinups of yesteryear. Have men's tastes really changed that much over the years or is society just more jaded as to what constitutes sexy?

In perusing the net to research this I found several vintage ads for motorcycles and would like to share some of them.

For some reason I found a lot of Norton ads.

Then there is artwork or mock ads that are trying to look vintage, but I believe is just a retro copy or ones that are trying to look retro for that nostalgic feel.

Can't forget other modes of two wheeled travel....

Okay, this last one is not advertising related or even retro, but if the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood existed do you think they would have gotten together and ridden off on a flame covered cruiser? Now that is imagination.

Sometimes it amazes me what we can find on the internet. Note to self - don't "google image" 'girls on bikes'...... my eyes are still burning.

- Au Revoir

"If you're yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning" ~ Griff Niblack



  1. I googled and I almost went blind. All I can think of is road rash. Have they never heard of ATGATT? Nevertheless, you found some nice ads. Search for guys on bikes instead, you will find most of them are dressed...

  2. Well as a token guy, and an ancient one at that, I enjoy the female form as much as the next person. Dunno whether it's to do with my age, but I much prefer the older ones as they look more "real". Ann-Margaret on a Triumph and Joanna Lumley (Purdey from the Avengers TV show)on a BSA - both magic! I once saw a photo of Kiwi opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa dressed in leather on a bike for a charity photo shoot. Now that WAS special! Have never seen it since, despite best efforts made.

    Intrigued by your coffee photo! It resembles the NZ Silver Fern emblem and a lot of coffee barristas over here put that emblem on their coffee!

  3. Trobairitz:

    something's wrong. all I can see are female forms, there are no bikes in any of these photos.

    and to Geoff: Ah, the Avengers . . . all I remember is Diana Riggs in her form fitting leather suit

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. @ Sonja - funny how girls on bikes are half nekkid but guys on bikes aren't. Go figure.

    @ Geoff - I would have to agree with you that the older ads look much more appealing that the ads of today. The 'ladies' of today seem to leave nothing to the imagination. I have added Girl on a Motorcycle (with Marianne Faithful) to our Netflix queue as I hear it has a cult following and we've never seen it.

    The fern on the coffee is what Coffee Culture always puts on our lattes Saturday morning. Who knew it resembled the Silver Fern. I did find this latte picture for you. It seems to go more with my blog post theme. You might have to cut and paste the link.....

    @ Bobskoot - I think your glasses are skewed. Maybe they are super neat-o, X-ray vision goggles like the ones advertised in the old comic books.

  5. Hahaha! Thanks for the link, that's brilliant! Wonder if it will catch on in biker cafes over here? Returning the favour but nowhere near as exciting, the silver fern is our national emblem and is embroidered on the jerseys of our national sporting teams. Here's a link to what the silver tree ferns look like in reality:

    Thanks for reminding me about Marianne Faithful - I saw that movie decades ago! Saw her sing on stage too before heroin and the Rolling Stones got to her. She had a divine voice live.

  6. Fun old ads/pics, retro or original, they're fun to see. Yes, one can get quite an education at time with google searches! :)