Bike Design Philosophy
Motorcycle design is not a question of line. You can change the body lines on most bikes without altering the basic visual impression they give. Line is for automobiles.
Motorcycle styling is primarily about proportion, and that alone dictates whether a particular design is perceived as being a sports model, a trail bike or a custom. Get the line or the form wrong, and you've got an ugly bike. Get the proportions wrong, and no-one will even understand what the bike is trying to be. It's that simple.
Motorcycles are made up of hundreds of separate components, often produced by different suppliers with little chance harmonising their styles with the motorcycle manufacturer or other suppliers. Unlike with cars, where all this confusion can be neatly hidden away under the bodywork, most of these components remain visible on a motorcycle.
The designer's task is to make all those pieces look as though they belong together, and to pull the whole jigsaw into one coherent mass with its own identity. The bodywork, and to an extent the frame, are the variable parts of the equation which the designer can exploit to mould around existing components and give the machine some integrity. Modern materials and processes mean designers now have a great deal of freedom, but if the basic proportions are wrong, no stylistic creativity is ever going to repair the damage