Buell Motorcycles New Logo



Never underestimate the power of corporate identity and of one of its main components, the Logo. I always disliked the Buell Logo, for me a very poor branding expression of what the Erik Buell’s motorcycles are supposed to represent to bikers, speed and agility. Looked to me like the “plastic raised letters” fake aluminum logo you could find stamped on a cheap brand of tool boxes sold at Costco or Sears. So, I was nicely surprised to see that the poorly conceived and immature Buell Logo has been replaced by a new one using an italic/gothic/all-caps typo more in line with the idea of speed. In it, an abstract Pegasus used since a long time in the automotive industry (Mobil used it since the 1930’s). A winged horse  may be not very original in its conception (how many different ways can you show a  flying horse?), but at least stallions are always synonymous with horsepower. I like better this new Logo. And you? Buell Motorcycles.


24 Responses to “Buell Motorcycles New Logo”

  1. 1 Black Shadow Aug 22nd, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Buell has been using the Pegasus logo at least since 1990 because it was on their sales literature back then. I didn’t like the oval logo either, but this new shield looks like a poor Ferrari knock off. There is way too much daylight (Pegasus and BEULL should be larger in relation to the sheild) I would keep trying.

  2. 2 steveb Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Brand Identity is critical for Buell, especially as they steer towards a new marketplace positioning. IMSHO, this effort is amateurish and doesn’t reflect much effort, knowledge of the market or thought, let alone communicate an innovative brand personna.

    Quick you guys in Corporate Communications/Marketing, scrap it and try again before this goes too far…

  3. 3 ian Aug 22nd, 2009 at 11:13 am

    i think its a big improvement – it gives them a better marketing platform (i suspect the Shield is a nod to Harley), and like the parent there will be numerous variations from this base version for the future.

  4. 4 BikerMarc Aug 22nd, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Like we customers have been saying for years now – (Could Eric now be “really” listening?

    Please elevate the brand beyond its Harley-Davidson Company heritage -this new logo is a good 1st step.

    Please re-evaluate your product price point in view of the strong competitors in your space.

    Please continue to add to the product-line.

    Could a racy Buell Trike be in the works?

    How about a kick-ass super-sexy, super-powered, Super- Sports version ?

    Just my 2-cents…


  5. 5 FUJI Aug 22nd, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    What I see is the word American being removed from the logo and for what reason ?

    With Buell holding the no 1# spot at this time in AMA Supersport racing and the 1125 CC Buell engine not being of American origin could or would this have an impact on their image or false image as American made ?

    Could this be the real reason for changing the logo?

  6. 6 FREDP Aug 22nd, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Let’s not forget the buyout by H-D of Italian Motorcycle maker MV Augusta. This is more the superbike platform that Buell can not compete with. I can’t believe there won’t be an effect upon Buell in the future between these 2 bikes by H-D.

  7. 7 FUJI Aug 22nd, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    FREDP ;
    Could it be that this logo is the birth of melting of two brands, Buell and MV Agusta . There has to be a blend some where in the future

    How much longer can Buell/Harley hang on to the 45 degree engine in a sport bike frame. THE 1125 OUT PERFORMS IN EV

  8. 8 Jerry Aug 22nd, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    What the fu-k does a tool box from costco or sears have to do with anything, they hold tools as good as an expensive one from Snap-on or Matco are you on the their pay-roll too, or are you trying to get them to advertise on your sight, you’re the tool!

  9. 9 FUJI Aug 22nd, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Buell MV Agusta merge ? logo – horse on a triangle badge

    Ferrari logo, Horse on triangle badge. Hmm….

    MV and Ferrari Italian Hmm…

    Is this another play on premium brand by the Co.

  10. 10 Chris Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    The logo looks good to me. It looks classy and understated – the logo of a maturing brand rather than a mid-sized parts supplier.

    A big improvement on the amateurish original, and hopefully a sign of renaissance in Buell’s international fortunes.


  11. 11 jatinder pal Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Does changing the logo changes the fortune of the company….hell no,they should have done something to their motorcycles….new logo…who cares.

  12. 12 Brandon Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Jerry. Your comment just demonstrated that you didn’t understand anything about the logo article. Read again…(it’s payroll).
    I prefer the new logo, but I guess it’s on pupose that they removed “American Motocycles”. Did a competitor and lawyers obliged them to remove this misleading claim?

  13. 13 Newtonian Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Why didn’t they change the name whilst they were at it ?

    They’d have done far better to call them HD’s right from the start and leave Buell’s ego-trip out of the equation. Never could understand why every Harley stand at every MC show around the world always had back-drops of flat-trackers, JS and Co, chequered flags etc but no bikes that had anything to do with that on sale.

    You could also ask why they bothered doing anything at all with the logo, given the piss-poor volume of bikes being sold.

    If HD dealers weren’t forced to buy them, you wouldn’t even see them on the showroom floor, and the Rotax is the beginning of the end for them.

    How long before they just badge some eastern rubbish.

    Chevrolet, anyone ?

  14. 14 Grayhawk Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Europeon style logo, just follows the numbers and trend forward, Buell major market potential is and has been Europe, Europeon twisty roads and road riders.

  15. 15 Attila Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Old logo has one positive attribute that the new one does not: a clearly defined hierarchy.

    Winged icon should not fight with the company name for dominance.

    Also, the weight of the shield’s outline matches that of Buell – further muddying the hierarchy.

    Decent idea that is good enough for the top 32 thumbnails in the design process. Final logo needs considerable refinement.

  16. 16 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I met Erik a year or so ago and we had a nice 1 on 1 talk. I have total respect for this gentleman. Its hard to explain but once one has that chance one will see an extremely passionate guy who will leave a lasting impression. I’m sure being in a corporate environment holds him back but if he were to be let loose I have no doubts about his talents and being the world leader in what he does. Thanks for the time we had together and I’m glad u married that cute lady on your mates 48 Chief.

  17. 17 Rodent Aug 23rd, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Instead of a new logo how about a new bike?

  18. 18 H-D Junkie Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I’m glad that they are switching up logos. I always thought the old one came up short. Couldn’t put it in words why, but I did. Combo together the fact that it rhymes with “Mule” and you’ve got a rough ride if your in the Buell marketing department.

  19. 19 adam@customfighters Aug 24th, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Please elevate the brand beyond its Harley-Davidson Company heritage -this new logo is a good 1st step.
    Could a racy Buell Trike be in the works?
    How about a kick-ass super-sexy, super-powered, Super- Sports version ?”

    Nice contradiction of yourself..elevate the company BEYOND its HD heritage, but go ahead and build traditional HD bikes?? A trike?? HOW is that at all related to a sport bike company????

    Newtonian- change the name to HD?? How about Buell has it’s own name as it is it’s own motorcycle, designed by ERIC BUELL!

    Ever notice how it’s a PERFORMANCE based machine, with all types of progressive TECHNOLOGY on it??? Why would they call it an HD?? UNLESS they reverted to 40 year old technology, then by all means call it a HD.

    On topic…. I understand the new logo for the company, and think maybe it’s a good idea. Not everyone will recognize it off the bat, but at least its MORE creative.

    I’m not saying that is a successful logo. IMO it’s actually pretty poorly designed. Floating objects inside the shape of a badge just don’t do it for my eye. I think the content should fill the space a LOT more, and be much more bold!

  20. 20 FUJI Aug 24th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles

    Good read on Eric .

    Eric went beyond what many of us would like to have accomplished with the design of a motorcycle and bring it to fruition. Kudos to him

    Like many would do if presented with the opportunity, Eric had a chance to cash in with the corporate world and did. Now it is his bed-mate,

    Innovation in the sport bike field is ever on-going and this is where the Buell has come up short and way behind the curve.

    Buell’s new ad of crushing the Buell into a cube is great insight on HD’s part – just put a couple other models in the crusher and that being said with no sarcasim.

    Swallow the pride and thin the herd, one will have a leaner, more efficient hog when done.

  21. 21 Frank 338 Aug 24th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    As a Buell owner, I can say that the old logo didn’t bother nor excite me, and the new one I like even less. I know what the idea is, but it needs help. Bolder letters, less horse (look at the keys for an example…a stylized Pegasus would work so much better IMO). Hope they get the marketing guys/gals back to work and try again.
    Fuji, Eric will admit that the Buell Blast was anything but….(a blast). Hence the removing from their product line. I like the 1125R and the CR, but I love my Firebolt, from the red wheels to the red tinted shield, the bike is a 21 Century work of art….and the motor is from 1940. Yeah, I’m not the fastest on the expressways out here in the midwest, but get me in the hill country and it’s an different story. Are their faster bikes, sure, but why ride a UJ sportbike? They look and sound the same, no soul.

  22. 22 FUJI Aug 25th, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Frank 338 :
    Good man , keep doing what you are doing.

    If you are having fun riding what you have then don’t change for the sake or pressure of others.
    That is what riding is all about.

  23. 23 B.Case Aug 25th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I would say the new logo has more to do with Buell possibly returning to its roots, pre-H-D. The new logo is obviously very similar to the original Pegasus logo. It’s a “flying horse”, makes total sense. And maybe the re-emergence of this logo is just a transitional logo, signifying a change is happening. There’s nothing written that says a motorcycle company can’t have several logos to use on various products. Look at Ducati, with all their vintage logos they put on everything now. The logo’s simple, I like it.

    Buell is an innovator and always has been. That is apparent if you’ve ever met him or witnessed anything he’s made. I don’t really see the latest campaign as a reinvention of the brand, but more of a “shifting in to high gear and going for broke” type of thing. But, most of all, he is an inspiration to many people, including myself, and I think few people can match his inventiveness or passion for the sport. Of course, that’s just my opinion.


  24. 24 Logo Design Aug 30th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Lol @ Fuji saying ” this is what riding is all about ”
    Sounds a bit awkward man

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