Go fast, look flash: 2024 MotoGP race bike liveries, ranked

The 2024 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar this weekend, so we’re taking a quick break from our regular programming for our annual critique of this year’s MotoGP race bike liveries.

MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, producing race bikes with mind-boggling levels of engineering. As much as we love custom bikes and classics here at Bike EXIF, we can just as easily spend hours poring over the details of a well-tuned racing machine.

2024 Lusail GP MotoGP action
Engineering only tells part of the story though. Once a race bike is built, it’s up to the team’s designers to make it look good—while keeping the team’s sponsors happy. A good MotoGP livery is arresting and memorable, and should look just as good going 200-plus miles per hour as it does parked in the winner’s circle.

We’ve ranked this year’s MotoGP race bike liveries from worst to best, including only teams that run a single livery for both riders (sorry, LCR Honda). This year’s crop has hits and misses in equal measure—so take a look, and sound off in the comments if you disagree.

Update, 12 March 2024 This article was edited to include the two liveries of the LCR Honda team.

2024 Trackhouse Aprilia MotoGP bike
12. Trackhouse Racing Trackhouse Racing is the only organization in the world to own both a NASCAR and a MotoGP team, and they want you to know it. When they took over the defunct CryptoDATA RNF team at the end of last year, they broke the news with a pair of Stars and Stripes-themed Aprilia race bikes. At the time, I assumed they were trolling us—but, as it turns out, they weren’t.

Spare a thought for Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira, who need to spend the year racing these bikes with straight faces.

2024 LCR Honda Idemitsu MotoGP race bike
11. LCR Honda (Idemitsu) LCR Honda is the only team in MotoGP with a different title sponsor for each of its riders—and, by extension, two different liveries. You’re looking at Takaaki Nakagami’s ride for this season, paid for by the Japanese petroleum company Idemitsu.

The advantage of giving one sponsor all of the prime real estate on a bike is that it makes for a very uncluttered design. But the disadvantage is that it can easily look corporate—and the Idemitsu Honda falls into that trap. The white, black, and dark red combo looks nice enough and has heaps of potential, but the overall design is rather vanilla.

2024 Yamaha MotoGP bike
10. Yamaha Factory Racing Long before energy drinks took over from tobacco companies as the primary sponsors of motorsport, Yamaha boasted some of the most iconic liveries in racing. The Japanese powerhouse’s Marlboro and Camel eras are remembered fondly—and even their newer Fila and Movistar liveries were pure eye candy. Not so much for their current graphics.

For 2024, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Aldo Drudi-designed ‘camo’ livery persists for another year. And, like most camo-based designs, it isn’t aging well. The Yamaha combination of gloss blue and gloss black will always look sharp—but maybe next year they can trade the jagged camo-inspired graphics for something a little less passé.

2024 GASGAS Tech 3 MotoGP bike
9. Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 It’s GASGAS’ second year in MotoGP as a brand, and they’ve marked it with a livery that’s marginally more interesting than the plain red paint job they sported last year. The GASGAS logo still dominates the side of the bike, but the all-red scheme is now punctuated by a fresh hit of branding from new sponsor Red Bull.

It looks passable for what it is—a gigantic branding exercise. GASGAS’ factory sponsorship of the enduring Tech3 team is really just a way for KTM (GASGAS’ parent company) to run a second pair of bikes while getting GASGAS’ name out there. On the plus side, it’s one of the least cluttered liveries on the grid this year.

2024 Ducati Lenovo MotoGP bike
8. Ducati Lenovo Pecco Bagnaia’s 2023 campaign culminated in him being the first MotoGP racer to win back-to-back championships with the #1 plate, since Mick Doohan did it in 1998. Running that #1 plate for the second year in a row, the Italian rider’s looking to make it a hat trick.

As for the Ducati he’s piloting, that’s dressed in the same all-red color scheme that Ducati has run since forever. You can’t blame the Italian factory for sticking to a look that has undoubtedly become iconic in its own right, but it would have looked a lot better without the dashed bright red lines that run across its fairings.

2024 Ducati Lenovo MotoGP bike
Ducati purportedly added that motif to its MotoGP bike (and all of its other racing bikes, including its new motocross contender) to signify the curves of a race track. But the more likely story is that a designer came up with it, and a marketing executive put a press release-worthy spin on it. Either way, it feels like an afterthought.

2024 Pertamina Enduro VR46 MotoGP bike
7. Pertamina Enduro VR46 Fresh sponsorship means an all-new livery for the Valentino Rossi-owned Pertamina Enduro VR46 team. Rossi’s unmistakable signature yellow covers the nose end, fading into a white rear half that’s cut by a red sponsor stripe. It’s either the most brilliant, or the laziest, livery on the grid, depending on your perspective.

There are shades of the legendary Brawn GP Formula One car here, and the bike is certainly easy to spot on the track. But it’s also a little garish, with too much going on to make it truly stand out. Either way, it’s a marked step back from the swish Mooneys-sponsored livery that the VR46 team ran with last year.

2024 Red Bull KTM MotoGP race bike
6. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Next to Ducati, Red Bull KTM is the least likely to make any significant changes to their livery year on year. And I’m totally fine with that.

The KTM RC16 is drop-dead gorgeous in its traditional Red Bull colors. The typical matte midnight blue base looks like it was made for a MotoGP bike, and the Red Bull and KTM logos share top billing without competing for space.

2024 Red Bull KTM MotoGP race bike
The KTM RC16 look isn’t going to change any time soon, because it doesn’t need to. Like its Formula One counterpart, it’s well on its way to becoming a modern-day racing icon.

It also helps that the RC16 looks fast as heck standing still—and even faster when Brad Binder and Jack Miller ride it with the sort of reckless abandon that you’d expect from a South African and an Australian.

2024 Prima Pramac MotoGP bike
5. Prima Pramac Racing With no less than four teams running Ducati machinery, it’s hard to stand out. Prima Pramac’s 2023 scheme was my favorite design of the year; an eye-popping livery that put the team’s bike a cut above its counterparts.

Prima Pramac has doubled down on the red and purple hues from last year’s design but has ditched the white base in favor of slivers of black. The graphics are toned down too, offering a less frenetic vibe than its predecessor.

2024 Prima Pramac MotoGP bike
It works… mostly. While the heavier take on Prima Pramac’s colors lacks the fresh feel of last year’s white-based paint scheme, it’s still a brave livery when you consider the amount of purple it features. It also comes together nicely with a rider onboard, since many of the graphics are carried through to the rider’s leathers.

2024 LCR Honda Castrol MotoGP race bike
4. LCR Honda (Castrol)
Like the Idemitsu bike that it shares a paddock with, the Castrol-sponsored LCR Honda benefits from the simplicity of a single-brand design. Except here, the result is an unforgettable livery that just narrowly misses our podium.

The striking effect of Castrol’s signature red and green stripes, set against a white background, only tells part of the story. The real kicker here is the nostalgia that Johann Zarco’s Honda evokes.

2024 LCR Honda Castrol MotoGP race bike
There’s more than just a hint of Colin Edwards’ 1998 and 1999 Honda RC45 Superbike World Championship contenders here. It’s a bonafide retro reissue—a throwback to Honda and Castrol’s storied history in motorcycle racing. And it looks damn sharp, even without the legacy.

2024 Repsol Honda MotoGP bike
3. Repsol Honda Repsol and Honda celebrate three decades together in MotoGP this year. It’s the longest-standing partnership in two-wheeled motorsports, and has yielded 15 World Championship titles from six World Champions, 183 premier class wins, and 455 podiums. It’s also given the sport some of its most memorable motorcycle designs.

Repsol and Honda’s partnership is changing though, and that’s reflected in the RC213V’s 2024 livery. The Repsol logo is no longer the centerpiece of the design, taking second billing next to Honda’s branding. But the overall design is no less impactful.

2024 Repsol Honda MotoGP bike
The new design still features splashes of Repsol’s orange and red, but adds a dominant navy section that gives the bike an all-business vibe. And the black bits you see aren’t just flat black either—they’re covered in a ghosted checkered pattern, set against corresponding carbon fiber bits.

The bright orange wheels from Honda’s 2023 contender wouldn’t go amiss, but I’m nitpicking here.

2024 Gresini Ducati bike colors
2. Gresini Racing I ranked Gresini’s ultra-fresh Pantone 2122 blue livery third last year, but it deserves more recognition. Few designs on the grid this year (or in recent years, in fact), are quite as well put together as this.

Gresini’s 2024 livery is a continuation of last year’s aesthetic, with a few well-judged tweaks. There’s a little more visual movement in the red stripes that are set against the powder blue, and there’s been a modest reshuffle of the sponsor logos.

2024 Gresini Ducati bike colors
It’s another design that pairs well with the rider’s leathers, and it still features the same neat little touches it did before, like a hint of white on the inside of the fairing’s aero wings. It’s also the best-looking Ducati in this year’s line-up.

It looks so good that I could almost forgive Gresini for ditching Fabio Di Giannantonio in favor of Marc Marquez for this season. Almost.

2024 Aprilia MotoGP race bike
1. Aprilia Racing In raw form, the Aprilia RS-GP is one of the best-looking motorcycles in the MotoGP paddock. But, as Trackhouse Racing has proven, its livery can make or break it.

Aprilia’s factory team has stuck to their tried-and-true color palette of black, red, and purple, but they’ve sharpened up the graphics and changed the balance of red to purple for 2024. Those changes have created the most cohesive, and hottest, livery on this year’s MotoGP grid.

2024 Aprilia MotoGP race bike
The genius is in the details. Jagged graphics on the front fender and brake cooling ducts flit between purple and red, with the purple bit tracing a line to the back of the bike. The division of white and red on the Aprilia logo emblazoned across the fairing is echoed perfectly on the bike’s nose wing, while the mismatched wheels serve the bike’s forward-biased visual.

At a glance, it’s easy to write it off as a matte black race bike with a few kinetic graphics. But get closer, and it reveals itself as a brilliant piece of graphic design.

2024 Aprilia MotoGP race bike
Image sources: MotoGP.com, Ducati Press, KTM Press, Aprilia Press

[social_warfare post_id=79816]