Motorcycle manufacturers put as much emphasis on branding their company names and logos as they do their colors. As with photography, which has three primary colors, the primary colors of the Japanese manufacturers have been etched into our sub-conscience.
Over the past four decades they have carefully established strong lineage with color cues; Suzuki yellow, the red of Honda, the green that is synonymous with Kawasaki, and-over the past decade-the blue of Yamaha (from yellow of years gone by). Austrian KTM is establishing their signature orange as their trademark color.What has unfolded over the first four rounds of the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross World Championships is a perfect mix of manufacturers and their respectful colors running at the front. At the Anaheim opener it was Ryan Villopoto putting Kawasaki green at the front, followed by the Suzuki yellow of Ryan Dungey, with the blue Yamaha of James Stewart in third and the red of Honda’s Trey Canard rounding out the top four positions; four motocross manufacturers filling out the top four positions.The second round of the Supercross series at Phoenix had Yamaha blue (Stewart) in the top spot, followed by Suzuki yellow (Dungey), trailed by Honda red (Canard), with a second red Honda (Reed), in fourth. Three different manufacturers in the top four places.Round three, the inaugural Supercross race at Dodger Stadium, again was a perfect four-manufacturer/four-color line-up with Kawasaki/Villopoto green winning, followed by Yamaha/Stewart blue in second, Suzuki/Dungey yellow in third, and Honda/Canard red in fourth. The race unfolded like a kid’s coloring book with the four primary colors of racing trading positions throughout the main event. From the stands it was easy to track who was where simply by the clash of color at the front.Saturday night in Oakland the color mix once again had four contrasting colors in the top four positions, with Stewart in Yamaha blue taking the win, followed by Reed in Honda red, third place Dungey with Suzuki yellow, and Villopoto in Kawasaki green taking fourth.The 2011 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, after the first four rounds (with the exception of Phoenix where two red Hondas broke the top four), is proving to be an interesting mix of man and machine, as well as manufacturer’s colors. It’s testament to not only how well-matched the rider talents are this season, but also how even the racing motorcycles of the four Japanese manufacturers are in terms of performance.In essence what has been established are the primary colors of Supercross racing (not in any particular order); red, green, yellow, and blue. What this sets up, in addition to a contest between riders, is a contest between manufacturers, which, ultimately, can be easily viewed by the swatches of color circulating the track.