The 1970s was a decade of cool motorcycles, corny commercials, and jingles that were catchy as hell. Reminisce with us as we take you back to a simpler time, with the ten funniest, corniest, most memorable motorcycle commercials of the decade!
10) Kawasaki “Let the Good Times Roll”
Of all the motorcycle manufacturers commercials of the decade, Kawasaki has to win top honors in the category of “most bizarre.” This commercial features a montage of clips that are so weird, but so hilariously entertaining, it is impossible to forget.
But the most memorable part of this commercial has to be the jingle, “Let the Good Times Roll,” which Kawasaki used throughout the 1970s. The jingle was recorded by the Ron Hicklin singers, a group of contract singers from the LA area. You may not know the groups name, but you know their voices; the group is most well known as the real singers on the background vocals on The Partridge Family’s recordings, and they recorded countless commercials from the 60s to the 80s. They just don’t make jingles like they used to, do they?
9) “What’s Today, Butterfly Nets?”
This 1978 summer camp (is summer camp even a thing anymore?) commercial shows a bunch of bored kids who are totaly over the usual camp activities…until a dorky camp guide has a truckload of Honda dirt bikes delivered, that is. The kids have a blast, and as you would expect from a 1970s commercial, all break out into song around the campfire at the end. Classic.
8) Suzuki “Bigfoot” Commercial
Like many commercials of the 1970s, this one is silly and good-natured, but tells you almost nothing about the products themselves. Not that it mattered; enjoying being out in the mountains on motorcycles with your buds is the message here, and Suzuki sure did make it look fun.
7) Honda Bank Robbers
If there’s one essential tool a bank robber needs besides a gun and a mask, it’s a reliable getaway vehicle, right? Better make it a Honda! Great plan…but these robbers are in for a bit of a surprise.
This 1975 commercial was an ad for the “new” CB360 that came out in 1974 as a torquey, 6-speed, 2-cylinder alternative to the more popular four-cylinder CB350F and CB400F.
6) Kawasaki “Let the Good Times Roll,” Part 2
If you were entertained by the previous “Let the Good Times Roll” commercial, I’ve got you covered; this one has the same catchy jingle, but even more bizarre clips than the first one. I knew Kawasaki always kind of marched to the beat of their own drum, but damn!
5) Good Things Happen on a Honda
This commercial is heartwarming in a corny way, showing the random “good things” that happen to you when riding a Honda; this followed in the path of the extremely successful “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” campaign of the 1960s.
But the most memorable thing about this commercial are the faces you’ll see in it – a then-unknown John Travolta plays the delivery driver, and the late Cliff Osmond plays the dad in the station wagon.
4) “This is a Joyous Occasion”
This one will bring a smile to your face. In this commercial, the town reverend gets a motorcycle as a gift from churchgoers – a Honda motorcycle, which he can use as an “economical” way to visit the congregation.
Surprisingly, he immediately begins romping around town popping wheelies and going over jumps, as one churchgoer says “you ridden before, reverend?” Well, maybe just a little – the “reverend” in the commercial is none other than off-road racing legend, Malcolm Smith!
3) What Do We Do Until The New Yamahas Get Here?
This 1976 Yamaha commercial features a cadre of bumbling motorcycle cops that remind me a lot of the clueless goons from old Looney Tunes cartoons. The police chief is played by someone you’ve probably seen countless times, but may not know his name, prolific character actor David Huddleston.
2) Kawasaki “Let the Good Times Roll,” Part 3
I swear, Kawasaki’s advertisers must have been experimenting with some “stuff” back in those days, but I’m glad, because I seriously can’t get tired of these wacky commercials. This one is even weirder than the first two!
1) The Kawasaki 100 Gets the Ladies
This commercial is bizarre, even for Kawasaki; in fact, the first time I saw it, I thought it was a parody of 1970s commercials, not an actual 1970s commercial. But it’s wacky, overtly sexist, and so campy I couldn’t get it out of my head, and that’s why it’s my pick for the most memorable motorcycle commercial of the 1970s. You’ll never see commercials like this again, that’s for sure!
Do you remember any wacky, heart-warming, or hilarious motorcycle commercials from back in the day? Share them in the comments below!