The Motorcycles folder in the SVA Pictures Collection provides a wide breadth of insight into the world of motorized bikes. It contains everything from Bonny and Clyde cosplay to a scenic ride at the base of a snowy mountain to a route diverted by sheep to a great deal of denim on denim. The latter defies most people’s immediate fabric-association with motorcycles: leather, but the folder is no less fun for it. The motorcycle has historically been codified in popular culture as a symbol of hyper-masculinity, but, fortunately, it has also been appropriated and subverted by gay and lesbian communities - think leather daddies and dykes on bikes. Furthermore, the motorcycle has a kind of mythic ‘cool’ appeal - those who ride onto the scene on a motorbike in films and TV shows are often the resident “badasses” - their bikes evidence of a predisposition for heavy boots and a devil-may-care attitude towards death. Iconic motorcycle rider-bike combinations include Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda’s characters in Easy Rider, Marlon Brando in The Wild One, Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle and James Hurley in Twin Peaks. Below is a peek into our motorcycle image archives.

Several people on motorcycles ride through a dusty, bushy landscape.

A woman is embraced by a man wearing a motorcycle helmet near a sleek silver motorbike. Three other people jump excitedly in the background.
A denim clad couple on a motorcycle face a road blocked by sheep.
A couple stand near two motorcycles on a beach.
A muscly man wearing jeans, a tank top and a denim jacket slung over his shoulder sits jauntily on a motorcycle and looks off into the distance while a sunset lights up the sky behind him.
A Bonnie and Clyde-type duo stand behind a motorcycle.
A couple ride a motorcycle beneath at the foot of what looks like Mount Fuji.
Six separate images of motorcycles in various colors and styles.
A close up of part of a motorcycle with a painting of a naked lady and some lilies on it.
A group of men on motorcycles make a sharp turn on a highway in a desert landscape.
A person in a bright getup does a big jump on a motorcycle.
Two women wearing saris and sunglasses on vespas sit at a traffic light.