Battle of the Bikes

The big idea

Which motorbike brand is leading the pack?

‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ So goes the wisdom of a million Instagram posts. But at Woven, we think there’s something to it — and it just so happens, we love motorbikes. And motorbike brands.

Which was as good a starting point as any for our Battle of the Bikes report: which unveils which motorbike brands are firing on all cylinders and which are in need of a marketing MOT.

But which bikes battled it out, how did we measure them and who came out on top?

The motorbike brands

It’s time to get naked

We picked the world’s most popular bike brands who make ‘naked’ bikes either exclusively or as part of their offering (the bikes are called ‘naked’ because their pipework is laid bare for all to see).

Why naked motorbike brands? Well, as we said, we love them. A few of us at Woven own one — and more than a few of us want to work with brands that make them.

But just as importantly, the motorbike market is growing. Global bike revenue is set to grow nearly 7% by 2027, to $168bn. And since the (re)release of the Triumph Bonneville in 2001, retro naked bikes have become increasingly popular — not just amongst older riders, but with younger customers, too.

Which means the need to have an effective bike brand has never been more important.

It’s a constant surprise to us at Woven that makers of great products sell their digital branding short. We wanted to see if that held true in a market we really care about, and to see which motorbike brands were doing their amazing products proud.

Mark Bower — Executive Creative Director, Woven

What we measured

We judged our motorbike brands on online findability (SEO, domain authority, link-building etc.), website UX (how easy and elegant the site is to use) and social media (regularity of posting, channel use, engagement with customers and so on). 

But while these are important metrics, there is a more important one. Motorbikes, after all, aren’t logical. They’re unnecessary, they can be expensive – and they can kill you. The decision to buy one, therefore, doesn’t stem from logic. It’s born from emotion. 

Hence the official Woven FIWO score.


The FIWO factor is the 'fuck I want one factor'. It measures why people really buy bikes: their stunning beauty, their visceral sound, their promise of escape. And the fact they can make a suit-wearing accountant feel like a leather jacket-clad James Dean.

As any marketer knows, the majority of purchasing decisions are subconscious — and the biggest subconscious driver (pardon the pun) of all is emotion.

So in rating a motorbike brand’s effectiveness, we had to measure how well it stirred our souls. Or, in other words, how well they stopped us thinking — and started feeling. That’s why the FIWO factor is the most important metric, and why it played a crucial role in crowning our Battle of the Bikes winner.

The result

And the winner is…

Well, we’re not going to reveal that here — you’ll have read the Battle of the Bikes to find out who topped the podium. 

But in general, we saw that motorbike brands are similar to those in other premium sectors: some do a consistent good (occasionally great) job, but many fail to live up to the beauty and pleasure their products offer. 

Telling compelling stories and tapping into emotional desires across every digital channel isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a constant battle. But to meaningfully connect with audiences — to get them to care about you over the competition — it’s a battle brands have to win. 

Want to win yours? Get in touch