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FORM, FUNCTION and DESIGN ART - the true beauty of CURVES, and the TRUEexpression of the classic DUCATI
I’m moving right away from technical stuff now and writing about something that touches my heart, every time I go down to my garage, and every time I see one of these gorgeous classic Ducati’s at a show or, even better, being ridden by a proud collector/restorer/tinkerer (like myself) on the roads. Some people display these bikes in their living room (even I know two people who do this … and BOTH of their wives are 110% pleased with the decor), and others like to take their classic bikes out riding. I am of the latter group, but will take a toothbrush to it after EVERY ride. Those microscopic blobs of mud are really quite unacceptable.
Ducati have become, like a number of elite motorcycle marques, leaders in building race winning superbikes. BUT, it is the gorgeous, curvaceous artwork of the 70s classics that made Ducati a household celebrity manufacturer, and Paul Smart (winning the 1972 Imola 200 mile race on his new Ducati 750 Imola), and others, did just fine on them in top level racing in that decade.
This time I’m going to let eh pictures do the talking … I’ve talked too much. Rather than the angular, aggressive superbikes of the modern world, I ask you to look closely at these timeless bikes in the flesh (or ‘metal’).
I have a friend, Dave, who rides a Darmah … thing weighs a tonne (at 250kgs it’s about 70kgs heavier than my own Sport Classic 1000 S), but he’s very skilled on it and it holds it’s own in the corners even with the new bikes. They didn’t have carbon fibre or high grade polycarbonates back then, just metal! And the engines were heavier then too (understatment there!). The 70s are also the years that the classic Desmodronic air cooled 90 degree L-Twin was introduced … an engine which defined Ducati for the next FORTY years!
The first two photos are my own bike, a 2008 Sport Classic 1000 S, designed as a tribute (but also as a genuinely serious performance machine ... it's a ripper) to the design cues of the 750 and 900 Super Sports of the 70s. It's easy to see the styling theme. The Sport Classic range started with a Silver and Green Paul Smart special edition (2005/2006, photo 3) and my 1000 S model was only made between ’06 and ’09. Needless to say I won’t be selling it … but I do hope you accost me at a café some day and get me talking about it … because I love to talk people’s ears off about these things (just ask my interested, but also long-suffering, friends … bless ‘em!).
Oh, and I COULDN’T resist putting in my FAVOURITE Ducati photo … Keira Knightley on a beige 750SS in a colour matched body suit and Les Ateliers Ruby helmet, doing the photo shoot for a series of Chanel promotions. I'll be meeting with Keira over coffee next week to discuss it. She wanted to discuss riding posture with me …