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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Italian Motor Cycles As Art

Story, Photos And Video By Miguel Caparros        Click Here For The Video
In August of 2011 the Museum Of Design Atlanta, MODA Chose for its Grand Opening to feature the art of the Italian motorcycles. Italians just have the design gene as part of their DNA. It has always been there and always very present in their industrial designs. It was not enough to just build great machinery but every nut, bolt and fin was seen as an opportunity to not just male a part useful but beautiful as well. Vittorio Jano at Alfa Romeo in the early 1930s, treated every part as a separate work of art.  From the Emblems to the cooling fins, every part is styled not only to enhance the function but also to please the eye. His influence even translated to the designs of Motorcycles. Though many in the past looked at Italian Motorcycles as too dainty and fragile when you study them up close and get to feel the precision on their ultra light parts you begin to understand part of the art follows function was taken to the extreme. I have tried to convey that up close feeling of many of the individual parts on the Motorcycles in the video,  and these stills taken from the video. Pause and take a close look, hope you enjoy it. We had the opportunity to come in the day before the public and take some up close video and photos with no one in the back ground..

Bimota was Created 1973 in  Rimini  Italy byBianchi, Morri and Tamburini. The company name is a combination from the first two letters of each of the three founders' surnames, i.e. Bianchi Morri Tamburini. All of them established in the Motorcycle industry. Initially Bimota was for formed to supply a superior chassis for the wonderful inline 4 cylinder motors made by the Japanese, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha. Powerful smooth engines supported by mediocre chassis and handling. 

By the time this 1997 500 Due was built Bimota was having thoughts of leaving the Japan made motors and built a revolutionary 2 cylinder 2 stroke engine that was powerful, lighter and clean enough to pass emission regulations. They also were hoping to go F 1 racing against the worlds Motorcycles best. By 2001 Bimota went into bankruptcy and the end of the dreams of racing for a world championship were a reality. In 2003 a run of 120, 500 Due were assembled as street bikes using carburetors instead of fuel injection, also running with reduced power. Today all the Due Bikes are considered very valuable collectors items.

Moto Morini Is a survivor, that is the company. Founded in 1937 by Alfonso Marini in Bologna Italy, they went through WWII, the departure of the Germans, the Allies Occupation, the internal revolution, hostile take overs, bankruptcy, financial collapse and  some how they are still there. In my eyes Moto Morini is the Champion of minimalism, There is not a part on these bikes that is not doing something. From the beautiful aluminum head and cylinder castings to the dainty rods that support the fairing. Even the carburetor velocity stack is perfectly proportioned.  In the small displacement classes they led and everyone else followed. They were racing, winning and selling 150 cc to 250cc motorcycles from 1948- the 1970's.
I hope you can enjoy the works of art as much as I do. Stop the video and study the smallest of details.

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