Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

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Tinkerbell
Mariana
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:57 am

Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by Tinkerbell »

Hello All,
I found this post on a site called Devitt by Nick Cleaver from 2015 and I think it hits the nail on the head :

"Basically I suspect most motorcycle designers are aged 25-35. In Japan in particular (because they seem to be making the ugliest bikes at the moment) thats the exact age of people who have grown up with a manga comic, transformers etc type influence. Hell almost the whole population is trapped in some juvenile, little girl fancying, comic con, toy obsessed perpetual childhood at the moment. No wonder their influences are kiddie comic related. As a result they are designing lumpty bumpty, sharp edged ugly crap with anthropomorphic faces like bloody terminators or optimus prime. These looks appeal to teenagers or twenty somethings with a cupboard full of broken transformers toys or boxes full of thumbed manga comics. But heres the rub. Those self same teenagers or mentaly juvenile people, all the fancy dancy transformer bikes are designed to please are too expensive for them to actualy buy. Its 35+ year olds in most European and American markets that buy big bikes. And in the new big economies like India they are relatively unaffected by these influences so have different tastes. Result? The arse has started to drop out of the Japanese bike market as the looks fail to appeal to those most able to afford them in markets other than Japan, and the technology has become too superfast then throw it away to appeal as well. Thats why the European manufacturers are doing better these days. They are designed by mature minded people with an eye for classic design and usefullness on the real roads we ride on, and therefore appeal to the same people most able to afford the bikes. That is why bikes Japanese bikes in particular are getting uglier and why European manufacturers are resurgent. And Unless the Japanese grasp this they will go the way of the old British bike manufacturers. Believing in their technical superiority over everyone else and in designs that they want to make rather than what the customers want to buy. Tell me I’m wrong heh heh."

Long live the bevel head Ducatis.
Sincerely,
Kara
ducadini
860 GT / GTS
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by ducadini »

Probably because I've forgotten what I did on my 60th birthday, I tend to agree and the europeans were a bit influenced (and hence went in the Nippon direction). Still don't like all those superenduros and naked bikes, even the Ducatis.
I think one of the last beautifull bikes (not "just nice" but really goodlooking) was the 998 series. After those Ducatis became too sharpedged IMO.
Was P.T. the right designer in that era ? Des degouts et des douleurs.

Long let us keep the Bevels running :-D
And a few belts also :oops:

ciao
ducadini
Nego i ricordi peggiori
Richiamo i migliori pensieri
900tlc
Mariana
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Re: Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by 900tlc »

Ducati bevels were born from one man's vision.
What we have now is team efforts,backed by C.A.D.(computer,aided,design)and human input is a side line.
Technilogical advancements in plastics also help to these bewildering looking bikes,that look half finished,the rear ends are a good example.
Im sticking to my "metal bikes",not these plastic rockets,that gobble fuel quicker than most cars.
Tinkerbell
Mariana
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Re: Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by Tinkerbell »

I have been thinking about the long term value of mototcycles--and the long term value of a bike is aesthetics. If the 750ss green frame looked like a ninja from a decade ago- all spiky fairings and humpy gas tank-- and given its performance--you could not give one away.
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81mhr900ss
750 GT
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Re: Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by 81mhr900ss »

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The beholders are changing; this is one reason HD are in trouble; younger potential riders are not attracted to the bad-boy, sofa-on-wheels thing. My 14 year old son finds the Kawasaki Ninja H2 much more appealing than my old Hailwood; I get this; it is like looking at a Transformer but this is what he likes.

There's already a retro-revival that has been going on for years, split down the middle by owner-builders and owners of builder bikes. Of course, I really like these but that's because I'm an old beholder; my idea of true, ultimate beauty is the right side of a Black Shadow motor. Way beyond my means which brings things back into perspective. Bike manufacturers are going to build what they believe will sell and I'm sure they have spent a lot of time and money working this out; transformers on wheels.

Of note and specific relevance to this post due to the OP, way back in 1981, I bought my first Ducati, a 75 860GT. This bike was being produced at the same time as the beautiful 750SS Desmos, what I wanted, but could not afford as a broke university student. My 860GT had good bones but was very ugly; horrible side panels, even more horrible tank. I saved pennies and modified it a lot to make it more aesthetically pleasing from my perspective; Darmah tank, Hailwood seat, 2-into-1 pipes and lots of home-made bits.
Tinkerbell
Mariana
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:57 am

Re: Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by Tinkerbell »

I have made a related observation by watching YouTube videos of "supercar fails" where owners of high end ferraris lamb's and McLaren's smash them up in parking lots for entirely stupid reasons. These are new cars and have a lot of plastic on them. They are automatic trans and full of bluetooth and video screens. To these owners , these cars are just another fancy appliance. They are plasticky and at a subliminal level the owners treat them as such.
Contrast this to a famous photo of Peter Sellers standing next to his Ferrari 275 GT S. You can see that it was obvious that he thought the 275 was a r t and worthy of respect. He did not see it as an appliance.
A friend got a Norton Commando and a late model BMW touring bike in a package deal, and he says " oh, the BMW? That is an appliance."
Tinkerbell
Mariana
Posts: 39
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Re: Why Are Modern Motorcycles so UGLY??

Post by Tinkerbell »

P.S. I have an 860gt and I am convinced that the side panels are actually uglier than the tank. The tank on my 860 was redone nicely in solid red and is not that hideous. In fact with the aluminum side panels I made , the tank shows off the rear bevel nicely and Is not the problem I imagined.plus its free...
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