Journal: Who Designed The Most Beautiful Motorcycle?

Who Designed The Most Beautiful Motorcycle?

By Michael Banovsky
September 5, 2016
31 comments

Even we had to read the press release twice, where it stated that the one-off MV Agusta F4Z was the first motorcycle ever styled by Zagato. “Huh? The first?” Seeing this bike’s curves made us wonder something else: if this isn’t the world’s prettiest motorcycle, what is?

The details of this creation aren’t well-known at this point, beyond a few items: it’s one-off, and styled for a “Japanese entrepreneur, collector of Zagato cars as well as Italian motorbikes”—someone we’ll happily buy a drink for, naturally. The finished motorcycle relies upon aluminum and carbon fibre materials for its bodywork, arranged using,  “a limited number of relatively large panels: this is the characteristic that, in the motorcar world, sets apart collectibles from mass produced automobiles,” said Zagato in a release.

Based on the production F4, it sports completely unique intake manifolds, exhaust, fuel tank, and battery, because Zagato began with “the notion that a motorbike expresses its owner’s lifestyle a lot more than a car. Therefore, it was essential to know and understand the character, passions and wishes of the person to whom the bike was destined”. As a result, you’re looking at what “a young Japanese businessman, president of a holding with interests in the fashion and publishing sectors” wanted in a bike.

For what it’s worth, we think he’s got great taste. Surely, many of you disagree—so let’s get back to the question of truly beautiful motorcycle.

1970s Ducatis must be among the contenders for such an award, as are simple-in-form faired-in ‘dustbin’ streamliners…until a BMW R60 thumps by, its mix of visible mechanical components and the occasional flourish as a great example of timeless design.

With tens of millions of customized motorcycles running around, it’s clearly a subjective topic…but one we’re asking anyway. Who designed the most beautiful motorcycle?

Images via: Ted Gushue, Jose Gallinaflickr.combikeexif.comcatalog-moto.com

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Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith
4 years ago

Ducati Sport Classic Paul Smart Edition. PERIOD!

Mark Giggins
Mark Giggins
4 years ago

Surely has to be 1 of 10 Brittens ever built. This one at Wellington museum Te Papa

Dane Eldon
Dane Eldon
4 years ago

Lotus C-01 by Daniel Simon, hands down.

deville
deville
4 years ago

Suzuki Nuda 1987 or Yamaha SDR

Brian Kaplan
Brian Kaplan
5 years ago

Sorry, meant to include the photo but won’t let me edit the original post.

Brian Kaplan
Brian Kaplan
5 years ago

I agree with the comment on the Britten but would also offer up The Vincent Black Shadow Series C as a strong contender.

Eba Normaalne
Eba Normaalne
5 years ago

a Hercules W2000 with a beautiful Sachs Wankel engine
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/photogallerys/Hercules-W-2000-portrait-3.jpg?378220

Porsche928s4
Porsche928s4
5 years ago

No words required.

bebop
bebop
5 years ago

Maybe all the italian motorcycles ? If I had to make a choice, it would be certainly a Ducati 750 SS (the one with the round case) or a Benelli 650 Tornado.

Andrzej Kostuch
Andrzej Kostuch
5 years ago

See below – one that I should have never sold on – 916sps

Peter Lukáč
Peter Lukáč
5 years ago

Rhere is lot of beautiful 2 wheels machines. But if I have to choose one, what about BMW R80? I like it even more as cafe racer, it’s great base for builds. But yen in orginal condition it’s great!

George Millwood
George Millwood
5 years ago

Ducat 916

I still remember the day I walked into Eurotune and saw it on the floor. I went into a trance. No other motorcycle has such a direct visceral appeal.

Patrick Frawley
Patrick Frawley
5 years ago

If beauty is more than skin deep, the most beautiful motorcycle ever made is the Honda RC30. No other bike has ever been so perfectly conceived and realized, nor has any had the kind of enlightened to the point of arrogance mission of Honda’s statement of purpose.

It still looks pretty cool, too.

Jeff Wiltshire
Jeff Wiltshire
4 years ago

I loved mine, paid £9200 in 1988 when a VFR750F was £2800. Amazing bit of kit. I still like the 916 or most of the Bimotas.

Stephen Retzke
Stephen Retzke
5 years ago

Bert Hopwood the fully faired BSA Superflash and Goldenflash were stunning.

Derelict
Derelict
5 years ago

I love everything that Zagato has ever done. Period.

BUT, the most beautiful motorbikes ever made:
– Honda Dream 50R,
– Confederate Wraith,
– ANYTHING by Maxwell Hazan…ANYTHING

Derelict
Derelict
5 years ago
Reply to  Derelict

Especially Hazan’s Musket

Daniel Rooms
Daniel Rooms
5 years ago

+1 for the Ducati 916. I’d buy one just to look at it.

Eukol
Eukol
5 years ago

Nooo, the most beautiful bike (backed by multiple design awards) is the Husqvarna Nuda 900 (R). Only in production for two years (2011-12), produced under BMW’s tutelage and killed off by KTM (who hate BMW … watch Long Way Round) when they bought the company from BMW.

I had the most excellent fortune to own one from new for 3 years (wrote it off in Jan 🙁 ) – the performance is amazing from engine to chassis and suspension (esp’y the R spec) … 100nm of torque in a very light bike, long travel disciplined suspension to tame real-world asphalt.

I’m still recovering from the accident, and coming up short for a suitable replacement … think I might just have to get another one, even if parts will be a scarcity into th future.

https://goo.gl/rWWC3a

Eukol
Eukol
5 years ago
Reply to  Eukol

….

Jan Wittkowski
Jan Wittkowski
5 years ago

The Horex Regina! But it’s as always a personal thing. Many Motorcycles are beautiful. In technical or asthetic matter.

Gas Project
Gas Project
5 years ago

A top 10 would be easier. The original F4 still makes me smile when I open the garage, to me its a perfected 916. While in Ducati mode the SuperMono should get a mention. That might indeed be my pick. Although if we’re going to get into race bikes, then that’s a whole other thing…

Patrick Peters
Patrick Peters
5 years ago

Who designed the most beautiful motorcycle? that maybe is a bit of a silly question, because there is no such thing. Motorcycles are all about emotion, so it is very personal. For me the Norton Manx still gives me shivers. https://youtu.be/Bax6oH6Bbjw

BDA
BDA
5 years ago

I really think Petrolicious missed on this one. The Britten has to be the most beautiful bike.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
5 years ago
Reply to  BDA

I agree . The F4Z looks like … errr .. take yer pick … a Carp trying to swallow a wheel … or … hmmm .. how does one say this subtle like …. errr … a diaphragm being inserted into a ………………………….

But … as stunning and technologically advanced as the Britten was … and it is my very close 2nd overall… for my 1st I’d have to go with any of the non- faired Vincents .. including the singles .

Matthew Flinn
Matthew Flinn
5 years ago
Reply to  BDA

I would have to agree with you.

The Britten V1000 is a masterpiece conceived and built by a genius.

Sir Mouse
Sir Mouse
5 years ago

Sorry but I see a very expensive uncomfortable bike there. Very much like the
O. Ray Courtney built Henderson Art Deco Bike. Both are great looking but impractical for use. I’ll submit the Honda CBX 1000(1979) It grabs attention visually and sound wise plus you can ride it everyday comfortably.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
5 years ago
Reply to  Sir Mouse

What you’re also seeing is a bike who’s design has superseded its intended function . Suffice it to say that gapping hole in the front is an aerodynamic brick . Which is to say .. its a case of (ugly) Form over Function with the pretense of design and performance . Sadly … yet another footnote in the eventual and rapidly coming demise of M/V Agusta

Rudolf Wesseln
Rudolf Wesseln
5 years ago

Massimo Tamburini and the wonderful, unbelievable gorgeous and unforgettable 916. In Red of course. It is the most beautiful piece of tech art I ever saw. Not to forget the significance of this model for Ducati but moreover for the whole motorcycle industry.
If you had the chance to see one of the earliest 916 in the wild (in 1994) it was like a strange encounter of some kind, like aliens have landed and left a motor bike for the earthlings.

Not bad: The MV Agusta F4 Oro and, of course, the Ducati MH900e, a hommage to Mike Hailwood.

Jan De Vliegher
Jan De Vliegher
5 years ago

The Laverda family!
Tonti!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
5 years ago

Not into bikes but I don’t think there has been a better looking one that the Ducati 916 and its derivatives. Designed by Massimo Tamburini