The Ducati SportClassic. More specifically, the Sport 1000.
Let me start off by saying that I don't really like motorcycles. I also don't know anything about them. Something about the inherent danger of these machines just never made me interested in them. I still will not get on one. However, when I saw this parked at school, I had to get a closer look at it. It's simply beautiful. So keep in mind that this post is coming from someone that is completely new to this world. Don't expect words from a motorbike nerd.
Recently, many car manufacturers have been revisiting classics. The Mustang, Camaro, and of course, the Fiat 500 are all homages to the classics. This SportClassic is of the same genre. It's got a very retro design but with modern components. However, the SportClassic stopped being produced in 2010 after 4 years of sales. This one had to be purchased used and demand for these bikes are really high right now.
The first time I was exposed to the SportClassic was in Tron. Being ignorant about bikes, I thought all bikes were either choppers or Japanese style bikes.
Obviously, the SportClassic is neither of those things. It's a "cafe racer".
A quick side profile reveals the low positioning of handle bar in relation to the seat. At top is a Ducati GT1000 and below is a BMW GS. The SportClassic really is like an Italian super car. It's helplessly sexy, fun to drive but not comfortable. This immediately makes one question the functional value of this layout. It should be remembered that the SportClassic reminisces on early 70s race bikes, and race bikes aren't meant for comfort.
The entire bike is proportionally brilliant and built very rationally. The tubular frame keeps everything together and nothing is really hidden from view. Function and form really are in harmony. Everything seems to have a functional reason to be there.
As I was deconstructing the practicality of the bike, I realized that it didn't have a seating for a passenger. Well it actually does, and is accessed by taking a few screws off the bottom of the seat and removing the yellow cover.
Removing the seat also reveals some of the guts. Things are tightly packed. Just the way I like it.
And here is the rear with the passenger seating revealed. Definitely looks better with the cover.
Ducati also decided to use their old logo on this bike - which I frankly prefer.
The ignition is here.
From the shadow, you really can't even tell that this is a modern bike.
Things like the fuel filler cap reveal the modern approach. A simple circular design would have been ideal.
No crazy over-styled headlights.
The instrument cluster. Looks a little too cheapo alarm clock.
Perfect place for a navigation system.
This has a 922cc motor producing 91bhp mated with a 6 speed transmission. 91bhp. My Nissan produces 122bhp.
Huge Brembo disc brakes to stop the 91 horses.
And huge exhausts.
The stiffness of the shocks can be adjusted using this simple dial. Keeping it soft is ideal for LA's shitty roads.
Oh, and of course, this sticker ruins the look. A white decal would have been ideal.
Well, there you have it. A modern machine with an incredible classic styling. It's not just a beautiful bike, I think it might be the most beautiful bike that's been produced in recent history.