Sunday, 14 December 2008

Random design comments

It's sad what you notice, sometimes.

Take The Dark Knight. Apart from being a disappointingly sketchy and shallow display of Christian Bale's talents, and a heavy - if fairly deserved - cutting to emphasise the recently departed Heath Ledger, although a more sophisticated human story than I was expecting, it also lead me to notice a poor bit of design on the world's most beautiful motorcycle.

The MV Agusta F4 has held that title, with little hope of anything supplanting it - yes, even the new Ducati 1098 - since it was penned by the fresh-from-the-916 master himself, Masimo Tamburini, as a 750cc superbike in 1998. Most of what's happened since has been evolution of components, and a string of limited-edition variants which sell for heart-stopping amounts of money. But it is
still arguably the finest looking motorbike on the planet - all the proportions are right, it's elegant with understated flanks and a touch of aggression about the fuel tank and the posture, and it has such a beautifully simple headlight that it still looks better than every incarnation of a Japanese superbike for the last ten years - even the best R1 couldn't quite match it.


While Bruce Wayne is riding through Gotham on his F4 (
Bastard!) I couldn't help but notice the tail.

The F4 has four stubby exhausts underneath the taillight, which look fairly cool, and the taillight itself is neat and sharp-looking. Unfortunately, there is a complete visual break between the two, and the whole back end of the bike just looks jarringly out of sync with itself, which is both odd and unexpected
from the man who gave us that sublime front.

Oh, well. Maybe he's not an arse man.

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