Not everything Italian is an artistic masterpiece

Oh, Italy: the land of culture, food, wine, history, art and the greatest car and motorcycle creations in the history of the world. It seems impossible for an Italian craftsman to make something ugly. or is it? Take off your blindfolds and rose-tinted glasses and see that even Italians aren’t always perfect. Some might think it would be hard to tamper with a motorcycle design that much due to the lack of bodywork, but there are more Italian motorcycles than you can imagine that are just plain ugly. We don’t take great pleasure in showing failures, but perhaps they also make us realize how many successful designs we’ve had.

10 MV Agusta X Zagato F4Z

Two Italian companies that have produced some of the most beautiful motorcycles and cars, MV Agusta and Zagato, joined forces in 2016 to create a one-off motorcycle based on the MV Agusta F4 superbike for a Japanese entrepreneur. . The problem here is that the F4 is he one of the most beautiful motorcycles in the world, while the F4Z destroys that beauty rather than enhancing it. There are a lot of weird features that weren’t built into the overall design and felt like an afterthought. The small screen and headlights are noticeable, but the bulbous seat is wrong, especially since it’s a different shade of red than the fairing. . Zagato was known for building lightweight and aerodynamic bodies for vehicles like Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Aston and his Martin, but the F4X-Z just looks heavy and, well, you’re wrong.

9 Ducati Multistrada 1000DS

The Ducati Multistrada is an example of how not to rush a model into the dustbin of history just because it didn’t work the first time. In fact, under its hideous camouflage, the Ducati Multistrada had no problems. The Multistrada was a bold and forward-thinking attempt to build a touring-sport hybrid. It was versatile and paved the way for the ever-greater evolution of subsequent models. The engine was a proven air-cooled V-twin with a displacement of 992 cm3 and an output of 85 hp he. The tall chassis and suspension are tuned just right so the bike doesn’t feel like a big, bouncy trailbike. Comfortable enough for long rides, again a Ducati. But the design gave the bike a look that only moms would love, and the screen and lower fairing section remained fixed, while the central headlight section that swiveled with the handlebars never won a design award.

8 Bimota DB3 Mantra

It’s a shame to see a poor motorcycle design that has been forced into ugliness despite the best intentions of its designers. Bimota specializes in fitting engines from other manufacturers into bespoke chassis. These engines are expensive, desirable, and generally nice looking. Beneath Mantra’s terrifying style hides an amazing bike. A stiff trellis frame, Paoli fork, monoshock rear wheel and good brakes combine to create a bike with excellent handling. Of course, this is the point of exercise. The prototype featured a small, stylish single headlight, but due to production requirements and US legislation, the headlight from the Yamaha FXR600 was used, even though it was twice his size. The forward-facing beak mounting didn’t help, and the flat, wide gas tank made the look even more clunky. Worst of all, the dashboard is surrounded by artificial wood.

7 Ducati Paso

In previous motorcycle designs, most of Ducati’s moving parts were always visible, so Paso was a big surprise. The idea of ​​streamlining and improving efficiency was sound. Full enclosures weren’t a new idea. Triumph and Ariel were trying it out in his 1960s with the 350cc Twenty One and Leader respectively. The name Paso is named after Renzo Pasolini, who died in Monza in 1973. Ducati designer Massimo Tamburini had his aerodynamic theory on the right track, but he went too far. What he didn’t realize is that motorcyclists want to see as many mechanical elements as possible, not completely hide them. At least that was the way of thinking in the 1980s. It wasn’t a success. Between 1986 and 1988 he sold only 4,863 units.

6 Gilera CX125

What a curiosity! The “125” in the name actually refers to the displacement of the single-cylinder two-stroke engine. But putting a small engine in such an incredibly over-engineered bike is what really sets the CX125 apart from other bikes in its class. Not only is the body fully enclosed, but the front and rear suspension is via single-ended forks or swingarms. This allowed the Gilera to use large disc wheels that looked like they were straight out of the car. The 30hp engine, combined with efficient aerodynamics, clearly took design inspiration from the Elf series of 500cc Grand Prix, allowing the CX125 to achieve a top speed of 105 miles per hour.

5 Ducati Indiana

For a small company seemingly constantly on the verge of financial disaster, at least up to the 1990s, Ducati certainly wasn’t afraid of pushing the boundaries rather than playing it safe and guaranteeing sales. It’s as if, with the Indiana, they tried to make a cruiser, along the lines of a Harley-Davidson, using the cruiser pattern that the Japanese manufacturers attempted to figure out, with greater or lesser success. However, it was aimed at the Italian market, not the U.S., and was powered by a 350cc V-Twin, hardly ideal for the vast American landscape. Later versions had a 650cc or 750cc engine, but it would always be let down by its styling. Even giving it an American name couldn’t help this ugly duckling.

4 MV Agusta 600

In the 1960s, MV Agusta was riding on a crest of Grand Prix fame and excellence which the company inexplicably failed to capitalize on with a large-displacement road motorcycle: those that were produced being relatively simple single-cylinder bikes of up to 350cc. When MV announced a 600cc motorcycle, there was great anticipation…until it was revealed. The 600 was as ugly as the race bikes were beautiful, even if the engine was an enlarged development of the technically complex 500cc race bike engines, and it was the world’s first production motorcycle with a transverse inline four-cylinder engine. The 600cc displacement was a product of Count Agusta’s paranoia about customers buying one and converting it to a racing machine that might beat his own team. It seems he also made it ugly and expensive to prevent anyone actually buying one.

3 MV Agusta Brutale Rush

The modern-day MV Agusta brand has produced some achingly beautiful motorcycles: the F1 and the Superveloce 800 immediately spring to mind. But even this legendary motorcycle manufacturer, that embodies the very best of Italian engineering, can get it wrong every now and then. The Brutale Rush is a limited production version of the Brutale 1000 and, if it lacks nothing in power and performance, it really is challenging on the eye, being full of fiddly design elements, not least of which is that hideous disc rear wheel, on full display thanks to the single-sided swing arm. What’s worse, MV Agusta wants to charge you over $40,000 for the ‘privilege’ of owning one.

2 Morbidelli V8

It is heart-breaking to include this marvel of engineering here. Giancarlo Morbidelli made his fortune manufacturing precision woodworking machine tools and spent much of it creating Grand Prix racing motorcycles for the smaller 125cc and 250cc classes, with great success. His crowning achievement, however, was the 850cc V8 motorcycle engine that would be mounted longitudinally in a chassis of his own design. The design contract was given to legendary Italian design house Pininfarina, but it seems like they were having an off-year in 1994 as the resulting bodywork was ugly to say the least. A price tag of $60,000, coupled with having to ship the bike back to Italy for servicing, killed the project.

1 Ducati GP23

Modern MotoGP racing bikes are very different from their predecessors in both performance and appearance. Ever since aerodynamic appendages reared their ugly heads in motorcycle racing, they’re as fragmented as any modern F1 car. It may seem unfair to blame Ducati, but Ducati was the first manufacturer to explore aerodynamics as a means of improving performance. And if you need more proof, compare his GP23 today to 2007 champion Casey Stoner’s GP7 and the road-legal Desmosedici RR, a paragon of understated, uncluttered elegance.