Monday, January 11, 2010
Ducati 599 Mono concept from Australia
Remember the early-1990s Ducati Supermono? Light, fast, exotic and because it was so expensive, simply inaccessible to most people, the Supermono was powered by a high-tech 549cc engine that made 75bhp. With its 118-kilo kerb weight, the ’Mono still managed to hit a top speed of 225km/h and according to those who’ve ridden one, it handled like a proper racebike.
Now, while Ducati made the last Supermono back in 1996, there still seems to be no dearth of enthusiasts who want a modern-day interpretation of the iconic original. Take 23-year-old Dan, for example, who sent us his artist’s impression of what he calls the Ducati 599 Mono, which is supposed to have a single-cylinder engine rather than the usual Bolognese v-twin.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Dan has a degree in Industrial Design and loves motorcycles. He currently rides a Ducati Pantah 600 which he’s restored himself and which he says is a lovely (if slow!) old bike.
‘I’ve had the idea of a sporting single in my head for a while now, and really wanted a Ducati 450 single when I was younger. Ducati have a really strong tradition of single-cylinder sportsbikes so I decided to capitalise on that heritage using the technology developed in Terblanche’s Supermono project, which never became a road-legal bike, although beautiful road–legal replicas are now being made,’ says Dan. ‘I just really like the idea of a sporting single in terms of a weekend ‘scratcher.’ Realistic power output in a light chassis just sounds so much fun! Clearly it’s something manufacturers are thinking about with the KTM RC4 being recently leaked and many riders are so enthusiastic about the proposal,’ he adds.
‘Ducati, compared to the Japanese Big Four, clearly chase different markets, which is reflected in their design. I’ve always liked the styling of Ducatis – Tamburini’s 916 is a masterpiece – to make something regarded as beautiful by almost the entire motorcycling community is rare,’ said Dan when we asked him about what he thinks of Japanese vs Italian motorcycle design.
‘The styling of the 999 probably pushed a bit too hard and so alienated a lot of riders. I think the 1098 is a reaction to that; it’s certainly a lot more conservative than the 916 and 999 and more ‘Japanese’ in many ways. It’s very inoffensive and has been selling like hot cakes, which is good for the company’s bottom line but perhaps not so good for setting new standards in motorcycle design as did the 916 in 1994,’ concludes Dan.
Well, we certainly like the 599 Mono concept and we hope someday Ducati will revive the old Supermono and actually build something on the lines of Dan’s 599 Mono.
Those who wish to get in touch with Dan can write to him on firstname.lastname@example.org