Tuesday, February 16, 2010
In conversation with Oberdan Bezzi
As a motorcycle designer, he’s worked with companies like Ducati, Cagiva, Aprilia, Benelli and Moto Guzzi. And you can tell by his sketches – which you are likely to have seen on various motorcycle websites – that he quite loves bikes. So, of course, we caught up with Oberdan Bezzi for a quick chat. Here are some excerpts from what he has to say:
On how he got started with motorcycle design
I was born with a passion for motorcycles. In the area of Italy where I live (North East), the love for motorcycles and cars is widespread. I attended technical schools and at the same time I honed my skills in design. Then I met with Massimo Tamburini and I started working with him. Afterwards, for many years I worked as a consultant and as an internal designer in various Style Centers for Italian and international companies.
On working with Ducati, Cagiva, Aprilia, Benelli and Moto Guzzi
Having worked with these companies as an external consultant, for contractual reasons, I cannot mention the models to which I contributed [but] I can say that some of those bikes went into regular production. In all these factories, I found a lot of passion and professionalism, and I got in touch with some of the best technicians in the world. It’s amazing how the best people in the field of two-wheelers are so kind and modest.
On his own favourite motorcycles
I like several bikes, but for me, some of the milestones in motorcycle design are the Manx Norton, Honda NR750, Honda RC211V and RC212V. I also like the first Honda CB750, the 1970s Kawasaki Mach 1, the Kawasaki GPZ and the Ducati 916.
On European vs Japanese motorcycle design
The approach to motorcycle design is very different, although in both cases it leads to excellent results. Europeans (especially Italians) follow the intuition of a single person who expresses his ideas, which then are shared by engineers to form the development team. The Japanese design is more ‘scientific,’ there is a thorough preliminary study in order to have a product that meets public expectations. It’s striking, however, that often the approach of the ‘heart’ and ‘head’ will lead to very close results...
On the future of hybrid and electric motorcycles
I believe in electric and hybrid two-wheelers, but the brands currently ignore aesthetics in favour of the technological aspect. This is not conducive to the spread of such vehicles. People buy a bike especially for the aesthetic pleasure. That it will also work fine is automatically implied.
On his own dream bike
The bike I would design would be an extreme sportsbike. Technology from a MotoGP bike, lighter, more powerful and very, very aggressive. It will be beautiful!
We thank Oberdan for his time and wish him all the best. And we definitely hope he gets to design that dream bike of his someday! To see more of Oberdan’s sketches, visit his website here
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