simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Bikes
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Friday, 20 July 2007


I am not a motorcycle enthusiast and have never owned one, but I was always impressed by this Ducati/Triumph showroom display visible from street level in SOHO. It is quite interesting that as I write this and look at their website, I see that they have won national showroom awards. And as is typical with many fine European products, design aesthetic and attention to detail stand out in this display. It has always appeared to me as an outsider, that the design of motorcycles was much more important to the owner than automobiles - although there are many finely engineered and designed autos, the percentage of very uninteresting and utilitarian products (many of which are strictly price driven like the Yugo) seems to be much greater than that in the motorcycle world. This makes sense since a motorcycle is not as practical as an automobile as far as transportation - the motorcyclist chooses this vehicle for many reasons other than transportation. The experience of being on a bike is one of integration with one's environment as opposed to the experience of being in a car which can be likened to watching TV in comparison. And then there is the issue of power, speed and exhilaration, again intensified by lack of separation with the environment. However, many types of subcultures have developed around biking and the image of the outlaw biker is strong in people's minds. There is more risk in riding a motorcycle - the accident rate is nearly 5 to 1 over cars. And in NYC (and elsewhere), the reputation of motorcycles has been further tarnished by those that ride with straight pipes - illegal exhaust systems where noise reducing baffles have been removed and create noise of deafening proportions ...


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