Beginning with a Ducati 999R, Shinya Kimura stripped off the stock plastic and replaced it with hand-beaten and riveted metal bodywork to create the Edge. The effect is a bike that looks like a beaten up old space ship, something emphasized by how well the organic metal complements the fussy plumbing of the water-cooled 150bhp v-twin. Having said that, this is a beaten up old space ship that’s not any faster than a 2005 Earth bike, yet is expected to fetch a galactically exuberant $200,000.
Since we slated the Falcon Kestrel for pandering to a culture that
increasingly likes looking at bikes rather than riding them, it probably
wouldn’t be fair not to apply the same criticism to the Edge, even if
we’re much bigger fans of Shinya’s originality over Falcon’s shameless
Other than integrating the exhaust into the tailpiece, it doesn’t appear
that Shinya has performed any mechanically significant work on the
999R. There, we said it; $200,000 for some metal bodywork that’ll cut
your legs off if you drop it. Criticism applied.
We’re much more comfortable with Shinya’s work when we don’t know that
he’s sold it to an upstart car company with no tangible products for six
figures and that it’s destined for their Beverly Hills showroom to help
sell their fancy watches. We prefer to think of his bikes as a labor of
love from a mad Japanese genius toiling in a greasy garage. There’s
something raw, mean and animal-like in his bikes, as if he’s unleashed
an inner personality that was hidden when this thing was painted red.
The bodywork appears to reduce the 999′s height while extending its
length, proportions that aren’t considered traditionally handsome on
sportsbikes, yet work here precisely because they corrupt the
traditional idea of what a super bike should be.
Like the Kestrel, the Edge will be debuting at the Quail Lodge
Motorcycle Gathering this weekend where we imagine many a monocle will plop out of the eye sockets and into the cocktail glasses of wealthy attendees due to the mere
sight of it.