The secret identity of Tom Cruise's 'Knight and Day' Ducati

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Take a close look at this shot of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz sitting astride a Ducati Hypermotard on the set of their new movie “Knight and Day.” Notice anything odd? No? Take a closer look at the swingarm and especially the engine right in front of the crazy Scientologist’s leg. That’s right, this is actually an Aprilia SXV550 in disguise.

It appears that the Aprilia is being used as the stunt bike for the
movie, performing jumps, slides and other difficult tasks, while the
Ducati is used for close ups and low speed shots where Cruise and Diaz
are actually riding it.

So why are the movie’s creators ditching a sponsored placement for a
bike from a rival brand? Simple, the Hypermotard is too heavy and too
fragile to pull off the stunts the schlocky action flick requires, but
the SXV is lighter, has longer travel suspension and is built
specifically to take this kind of abuse. The two bikes aren’t actually rivals, competing in different segments. The SXV is a proper lightweight supermoto where the Hypermotard is a larger, faster, more practical street bike. We’re in no way saying the Ducati is a bad bike, it’s just not built to do stuff like this.

The Aprilia SXV550 weighs just 268lbs (dry) to the Ducati Hypermotard
1100′s 379lbs (dry) figure. That makes the Aprilia easier to control and
gives the SXV’s suspension an easier time landing jumps. Like other
supermotos based on dirt bikes, the SXV should also be quicker to
accelerate in the specific environment of these stunts – low speeds and
short distances – due to that lower weight and its very short gearing.

What’s all this mean? Well for starters, that’s not Tom Cruise riding
when you see the bike jumping or sliding. While the totally heterosexual
movie star does ride, the studio’s not going to let him do so at high
speed in nothing but a chambray shirt and a smile. The other conclusion
should be equally obvious, while the Hypermotard is an awesome street
bike, it’s in no way capable of performing most of the stunts you’ll see
in the movie, that stuff is better left for CGI special effects and
proper dirt bikes.

Set photos via JustJared

  • kat

    wow. good eye!
    kinda like when they were riding the ‘rsv’ in the dirt and on top of the train in ‘torque’. it was obviously a dirt bike of some sort with rsv fairings on it. i was laughing in the theater.

    • Dopefish

      I’m laughing at you for actually watching Torque.

  • Ben Affleck

    Also Cameron Diaz has no ass…wtf

  • Marshall Haas

    Yup, that’s definitely an SXV.

  • thatchaos

    So, you spotted the bike in disguise but didn’t twig to the blonde being SHORTER than the Mighty Movie Midget?

    • Wes Siler

      Whoa, you’re totally right. That’s not Cameron Diaz’s ass either, I know because, well, ummmm…

      • vic

        have a secret database with famous ass-shots?

        • Wes Siler

          Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

      • Kidchampion

        Ha! Wes, are you hinting that it’s you in a blonde wig? If so, you’ve got the correct build for a motorcycle jockey – maybe a little top heavy.

    • amsterdam

      now that is funny.
      So who is the guy with the blond wig on?

      • Isaac

        He’s Tom’s Man Bitch for when Kate’s away.

  • monkeyfumi

    Good thing he has those heavy wets on too.

  • Keith

    Ducati must have spent a whole lot for this product placement. Just saw a ESPN promo during the world cup with Cruise riding and then pushing the Hypermotard around the ESPN studio.

    I have to say as far as prop bike goes, they did quite an amazing job integrating that fake Trellis frame on top of the SXV.

  • piccini9

    Notice also the unbelievably high instep on this boots.
    Dude must be wearing 4 inch heels in there.

  • vic

    ahahaha this is awesome

  • caferacer

    But then it has the trellis frame of the Hyper… And tank, seat, schnoz and other red bits. Yet the SXV swingarm and forks and motor. With the Ducati exhaust and wheels. What IS that thing? I want one!

    You can keep the anorexic teenage stuntman in the wig.

    • Marshall Haas

      It actually just has the Ducati exhaust cans for show. I can see the stock SXV exhaust underneath the seat. The bare aluminum that rounds the rear tire tucked in is the stock SXV exhaust. I own one

    • Alex B

      Hey caferacer, are you THE caferacer ? The brilliant mind behind the best motorcycle roadracing podcast ?

  • caferacer

    Actually I see now the frame is modified from the Hyper, and looks like a custom fabrication. Nice work, and I still want one!

  • robotribe

    Actually, that faux-Cameron riding pillion looks like a prop doll, and not a living person at all. Check out the fake hands in the front 3/4 shot.

    • amsterdam

      No that’s what people allways say but that’s Cameron allright after a night out and a new botox, just wearing gloves.

    • amsterdam

      Shoot you’re right, after Jnor’s comment;
      Notice how the also “her” boots are tied to the footpeg….

  • amsterdam

    That whole image is fascinating, nothing is what it seems. queer is the word that comes to mind.
    Well spotted Wes.
    What were you doing by the way on JustJarred looking up Cruise Shirtless?…

  • Jnor

    and the crankcase says aprilia on it? also, lol at the tail light and inidicators being cable-tied on…

  • Rainman

    “What’s all this mean?”

    It’s all very simple: Tom Cruise is way too short to ride the Duc.

    Aprilia seat height: 37.05″
    Ducati seat height: 32.05″

    Oh wait, I totally got that wrong.

    • robotribe

      EXACTLY what I was thinking as well.

      I should know since I’m Tom Cruise “tall” too.

  • The Shrike

    This is not the first bike switcharoo involving captain scientology. In Mission impossible 2 there is a triumph chase scene and I noticed that when they go off road the 2 road bikes all of the sudden POOF have knobbies.

  • g

    you say the aprilia is for stunts and that tom rides de duc in slow shots, but then how come he is riding the aprilia in this pics?? maybe they just build him a scaled down ducati so when his riding he doesnt look so small! maybe he looked like a kid riding the ducati, so they gave him a fake smaller duc, and also had to scale down cameron to go with the looks

    • Wes Siler

      These aren’t publicity shots, they were snapped on set during filming. It’s common practice for movies to use one vehicle for nice shots and another, frankenstein vehicle for stunts. There was a Bond film where a BMW Z8 was cut in half, that was actually a kit car or something.

      And yes, I was totally Googling “Tom Cruise topless” when I found these.

  • Steve F

    Another thing wrong I noticed in the picture is that the bitch sits on the back…

  • HammSammich

    Using dirt bikes for stunts that were supposed to be representative of heavier road bikes was pretty commonplace in the past. If you look at shows like The A-Team, Knight Rider, and the Fall Guy, there are sequences where an actor is portrayed on a road bike (often on a trailer) and when the do a stunt it’s replaced with a completely un-camouflaged dirt bike. By today’s standards, it is almost unbearably cheesy, and at least in this case they attempted to pull it off by matching the body work.

    • Wes Siler
      • HammSammich

        Good lord! With as many times as I’ve seen that movie, I can’t believe I’ve never noticed it before! So very sad. Next, you’re gonna tell me that Kelly McGillis was driving an Intermeccanica Replica and not a real Porsche 356!

      • Mark D

        The moment somebody pointed out the tow cable, and the fact that his left hand is on the clutch, was the exact moment my childhood died. Thank you, internet.

  • Jefferson

    He worships a dead science fiction writer who wirtes 1000 page esoteric fantasies.

    He is dyslexic but does not believe in therapy, so he may not exactly be a strong reader.

    Some people may call this irrational, or even mentally retarded, but with those sunglasses, I call it moxie!

  • Wyvern

    that is not a real blond .. or even a real blond person. it is a stuffed doll … feet tied on and no shoulders .

  • ryan

    Major reason is probably none of the points made above, but more likely that tom “the nutjob” cruise is too bloody short to fit on the hypermotard.

  • Bronson

    So who built this Duprilia… and where can I get a pair of those elevator boots?

  • TeeJay

    Noob question: what kind of rear tire is on the bike? Brand/type?

  • TeeJay

    Found it, Pirelli Diablo Rain. :)

  • Corey

    I love this site and enjoy how so much of what you do runs against the grain of too safe, too bland US motojournalism. That said, it bugged me to see you take a shot at Mr. Cruise’s sexuality. I’m not calling you homophobes nor telling you what words not to use, nor am I suggesting that Mr. Cruise isn’t a deserving target (the cheeseball needs it). Rather, I m complaining about the easy low blow you took. Gay jokes just sound like Arhie Bunker humor to me.

    • Wes Siler

      Hey Corey, thanks for the kind words.

      We’re not homophobes at all and we really try to avoid straying into the territory of sexuality jokes. Sometimes, like in the case of Mr. Cruise, it’s hard though, not because he is gay, but because he’s feels the need to hide it.

      Sorry if we caused offense, it wasn’t intended.

      • Corey

        Thanks for the response – I see where you are coming from. Now if you find him in bed with David Bowie and Mick Jagger…

        The site is fantastic – in fact I dumped my expensive subscription to Bike because this site does what Bike used to and no longer does. Rock on.

    • amsterdam

      Hey Corey, relax dude,
      this is a gay motorcycle site, didn’t you know
      that? It’s a term of endearment…

      • BL

        oh my god…..laughing my ass off!

  • John Ashman

    I call dibs on it after they filming is done!!!!

  • Tanshanomi

    The funny thing is, I like the hybrid bike better than either source bike…

  • Trav

    so what you’re saying is, the ducati is for people who think supermoto styling is cool, but want to spend money on a ducati roadbike. Kinda like a Hummer H2.

  • g

    exactly what i mean, this are on the set shots and you are saying the duprilia is for stunts, and the ducati for nice shots, at the same time you are saying tom drives the bike on the nice shots (and stunt man in the stunt shots), so all im saying is, why is tom driving the “stunt” bike? maybe its the other way around, this is just a scaled version of the ducati, same as the doll is a scaled version of cameron, just intended to make tom look a little more proportioned and not too small, its just a visual trick, maybe…

    • Wes Siler

      If they’d just wanted a shorter bike they could have simply lowered the suspension. This really isn’t a dig on the Duc, just a funny insight into how movie stunts are done.

      • g

        so your saying tom does some of his own stunts? (his riding the stunt bike on set) thats pretty cool… considering his doing them without a helmet i guess he deserves some credit.

  • WestOfBen

    In the trailer for the film it sounds like they got the sound wrong too… nothing sh!ts me off and destroys a movie more than a Jap 4 sounding like a H-D or vice versa…

  • jimboecv

    Damit, what will the Daleks think?!

  • kiya

    That’s a terrible hem-line, he’s really got to get those jeans hemmed properly.

  • Silver Wing

    That’s not Cameron Diaz. She’s two inches taller than Cruise. They employed a double so as not to embarrass him. Notice she never shows her face. What a joke!

  • Daniel

    While we’re noticing the fake bike and the fake lady, let’s not ignore the fact that Mr. Cruise is wearing wedge heels disguised as boots.

  • g

    Ah, seems to me everything is just a gimmick to make tom look not so small. Don’t really think he would be riding the stunt bike, and just lowering the ducati wouldn’t do the trick because its still a bigger bike, bigger volume, it needed to be scaled not lowered

  • Marcus Fashion Dresses

    What I do know, though, is that she catalogued the fresh, clean handkerchief, the brush and comb, the coin purse, the hairgrip – and the spare fastener for the suspender belt ….. remember, this was back in the fifties where the modern miss wore spencers, suspenders, stockings – and bloomers. And no, I don’t think the handbag contained knicker elastic or thread.