Ok, we know what you’re thinking. We can practically hear your knuckles crack as you prepare to head into comments and type something along the lines of “I just threw up a little in my mouth” or “Nuke it from space, it’s the only way to be sure.” But, if you put down the haterade for a second, you might actually be surprised by this custom Aprilia Futura.
“I call it the ‘rhinocerotic aesthetic,’” says Mark Dugally. “Mean and stalky and ready to charge.”
“The inspiration for this project came from a trip to Naples, Italy,” continues Mark. “There, I hiked the rim of Mt. Vesuvius and the proceeded to the lost city of Pompeii.”
“Mt. Somma is the small bump on the side of Mt. Vesuvius. It was an active volcano thousands of years ago and, when it erupted, the lava flowed and collected to one side of it to create a new and higher mound. The volcanic core then redirected itself through the new mound (now called Vesuvius) to become an active volcano, it still is today. In AD 79, Vesuvius erupted with a 20-mile-tall plum of volcanic ash that cooled in the air and laid straight down upon the city of Pompeii. The ashen cover was 25 to 30 feet thick and covered everything in an airtight tomb, to be lost for centuries.”
“For me, this was really an exercise in breaking the boundaries of what we are all force fed to accept as motorcycle design.”
“The Somma has all custom bodywork finished off with a custom Dupont color infused LINE-X. All of the golden rust areas are actually bronze patinas. The seat is a translucent silicon gel that glows red when it’s angry. It has palm wood grips (no pun intended). High beams ride on top of the tank and the cyclops low beam is a creature of its own. It has a custom built belly crash cage. The license plate is integrated into the taillight. Top of the tank houses the electronics, talking alarm, cooling fans and high beams.”
To appreciate why the Somma isn’t ugly, you have to look at it with Mark on it. As you can see here, the very tall shape that looks awkward on its own, actually fits very well into the man/machine relationship. The two headlights and the human torso look like spokes arraying from the same hub. The organic, animal-influenced forms may look odd too, but click through a few photos and you can see that they dramatically change shape as you look at them from different angles. We also like details like the negative spaces on the tank, the tough handguards and the mirror stalks originating between the forks. The bedliner and bronze bodywork add a sense of permanence to parts that are usually paper thin plastic.
It’s also worth noting the unconventional lighting which gives the bike a sense of animation. The gel seat glows red, as does the license plate.
The Somma might not fit the conventional idea of what a motorcycle should be, but if you’ve ever had the notion that your bike’s character resembled some sort of animal, then you can probably appreciate where Mark’s coming from.