Probably the most dramatic example of the departure from the ambitious,
elegant futurism of the Terblanche-era Ducatis into the
dumbed-down-for-the-masses mundanity of the current generation is in the
Multistrada. An utterly unique, if slightly awkward bike corrupted the
traditional idea of a go-anywhere adventure tourer by eschewing dirt
ability in 2003, but was replaced by the remarkable-only-in-its-schnoz
(and, admittedly, performance) 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200. We asked
Pierre for his thoughts on the new bike. Piaggio's design supremo,
Miguel Galluzzi, was also on the line and added some choice quotes of his
Terblanche: I think [the new 'Strada] is a good bike and it performs really well. When we did the [first] Multistrada in '98/'99 there was a water cooled version planned. There was a thought at the time that that was a direction motorcycling could go in due to aging riders etc etc. It's simply a more practical approach.
As far as aesthetics go, there are interesting things on the bike that I think are a fairly obvious attempt to try and steal something from the [BMW] GS, which is the top selling bike in that type of market. I think maybe it could have been a little more unique.
Galluzzi: I can be less politically correct, I don't like bikes with big noses.
Terblanche: To actually go and do a niche that someone else has done for 20 years is one approach. But, to actually go and re-invent, re-interpret or look in the crystal ball and find the next thing the customer wants, that's the hard one.
Galluzzi: We are putting all our efforts into that.
Terblanche: When I first started doing design 20 years ago, I though we would be further ahead in everything than we are now. Everything. Design, integration, functionality and all that stuff. I personally think a lot of people are very lost.
Galluzzi: We are in a period of big change. Everything has changed and we don't know what to.
Terblanche: I think everyone is lost at more or less the same level. Everyone's looking for that next magic thing that will save their company.
Galluzzi: You know, it is a good moment to have.