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