Throughout history, there have been many memorable motorbikes, ranging from the Fireblade, to the Ducati Monster. But those models wouldn’t have existed without the people who designed them. It’s easy to overlook how hard people like Miguel Angel Galluzzi and Ben Hardy worked to make their vehicles a reality. Here are some of the world’s greatest motorbike designers.
Although he’s better known for creating the first successful internal combustion engine, Gottlieb Daimler invented the first motorbike in 1885. The vehicle featured a wooden bicycle frame and a gas-powered one-cylinder Otto-cycle engine.
Miguel Angel Galluzzi
Galluzzi is responsible for designing the Ducati Monster, a bike that helped make Ducati a popular brand in the 1990s. The Monster was praised for its minimalism and Galluzzi said that all he needed for a motorcycle was “a saddle, tank, engine, two wheels and handlebars.” He also designed other models, such as the 900 Supersport. At a height of 6’6, Galluzzi designed bikes that were better suited to the buyer, as the Monster featured a low seat and high foot pegs.
If you’ve ever seen the film Easy Rider, then you’ll be aware of the legendary Captain America chopper. But you might not have heard of the man who designed it. Ben Hardy was an African-American who ran a motorbike repair shop. He didn’t receive full credit for his contribution to the motorcycle world until 2014, when actor Peter Fonda wrote a letter to motorbike designer Cliff Vaughs. “I gave Cliff a sketch that I had drawn in Toronto Canada on September 1967. It was a rough sketch of the teardrop gas tank…It is not too late to give you and Ben Hardy the praise you deserve in designing the iconic bikes in Easy Rider.”
Massimo Tamburini was an Italian motorbike designer who worked with Ducati, Cagiva and MV Agusta. Referred to as the ‘Michelangelo of motorbike design,’ Tamburini created famous roadsters like the Bimota HB1, Ducati Paso 750, Bimota KB2 and MV Agusta F4. Tamburini had a passion for bikes from a young age, saying “my mother used to complain about it when I was a little boy, calling it my obsession! I have never had any desire to design anything else.”
Motorbike design is a one-of-a-kind craft that should be respected. As experienced motorbike insurance brokers, we offer policies for a range of models. So, whether you’re riding a commuter bike or sports bike, we’ll make sure you’re protected.