Battista “‘Pinin’ Farina, Bertone, Tonti, Taglioni and my personal favourite Tamburini (the Michelangelo of motorcycles), all of them Italian automotive designers who for the last century have delivered absolute works of art to the world on four wheels and two. They will always be regarded as the legends of the industry, but rather than get teary eyed, we’d rather celebrate the new generation who are doing remarkable things. Meet Luca Pagani, a man who has completed his education, apprenticed with some of the finest in the game and is now ready to show off to the world exactly what he can do. Today we unveil ‘Euforia’, an exquisite Italian-styled road bike, with looks to die for and the performance to thrill you out on the street, from the newest face in world-class automotive design.
Luca’s journey started like many of us, dreaming as a boy of crafting and creating the very motorcycles that served as posters on his wall for inspiration. But where most go down an endless number of career paths, he stayed true to his ambition and studied at university, before working at a number of major Italian companies learning the trade. From an early scholarship that saw him investigating the design of the famous Fiat 500 to working on a project with Gucci and modelling supercars at Italdesign.
Today he teaches clay modelling as a professor at IED in Torino and has a space in the studio of legendary designer Angel Lussiana, where he tells us “I have improved to draw, model and create motorcycle prototypes working on the Moto Morini X-Cape and Seiemmezzo.”
But it’s in his own corner of the studio that ‘Euforia’ first came to life. Initially, it was just a hand-drawn sketch, that was then brought to life in 2D on a computer to see how the bodywork he envisioned would fit over a number of frames, and then running a host of computer simulations for complete analysis.
Now he was ready to bring his creation to life in 3D form and it would be done in the skill he has mastered, the classic craft of clay modelling. Being Italian, how could he go past a Ducati frame to serve as the foundation of his project, but here he was spoilt for choice.
Further research helped him settle on the final chassis, that of a Ducati 996, famously piloted by Aussie Troy Bayliss to the 2001 World Superbike Championship. Now with a base suspension and wheel setup, Luca could begin to apply the clay, with three main components taking shape in the form of the front fairing, gas tank and tail.
But each would not serve as outright separate pieces, the design called for a distinct look for each that left no question as to the roots of the part, while also ensuring that one flowed beautifully into the other, creating a monocoque style, but with very deliberate line markers. This is no easy task, the idea of separate and together, but pouring over the clay for hours with his tools, Luca brought his beauty to life. Then came the task of using the clay to create the moulds from which each piece would manufactured and then joined, and it is in this stage that you see the tricks Luca has employed.
Between the free-flowing front fairing and the angular gas tank is a small section of bodywork that helps to bridge the gap. While seamlessly merging the tank and tail is actually the seat base and foam, that flows to the very edge of each piece. Turned out of the moulds, sanded and painted to perfection, the end result is something truly breathtaking, a half-faired sport bike for the road, with a leather seat of hypercar quality. It is complete with lines that capture the best of classic and modern and allows the rider to really slip into the machine and become one with their masterpiece
Helping to really show off Luca’s work, the red that forms the highlights in the paint between the root beer and white finish, is then flowed over the frame and is picked up further in small doses from the wheel stripes to the open clutch, fork tops and axles nuts.
This reminds us, this is not only a functioning machine but one that truly flies. To make that possible, Luca chose the Ducati DS 1000 engine for both its air-cooled classic beauty and the thumping low down torque that makes it such a monster on the street. “The exhaust is made by FF by Fresco in stainless steel to keep reliability on the road and bring the desired performance.”
That LED front headlight makes for a bold statement, illuminated or not, and there is also a host of parts like the rearsets, handlebars and tank cap, made by Valter Moto Components. To ensure the bike stops and handles as well as it performs, Ducati sourced suspension from their best suppliers is fitted and the braking is all Brembo, right down to the premium master cylinders. Then there are the little design pieces you don’t see, like the ram air system for the oil cooler to improve its performance.
A hit at the recent Motor Bike Expo, you can order the bike now as you see it or based on a Monster 937 for those who like the latest in tech; either way your ‘Euforia’ is assured.
[ Luca Pagani ]