When Designers Attack

Small rant for a Friday...Okay, so I love motorcycles. And I really love motorcycles that celebrate classic design as they are continually updated, year after year. The Triumph Bonneville and Scrambler would be good examples of this. Well, in Europe, Kawasaki joined the fray awhile back with the retro-looking W800. A neat little bike that is not unlike a Bonneville in it's looks and displacement. Pictured above is the special edition. A little blingy with its gold ecoutrement, but wholly pleasing to look at.

Then, for reasons unknown to man or beast, they handed one over to Phillipe Starck (arguably one of the most famous product designers on earth) to make a one-off, dirt track inspired custom. The result is what you see above. Yes, the man has designed other motorcycles, but he has also designed toilets. This thing looks like a seventeen year-old with some yellow spray paint and access to a metal shop went to town. Steve McQueen, were he alive, would weep at the sight.

I'm continually mystified by companies that hire famous designers to alter their products when they have no real feeling for the product itself. Perhaps we will soon see the Christian Dior Backhoe or the Vera Wang socket set. /rant


  1. "Christian Dior Backhoe" had me in giggle fits.

    Agreed, the Starck bike is awful. I thought, before reading the post, that this was a before and after shot with the first photo being the after. Sadly, no.

  2. Especially when there are so many brilliant designers building bikes already. Here's a beautiful W400 and W800 from bikeExif

  3. That is a disappointing makeover, the original Kawi is much slicker. I need a winter project and I bet I could crank out a nicer redo than that. So what do you say Kawasaki? Care to entrust me to bobber one up for you?