Biancaneve

Introduction

Two friends, designers for passion and profession, jazz and wine lovers, and the build of a 1979 HONDA CX500, dismounted piece by piece, stripped to the bare metal, repaired, and restored until the mechanics came back to their original reliability.
Right over it, a deep body and user experience redesign to give a new essence to its shape, use and perception.

Chapter 1 – The idea

What are the basics for a product to be considered a motorcycle?

Are you sure?
Try to think about it again.
Try to remove everything unnecessary.
What’s left?

Two wheels, an engine and a way to ride it.

Why does it appear in our minds and thoughts exactly in the way we have always pictured it?
Isn’t there any other way to imagine it?

At the beginning of this journey, the possible result of our work wasn’t that important to us.
What we were trying to define and master was the approach, the creative process.
While working on it, what gave us energy were the thousands of questions we kept raising.

Where the rest of the world saw prerequisites, we tried to see opportunities.
We had no idea, then, but Biancaneve was already there.

Chapter 2 – The design process

We chose which questions our first creation would have tried to answer but always keeping in mind what was indispensable to keep calling it – also – a motorbike.
A motorbike is a two-wheel vehicle that moves the user from a starting point to a destination.

Usually, a design process starts from what we have now and does it better.
Doing it in line with the period trends.
Trying to improve the features that marketing says people want.
Doing it cool.

Instead, our goal is:
Deciding what is worth keeping and discarding the rest.
Keeping only the essence of what we want to communicate and do it simply.

A motorcycle lives mostly two stages:
– When it’s parked it’s a personal symbol, something that communicates a lot about the rider’s charisma, something that represents him. A certain type of motorcycle can speak for an adventurous traveler or an adrenaline-addicted person that is searching for speed and shivers. But it can also represent a person that wants a tailor-made product based on his personality, as it happens in the cafè racer and chopper world: from the research of the essential to the appreciation of the highly detailed customization, united from the willingness of being part of the riders community.
– Then there is the driving involvement. You reach the bike, start the engine and the experience is thrilling because of its speed and its inborn feeling of danger: a rush of freedom.

The riding experience is something essential, that is innate in the motorbike. You could improve it of course but we decided just to ensure keeping it smooth.

The aesthetic side is a whole ‘nother story.

What if it can be a sculpture when looked at?
Does it need to have the same shape in the two different stages?
Do we really care about the sitting position when the product is parked?
Can the driver -and the people- take a real look at it when it’s running?

Chapter 3 – The result

Biancaneve is our first answer.
It wants to be a sculpture to look at when it’s parked and give a smooth experience when ridden.
Nothing more, nothing less.

This approach gave us the opportunity of starting to model it as a pure shape, not caring much about the driver position, with the result of a body that seems to flow even if it’s still. Only after that, we started taking care of the riding experience. Ensuring a comfortable driving position and an efficient and easy way of using Biancaneve.
You open it, you sit on it, then you ride it.
Thinking about nothing else than the trip in front of you.

On the side, restoring the mechanics just brought them back to their own sharpness.

And there it is.

Now you have to decide which is its most suitable environment: is it better in your living room, parked in the center of an historic Italian square, or in a modern art museum?