When we last caught up with Pierre Terblanche, the he had left a frustrating position with the Piaggio Group, that saw the South-African creating several intriguing concepts for the Moto Guzzi brand that never saw the light of day, and he was thus headed to work for Norton.
With work there being a non-starter, rumors pegged Terblanche coming stateside to work for Confederate Motorcycless, but with those rumors over a year old now, we assumed the thought to collaborate with the Southern marques had passed. However, our inbox today tells us that seems not to be the case, as Confederate Motorcycles has announced that Pierre Terblanche is the company’s new head of product development.
Noted for his work with some of Ducati’s most iconic v-twin motorcycles, many may remember Terblanche as the man responsible for the first-generation Ducati Multistrada & Ducati Hypermotard motorcycles, along with the iconic Supermono, MH900e, and Sport Classic. However, it goes without saying Terblanche is best remembered (for better or worse) for the Ducati Superbike 999, a highly polarizing street bike model that followed Massimo Tamburini’s superbike classic, the Ducati Superbike 916, and its progeny.
Love it or hate it, the 999 was undoubtedly a radical departure for the Bologna Brand (perhaps too great of a departure for many Ducatisti at the time), though its popularity with connoisseurs seems to grow with each passing year. Willing to take risks and push the envelope with his designs, we think Terblanche’s talents should be put to good use at Confederate .
“Terblanche is a rebel who by nature is dissatisfied with the status quo, and this is imperative in advancing Confederate’s iconoclastic design preceptsm,” said Confederate Motorcycles Founder & CEO, H. Matthew Chambers. “He’s also intimidatingly intelligent, fiercely courageous, and outspoken to a fault, so as far as Confederate is concerned, what’s not to like?”
The last time we talked to Chambers, he intimated some intriguing thoughts on the future technical and design trends for the motorcycle industry, which can only benefit from the touches of someone like Terblanche, and we are already excited to see what fruit may come from their labors together.
“As a designer, I’ve admired Confederate from afar for a long time, producing a series of motorcycles that have been truly groundbreaking and individual,” explained Terblanche. “It was too good a chance to pass up, to be involved in taking the company further forward, as it expands production but without losing one iota of its unique character. After working for large companies where you have to have a committee meeting before you add another bolt or washer, joining Confederate will bring real creative freedom to do some great design work in an unfettered, unstructured environment.”
“I’m relishing having the man who takes the big decisions being in his office just the other side of the factory floor from where I’ll be working,” he added. “Plus, in doing business, Americans have a refreshing can-do attitude where the glass is always half-full, and people here in the South are also extremely friendly and open, as well as courteous. Working here takes me back to my early beginnings in South Africa, where you just went ahead and got things done – I really believe that in a couple of years we’ll have some great new Confederate products out there, because this is a genuinely creative company focused on smashing the glass ceiling of convention.”
Source: Confederate Motorcycles