Almost 30 years ago, the Ducati Supermono entered into life, and became an integral part of the motorcycling lexicon. The name has become synonymous with an iconic design, outside-of-the-box engineering, and premier exclusivity.
With that in mind, there has to be something daunting about re-imaging a motorcycle that has become such a focal point amongst motorcycling enthusiasts.
Working out of the Barber Advanced Design Center, Pierre Terblanche has set to doing this very task though, with the public getting their first glimpse of this endeavor today.
True to his reputation, Terblanche’s work on the “Mono” concept is sure to polarize and to intrigue. Let’s dive into it, and try to step into the mind of the maestro.
Before we being though, what are looking at is not a running machine – nor is the Mono in its final form (in a Dragon Ball Z sense of the phrase), so one has to fill-in some of the blanks that Terblanche has left for us thus far.
For instance, the rearward facing headers and the gap behind the solo seat, leave us imagining an undertail exhaust, not too different from what Terblanche penned on the Ducati 999 Superbike.
The suspension arrangement is also of note, with the front forks using a very unique arrangement. For starters, there is a right-side-up configuration, with a “Y” brace adding rigidity back into the design.
This seems to be the primary suspension component, with the most suspension travel available in the system. Moving downward though, we can see that there is a secondary fork tube as well.
The two-piston front brake caliper is both axially and radially mounted, which seems pivot and thus facilitate Terblanche’s second fork tube that is smaller and closer to the rear axial.
How the two forks tubes operate in coordination with each other is probably something that most riders will have to experience to understand – I’m not sure I have even wrapped my head around it yet.
The wheels are a very lightweight and open, but it is the dual front brake rotors that catch our eye more. Terblanche seems to be envisioning solid rotors with a heatsink ring on their perimeter.
No rear shock cannot be seen, but we can surmise from the swingarm design that its meant to operate while being shrouded by the swingarm, using a linkage and push-rod system to mount to the engine case.
Though we can’t see the face of the motorcycle, we can see the giant snorkle that extends from the mouth of the bike, down to the horsepower thirsty single-cylinder engine (a Testastretta head, to our eye).
Moving to the bodywork, we can see a side wind deflector near the rider’s leg position, which is presumably to help shape the air around the human form.
We can also see towards the front of the bike, what looks like mounting points for winglets, which are all the rage right now.
What we would assume is the fuel tank, seems to float above the rest of the bike, and it would be interesting to hear Terblanche’s thoughts on this element (more on that soon).
There is enough here from the concept for someone to take the design and create a running version of Terblanche’s vision, and that would be an interesting day if it were to happen. Don’t call it a Ducati Supermono though, in case the lawyers are watching.
If you have never ridden a single-cylinder sport bike in anger, you are missing out on a key moment in life.
Photos: © 2021 Neale Bayly – All Rights Reserved