ANY bike built in a woodworking factory is going to look shit. And if you don't believe that, just take a look at the Morbidelli V8. See?
When far-too-rich bike nut Giancarlo Morbidelli decided he wanted a sports tourer, he had his own built for him. Bad move. What was wrong with buying a VFR like everybody else Giancarlo?
But no, instead he asked car bodywork gurus Pininfarina, who had worked with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, to design his dream bike and this was the result. Giancarlo had some strange dreams..
The bodywork looks like it has been built in three pieces (from cannibalised parts of big trailies and family estate cars) and then dropped on top of the bike, and the nasty two tone paint job and twin round headlights don't help matters much either.. The bike's styling came in for so much stick when it was unveiled in 1994 that it was taken back to the drawing board and re-designed twice over the next four years. But ugly is as ugly does and when it was unveiled again in 1996 and 1998, it still looked horribly horrible and all the blind staff at Morbidelli bemoaned how surprised and saddened they were that the public laughed at their baby.
Then the firm had the cheek to announce the 98 version of the bike would cost £90,000 making it the most expensive production bike in the world. Sorry chaps, but you were having a laugh, right? "That's the price you must pay for owning something as exclusive as a Morbidelli" quipped one staffer before being whisked away by men in white coats.
Add to that the fact that in its original trim, the bike only made 100bhp despite having no less than eight bloody cylinders doing their bit, and the whole concept becomes worthy of a Monty Python sketch. But the Morbidelli's ugliness was not just skin deep. There were detailed touches of naffness like the walnut-effect dashboard which housed an unreadable digital speedo and even the single sided swingarm was ruined by a 1920s-style conventional rear shock.. The bars were too high for Orang Utans, the seat height would have challenged the Jolly Green Giant
and with the 848cc V8 weighing in at 200 kilos (441lbs), it wasn't exactly light either. And a five speed gear box and shaft drive only added to the monster's failings.
The bike was built as a showpiece for Morbidelli's technical proficiency but it's likely that there were more technically advanced samples of woodwork leaving the factory than this hideous, lame creation.
If there's one thing to be thankful for, it's that the Morbidelli V8 never actually went into production. But it still came far too close for comfort. TWO hereby calls for all existing prototypes, models and drawings of this foul beast to be fed to the crusher forthwith.