IT would be easy to stick the boot in with some snide comment about an Italian bike winning an Italian design award if it wasn’t for one thing: the Panigale really does deserve it.
We won’t pretend to be au fait with the ins and outs of Italy’s design awards, but apparently the Compasso d’Oro, which is awarded only every three years, is pretty prestigious. Checking out the previous winners on the website of its organiser, the ADI, it’s filled with the sort of designer sofas and stark, stackable office chairs that you would probably expect to win design awards handed out by experts in the field (who no doubt wear black roll-necks and the sort of thick-rimmed, clear-lensed glasses).
The awards have been running for over 60 years, and in that time there have been more than 300 winners, so the fact that the Panigale is the very first motorcycle to get a prize is noteworthy in itself. Apparently it was chosen because it 'transferred competition level performance to an elegant mass-production model that is still consistent with the brand’s traditional image.'
Or, translated into normal-speak, it’s fast and its pretty.