Why it matters to you
Seeing a custom bike by a top designer and builder can stretch your concept of motorcycles as rideable art.
When a long-time motorcycle owner who’s also a top international designer decides it’s time for a new bike, you can count on a unique result. Tom Dixon’s “Tomoto” just finished its turn on display in U.K. designer Tom Dixon’s Milan 2017: Multiplex exhibition during Milan Design week, Dezeen reports.
Tomoto is a customized Moto Guzzi Dixon built with the help of Italian international custom motorcycle builder Stefano Venier, whose headquarters are in Brooklyn, New York. Dixon also worked with the Pirelli tire company to design a custom tire tread just for Tomoto.
Dixon had a Moto Guzzi for 27 years and credits working with motorcycles for starting his design career.
“I’ve always tinkered with motorbikes. They were always kind of vintage or collapsing, and I learnt to weld on the basis that I was going to fix a bike,” Dixon told Dezeen.
“I never fixed a bike, but I had a whole new career in making things, which has turned into a design career. The love of motorcycles has never abated, and when I had the opportunity to visit the factory, which is an amazing document of 1920s manufacturing — it’s still made in the same factory, just 20 minutes away in the hills above Lake Como — I managed to convince them to let me tinker with one.”
Tomoto includes elements of Dixon’s previous work. For example, the bike’s raw aluminum wheel rims have a geometric pattern Dixon created when he was experimenting with digital punching technology.
The raw aluminum gas tank is undecorated except for the words “Guzzi” and “Tomoto” hand-painted hot-pink in a dripping style. The headlight design was originally used for one of Dixon’s earlier pendant designs.
Tomoto isn’t going to be the basis of a Moto Guzzi production model — instead, it’s a prototype display model.
“The difficulty with doing a proper production motorcycle with Moto Guzzi is that every time you do anything more than basically changing the fairing or the seat, you have to put it through a whole new EU testing regime,” said Dixon. “So it’s quite difficult to do an all-new model.”