Just a glance at Italian exotics from Benelli is sufficient to set your pulses racing hard and fast, and yes, you are not the only one feeling like this, infact, by now, all the motorcycle fanatics in our fair country would be going around telling everyone just how important October 17th, 2014 was, for the motorcycle industry in India. Yes, we are referring the day DSK-Benelli collaborated in India. Whether a Motorcycle fan or not, one cannot deny, just how drool worthy these Benelli Motorcycles are, they are indeed, absolutely and incredibly gorgeous.
We at Bikeportal, have been particularly smitten by the way the Benelli TNT looks since a long long time. Almost a decade ago, when the TNT or the Tornado Nuda Tre (Italian for saying, Naked Tornado triple cylinder; Italians, they make everything sound so very sumptuous) came out, it looked like a space ship from future. Trust us when we say, Michael Bay actually would have decided to make Transformers after looking at a yellow TNT. Amazingly, 10 years after its inception, the TNT still looks as if it comes from future, that is how incredible was the design philosophy behind it.
Speaking of the Design, we would like to talk about the man who designed this beautiful piece of art on two-wheels, Mr. Adrian Morton, who, while working with Benelli all those years ago, was made responsible to design a bike that would be the Benelli’s statement for the new century.
Adrian Morton, a Briton, graduated in 1995 from the prestigious industrial design course at London’s Royal College of Art. He then went straight to Italy to work as one of the 50 R&D staff employed at CRC, apprenticed to the venerated Massimo Tamburini. 18 months later, Morton was hired by Mr. Andrea Merloni, the millionaire and a former Supersport racer, who had acquired Benelli. He then wanted Morton to design the new range of three-cylinder sportbikes.
Merloni planned to develop new products for sale. The Tornado 900 was entirely Morton’s own work; unfortunately, Merloni sold Benelli in December 2005 to Qianjiang, one of China’s largest motorcycle and scooter manufacturers. He worked at Benelli for seven years in total. There was only one designer at Benelli back then - Adrian himself.
So, he was involved with everything there from designing every aspect of each new bike down to the company’s graphics and letterheads and the World Superbike race team livery. Adrian, in one of his interviews had said, “I think the experience I had at Benelli was much more than just as a designer sketching motorcycles, hence it was very rewarding and enjoyable”. Later, he was promised an interesting future at CRC, because the legendary designer Tamburini was going to retire, and was searching for somebody to carry forward the company’s design traditions (MV Agusta). Tamburini felt that Adrian was the person who could bear that responsibility.
After coming back to CRC, Adrian found it rather difficult to adjust initially, as he had since been involved with a company where every day he could see what he had designed, appearing on the production line. But then, he found himself in a design studio isolated from motorcycles, which were, actually being manufactured 250 miles away at the Varese factory.
The first project Adrian worked on with Tamburini was a restyle of the iconic F4 Brutale. He then, handled the project for the new F4, since Tamburini had left by the time this project finalized. The new F4 was significant because it was the start of a transition period within MV Agusta after Harley-Davidson came in and Tamburini had announced he was retiring.
Next, came the new icon from the MV Agusta stable - the F3. No motorcycle in recent years has made such a universally positive first impression as the new three-cylinder MV Agusta F3 675 launched at the 2010 EICMA Show in Milan, it was Adrian’s own project since inception.
Adrian Morton working on a clay model of the F3
Adrian Morton is currently working as Design Chief at MV Agusta’s CRC (Centro Ricerche Cagiva) product development base at San Marino.