Motorcycle design has been my job for many decades now, and I still remember the moment the Katana appeared in some magazine in the USA. It was a prototype from Suzuki in Germany, something that looked more impossible than real. Definitely unique, different proportions – a rider was seated inside the bike, more like a racing bike than a standard bike, almost clip-ons, the two-step seat, lots of details that still today scream. Way ahead of everybody else. Even the Japanese needed to move forward. The significance of the Katana is also that it represents the first time a Japanese manufacturer went to an outside supplier to have input in a production bike – or better said, that an outsider was able to put in production a proposal that seemed just a show prototype.

  • Goose

    Might disagree about a few (never got the Katana) but Mr. G’s picks are very close to mine. Clearly a man of highly refined taste and a very high intelligence.

  • Old MOron

    He works in Pasadena? No kidding? I bet he lives around there, too. I hope we get more MOronic contributions from Señor Galluzzi.

  • ADB

    Fantastic read. Once again, MO leads. Well done.

    Hoping to get the Norge out this weekend….

  • Gruf Rude

    In my mind’s personal illustrated dictionary, the picture for ‘motorcycle’ is the Norton Manx.

  • JMDonald

    Hard to argue against any bike on this list. All you need to know is what you like.

  • Junker

    Other than the normal news and reviews, this is the kind of content I would like to see.

    • john burns

      me too, thanks for commenting.

  • DickRuble

    In my opinion the Monster design is as mediocre as they come. This discussion of Galluzzi’s favorite “designs” cements that conclusion through his choices and comments. He fails to see the dichotomy of form and function. The Britten is a masterpiece. But it is not a masterpiece of form, it is a masterpiece of function. Intelligent design optimizes function and the resulting form is beautiful. The form follows function everywhere. This is in opposition to the Katana, which has some clearly nonfunctional or far from optimally functioning components. Galluzzi spends his time cutting fairings to show an engine. Britten was building fairings to improve aerodynamics. Britten didn’t cut fairings to show the “beauty” of the engine.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is a masterpiece of function but it is ugly.

    • halfkidding

      I’ve got no problem with his fluid switching between form and function as the ultimate measure of a design.

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

  • Awesome Miguel! You are as brilliant as you are humble. It was a great honor to meet you (when you were working for Aprillia in Noale) and a great pleasure to ride your creations, which are some of my favorite bikes to ride. Cheers!

  • Jon Jones

    Great list!

  • Michael Howard

    Interesting and entertaining list from a legend. Nitpicking the title, though, “favorite” and “world’s most significant” are not the same thing.

    • Kevin Duke

      Fair enough. I just didn’t want to use “favorite” twice in the headline and subhead, and my internal thesaurus ran out of words. 🙂

  • Ricky Lepre

    Very good choices from a man who has inspired many a beautiful works of art,that not only look good standing still but can breath life to both the design and the rider. Thank you Señor Galluzzi for sharing your thoughts and fond memories. The Vincent is…to this day in my eyes the romantic epitome of all classic motorcycles.

  • major tom

    A treat, from his background to his choices. The allure of motorcycles transcends nationality and time.