What do you get when you cross a French designer with an Italian motorcycle manufacturer? The answer to that riddle is the Motó 6.5. It may sound like the title of a French New Wave film directed by François Truffaut, but is in fact a rather stylish and individual motorcycle from the Aprilia stable.
The designer in question is Phillipe Starck, something of a renaissance man with credit for everything from a toothbrush and juicer via furniture and floor coverings through to architecture. If you flew into Bordeaux for the recent football shenanigans you may have seen the airport control tower he designed. In an off-the-wall moment of experimentation in the early 1990s, Aprilia asked Monsieur Starck, a keen motorcyclist, to design a bike. Now that it’s 20 years old, has the result of his labours become a design classic?
It’s obvious this is not a touring motorcycle – that seat is not meant for long distances. However, if you’re a fan of modern café classics and stripped-back street-trackers then you may well recognise some of the styling cues. Starck clearly aimed this machine at the urban rider. There are no frills and it’s largely unadulterated by excessive chrome. It’s naked; it’s narrow; it’s tall – so you can make your way through and see over all that traffic that surrounds you: it is urban chic personified.
The suspension is soft so you don’t need to worry about all those pot-holes and the riding position is comfortable enough for the daily commute to Shoreditch via Silicon Roundabout. The 30-inch saddle height makes it easy to shuffle in/out of a crowded bike bay.