In Terminator 2, Arnie sat astride a leather and chrome Harley that was the perfect fit for his T-800 role. But had the studio commissioned a machine for the liquid metal T-1000, even the most creative Hollywood minds couldn’t have envisioned a bike like this. In a 2014 Ducati 1199 S Panigale, you get the same sort of technological leap over the old Fat Boy that the new T-1000 offered up. But where the stock red Ducati gets it all wrong visually, this insane alloy bodywork with its liquid-like flow would have scored a Skynet tick of approval. It’s quite literally a killer racing custom, and it comes to us from the brilliant minds at France’s Ortolani Customs.
Working with aluminium is the metalworking equivalent of trading in marble for clay. But if you’re old enough to remember the movie ‘Ghost’, you’ll know pottery can be pretty sexy. Like its slippery clay counterpart, aluminium is lighter, more malleable and capable of being formed into almost any shape.
So why don’t more people use it over steel? AMD winning alloy God, Scotty’s Choppers explains. “Any mistake when you come to polishing it will show up like dog’s balls, so it’s got to be perfect.” K9 testicles aside, the lads from Ortolani had faith in their ability to make an all-alloy Ducati work. And just like the T-1000, the flawless flow of this highly polished piece is absolute perfection.
Since 2009, Olivier, Gilles and Maxime have honed their skills at their base just north of Nice, creating an array of custom cars and bikes under the Ortolani banner. And if one thing has built their reputation, it’s the beautiful paint jobs they lay down. They’re equally capable of old school pin striping and gold flake right through to modern carbon fibre-infused race bike replicas.
But when a customer arrived at the shop with a drawing of a Ducati 899 in a holographic finish, it got tongues wagging. The idea was to take this most modern of motorcycles and purify it into a raw, minimalist and uncompromising mechanical masterpiece. The sort of machine that packed futuristic technology with old school craftsmanship into a single harmonious piece.