Long a fixture in the Italian motorcycle industry, legendary designer Pierre Terblanche has now signed up with Norton Motorcycles UK to design for the returning British marque. You should know Terblanche from such bikes as the Ducati Multistrada (first generation), Hypermotard, and the entire SportClassics line.
Then there is his recent design work for Moto Guzzi with Miguel Galluzzi on the V12LM, V12X and V12 Strada concepts. That V12 concept project was done while working for himself as a consultant for Piaggio Group, owner of the Mandello del Lario manufacturer. In this case, though, Terblanche is a full-time employee of Norton and will work at the Donington Park factory right near the middle of England.
Terblanche started his career in advertising but soon landed a position designing for German carmaker Volkswagen in Germany. Shortly thereafter he worked under the also legendary Massimo Tamburini at the Cagiva Research Center in Italy. When Ducati was sold to a new owner group, Terblanche remained with them and continued working there – creating those aforementioned machines – until he departed the company in late 2007.
It was then that Terblanche started his own company and set upon work for many clients. He went beyond the motorcycle industry while consulting and, interestingly, did some design work for South African boat crafter Bobkat. You may also remember his work on a three-wheeled, hydrogen fuel-cell powered delivery vehicle known as the A Hi Fambeni.
Italian motorcycle aficionados have a very large part of their hearts reserved for Terblanche and the machines he turned from sketch to reality. Moto Guzzi may still use the V12 line of concept designs for a future production model, but the recession may have put such a bold move on long-term hold for a while. Of course, a limited run might spur interest, but they would be wise to wait and see how well the V7 Racer moves in the near term. Terblanche did win a much-deserved design award from the prestigious Motorcycle Design Association for the V12 concepts shortly after they were revealed.
The path above could lead to some very innovative new bikes originating from the Norton factory. One question is whether he will be working on all-new ideas or if Terblanche will be taking his hands to the 961 Commando design, originally penned by Kenny Dreer. Either way, Stuart Garner has made an incredibly promising move here which may result in something historic, and it will certainly be fun to watch. Pierre Terblanche in the UK and working for Norton, what’s not to like?
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com