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Thread: Interview with the creator of the Futura - your questions please?

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert Pat's Avatar
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    Question Interview with the creator of the Futura - your questions please?

    If you've ever wondered about the thinking behind the Futura, now's your chance to find out!

    I've been meaning to do it for ages, but a discussion on this thread spurred me into action and I contacted Pierluigi Marconi, the man who led the team that developed the Futura.

    He has now agreed to answer some questions about the development of the bike and his time at Aprilia for an article on the new version of my website www.ApriliaFutura.co.uk

    I already have a good idea of what to ask him, but a chance like this doesn't come along very often so if any of you guys have any questions then post up here.

    Just a couple of things to bear in mind: He hasn't promised to answer everything I ask and I don't intend to p*ss him off with negative questions about brown connectors and fuel QDs.

    Also his English may not be brilliant either! If anyone's any good at Italian and prepared to translate, let me know!

    I also don't know how many questions he'll be prepared to answer!

    I'm more interested in asking him about the design of the bike and finding out why Aprilia didn't develop it as planned, as well as the story behind him leaving the company only a few months after the Futura launched.

    Background

    Pierluigi Marconi started out at Bimota, where as chief engineer he was responsible for all of their 90s bikes, including the Tesi and the ill-fated V Due.

    He jumped ship to Aprilia and in 1998 was put in charge of a small design team to build a sports tourer based around the RSV Mille, based in San Marino, away from HQ in Noale.

    When he spoke to journalists at the Futura's launch in March 2001 he was proud of the bike and talked happily about developing the bike in future years.

    But six months later he left the company and went to work for Benelli. There's more background on this page on my site.

    I've already had some pointers from Befbever and Pierre, but do any more of you have questions?

    I'm aiming to send him the questions one week from today.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert deefred's Avatar
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    I have an Italian girlfriend who can translate if needed.

    Pat can you list the questions then we can see if it is already covered.
    Last edited by deefred; 01-31-2011 at 03:02 PM.
    2001 RST Futura in stream Silver.
    Mods: Modified Öhlins fork from mille R, EBC brake discs, HEL front brakelines, Carbon RS 250 front fender, Wiring mod for charging. Engine related:05 map, Iridium plugs, tuneboy, derestriced intake, old mille airboot, staintunes exhaust. Lambda bung hardbrazed in the "breadbox". Öhlins mille R rear shock with 110N/mm spring and the integrated hydraulic preload adjuster. LED Voltmeter installed inside the dash for monitoring charging. Duc 999 radial m/c for brake and clutch. EBC 320mm brake discs
    NWS hugger. Equipment: Famsa tankbag,
    CBR 600 -07 MOSFET R&R FH008EE providing stable 14.4 - 14.5 V (with my wiring mod). Daytona heated grips with mccoi pwm controller and automatic chain oiler

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert Pat's Avatar
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    Brilliant! Thanks Deefred. I'll PM in a few days - I'll ask him if he'll prefer Q and A in Italian.

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    You could ask him if he owns the patent for the seat design as no-one else can seem to match it for comfort.

    On a slightly less sycophantic note, maybe he could explain the need for so many fairing fasteners in differing sizes. None of the other fully faired bikes I have owned have been such a hassle to undress. If there was a genuine reason for this then maybe I could be a bit more forgiving.

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert Shippers's Avatar
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    I look forward to reading your interview with him, should be interesting. It would be nice to have the creators views and insight on a bike we love so much.
    Mark


    Honi soit qui mal y pense

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    apriliaforum expert Dr_Jakob's Avatar
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    Ask him if he has any more of his brilliant and futuristic plans in mind. Maybe with Benelli?
    I am not here. What is "here"? Isn't "here" just "there" without a "t" ?

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    apriliaforum Member pslater's Avatar
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    questions

    I'd like to know what HE would have done with the Futura if he had stayed. Given the 'sport' nature of the Futura, would he have enhanced that side of the bike (like I have done with the invaluable input of the members of this forum) or just stayed with things like ABS brakes and power outlets?

    Pat, thanks so much for putting this together!
    '01 Flame Red Futura, Wilbers shock, Mille fork by GP Suspension, 320mm EBC rotors w/EBC Extreme Pro pads, Stain Tunes, H-pipe, Heli Bars, Pyramid DB windscreen, MCL Clutch Slave cylinder, lightened flywheel, JohnB's rectifier.

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    apriliaforum Junkie
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    I'd like to know about the seemingly too light wires....everywhere not just re the brown connector...Was that a weight based decision?

    For a bike that was ostnsibly meant for use in all weather it seems odd that the suspension companents at the rear are not well protected...weight? or am I off base?

    Why the change from the fuel injection on the Mille? Would it not work with the state of tune of the Futura? Is the Futura's injection a better system? Why?


    My questions....

    I've had my Futura since 04 and put about 70,000 miles on it. I'm happy with it!
    MR1 Zig (I made rate!)
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    apriliaforum expert AprilIan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pslater View Post
    I'd like to know what HE would have done with the Futura if he had stayed.
    me too

    Ian

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert FUN DOG's Avatar
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    Yeah. When's he coming back?

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert jrflanne's Avatar
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    I would like to know what special stuffing is in the Futura seat and why nobody can design a seat like that since the Futura. I would also like to know when he is retuning to Aprilia to design the RST4.
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    gone 2002 Caponord-Oyster gray (as faithful as a hound dog)
    gone Futura-Red (on the AF1 showroom floor. Get some.)

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  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert Befbever's Avatar
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    Why the change from the fuel injection on the Mille? Would it not work with the state of tune of the Futura? Is the Futura's injection a better system? Why?
    The Mille system is more direct. Anyone who's owned their first sports-tourer (the Falco) will tell you that. On paper, the SAGEM suited the Futura concept much better, smoother in combination with the heavier flywheel, with the opportunity Aprilia had to give you updates like Triumph does and Benelli used to.
    With their only update in '03, Aprilia pretty much nailed it.

    Dunno if he knows anything about the seat (outsourced?) or the abundance of fasteners (not high on their list?) but he's got to have a theory about the double-lined fairings as I have the Honda which has the same feature only with awesome results: no wind gusts can make you sh*t your pants.

    One more for Pat: I know he designed the PPC that's on all our Aprilias but did he first develop that for the V-due or like I recall, for the Ducati Supermono?


    Great initiative, Pat! Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Befbever; 02-01-2011 at 03:27 AM.
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  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert Powerful Pierre's Avatar
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    Rather than nit pick over small component niggles I'd like him to know how much this bike is loved and also make him aware of how they are being used for their intended purpose, and the high mileage examples that are still going strong.

    I'd like to know if the finished article that went into production was true to his design, and if not what was different and why.

    I would also like to know what else was intended for the Futura that never made it into production or an options list......we know that ABS was on the agenda and a power socket, was there anything else and was there an intention to have a long model life with updates?

    And what does he think of the sports tourer market now, does he think its gone for good, superseded by big trailies, budget tourers and bigger, heavier dedicated tourers or is there still a viable niche market for a Futura replacement, and if so what would his vision be.

    And I would like to thank him for giving me the best bike I have ever owned!

    Good work 'scoop'!

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    apriliaforum expert deefred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerful Pierre View Post
    Rather than nit pick over small component niggles I'd like him to know how much this bike is loved and also make him aware of how they are being used for their intended purpose, and the high mileage examples that are still going strong.

    I'd like to know if the finished article that went into production was true to his design, and if not what was different and why.

    I would also like to know what else was intended for the Futura that never made it into production or an options list......we know that ABS was on the agenda and a power socket, was there anything else and was there an intention to have a long model life with updates?

    And what does he think of the sports tourer market now, does he think its gone for good, superseded by big trailies, budget tourers and bigger, heavier dedicated tourers or is there still a viable niche market for a Futura replacement, and if so what would his vision be.

    And I would like to thank him for giving me the best bike I have ever owned!

    Hey, and good work 'scoop'!


    I think this bike was 10 years too early (also in design)and this kind of bike would be more easy to sell right now.
    Just look at the new Kwaki which targets this ST segment.
    I wonder if he agrees that we may see more manufacturers targeting the ST segment
    Last edited by deefred; 02-01-2011 at 06:57 AM.
    2001 RST Futura in stream Silver.
    Mods: Modified Öhlins fork from mille R, EBC brake discs, HEL front brakelines, Carbon RS 250 front fender, Wiring mod for charging. Engine related:05 map, Iridium plugs, tuneboy, derestriced intake, old mille airboot, staintunes exhaust. Lambda bung hardbrazed in the "breadbox". Öhlins mille R rear shock with 110N/mm spring and the integrated hydraulic preload adjuster. LED Voltmeter installed inside the dash for monitoring charging. Duc 999 radial m/c for brake and clutch. EBC 320mm brake discs
    NWS hugger. Equipment: Famsa tankbag,
    CBR 600 -07 MOSFET R&R FH008EE providing stable 14.4 - 14.5 V (with my wiring mod). Daytona heated grips with mccoi pwm controller and automatic chain oiler

  15. #15
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    Please say thank you to him for me.
    Never wrestle with a pig... you get dirty and the pig enjoys it...

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