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

  1. #16
    apriliaforum expert Dan's Avatar
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    I want to ask a complimentary question or three: Does he realize the aesthetic design of the Futura is the best the industry has ever produced? The bike copied nothing, was generally panned by the press, but remains fresh and up to date all these years later. Also, ask if he realizes the hard bags remain the best ever. And the seat. And the seating position/ergonomics. My hat is off to this guy. I once wrote extensively on CompuServe that someone could design just such a bike and the Futura was the answer to my dreams. I got one of the first into the country and remain enthralled ten years alter.
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  2. #17
    apriliaforum expert Pat'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    And what does he think of the sports tourer market now, does he think its gone for good, superseded by big trailies, budget tourers and bigger, heavier dedicated tourers or is there still a viable niche market for a Futura replacement, and if so what would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!

    Good work 'scoop'!
    Wow! What a response! And some good, intelligent questions from all of you.

    At the risk of sounding sycophantic, these are the sort of questions I'm thinking off.

    I think things like the brown connector, thin wires etc are production-based decisions and wouldn't be within his remit in any case. And also, given this one opportunity it would be a shame to waste it on things that aren't his remit.

    However, you can all rest assured that I have already thanked him for producing the Futura and told him there are a lot of us who think the bike can't be beaten. Also sent him a link to my site.

    I think he understood, but I think he'll prefer to answer questions in Italian.

    I sat down last night and started thinking of questions and came up with dozens of them, many of which have been covered here, but since I can't expect him to answer 100 questions I'm going to be concentrating on these main areas:

    The process that led to the Futura, what was considered before going into production, what didn't make it to the production bike and why and what might have been. I also would like him to know just how much we love his bike, and the ridiculously high mileages some bikes are clocking up now.

    There are some very good suggestions here so keep em coming.

    Just hope this doesn't turn into a massive disaster now I've gone and told everyone!

  3. #18
    %@*#&! hank's Avatar
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    Impressive that you are doing this Pat!

    I'll make it a sticky thread - best of luck.

  4. #19
    apriliaforum Member zag07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulZX9R View Post
    Please say thank you to him for me.

    I get a second futura this WE & hope a third this year.
    Zag

  5. #20
    apriliaforum expert SpitfireTriple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrflanne View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trancer View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Powerful Pierre View Post
    ... 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.
    ...
    And I would like to thank him for giving me the best bike I have ever owned!

    Good work 'scoop'!
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulZX9R View Post
    Please say thank you to him for me.

    +1


    If he was designing a Futura now, how would he do it? What would he do differently? What would he do the same? Has he ever done a long journey on a Futura? Does he still own and ride one? if not, why not?

    But most of all, thank you signor Marconi
    Last edited by SpitfireTriple; 02-02-2011 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #21
    apriliaforum expert Fox Fader's Avatar
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    I'd like to know if his leaving was the reason the Futura didn't change and was discontinued? Was there just no one left that was up to par to take on a project that virtually led they way in ST?
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  7. #22
    apriliaforum expert 01Futuraman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trancer View Post
    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.
    +1 on that, never seen a bike with so many fasteners holding the fairings on

    given that race bikes only have 3-4 per side and run 100+ most all the time it certainly cannot be to secure them

    my guess is all the fasteners is to make it button up better and make the lines cleaner
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  8. #23
    apriliaforum expert 01Futuraman's Avatar
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    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[/QUOTE]

    I agree, I think the design was ahead of its time and although criticized by some at the debut many bikes started copying different aspects of the bike within just a few years

    I also agree that it could be released today with virtually no changes and be fine, maybe a fully digital instrument panel and factory outlet plug
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  9. #24
    apriliaforum expert meanstrk's Avatar
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    I would love to see/hear a documentary on the design process, but that will not happen. It would be interesting to hear the though process that put this bike into motion however. From a company that did scooters and sportbikes, what prompted them to get into the ST and dual purpose (Caponord) segment, and what were some of the preliminary designs. I know that the plug was pulled due to sales, but were any surveys done before or after on the customer perception of the bike? If so, what were the results of those surveys? Did they align with every true magazine test and ride report that always raved about the bike when all was said and done?
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  10. #25
    apriliaforum Member geordielad64's Avatar
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    Pat.
    Can you ask him if he still has any of the original concept design sketches and how much it changed from concept to production bike - compromises needed etc?

    Cheers and regards
    MG rider

  11. #26
    apriliaforum expert Pat's Avatar
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    Surprised you didn't mention Aprilia buying Moto Guzzi, Simon. I'm going to ask him (as nicely as possible) for any development pictures/drawings he may have.

    Ok. I'm drawing up the questions now ready to be translated and e-mailed to him.

  12. #27
    apriliaforum expert dugkim's Avatar
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    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trancer View Post
    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.
    Try owning a Yamaha FJR. I had to break out the muffin tins to keep these fasteners organized. My buddy and I took our bikes completely apart on the first day of ownership. His FJR fairing and body panels once removed totaled 19 pieces! the Futura, 5.

    Although there are a number of fasteners, there are only 2 sizes on the Futura. I say that they did a great job by comparison. FWIW.
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  13. #28
    apriliaforum expert Befbever's Avatar
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    Erm....Dugkim...5?

    What have I been doing wrong all these years?

    Still, an experience that puts things in perspective. Now if anyone can show me how to take my Honda's body panels off coz I haven't spotted a fastener yet!
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  14. #29
    apriliaforum expert Powerful Pierre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Befbever View Post
    Now if anyone can show me how to take my Honda's body panels off coz I haven't spotted a fastener yet!
    Come-on Bef, its a Honda, why worry, you'll never need to take the fairing panels off........and if they do need to come off a nice man at your dealership will do it for you...

  15. #30
    apriliaforum expert Befbever's Avatar
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    Ooh! Sarky!



    Anything yet, Pat?
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