Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Colour Angst Thing

So this week is panning out as a low productivity one as a load of social stuff has formed a gang and beat the crap out of my weekday evening shed time. In consequence dear readers, this is a good time to ponder on colour angst. I am the first to admit that I am more of an arty farty type than an engineering type. I'm not talking about appreciation here - I'm full of appreciation for trick engineering - just lacking capability. I need something visually great as a goal to drive me on, and in terms of making something different and tasty, a good paint scheme is a quick easy win.

So colour angst is my constant companion as  I think about the bike every day. I always admire paint jobs that reference, quote, or (kill me now) "channel" other appropriate stuff. What do I mean by that? Well I am not going to paint a Ducati in Kawasaki green, it just isn't right. Now every rule exists to be broken so hypothetically I might break the rule for something obscure like Moriwaki flat blue and yellow, but that would be because those colours look retro and retro can work nicely with a Monster.  I might reference something totally separate like that bluey turqouise (with black and dull gold detailing) that Bianchi use on their bicycle frames. It's Italian and it's retro.

But referencing Ducati history, what about the Mike Hailwood Replica colours? Don't see them on a Monster very often. NCR (see the links list) have built a MHR special where they made the green darker and metallic, the shapes simpler, and the borders between green and red bolder. They also have "New Blue" a tribute to  Cook Neilson's 1977 Daytona victory on a Ducati 750SS, known as OLD BLUE, tuned by Phil Schilling. This mates an electric blue frame with silver metallic bodywork. Nice.

What are the other obvious applicable schemes? White with a red frame, red with a red frame or a black frame, black all over, black with gold stripes like an old school original 900ss, Red with white stripe. I like the red body work with red frame and black engine and wheels, with the modern Ducati logo in white. Very 90's Ferrari F1. However Mrs Cutter's 695 comes like that as standard so why would I do that?

I thought about all those recent choppers and cafe customs that are using old-fashioned muted colours like primer greys, creme, etc. An off-white with a muted red muscle car stripe is nice...Or I could put a spin on the dull bronze of the original frame colour and go for a rich gold. That way the red bodywork would look fine as it is, and it would be a subtle twist with a touch of early John Player Special Lotus (before they went to black and gold)  if I then added white elements with gold pinstripe outlining.

I could go on for ever. Trouble is I can't go on for ever. I am going to drop the engine so I can get the frame powder-coated. That is pretty much next on the list as the frame is in a bit of a tatty state. I may or may not get the wheels done at the same time, (there is a question mark over the health of the rear wheel, The bearing is not as tight an interference fit as it should be.)

Hmmm, dark blue frame and darkish silver bodywork is winning it at the moment. Timeless, quotes from past glories, tasteful. Will I feel the same when I wake up tomorrow, shit will I feel the same in 15 minutes time....


  1. I can;t get out of my mind the stock Monster colour scheme of darkish blue bodywork and white wheels, which just does it for me - sorely tempted to do a variation on this for my 900...

  2. You have to go with what causes you maximum happiness. As far as i know n the UK the blue and white was an S4R colour? You don;t see mainly 2-valvers that colour so I think it would be very cool.

  3. Sorry mate, only one choice - the green frame / silver bodywork of the Paul Smart Ducati:

  4. Hey the Paul Smart is a stone cold classic but I just find the colours insipid...

    I Like that Motoitaliche special. (I am digging hot rodded Sport Classics, but the money these people throw at the bikes. If only..), However the NCR New Blue and others schemes I have seen look better to me.

  5. Just picked up a black Baglux tank cover on eBay so maybe I will do my Monster in Leather?