Or is that "aluminium"?

Chances are excellent that if you’re reading this, you already know good and well that motorcycles can be art. Still, every once in awhile, it’s cool to see someone taking a love of design and artistic consideration of motorcycles to the broader world. In 2017, renowned London-based designer Tom Dixon created a custom V7 for the storied Italian brand called “Tomoto,” and it’s still providing inspiration.

For the 2019 London Design Festival, Tom Dixon’s London HQ, The Coal Office, hosted a weeklong event called Touchy Smelly Feely Tasty Noisy. There Tomoto sat gleaming on proud display as part of the exhibition—not as part of a motorcycle-specific event, but as a standout bike in a sea of other Dixon design elements. It seemed to tell the world that a beautiful motorcycle is an integral part of life. 

Gallery: Moto Guzzi V7 "Tomoto" by Tom Dixon

Dixon created Tomoto using untreated aluminum, funky patterned rims, specially made Pirelli rubber, and a classic Dixon pendant light design for the headlight, appropriately called the Fin. Dixon was incredibly hands on with this project, as well. He told Dezeen, "I've had the same Moto Guzzi for 27 years, and it was time for a new one. I've always tinkered with motorbikes. They were always kind of vintage or collapsing, and I learnt to weld on the basis that I was going to fix a bike."

Upon visiting the Moto Guzzi factory, Dixon convinced Guzzi to let him start customizing a bike. He worked with customizer Stefano Venier to create the finished product. Dixon experimented with digital punching technology to achieve the unique geometric designs in the rims, and used the same untreated aluminum elsewhere throughout the bike. 

A V9 Bobber and a V85 TT were also on display at Dixon’s Coal Office for the London Design Festival event—but clearly, Tomoto was the standout bike on display.

Sources: London Design Festival, Tom Dixon, Dezeen, Moto Guzzi