It is fair to say that many people will be familiar with Yvan Arpa and his eclectic range of timepieces. Certainly I have written many articles about his watches and find them very desirable. However like most artists Yvan Arpa is exploring new and exciting products to develop. Probably his most adventurous and ambitious creative project is the Silver UFO Motorcycle he designed in 2013.
Personally I have never ridden a motorcycle or had a burning desire to own one. Nevertheless I can appreciate good design and feel this bike is a visual masterpiece. It also is automatically recognizable as one of Yvan Arpa’s creations because of its bold gothic like appearance. In fact it is clearly apparent he has adopted the same idiosyncratic approach (on a much larger scale) as he uses in watchmaking.
The project is a collaboration with Laurent ZEN Dutruel and James Risse from Black Way. Interestingly the bike took over 1,000 hours to customize and incorporates design elements from many of Yvan Arpa’s watches (most recognizably the ‘Son of a Gun’ Collection). Interesting details include a cap tank made from a Swiss automatic watch movement and handle containing real bullets. There are also some very distinctive engravings that add to the overall prestige.
A bespoke handcrafted bike like this wouldn’t be cheap to produce and therefore will only appeal to a small minority of buyers. However I can definitely envisage a few rock and movie stars being enticed by its steampunkesque appearance. The bike was originally unveiled in Geneva a few years ago to a largely receptive audience. I for one will be personally intrigued to see if this bike ever goes into production or whether it remains an artistic showpiece.