Keira Knightly Chanel Parfum and A Classic Ducati 750 SS

Keira Knightley will surely get a buzz going in this teaser for the new Chanel Coco Mademoiselle fragrance, but it’s the motorcycle she rides while shilling for the parfum that gets my heart racing.

I know nothing of parfum, but this is how the flacks describe this particular fragrance:

Sexy, fresh Oriental fragrance recalls the irrepressible spirit of the young Coco Chanel. An elegant, luxurious spray closest in strength and character to the parfum form. The signature Classic Bottle is perfect for the dressing table or for traveling. Spray lightly morning and evening on pulse points at the throat and wrist.

That description is very close to the way the bike Knightley is riding in the commercial makes me feel, so maybe it’s good stuff.

The Ducati 750SS was, at least at the time,  a novel approach to building a motorcycle.

The 750SS was Ducati’s initial foray into producing a large-displacement sports bike. Built to take on the Honda CB750 and the Suzuki GT750, the SS was could reach a top speed of 124 mph and it was typical of the Ducati signature style with it’s rear-mounted footrests and clip-on handlebars. Clearly a cutting edge sport bike, these features pressed the boundaries of design for production sport bikes, and gave the 750SS a distinctive posture that was unique among motorcycles at that time and presaged the “cafe racer” styling with it’s optional “bubble” fairing and exaggerated forward riding position.

The 750 SS was essentially the bike that saved Ducati from oblivion.

The birth of the modern Ducati as we now know it can be traced back to April 1972. It was back then that Ducati won the Imola 200 with a 750 cc ‘Desmodromic‘ valve v-twin motor developed by Fabio Taglioni. That machine was designed with production in mind, and it was perfect for the Imola circuit which favored high-speed handling over brute horsepower. The prototypes used for that race were developed using a 750 GT-based engine and frame, and that combination let Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari take first and second.

Those finishes, and buzz they generated in the motorcycle racing world, instantly elevated Ducati from a marque known for making “pretty” motorcycles to one ready to be a serious player in the emerging market for street-legal superbikes.

The 750 SS was first produced in 1974 and that machine featured a 10.5:1 compression ratio, an enormous six-gallon gas tank and weighed in at a Knightley-slim (at least in motorcycle terms) 330 lbs. Only some 400 1974 Super Sports were produced, but the model line set a new benchmark for production motorcycles. The unique styling, essentially a production racer with street-legal features, made it an instant hit among aficionados. The 1974 model SS is surely the most significant production bike in Ducati history.

The full commercial will launch exclusively on on Monday 21st March 2011

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1 Response

  1. That is a great bike! A motorcycle cover will maintain this beauty in great shape!