Curtiss One Design, PT. 4: Color & Texture

Color can either bind a motorcycle together as a cohesive whole, or blow it apart by confusing the viewer about the nature of the surfaces to which it is applied. Improperly applied color theory quickly becomes either boring or chaotic. Equally exhausting are large surfaces that are left in a raw as-machined state. Tool path marks create small areas of movement that are beyond the control of the designer, often becoming tedious and unreconciled.

Motorcycles are especially difficult to enhance because color needs surfaces, specifically curved surfaces to work, and motorcycles have precious few of them. As one views a curved surface with color, the color becomes less saturated as it disappears into the horizon, encouraging the viewer to further explore the surface. This “call-to-action” engages the mind, and promotes curiosity.

An Analogous Color Scheme, using either deeply toned or lightly hued versions of the secondary colors used extensively by the pre-war French coach-builders is a good place to begin our journey, as the use of color is one of the things that the ancients definitely got right. By pairing hues or shaded colors that live closely together on the color wheel, then altering the saturation levels, it is the French coach-builders that will inform our future.

We have designed Curtiss One with “pockets” that can easily be utilized to contain color with a minimum of disruption of the assembly line.

Texture-matching soft point interface connections on our new motorcycle is very important. Seat material and grip material are organic and identical, serving as a visual invitation to attach oneself to the machine.