This year Pirelli is in the custom area at stand G30 in pavilion 2 of the International Motorcycle Exhibition (EICMA), which runs through 18 November in Milan, with its flagship product dedicated to the custom world, Night Dragon, and with the initiative that combines the art of tattooing, particularly popular among custom enthusiasts, with the two-wheel world: and so a new form of art is born – the tattooed tyre.
Actually this is not the first time that Pirelli, which has always been involved in seeking out innovation in any form, has dabbled in tattooing. In September of last year, for the grand opening of the Pzero Store on Corso Venezia 1/a in Milan, the Milanese tyre company unveiled the Holy Trinity, where famous tattoo artist Scott Campbell tested his skills by engraving the tread of a Diablo Rosso II which was then mounted and displayed in the store on a Ducati Diavel.
For EICMA Pirelli extended an “artistic” challenge to the renowned tattoo art studio Fashion Tattoo of Monza and Pesaro (Italy), asking if, and how, it would be possible to express the artistic iconography of tattoos in the custom world on tyres. From this the idea of having tattoo sessions on Pirelli tyre treads throughout the show dates was born. Compared to the ancestral tyre tattooed by Campbell, however, here there is another step forward and an added element: colour. In fact, the drawing, inspired by “old school” themes, is first engraved masterfully onto the tyre with a chisel and then painted with acrylic enamels. The result is a true extemporaneous work of art on the rubber, solely for display purposes and short-lived due to the properties of the components in the compound, but capable of transmitting emotion and interest in anyone who sees it.
So this is a show marked by art for Pirelli – art which was also a key feature yesterday evening at the Ridersnight Gommati organised by the Riders Italian Magazine in cooperation with Pirelli and the Pirelli Foundation. Once again, the binding link of the evening was rubber, present not only as a tyre, but also in all of its forms through a path which was set up in stages. On the path there was a special display prepared by the Pirelli Foundation which, with 28 illustrations of its 140 year history, recounted its iconographic and cultural heritage, explaining how rubber has been the author and reflection of changes over time.
With this strong presence in the EICMA custom area, Pirelli, which has always been a leader in the racing and sport segment, intends to send a clear message to all custom enthusiast bikers, demonstrating how all of the experience gained during its years in competitions can be seamlessly transferred to a product, the Night Dragon, which is capable of providing a custom bike with not only mileage and stability (minimum requirements that all the competitors offer), but also the excellent grip and handling which is programmed into the Pirelli sport DNA. These last two are features which are important and necessary with the increasingly high performance of modern custom bikes that need to put the power of all their horses on the ground without sacrificing handling despite their heavy weight.