Heaven is in the details, so it’s said. Mind you, apparently the devil is also in the details. After some time spent pondering how both could apply, I’ve come up with a very scientific example in two parts. Here goes.
‘Heaven is in the details’ – you stare at a new concept bike, gobsmacked. It looks good from a distance, but that’s just the start. Up close, even normally mundane fittings and doodads are achingly beautiful, oozing fine design, exotic materials and delicate machine work. The closer you look, the better it gets.
‘The devil is in the details’ – the actual production bike arrives in showrooms. It looks great from a distance. But on closer inspection, some bastard bean counter has clobbered the bike with his calculator, turning stunning details into plastic carbuncles with zero visual appeal. You realise that your supermodel has been dressed by K-Mart, and it leaves you feeling a bit queasy.
Rizoma - how style got started
Rizoma is a company that recognises people who appreciate details. Those people who get a new bike home, do some staring, and decide that they can make the bike better. Or make it more their own. Or possibly both.
Rizoma are all about style and design, so it should come as no surprise that they’re Italian. The story began back in 2001 when a bloke named Fabrizio Rigolia and his brother Fabio (do you see the beginnings of a brand name here?) were asked by a mate to design a better mirror for his bike. They did, and it turned out to be popular with other riders, too. The lads began creating all manner of other motorcycle parts with an emphasis on striking design, and several thousand macchiatos later, Rizoma is a household name around the world. Providing your household revolves around motorcycles, as of course it should.
What’s in it for you?
Today Rizoma designs and creates parts including indicators, levers, handlebars, handlebar ends, mirrors, brake fluid reservoirs, grips, footpegs, tail tidies and much more. If you wanted to categorise the type of parts that Rizoma creates, you might broadly call it ‘beautiful replacements for the bits that the original motorcycle manufacturer didn’t give a damn about’.
Crafted in aluminium, superbly anodized and lavished with superb attention to detail, Rizoma stuff is the logical path to perfecting your bike if you just can’t stand the look of the tacky standard mirrors, indicators and sundry brackets. I’m staring at my Tuono right now (yes, I’m writing this in my garage) and in my head I can quickly compose a list of the parts that would be better binned and replaced with Rizoma goodness. It’s a pretty long list. This brings me to my next point about Rizoma. They’re savvy enough to recognise that the indicator they designed for a sports bike just wouldn’t look right on a cruiser. So they also create model-specific parts that work flawlessly, look perfect and complement the bike, rather than spoiling it like the tacky plastic crap that so many manufacturers adorn their otherwise fine motorcycles with.
I can just imagine a couple Rizoma guys in sharp suits, showing up to the launch of every new bike, groaning at the standard mirrors and hurrying back to Area 13 – yep, that’s what they call their Design Hub – to create something much better. Bless ‘em.
Like all good design types, the Rizoma crew likes to show off a bit. Witness their high-speed Stealth mirrors, which function to provide the required rear view until a suitably velocity is reached, at which point they fold to become spoilers. You’ll be comforted to know that they provide 4 kilos of downforce at a relaxed 300kph. Imagine explaining to the cop why you didn’t see him there behind you…
Back in the real world and still staring at my Tuono, the standard mirrors are plastic and sit up way too high. I can solve that with a pair of beautiful Rizoma bar-end mirrors in satin black, complete with mounts of near-pornographic beauty. Front indicators? A pair of Rizoma’s ‘Corsa’ style, I think, carved from billet aluminium, featuring high intensity LED’s and projector lenses. Like most brake and clutch fluid reservoirs, those on my Tuono look like they were designed by a poorly-sighted Year 7 student. Any of Rizoma’s reservoirs would be an enormous improvement. And don’t even get me started on the handlebars, levers and footpegs. There’s a Rizoma replacement for all of these, and the difference is akin to comparing a Gucci wallet to a zip lock sandwich bag.
The Rizoma parts catalogue is like a gallery dedicated to detail obsessives who just happen to be bike nuts. None of it is cheap. But I’ve found a way to make sense of it all. Go price some genuine replacement parts such as mirrors, levers and indicators. Ouch, right? Now take a look at the prices of Rizoma parts. That can get a bit ouchy too, but there are instances where their gorgeous doodads compare quite favourably with the prices of the anonymous OEM parts. And I know which choice I’d rather have adorning my bike.
If you are hell-bent on saving money and getting a sensible haircut, I urge you to stay away from the Rizoma parts listing on the Bikebiz website. It is a dangerous place to go, in the best possible sense. On the other hand, if you’re not sure whether it’s Heaven or the devil that’s in the details but you know that you love details, get online right away. And when the credit card bill arrives, go stare at your bike. I promise it’ll make you feel much better.