A Ducati customized to look like a basketball shoe – and it's not bad
The 90s were a truly great era for basketball and for motorcycling, so a German shoe shop has decided to combine two absolute 90s legends – Michael Jordan and the Ducati 916 – into a custom bike to celebrate the launch of the latest Air Jordan sneakers.
Such a pairing could be seen as pretty crass, if Jordan wasn't such a huge fan of motorcycles. But he's the real deal; he rode dirtbikes from the age of seven, and his NBA contracts all stipulated that he wasn't allowed any two-wheeled action, lest he fall off and jeopardize his teams' championship hopes.
Not long after his second and final retirement from basketball, MJ found his way to streetbikes, and not long after that, he threw himself into racing, creating Michael Jordan Motorsport to run an AMA Superbike team between 2004 and 2013. He dug the riding part, too, no matter how odd his 6'6 athlete's frame looked hanging off a GSX-R.
So, when the shoe merchants at BSTN were looking for a way to celebrate the release of the 2018 Air Jordan XI "Concord" – yes, Jordan's name still sells shoes by the boatload – it made sense to create a feature motorcycle as a promo.
The peak of MJ's greatness was the mid-nineties, and the pinnacle of motorcycle design at that time was Massimo Tamburini's Ducati 916, a design that holds GOAT status in its field today almost as unanimously as Jordan does in his own.
So, that's what BSTN chose as a donor bike, giving it to Munich-based custom house Impuls to create something that reflected the lines of the new shoe.
The results aren't bad, in an angular, cafe-fightery sort of way, with an upturned German-style seat unit finished to look like the laces on the shoe, sleek black fairings echoing shiny patent leather and plenty of small details like a list of MJ's greatest accomplishments laser-engraved into the rear carbon rim.
The translucent white grips mimic the outsole of the shoe, the tread is lasered into the otherwise-slick tires, and the front fairing has been reshaped into a smoother, more heel-like shape that still works as a screen.
All in all, it tickles us, both as fans of Ducati and Michael Jordan, and we thought it worth sharing. We recommend you don't watch the video below, which may well make you come to detest everything the bike stands for.