Sunday, December 06, 2009

Motorcycle Wars: BMW vs. Japan, Inc.

BMW vs Rice Rockets

BMW are so confident they will kick Japanese ass with their 193bhp-at-the-crank S1000RR that they’ve gone and declared all-out war against Japan. For this, BMW have commissioned a series of artwork that’s been created with the help of some photographs taken by Rene Neuman, which have then been worked upon by illustrator Frank Gräfe. And as you can see, all images depict some major aggression against the Japanese.

BMW vs Rice Rockets

Japanese illustration is usually seen as either calligraphy or manga. Calligraphy is very formal, whereas manga is quite child-like and naïve. We decided to use a darker style – a fusion between ancient Japanese illustration and the more recent manga technique,’ says Gräfe, who used the Biomega technique to achieve the results you see here.

‘Over the period building up to the launch, we wanted to reach out to new audiences and the S1000RR versus Japan lifestyle project was a great way to engage with people through art, rather than just directly targeting motorcyclists,’ says Matthias Harbeck, creative director at Serviceplan, which has been responsible for executing this project.

‘We wanted to avoid the typical manga style, as it wasn’t aggressive enough to portray the personality of the S1000RR. Instead, we transformed the campaign into a darker comic world, with more speed and action, with the addition of traditional Japanese elements,’ adds Gräfe. ‘To create the initial visuals, I adopted traditional methods, such as normal black ink and paper. However, to convey the futuristic feel, I used computer imaging to create a collage of my drawings,’ he says.

BMW vs Rice Rockets

Hmm… now all this artsy stuff is all very well but maybe BMW should be taking it a bit easy. After all, the Japs have been building hard-core high-performance litre-class bikes for ages, while BMW are just getting started, with the S1000RR. Now, it’ll be up to the S1000RR to walk the talk when it’s time to face off against the likes of the R1, Fireblade, ZX-10R and GSX-R1000. Otherwise, guess who’ll end up with so much ramen and sushi on their face…

text and images from via Ride The Machine

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