Pierre Terblanche has been busy since he departed from Ducati, where he was design chief from 1997 until he resigned in 2007. The South African born designer left the Italian marque to create his own design company and then promptly went to work with the Piaggio Group as a consultant; his new Moto Guzzi concepts have already won awards. Yet, his latest design is not a motorcycle, it is a powered tricycle (or three-wheeled bicycle since it does have pedals) – a hydrogen fuel-cell Green machine. It is called the “A Hi Fambeni” or “Let’s Go” in the Tsonga language. The Fambeni is a proof-of-concept for an eventual hydrogen fuel-cell production industry on behalf of the company who built it, Hydrogen SA Systems of South Africa. It will also serve as very efficient transportation for the many rural villages in that part of Africa (once hydrogen is widely available).
Terblanche already has a historic legacy which will outlive us all. Many of the bikes he shepherded into the world are still on the roads and byways – or in museums. Remember the Cagiva Gran Canyon? How about the Ducati Hypermotard? Those, along with the original Multistrada, MH900e, 888, and the entire SportClassic line, are his handiwork.
The A Hi Fambeni is another physical manifestation of the designs rolling around in his fascinating mind, but it is also more than that. Terblanche has crossed into an interesting new field and is putting his mark on the new technology which will become all the more important as we become a cleaner and greener world.