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1984 Bimota KB3 in Italy!

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers appeared to know little about frame design and its effect on handling. Enter the small shop known as Bimota, formed as a hobby by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini. Using existing motorcycles as a jumping off point, the Rimini firm created stout new frames and sensuous bodywork made to accept a variety of Japanese engines. These were initially offered as kits; buyers received the chassis, bodywork and suspension, to which they affixed the engine, transmission and electrics from a donor cycle. Completed Bimota motorcycles were ridden to rave reviews; razor sharp handling (usually to the compromise of comfort and convenience) was the order of the day.

1984 Bimota KB3 for sale on eBay

This 1984 Bimota KB3 (the 3rd model in the series of Kawasaki-powered Bimotas), shows the company making a massive turning point. Unlike kit-built bikes assembled by amatuers or hired guns, by the early 1980s Bimota was starting to assemble them in their own factory. This tiny company from northern Italy near the Adriatic Sea was making the jump to become a full-fledged manufacturer of motorcycles. And whereas the kit-built bikes were all unique and custom - showing the nature (and skill level) of their builders - this move by Bimota to assemble in house leads to a more consistent offering across the model type. This KB3, powered by a Kawasaki KZ1000 engine, was one of the early Bimotas that could be considered "factory built."

From the seller:
Bimota KB3 1000cc - ONE OF ONLY 30 UNITS FACTORY BUILT
model year 1984
VIN 0051.

Fantastic original preserved shiny conditions, one of only 30 factory built kb3 (not a kit), just 15k kms from new. Perfectly working. Unique opportunity.

Ride and collect!

The KB3 came on the heels of the watershed bike for Bimota, the GPz550-powered KB2 Laser. And whereas the KB2 frame was created using short, straight sections of chrome moly tubing welded in a pyramid matrix to handle loads, the KB3 chassis incorporates longer sections of tubing and novel aluminum stress plates - all of which have been welded, bolted and epoxy bonded together. Billet aluminum sections join upper and lower sections, and provide a base for the swingarm pivot. The sleek bodywork is created from Kevlar - a magical substance of strength and lightweight in 1984. Maximizing stiffness to ensure optimum handling while shaving off an estimated 65 lbs from a standard KZ1000, the KB3 was perhaps the ultimate literbike in existence.

There were only 112 KB3s created, ensuring the rarity of these special bikes. We have seen a few on the pages of RSBFS, and they never fail to enchant. These are bikes that do not come around often, and never in such original condition. This bike is located in Italy (naturally!), appears to be in the best original condition we have seen, and is looking for a new home. When first offered by Bimota, these were very expensive machines ($13k and up). Collector status has done well for these incredible bikes, and while the opening ask on this one was a single US dollar, I expect the final auction result to include a few more zeros. No idea where the reserve is set, so this will be one to watch. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts on your favorite old-school Bimota in our comments section. Good Luck!!

MI

7 Comments

  • This series Bimota is good for two things: Eye candy!!! and riding in anger!!! The craftsmanship on these bikes is spectacular. Nothing there that doesn’t need to be there and the the things that need to be there are beautifully and purposefully made. The riding position is brutal and they demand a heavy hand to get the best/most out of them, but the reward is a huge grin if you’re up to the task. Definitely not a “city” bike, but if you have the physical stamina, the place to ride and the wallet to buy it, well worth the entry fee and effort. This one looks like it was well cared for and left the way Bimota intended.

  • Hey up chuck. gotta’ agree with ya on this one… But the Kwak lump is a good one all around…

    • BigBang,
      Have to agree on the Kawasaki power plant. These were available with either a Kawasaki motor or a Suzuki motor (Model was an SB4). My personal favorite is the Kawasaki motor. It was bulletproof in stock trim and had lots of “upgrade” potential. My KB3 (sold on here last year) had a later Kawasaki hot rod motor in it, and it was a beast. I’ve had numerous other specials with similar motors and all have been fun and reliable. Only had one Suzuki powered beast and it was fun too, but never came me the same “kick”. That said, Bimota continued to develop the Suzuki powered line and not the Kawasaki line. A shame in my opinion, but they made some very nice models based on the Suzuki platform. My personal Bimota favorite now that I’m a bit older is the Ducati powered DB2. A bit more comfortable, a lot lighter and easier for an old guy to have fun on.

  • Sold my KB3 SN#000000035 in 1996 for $10,500. Miss that bike but my GSXR does everything better and I’m not afraid to do track days with it.

  • Steve,
    Not really a fair comparison! Any top of the line sport bike from a major manufacturer built in the last 15 years (maybe 25 years?) will out perform this early ’80s design if that’s your concern. Bimota’s, new or old are an emotional decision, not a practical one. If you want an example of the highest performance and build quality available from the early 80’s that you can still ride in a reasonably reliable fashion, this bike will give you that. If you want a high performance daily driver that you can take to the track on weekends, go to your nearest Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Ducati, etc. dealer and buy one off the floor.

    • Hey Chuck, I agree.
      It’s a rolling piece of art.The only problem with the KB3 is it eats fork seals and has 16 inch wheels. Very limited tire selection. Of coarse you can’t compare it to anything modern. I’m just glad this bike is in Italy so I wouldn’t be tempted to bid.
      That said, I’m just stating my preference at this time.

  • Bidding reached $7,100 but reserve was $14,900 according to eBay.

    dc

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are now being moderated. Constructive comments pertaining to the listing will be gladly accepted, but expect some delay between comment submission and publishing. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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