Even a storied manufacturer with a portfolio of glorious bikes can make a misstep. A trend of questionable taste taken just a bit too far, a design compromised by budget, a stylist given too free a hand. The Bimota Mantra may have been all of these things working against it: it’s a bit of an overwrought mess, powered by a twin but with four exhaust pipes, giving the usual low-mount cornering-clearance problems with but additional weight and complexity, included at no extra charge! Although considering the price of these new, there may have been a line item on the original sticker for “Reduced Cornering Clearance”, too… The dash is walnut. And what were they thinking with that storage cubby at the back of the dummy tank?
All that being said, these are distinctive motorcycles and no mistake, and I do like that Bimota was trying for something different. This was their first bike intended purely for the street, they went a bit overboard making this bike's street intentions visually clear...
Thing is though: it’s still a Bimota. Weird exhausts and extroverted styling aside, a stiff frame, quality suspension, and strong brakes mean this will get a serious wiggle on, if you want it to. And they’re rare, with only 454 made between 1995 and 1998. Powered by Ducati’s air and oil cooled, two-valve v-twin, maintenance and hop-up parts are readily available, so you can at least leave the people laughing at you in a roiling cloud of tire smoke leaving intersections.
Original price was $ 20,000.|
BIN is less than half of that. Reserve a bit lower
Added it to my collection in 2004 with only 8010 miles.
Rare red color with only 25 made from what I have read, with a total of 454 made, mostly yellow.
Looks and runs well, but there is some paint blister on tank.
Can't see in pictures, so may have to circle areas after I look at bike, tomorrow.
It's dry and paint original from 1998.
A re-paint would be an easy color to match, or leave as - is.
Look, I have to be honest: I thought these were really cool when I was young and these were brand new. They were different, something exotic, but useable: a practical fashion statement. And having not yet been indoctrinated into motorcycle aesthetic standards, they looked exciting to me.
If I had a big bike collection, I’d probably still want one, although I’d remove that taller windscreen tout de suite and look into some other solution for those exhausts… Or maybe I’d just fit some little two-stroke carbon cans to really confuse people.
If you’re looking at starting your Bimota collection and realize you’ve no intention of spending time at the race track, and actually want to ride your acquisition, this might be a great place to start.