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California Dreaming: 1997 Bimota YB11

In the wonderful world of Bimota, the first letter of the bike designation always represents the manufacturer of the engine. In the case of this YB11, it is Yamaha. This is the 11th model of Yamaha-powered Bimotas, one of the most potent bikes Bimota has developed, and the last of the Yamaha-Bimota series ever produced. In the world of Bimota, the Yamaha dials go up to 11, but not to 12.

1997 Bimota YB11 for sale on eBay!

The Yamaha in question is the powerful 1,000cc, five valve per cylinder Genesis evolution. You can expect on the order of 145 HP from this magnificent lump, which has earned Yamaha all sorts of accolades for tractability, reliability and longevity. It's not often that you can heap "power" and "works well for a long time" in the same sentence referring to the same motor, but that is really how good this unit is. Bimota took all that was right with the Thunder Ace power plant, and shaved a significant amount of weight from the similarly powered YZF1000R - some 40 odd pounds wet(!). With an aluminum twin-spar frame derived from the successful YB6, multi-adjustable Paioli-supplied suspension front and rear, Brembo brakes all around, a custom ram-air intake and bespoke four into one exhaust, the performance of the YB11 obliterated the original donor bike from Yamaha by a good margin.

From the seller:
1997 BIMOTA YB11 , NEAR MINT CONDITION ,RUNS EXCELLENT ,EVERYTHING WORKS ,CLEAN CALIFORNIA TITLE ,RECENT SERVICE AND NEW BATTERY

Bimotas of this era are hand-built and lovingly assembled. They are lightweight and horrendously impractical by most standards. The hand-laid fiberglass is impossibly thin and prone to cracking; the move to carbon helps significantly in this area. Access to engine and components for maintenance purposes is marginal at best, tortuous in any case. The riding position is uncompromising and decidedly lacking in the thick padded seat department. But who really cares about that useless stuff? This is the most potent Yamaha-powered liter bike you are going to find from this era; it begs to be ridden hard. The most difficult aspect of owning a bike like this is wiping the smile off of your face every time you ride it, park it, wash it, or simply look at it.

This bike is available in California, where it also happens to be titled. Woo Hoo - score one for the most restrictive DMV state! It has a fair amount of miles on the clock (more so than we normally see for a Bimota), but that is not a problem at all for the running gear. If the bodywork and ancillaries check out, this one is good to go for a long, long time .... and it will probably begin to appreciate in value along the way. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your thoughts on either the Yamaha five valve motor, or the YB series of Bimotas. Good Luck!!

MI

4 Comments

  • Pretty sure I saw this bike at the Quail event on Saturday. If so pics don’t do it justice

    • Be aware guys, I bought this bike and sent it back. it isn’t anywhere near mint, very average at best.

    • It looks like this one has been up on ebay before (late 2015 mileage was 1 mile less than today, odo would seem to validate) and didn’t make reserve, now is up for sale again with one buyer saying they sent it back. Does anyone have any details on the condition, is it worth traveling the 4+ hrs for me to take a look at it? Thanks for any info.

  • Pretty sure this is an estate sale. Same seller tried selling a Laverda 750 formula couple months ago. My brother lives by the seller and he wanted $17k for that which never came close to reserve. Might be the case here as well.

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