Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota December 30, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale

Most of our readers probably think of Bimota as a manufacturer of overpriced two-wheeled status symbols dripping with billet and carbon fiber and Italian style. But Bimota originally took its name from founders Valerio BIanchi, Giuseppe MOrri, and Massimo TAmburini. Yes, that Massimo Tamburini. And his genius is on display in this 1980 Bimota SB3 that was one of their earliest and most radical machines, considering it was based around the inline four cylinder engine from the very typical for the period Suzuki GS1000.

Japanese bikes of the 1970s and early 1980s, even those from factory racing efforts, had engines that were famously more advanced than their frames. Road bikes were often especially bad, with flexibility that meant some felt like they had an extra hinge in the middle, and into this handling void came Bimota. A tradition of boutique frame builders actually sprang up all over Europe and Great Britain to fill the need for bikes that went around corners as well as they ate up straight lines, and Bimota was one of the most successful.

It's a shame Bimota didn't make naked bikes during their heyday, since the tubular frame seen on the SB3 is a work of art, and incorporates innovative ideas like the concentric swingarm pivot that kept the geometry constant throughout the swingarm's travel and allowed the chain to be run with virtually no slack. The frame fit so tightly around the engine that it actually split to allow servicing, once the one-piece tail and tank-cover was removed.

Even without the handling improvements provided by the frame and suspension upgrades, the SB3 still would have been blisteringly fast: the air-cooled Suzuki four was lightly tuned, but the overall package was a staggering 79 pounds lighter than the stock machine. It was incredibly rare, incredibly exotic, and incredibly fast, although it was also incredibly uncomfortable: a torturous riding position and unforgiving suspension meant it was only at home on very smooth, curvy pavement.

From the Seller: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale

1980 Bimota SB3 #187 of 402 with spare unused factory fairing and windscreen. 

Trades considered. - Items of interest - Ducati's or toys using Ducati 900ss engine, will accept or add cash for the right deal.

The SB3 had its debut at the Milan Show in 1979 and showcased some radical thinking; particularly in the frame design. The chromoly frame is assembled around the engine and uses aircraft style 'conical' joints to connect the front and rear halves. It also has a 'perimeter' swing arm, which pivots exactly at the transmission sprocket axis, eliminating the need for chain slack and geometry changes that go along with that. Modular bodywork, top-line (for the day) Italian components (Brembo, Marzocchi, Campagnolo,). Powered by Suzuki's bullet-proof GS1000 power plant, only 402 copies were made during its production.

Local Texas bike that has been ridden/enjoyed over the years. The bike has some wear from use which is listed below. The only upgrades are period correct Keihin CR 31 smoothbore carburetors, Dyna S ignition, and fresh coils. 

Wheels have been brought down to bare magnesium and dye tested for cracks. After testing came back fine they were then properly primed and painted with color matched from an original color chip. Wheels have new bearings front and rear. 

Bike comes with a spare fairing as the builder of the bike planned to use it as a race bike but never ended up doing so. Lately, I was able to source a spare original windscreen in clear so you have a color choice. Front and rear suspension rebuilt in 2016. Recent engine removal for valve adjustment.

Parts are able to be sourced online from BimotaClassicParts.com and your local Suzuki shop.

• Slight rash on right side fairing pictured from garage tip over.
• Some rock chips in paint on forks from road use as pictured.
• Some paint cracking and peeling around gas cap (damn ethanol). Inside of tank looks fine.
• Left fairing is shows bubbling under the paint. Use the new spare fairing while this is sent for repair.
• Odometer does not work as no speedo sending unit is installed. Currently a spacer is installed where a speedo sending unit would mount. I will include the Garmin wrist wearable GPS I leave on the upper fork brace I use to track speed and mileage. 
• Swingarm under rear shock mount is missing some powdercoating and shows surface rust.
• Upper fairing has a slight crack on the left side near the petcock. Was like this from my first meeting the bike 25 years ago and has not grown.
• Petcock has been rebuilt. Does not use vacuum from carbs to operate so should be switched on and off and likely cause of above mentioned crack.
• Recent replacement of coils, wires, and upgrade to Dyna S ignition module. 
• Magnesium wheels freshly dye tested and properly prepared (chromate treatment) before paint which was properly paint matched from original.
• Fresh spark plugs, caps and wires.
• Fresh tires, tubes and wheel bearings front and rear.
• New chain.
• Rear brake caliper recently rebuilt, parts on hand to rebuild front when required.
• Front forks and rear shock rebuilt in 2016 by 812 Suspension.
• Clutch cover freshly powder coated to match original engine color.
• No oil leaks.
• Engine has solid compression and all cylinders within 5% of each other.

The seller is asking $13,500 for this mechanically very sound SB3 with a few clearly shown cosmetic imperfections. Certainly a good place to start for a restoration, or just ride it as-is! Even better, follow through on the bike builder's original intent and enter the bike in some classic races! Skinny tires and vintage power output aside, I'm sure it handles well and would certainly be in the true spirit of Bimota's original mission. Considering how impossibly stiff the stock machine was supposed to be, that might be the best use for it...

-tad

Featured Listing: 1980 Bimota SB3 for Sale
Bimota December 29, 2017 posted by

Race History: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale

Both a flamboyant racer and a cautionary tale, Anthony Gobert was a hugely talented rider who fell from grace after a failed drug test. Several times, actually. Racing today is obviously a far cry from the wild days of the 60s and 70s, where playboy racers partied with stewardesses well into the night before getting up the following morning to risk life and limb while nursing a hangover. Today's riders generally treat racing as the serious profession it has become, instead of as a way for daredevils to travel and booze it up on someone else's dime. I'm sure Gobert's missteps would have been laughed off in another era, but a failed test for marijuana, of all things, ended his MotoGP dreams in 1997, although he continued to race in Superbikes events in a variety of classes. Somewhere along Gobert's slow downward spiral, he got a ride on this Bimota SB8K and managed to make an underfunded machine from a tiny manufacturer briefly competitive, a testament to his talent.

Bimota's SB8 was really the TL1000R that Suzuki wasn't able to build, and one of their most successful models. There's no doubting the liquid-cooled, 996 v-twin engine's prowess: it's been used in various iterations by Suzuki since 1997 to power both sports and touring models. More importantly, both Cagiva and Bimota saw the potential for the engine to power some serious sporting hardware, and just needed to work around the layout challenges posed by the v-twin. As can be seen by the Ducati Panigale's side-mounted rear shock, a transverse 90° v-twin is very long, making it difficult to package efficiently in a compact sportbike while simultaneously maximizing swingarm length. Suzuki used an innovative rotary damper with roots in Formula 1 to support the rear of their TL1000S and TL1000R. Unfortunately, while the concept was sound in theory, it didn't work so well in practice, as the undersized unit tended to overheat and cause handling to go from "stable" to "exciting" without much warning.

Bimota took that throbbing, 138hp lump of an engine and put it into a machine that could much more fully exploit its obvious possibility. As with all Bimotas, the SB8's real party trick was a state-of-the-art frame. While I'm a sucker for Ducati's classic trellis unit, the SB8 used a wild composite design based around stiff, lightweight aluminum spars with carbon fiber side plates and a self-supporting carbon fiber tail section. You can see Bimota's solution to that rear suspension issue, peeking out on the right side of the bike from behind the main frame spar. Ultimately, the SB8 weighed in at nearly 50lbs less than the TL-R, although the bike is uncharacteristically broad and bulky for a v-twin, ironic considering the amazingly slim design of the Ducati 996. It's exotic for sure, but not especially pretty, and the carbon air tubes on the original SB8R also meant you'd better know where those hand controls are without looking, or you'd be craning your neck awkwardly trying to find the high-beam switch or cancel the turn signals. Best not to use them.

Of course, the locations of headlight and turn signal switches matter little in this particular case, since this is the updated SB8K version that did away with the massive carbon tubes in favor of a more conventional intake system. And this bike doesn't have signals or lights anyway, since it's the very World Superbike machine that Gobert used to win at Philip Island in 2000, reminding everyone of his talent, if not his self-control. Many who worked with him feel he could have been one of the all-time greats, and flashes of his brilliance can be seen in results he achieved on the SB8K.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale

ex-Anthony Gobert, winning in Philip Island April 2000.

VIN: 00071

This is a legendary bike in a WSBK history for who remembers the victory in april 2000 in Philip Island when Fogarty ended his career... also it is an ICON for the Italian racing motorcyles enthusiasts and the Bimota collectors. 

Only 2 FACTORY bikes were built for the 2000 WSBK, frame #71 and frame #73. This is the only of the 2 fully preserved, complete (with telemetry) and owned by BIMOTA FACTORY from year 2000 to 2017. Full history know, fully untouched since the 2000 season ended.

The bike is fitted with SUZUKI FACTORY TL1000R magnesium/dry clutch engine but tuned then for Bimota by one of the TOP mechanics in the Italian motorcycling history, Franco Farne'... yes the Ducati legend! The bike comes with some spares: engine cases, 2 heads, spare rear wheel, box with bits and pieces.

Letter of verification by the FACTORY present.

Parade, race and collect!

Be sure to check out the photos in the gallery above. The shot of the injectors and one of the high-capacity radiator with the cutout for the front cylinder are especially cool. This is yet another ex-race machine being offered by the same seller as the YB4 racebike from a couple weeks back and, a bit of expected racing wear and tear and some significant discoloration on the swingarm, appears to be in very nice condition. There are several days left on the auction, and bidding is up to just under $9,000 with the Reserve Not Met.

-tad

Race History: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale
Bimota December 28, 2017 posted by

Bitcoin level Bimota: Zero miles 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D in Switzerland

Here is a time capsule, a zero miles/NOS Bimota Tesi 1D SR that has never had fluids installed.  The 1st generation Bimota Tesi is already a bit of unobtanium and something every collector considers so this one is certainly one to take notice of...plus the color scheme is perfect for the holidays.

1992 Bimota Tesi 1D with zero miles in Switzerland

Thinking back on the late 1990's, it seems safe to say that the manufacturer that best embodied the period ethos of "throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" was Bimota.   Part of that was due to its small nature/lack of multi-layered governance and part of it was also probably due to it being an Italian firm where a certain level of fla.ir is expected.  Regardless, Bimota was willing to bring unproven concepts all the way to market and while some of these never delivered as promised (cough-VDue-cough), the Tesi series actually did what it promised.

The Tesi promise was improved handling via a new suspension feature; hub-centered steering.  The Bimota hub centered suspension setup transferred braking force into the frame, not up into the headstock area like on a conventional bike.  Without the impact of braking on the forks, the front end was significantly more stable which made handling feather quick and rock stable.

NOTE:  A good write up about the concept of hub-centered steering and Tesi can be found here.

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At the launch of the Tesi 1D Bimota said the plan was to build 300 but the actual production numbers are a bit vague.   According to sources I found, over 400 were produced between its launch and end in 1994 and this number is said to have included about 50 produced with 400cc for Japan as well as some "Final Edition" and SR models which came with a 904cc 851 motor (the seller indicates this is one of the SR editions).

Mounted in Bimota's beautiful "Omega" frame the 904cc Ducati powerplant worked with the hub-center handling improvements to deliver a bike incredibly nimble for its size.  So why didn't the the Tesi and it's hub-centered design become the future of motorcycling?  The main factor was probably price.  When introduced the Tesi was offered at the eye-popping price of $40,000 USD which made it the most expensive motorcycle on the market.   Also, the complexity of the bike scared away some owners, especially after reports surfaced that the futuristic electrics and digital dash board could suddenly shut down or give wrong readings.

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Now lets look at this particular Tesi 1D.  According to the seller, the bike has essentially been a display piece since production.  Below is a summary of what the seller has to say:

  • Never ridden, never run, properly prepared for long term display.
  • Specifically ordered from the distributor without any fluids when new in 1992. Neither the hydraulic brake system front and rear, nor the cooling system nor the original battery have ever been filled with fluids.
  • All mechanical components inside the engine are still coated with assembly lube from the Ducati factory. The engine is filled with a light-weight oil to preserve internals, it has never been started or run.
  • Kept in a climate controlled environment without UV light present, so there has been no deterioration of any rubber pieces and no discoloration of any painted or coated surfaces. Of course there is no oxidation present on any metal surfaces or fasteners.
  • The protective yellow zinc plating on all three cast iron Brembo rotor surfaces is still present, the seat foam on the molded solo seat pad and backrest is still uncompressed. The tires mounted were specified to be racing tires when ordered new. Levers, grips, pegs, chain, sprockets as most everything else on this motorcycle are as new as they were in 1992.
  • Comes with all the original ownership documents, customs forms, the owners manual, the warranty booklet, copies of the parts manual and workshop manual and the original Tesi toolkit in duplicate.
  • The original early Tesi rear stand, the one off custom front stand (for displaying the bike with both tires off the ground) both mph and km/h dash boards (km dash & computer packed up, mph dash with protective white film still underneath, mounted in the fairing) and two original Weber Marelli P7 ECU computers, one chip'd for regular street use and the other fully open P7 ECU chipped for race use performance, are also included.
  • Multiple other original spares come with this bike. Of course the red Bimota cover is present and in its correct Bimota bag.

Note:  The seller also provides additional photos via an online photo album here.

Now for the real question - is this bike worth the current asking price of $150,000 USD?   Yes, you read that number right - $150,000 USD.   That's almost 4 times the original asking price which is a level of increase I don't think we have ever seen on RSBFS before.  To be honest, when I saw that asking price I thought this was possibly a test listing by the seller but after communication with them, this is in fact the actual Buy-It-Now asking price.  Since in most cases sellers expect offers with 10-15% of the BIN price, its seems safe to say this one is going to cost 6 figures US for any interested parties.

So is a zero miles 1D SR Tesi worth that much?  Personally I don't think so but the 1D and 2D series of the Tesi come up for sale so rarely I don't know what the current value is.   I do think the current ask price means it won't go to an investment oriented collector but it could draw interest from the zero miles/"crate-bike" crowd.   I guess we can only wait and see...but it would sure be a nice way to start the new year with it in your living room.

-Marty G/Dallaslavowner

Bitcoin level Bimota:  Zero miles 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D in Switzerland
Bimota December 13, 2017 posted by

Classic Superbike: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike for Sale

It's fitting that the last couple of Bimota YB4s we've featured have been race bikes, since the YB4 was a competition machine first, and a road bike second. In fact, only a racing version was built at first, until World Superbike homologation rules required 200 roadgoing examples be built. The YB4 competed head-to-head with the best Japan could build, first in Formula 1, and later on in the new World Superbike series, an amazing feat for such a tiny manufacturer.

First produced in 1987, the YB4 was powered by Yamaha's 749cc five-valve "Genesis" motor and six-speed gearbox, which it ironically used to compete against Yamaha's OW01. Weight for the roadbike was 396lbs dry, and both versions used Bimota's stiff, lightweight aluminum beam frame and swingarm, so handling was predictably sublime.

Before their untimely demise, Bimota had become a manufacturer of expensive toys for well-heeled collectors or the occasional race team maybe looking for something to differentiate themselves from all of those very competitive Kawasakis and BMWs. There's nothing inherently wrong with recent Bimotas, but the Japanese Big Four and the Germans have caught up, and they didn't provide the kind of competitive advantage that bikes like the YB4 offered to racers and road riders of the 1980s.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Bimota YB4R for Sale

1988 Bimota YB4 Racing, ex-Steve Williams Team Fowlers Yamaha UK VIN: YB4*000027

4th overall in the 1988 World TT F1 (Superbike) Championship  - that year Fogarty won it, second Joey Dunlop, both on Honda RC30. This bike was also in the top ten results of TT IOM 1988 and 1989.

Rare opportunity to acquire a piece of the early Superbike era and of Bimota history. Bike is genuine, complete and working with the right patina, fitted with the correct carbs engine with magnesium sump.

Letter of verification by Dennis Trollope with the bike.

Parade, race and collect!

Bike is currently located in 33080 Roveredo in Piano, Italy but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem. I can supply US contacts for reference.

This example comes to us via a seller that should be familiar to RSBFS and CSBFS readers. I've never met him, but he obviously has great taste in motorcycles. There is very little time left on the auction, and bidding is up to just north of $5,600. Bimota values in general and pretty low right now, but this particular machine I'd hope would buck that trend: it's got racing history and plenty of patina. It's obviously a bit scruffy around the edges, but that's pretty much par for the course with well-used racebikes.

-tad

Classic Superbike: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike for Sale
Bimota December 8, 2017 posted by

Nice Curves: Low-Mileage 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

The SB6 and SB6R were some of Bimota's best-selling bikes of all time, and featured what must be the mother of all beam frames. That distinctive, very rigid aluminum unit used Bimota's "Straight Connection Technology," designed to link the steering head directly to the swingarm pivot. This improved chassis rigidity at the expense of servicing: you pretty much have to unbolt the engine and swing it forward to adjust the carburetors, change the spark plugs, replace the front sprocket, or access the alternator drive that tends to fail...

Fortunately, this earlier SB6 at least features a set of Suzuki gauges, a good thing since the later Bimota units supposedly pack it in with unfortunate regularity. They may look fairly mundane, but least they work! The engine should be pretty reliable too, and powerful to boot: those gauges are matched to the inline four and five-speed gearbox from Suzuki's GSX-R1100.

I much prefer Bimota's follow up to this bike, the SB6R which pretty much embodies my favorite aspects of 1990s styling. Sure, the 916 might be the more iconic 90s design, but part of the reason is that it doesn't actually look like anything else from that era. The SB6R has the bulbous curves of the donor GSX-R, but with better colors, less weight, and more all-around Italian-ness.

But the strength of the original SB6 is that it looks like pretty much nothing from any era, unless you count Crea's weird, organic-nightmare bodywork kits from the era... Go ahead and Google that, and then promise me you'll never complain about Pierre Terblanche's 999 ever again. The SB6 is striking wrapper that contains all the analog performance you could ever want, along with a powerplant that should be at least easy to get parts for, even if it isn't actually all that convenient to work on.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

This is a one owner bike that has been stored inside a house.

Only 670 Miles!

The bike fluids have been drained and cleaned for proper storage. The bike is all original and near perfect.

It has never been on the market until now. I have had the bike in my house for over a year and just moved it to my warehouse and decided to let someone else enjoy it. I got the bike from a friend that knew the original owner and connected us.

I am open to fair offers. I listed the bike at top market price because someone might pay that. However make a fair offer and you might own this very rare, one owner Bimota.

Also, it has the Suzuki 1100 motor... Dyno specs in pics from years ago.

Since the seller "got the bike from a friend that knew the original owner and connected us," wouldn't that technically make this a two-owner bike? Even though the second owner only had it a year? Unfortunately, 1990s Bimotas were a bit unfinished from the factory, and great concepts suffered from pretty poor execution. If you had the time or money to go through your expensive Italian exotic to correct electrical faults and set up the suspension properly, you were left with a serious weapon for road or track. Of course, most buyers wanted their money to buy an actual, functioning motorcycle, and Bimota's kit-bike quality certainly hasn't helped values.  The $24,900 asking price is very ambitious for an SB6 but, with those kind of miles, maybe a collector who wants a very clean, low-mileage example of a very cool machine will bite. However, I'd say the seller's negotiation technique could be... stronger.

-tad

Nice Curves: Low-Mileage 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale
Bimota December 4, 2017 posted by

Hometown Hero – 2009 Bimota DB7

After many years using superbike engines from Japan's leading manufacturers, Bimota started a new chapter with Ducati and developed a 1098cc testastretta-engined special. A Scottsdale collector-car dealer presents this bespoke superbike with only 1,621 miles.

2009 Bimota DB7 for sale on eBay

 

Ducati's modern and water-cooled L-twin develops 160hp and is housed in the complex and beautiful combination of oval-tube trellis frame, CNC side plates and carbon fairings.  Hard to explain the combination of high tech and craftmanship in a low-volume specialty like the DB7, but take a careful look at how the machined aluminum side plates interface with the frame, drivetrain, and fairing.  Marzocchi's 43mm Corse forks are up front, with a twin-reservoir monoshock damping Bimota's progressive-link rear.  Brembo four-piston calipers are radially mounted on Bimota's machined mounts with 320mm floating rotors.  Rearsets and levers are each another showcase for the CNC-machined aluminum artistry.

 

In impeccable shape, this DB7 still has its factory titanium muffler.  The eBay-based dealer has a wide selection of exotic cars available, and has great pictures but only a few words about the DB7, safe to assume anyone shopping for a DB7 will have at least some knowledge of the brand -

  • Only 1600 miles
  • Just serviced
  • One of the rarest super bikes produced
  • Call today for additional information

 

Bimota was on the mend in the mid-oughties and relied on Ducati for powerplants, which continues today.  The DB7 reviewed as a rewarding machine, slim and lightweight, and worth setting up correctly.  Production numbers are hard to verify but appear to be just 100 or so for the 2007-10 run, it was succeeded by the 1198cc DB8 which is still available.  A sparkling display of technical and manufacturing capability, the DB7 shown here seems a gem.  The ask is about what DB7's were fetching a few years ago, poised for appreciation, which should please the three dozen watchers on the buy-it-now...

-donn

Hometown Hero – 2009 Bimota DB7