Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota October 10, 2018 posted by

Master’s Thesis: 1992 Bimota Tesi for Sale

Throughout the history of the motorcycle, there have been many attempts to develop a superior suspension system, and the hub-center steered Tesi or "Thesis" was Bimota's attempt to radically alter the sportbike landscape and do something completely new, a shocking move for such a tiny company. The ubiquitous telescopic forks have a number of disadvantages, chief among them geometry changes caused by "dive" under braking: the fork tubes compress, steepening the steering. This can theoretically be used to your advantage, but the "stiction" or friction between the sets of sliding tubes certainly can't. But so far, telescopic forks have proved the best compromise and engineers clearly understand their limits, so they persist as the most common way to suspend the front end of a motorcycle.

The only manufacturer to really buck that trend recently, at least in significant volume, has been BMW. But their Telelever front end is being used less and less, owing to a different concern: radiator placement, since the front "A-arm" of the Telelever system takes up the space where one would normally reside. Bimota got around this issue by using an "Omega" frame that allowed the front swingarm pivot to be very low to the ground,  so a pair of radiators could sit easily above. The frame gets its name from the two Ω-shaped machined aluminum side plates that sandwich Ducati's liquid-cooled v-twin. Originally a stock 851 motor, it was eventually stroked to 904cc after the first batch of bikes was built.

Unfortunately, the Tesi's steering linkage was complicated and expensive to produce, and any improper adjustment or slop in those joints caused steering feel to suffer, something that seems to be an issue with alternative front ends in general. BMW's Telelever front is famously stable on the brakes, but has often been criticized for a lack of front-end feel, although a set of Öhlins shocks at both ends supposedly improves things. The Tesi had the same reputation: it was wild and exotic, and test riders could brake deeply into corners with confidence, but the bike lacked a bit of feel, even when everything was working as designed. Which took some doing, given the relatively complex system connecting the clip-on bars to the front wheel.

The other issue with the Tesi is a bit more theoretical: a swingarm front end should be much easier on front tires than a bike with a telescopic fork , allowing the Tesi to run a much softer compound tire without experiencing the same wear. But manufacturers design their tires to work with telescopic forks, so one hypothetical advantage is lost there as well, unless systems like this become more common.

But the biggest issue with the Tesi was its high cost: for practical purposes, it was just a Ducati 851 with cool bodywork. All that engineering had very little impact on performance, making it more of a stylish statement of intent than an actual improvement. The Tesi name is very apt: the original bike literally was a graduate thesis project, and was built around a Kawasaki GPz 550 engine. Bimota's prototype was built around a V4 Honda, but that proved to be too wide, so the production model went to the narrow and powerful Ducati v-twin.

From the original eBay listing: 1992 Bimota Tesi for Sale

Somewhat challenging personal circumstances are forcing us to undertake this unusual listing and one-of-a kind sale, so we are now offering this, our lovely NOS 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D904SR starting at $1 without any reserve.

To be absolutely clear, THE HIGHEST BID will purchase this very rare and exceptional motorcycle, no matter the final value.

We had hoped to hold onto this gem for a few more years and wait until the worldwide Bimota market has improved and collectors and enthusiasts alike have come to realize how rare and exceptional some of these bikes and specifically the Tesi really is. Sadly health related problems and financial issues force us to take this step now and sell his rare and unusual motorcycle, hopefully to a likeminded enthusiast.

So there is no misunderstanding, please be so kind to have your finances in order and be able to pay for this motorcycle when the auction is finished, however high or low the final value amount may be. An immediate $500 deposit is expected from the winning bidder upon winning this auction, the remaining outstanding amount due upon pickup or prior to leaving our possession no later than 14 days from end of auction. Please prepare for this request by having your paypal account balance reflect the needed amount beforehand and be ready to complete purchase of the bike in a timely manner. Thanks so much for understanding.....

There will be a flat fee charged to have this motorcycle crated professionally and shipped fully insured to any location, worldwide. Of course: If you prefer to pick this motorcycle up in person, or have it picked up by any professional service or freight forwarder of your choice at our location here in Basel, in Switzerland, the entire packing and shipping fee will be waved.

Please look at the shipping details for more information. All else is explained in the description below in detail.

NOS motorcycle, never ridden, never run and properly prepared for long term storage on a pedestal when new in 1992. Specifically ordered and delivered from the factory in this condition. Original in every way as it was in 1992.

Pictured with and without bodywork mounted to show that the exceptional condition throughout is not just skin-deep.

All 3 cast iron Brembo rotors still have the yellow zink plating on the rotor-surfaces to protect the rotors from oxidation while sitting. This coating wears off on the first mile ridden and when the first contact of the rotor with the brake pads occurs.

Hydraulic system, cooling system and the original battery have never been filled with any fluids. The engine is filled with a light oil to preserve internals, seals and bearings. This motorcycle was kept in a climate controlled environment without UV light exposure its entire life, so there has been no deterioration of any rubber pieces nor any age related discoloration of any other parts

This Bimota comes with the original owners manual, warranty booklet, copies of the parts manual and workshop manual and 2 sets of the complete and original Tesi 1D toolkit. This Tesi also comes with both the mph dashboard and the km/h dashboard, both were ordered with the bike in 1992. The original early Bimota Tesi rear stand is also included with the bike

Please only bid if you are serious in your intent to purchase this motorcycle at the end of the 7 day bidding period. Obviously any taxes or duties the buyer has to pay upon importing this vehicle into the country of their choice is solely the responsibility of said buyer

This motorcycle is over 25 years old and hence is fully legal to import into most countries including the USA (EPA and DOT excemptions apply to vehicles over 25 years of age) as of last year!

The bike is currently located in Switzerland, but I'd guess anyone buying this is looking to collect and display, not actually ride this Tesi: it's a museum-piece, but what a museum-piece! Happily, the seller has provided plenty of pics of the bike for us to drool over, since most of us won't be owning or riding one of these anytime soon: less than 200 of the 1D model seen here were built before the updated SR version was introduced. Even better, the bike is shown sans the fully-enclosed fairing that really only allows hints of the weirdness within to peek out, something rectified on the minimalist styling of the current bike.

-tad

Master’s Thesis: 1992 Bimota Tesi for Sale
Bimota September 24, 2018 posted by

Unobtainum alert: 2011 Bimota DB8 Oro Nero with 5 miles

2011 Bimota Oro Nero with 5 miles on ebay

Back in the early days on RSBFS there was an ongoing debate about what made a bike a true rare sportbike and  was mostly centered around Bimota models such as the SB6 which seemed to be available on eBay pretty much constantly.  Some  claimed that any bike that was readily available couldn't be a rare sportbike while the other side claimed availability wasn't as big an issue as factors such as technology or condition.   While I can't remember who got the final word, a set of criteria did result that I often use to evaluate whether a bike is truly a rare sportbike.  These criteria are

► extremely low availability/production numbers
► technological or historical significance 
► location 
► desirability 
► condition
► high original price, especially compared to other models in the same manufacturers lineup

Obviously not every bike posted on RSBFS has all these criteria but the more of these criteria that a bike has the more it seems to qualify as a rare sportbike.  Perhaps most importantly, if a bike has ALL the criteria listed above then its considered to be "unobtanium" and definitely worth a post.  Today's post is a 2011 Bimota DB8 Oro Nero, a bike that seems to meet all the unobtainum criteria.

Let's run through the criteria starting with availability.  According to Wikipedia, only 10 Oro Nero were built.  The seller indicates this Bimota Oro Nero is #11 of 11 produced which seems odd at first but the seller has a plausible explanation for this which can be read on the Bimota forum (link here) and anyone who has dealt with the Italian manufacturers knows how a few extra models tend to appear here and there based on supplies.

As for technology, the Bimota Oro Nero wasn't just a pretty carbon-fiber face; it was actually  the first production bike to offer the combination of a carbon fiber frame, subframe and swingarm.

Location?   It's currently located in California, the heart of sportbike country in the USA.

Desirability?  Well if you are like me and you like the pure carbon fiber look then damn this thing is sexy.   The pics provided by the seller aren't the best (they seem to  indoors and don't give a full walk around on the bike) so I reached out to the seller and they were kind enough to share some additional video links along with pictures on the ebay listing, see below

Vid 1 - coming home in the sun

Pic 1 - Upper frame in carbon

Video 2 - Walkaround

Pic 2 - Rear swingarm in carbon

Video 3 - rolling it into the garage

As for condition/maintenance, with 5 miles since new there isn't a lot to talk about on this one.   The pics the seller includes on the ebay listing do seem to show recent maintenance (not sure where/when this was done though) and I think I spot a new tire sticker in the last video.  The fluid in the brake reservoir does look its due for a change though.

The last criteria for being a rare sportbike is OEM price.  The Oro Nero was originally offered for $80,000 USD so the sellers Buy-It-Now price of $91,000 USD isn't as outrageous as it might first seem (and the ebay auction indicates that offers will be considered).

Now that we have reviewed this bike's unobtanium qualifications we arrive at the final question - is this this bike something to put on your collection list?  $80,000 USD is still a fair chunk of change for a bike that has a plastic gas tank cover and what appears to be a phantom pillion seat pad (no footrests for a passenger).  Also the full carbon look isn't really exclusive to the Oro Nero; other options include the Aprilia Nera, the Kawasaki H2 carbon or if money is really no object there is the MV Agusta F4cc.

Even though the Oro Nero is definitely worthy of a post here on RSBFS it doesn't seem likely it will appreciate much in the near future.   It seems like its more of a long term investment that will appeal to a deep pocketed and patient collector or perhaps to a Bimota collector looking to complete their lineup.   While it will probably never ellicit a reaction like an RC30 or Desmosedici whomever buys it will be able take comfort in the fact that have something that even the famous Barber and Solvang museums don't have.

Martin G/Dallaslavowner

Unobtainum alert:  2011 Bimota DB8 Oro Nero with 5 miles
Bimota September 12, 2018 posted by

Artful Dodger: 2000 Bimota SB8R

The masters from Rimini were on a roll: From the tube-framed madness from the cusp of the 1980s to the aluminum beams as the 1990s approached, Bimota has always been in the frame game. But unlike many bespoke frame makers who concentrated only on the chassis, these Italian artists disguised as motorcycle makers ensured that their bikes handled the stage of the visceral world as well as the paved one. As such, Bimotas continue to delight with their strong visual presence, coupled with legendary handling and performance. All of this comes at a price, however - making riding a Bimota a relatively exclusive affair.

2000 Bimota SB8R for sale on eBay

Introduced in the years following the V-Due debacle, the SB8R returned to Bimota's more successful business plan of stuffing a 3rd-party engine and transmission into a motorcycle of their own design. In this case, power is courtesy of Suzuki's ripping TL1000R v-twin. This Japanese homage to Ducati's 916 mill is well known for being potent across the entire face of the tach, excelling at a high RPM rush not unlike that of inline fours. Devoid of the rest of the TL package (including the funky rotary damper), Bimota engineered a beast of a bike that was lighter and more precise than the Suzuki that donated its guts. It also looked far less porky then the Japanese offering.

From the seller:
This is an excellent original SB8R in the configuration it left the factory with a couple of small modifications (improvements). The light switch was modified so the headlight can be turned off, foot-pegs were replaced with European fixed position pegs, and the fueling system was modified to make it more rideable in street configuration.The fairings have original paint, carbon fiber parts have no cracks, all lights, turn-signals are original and working, tires have little wear, although they are at least 2 years old, so may want to consider replacing. Shocks don't show signs of needing seals, engine has no leaks, runs great, once it warms up (these are cold-blooded beasts). Brakes have plenty of wear left, recommend oil change for the engine, something I intended to do, but haven't made time. Bike is kept on battery tender to keep the (lithium) battery up.This is probably as close a time capsule as you'll find for an SB8R.

More from the seller:
This bike was purchased new from Ducati Bellevue on 3/2/2002. The 1st owner was a local Seattle aerospace engineer who rarely rode the bike. There were only 2 owners prior to my purchasing it in 2015.

The 1st owner made only one modification to this machine. His one mod was having a custom fuel trimmer or potentiometer made to work with the existing wiring harness. These bikes are known to have fueling issues due to the massive throttle bodies and this is where the potentiometer helps out. Unfortunately the potentiometer is old technology and the adjustment range was limited. The second owner installed a PCIII that was tuned by Nels at 2 Wheel Dyno Works in Woodinville, WA.

PCIII was installed by second owner to permanently wash out some of the fueling issues that was typical of the SB8R model and its huge throttle bodies. This bike accelerates easier through the rev range than before. The fuel trimmer that had been installed by the first owner was only finite and could not adjust or reach some of these issues in the rev range. This modification alone makes it rideable if you get stuck in traffic.

Braided steel clutch and brake lines (stock ones were rubber).

As mentioned above, the first owner added an Out-of-production Evoluzione SB8R fuel trimmer provided by a Bimota enthusiast in Colorado. This unit is more precisely calibrated with nearly infinite settings between 0 and 999. The Bimota trimmer has 8 positions total.

The arrow exhaust on the bike has been cored for better performance and sound. The result is outstanding in that it essentially replicates full racing pipes with much better performance and sound.

Always assembled with top-shelf suspension and brakes - Paioli and Brembo in this case - the SB8R reeks of class. From the huge snorkels that force-feed the air box hiding under the tank cover (the actual tank is the back half of that structure and extends downward centering/lowering the mass), to the way the huge exhaust cans poke out of the back seat, to the carbon-composite join plates of the frame to the exquisite swingarm with the embossed logo, everything looks expensive - and indeed it was a far more expensive motorcycle than its Japanese counterpart when new.

This particular bike looks to be in nice shape. With only 5,000 miles under the wheels, it has a reasonable number of miles and has been ridden without having been used/abused/trashed. There is plenty of evidence to know that the TL platform holds up well, making this one barely broken in. The haters will comment on the picture quality which makes it difficult to tell if we are looking at reflection or imperfection in the bodywork, but what we can see looks good. The seller appears to be knowledgeable about the machine and has 100% positive feedback, so I'm sure questions posed by serious buyers would be answered to satisfaction. With an opening ask of only $5,000, this Bimota is starting this auction in the basement. Interested parties should get in on the action now. This is the TL that Suzuki should have made; we're just lucky that the boys from Rimini were still around to give the TL motor some love. Good luck, and be sure and share your thoughts in the comments.

MI

Artful Dodger: 2000 Bimota SB8R
Bimota August 29, 2018 posted by

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

It seems like most of the Bimotas that come up for sale these days aren't really for sale. I mean, if people wanted to actually sell them, the asking prices would probably be a bit lower... Bottom line: the Bimota YB11 is a cool bike and still pretty fast, even compared to modern bikes. But prices for 90s Bimotas in particular are at a low point right now. Honestly, I'd be very surprised if this continued indefinitely but, for the time being, these represent some pretty great bang for your collecting buck. Even if you end up not being able to source fork seals for the beefy, right-way-up Paioli forks on your Bimota YB11, you can always park this thing in your livingroom and no one will wonder why... Even if they think you're crazy for replacing your flat-screen with an Italian motorcycle.

The YB11 is pretty classic Bimota: the engine is from Yamaha's YZF1000R and basically unchanged, aside from being slotted into Bimota's own aluminum frame that hugs the Genesis engine closely. Perhaps too closely: more on that later. The lightweight bodywork is swoopy and dramatic, the riding position pretty odd, and the bike actually was available with pillion accommodations, although this one is missing the rear pegs.

They're elegant, exotic and, at least in terms of finding engine parts, pretty simple to keep running. Tales abound of strange little quirks that can keep them from being enjoyable: the weird, twin six-volt batteries in the nose of the SB6, the frames that block access to carburetors and prevent adjustment while they're on the bike or the engine is in the frame, iffy fuel pumps, and so on. But for a person who wants something truly different, these Bimotas are pretty hard to beat.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Emilia Motors is happy to offer this 1997 Bimota YB11, these Bimotas really show the attention to detail that the Italian motorcycle builders put into the design and suspension of the bikes they build. The Bimota is truly a handcrafted work of art and are a must for any real motorcycle collection, plus the beauty and design are second to none. This bike has new tires, battery and starts and runs top notch. Manuals, rear stand and Bimota cover are included. Please feel free to call with any questions thanks Anthony 954-540-8495

So what is the seller asking for this one? $9,000 or $10,000? Nope. Just $6,799 buys you a slick, low-mileage Italian exotic a mechanically competent enthusiast could keep running for peanuts. Just don't drop it: a whole new engine won't be hard to find or expensive to rebuild, but that bodywork will be pricey if you drop it. Which is why I'm hoping this one doesn't have damage on the right side, since the photographer couldn't be arsed to turn the bike around for some additional pics...

-tad

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale
Bimota August 17, 2018 posted by

Styling Exercise: 1998 Bimota DB3 Mantra for Sale

Bimota's stock-in-trade has always been aggressive, lightweight racebikes for the road but, every once in a while, they throw us a curveball. Or even the occasional knuckleball like this DB3 Mantra. An unapologetically road-biased machine, Bimota's third Ducati-powered special featured upright ergonomics, an oval-section trellis frame shared with the later DB4, a roto-molded fuel tank that included a storage cubby at the back in an ill-advised nod to practicality, and styling could be called "wild" if you were feeling gracious.

It was polarizing then and now, but if you like the looks, you shouldn't let anything discourage you from buying one: the hard parts are all easy to service, reliable, and pretty entertaining. Ducati's air and oil-cooled two-valve v-twin has been around forever, and is relatively simple to service and parts are readily available to maintain them. Yeah, the regular belt-changes are kind of annoying, but easy to do if you know your way around an engine, and the valves generally aren't too much of a problem either. And if the bike's 85 claimed horses from the 904cc twin don't adequately blow your hair back, you can build yourself a high-compression, 944cc monster that should do a pretty good job of stretching your arms.

The styling was slightly insane, but the bike handled very well, with a 43mm Paioli fork out front and an adjustable Paioli shock out back. The oval-section trellis frame was stiff and very light: just 11 pounds. Basically, it was a lighter, weirder, much more expensive Monster with better suspension. Like all Bimotas, it makes no sense from a financial perspective, as performance advantages over a Monster that cost half as much were minimal. But 454 Mantras found buyers, which makes the bike pretty much volume production for Bimota.

This example is a second-generation Mantra, with updated styling at the front, tubular handlebars instead of raised clip-ons, and Antera wheels to replace the earlier Marchesini hoops. I have a soft spot for these, as it was one of the first bikes that, as a non-rider, really caught my eye when it was new. Weird as they are, I still kind of dig the DB3 and would have one in a collection if I could afford to:

A: Have that plastic, burl-wood dash replaced with something stupid, like genuine wood or some nice carbon fiber.
B: Replace the horrible four exhaust pipes and the ludicrously-styled hangars with something much simpler.

Remove the taller screen, fit some simple bar-end mirrors and have fun.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Bimota DB3 Mantra for Sale

This is an excellent example of a DB3. 400+ made, 23 in red. Very few in the US. Very low mileage at under 9200. Ducati 900 engine just has been serviced with new belts, oil and plugs. New AGM battery. New Conti tires. Previous owner removed the complicated fuel pump system and now it is just gravity fed.

Here are the 3 issues. Without a choke cable, it is a little hard starting until fuel gets in the carbs. With a cable, I imagine it would go on the first try. Once started, restarts fine. Tach works 50% if the time, loose connection? Lastly has a slight whistle noise at an exact rpm. Ducati said it is caused by lack of the factory air box. It hurts nothing, just the flow of air... These are 3 minute things, but I go for full transparency. The bike is in great shape. Very unique Italian styling.

"Very unique Italian styling" might be the epitome of understatement in this case. But the bones are good and the DB3 should make a pretty great weekend roadster for cruising, carving up traffic, and shocking onlookers. "What is that?" is something I'd expect you'll hear pretty often, riding the Mantra. So what's it worth? Well the Bimota pedigree and rarity certainly makes it more valuable than an equivalent 900SS or Monster powered by the same engine, with similar performance. But by how much? Values for 90s Bimotas are currently at a bit of a low-ebb, although I doubt that can continue forever. Bidding on this one is very active and up to just about $5,000 with another day left on the auction.

-tad

Styling Exercise: 1998 Bimota DB3 Mantra for Sale
Bimota July 17, 2018 posted by

Nice Curves: Low-Mileage 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

Tad first posted this one in December when it had a buy-it-now of $25k. It was relisted and eBay showed a sale at just over $10k. It's back now from the same seller with a buy-it-now of $15k or best offer. Thanks for the heads up, Donn! Links updated. -dc

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




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