Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota May 15, 2017 posted by

Afterparty – 1999 Bimota SB8R

Up for auction just after its appearance at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, this signature Bimota didn't trophy but is still quite special.  Developed to help Bimota out of a near bankruptcy, the SB8R was Suzuki V-twin powered with a gorgeous hybrid chassis.  Generally one of the more affordable Bimotas, the SB8R is still a rare sighting with total production of only around 150 machines.

1999 Bimota SB8R for sale on eBay

Bimota had quite a bit of experience with milled aluminum parts, but used the SB8R to showcase their carbon fiber design.  The twin aluminum spars are keyed to carbon frame connectors, and the carbon seat sub-frame is self-supporting.  The big carbon air intakes deliver to 59mm throttle bodies and shower injectors, helping the 8-valve twin generate 133 hp and 74 ft.-lbs. torque.  The fairing reviewed with great protection for the rider, and the Paoli / Öhlins suspension and ISR / Brembo brakes are not just along for the ride.

 

With just under 7,000 miles, this SB8R was selected to appear at the Quail ( see the photo by RSBFS's Marty - here - ) and the owner states proudly in the eBay auction:

I have done all the heavy lifting, replacing seals and clutch cover.  There are absolutely no fluid leaks.  Operating temperature is normal under regular riding conditions, as this bike is equipped from the factory with 1 main and two auxiliary radiators with electric pull fans.  The tires are aged but I leave the rubber preference to the new owner, as tire selection is quite a personal thing.  My bike starts and runs great.  The sound of the twin through the Arrow Racing exhaust is intoxicating.  Evoluzione engine management system with infinite on the fly adjustment will keep performance at optimal levels during riding.

 

Though exotic European show bikes often need a lot of TLC, the Suzuki drivetrain should make for lighter maintenance, and the the owner says beside tires, it's ready to ride.  With its low-volume fabrication and carefully executed improvements, the Bimota SB8R delivered the riding experience that the Suzuki TL-1000 only promised.  This particular SB8R could either ride or show, or better yet be ridden to a show...

-donn

Afterparty – 1999 Bimota SB8R
Bimota May 7, 2017 posted by

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

California Dreaming: 1997 Bimota YB11
Bimota April 21, 2017 posted by

Screaming Deal: 1996 Bimota YB9SR for Sale

This is the first Bimota YB9SR I can remember seeing for sale and the seller unfortunately includes very little information, although the photos are of decent quality. The one detail you might want to keep in mind? The $5,500 asking price which, assuming the bike is mechanically sound, makes it an absolute steal. You probably won't find the YB9 on a short list of classic Bimotas, but bascially every Bimota is rare, fast, and collectible, although "fast" might be pushing things a bit here. The "9" has nothing to do with the bike's displacement and simply indicates that it's the ninth Bimota powered by a Yamaha engine. It's a bit down on power compared to its stablemates the SB6 and the YB11, which feature the GSX-R1100 and YZF1000R "Thunderace," respectively, since the YB9 actually uses the liquid-cooled inline four and transmission from the YZF600R "Thundercat" [Ho!] with around 100hp and it even uses that bike's stock gauge cluster, nestled in between the carbon air-intake tubes.

Bimota obviously made its reputation wrapping lightweight frames and sexy bodywork around reliable powerplants from Japan, sexy powerplants from Ducati, and even the occasional German powerplant from BMW... Their early offerings used tube-style frames like the Verlicchi part from yesterday's Ducati 750 F1, but by the 1990s they'd moved on to aluminum beam frames as seen here. Access on some beam-frame models for maintenance and repair can be a bit iffy: the massive-looking part used on the SB6 and SB6R is designed to connect the steering head and swingarm pivot directly, but makes access to some parts difficult, like the front sprocket that supposedly requires the engine to be dropped when it needs changing... I've heard no such complaints about the YB11 that uses a very similar frame to the one seen here, which makes a certain amount of sense considering the fact that both use Yamaha engines.

This appears to be the carbureted SR model, not the fuel-injected SRi introduced in 1996: the metal knob at the top of the triple clamp looks like it could be the choke. That's probably no bad thing, as the fuel injection system was exclusive to the Bimota and will probably make maintaining the bike more problematic: with just 651 YB9s built, anything exclusive to the model might be tricky to source. The system did add a few claimed ponies but, like all Bimotas of the period, reviews of the fueling "improvements" varied a bit and I've read both rants and raves. And as easy as it should be to maintain the YZF600 engine and transmission, be aware that bits and seals for those forks and the Paioli rear shock might not be so easy and the bodywork... Let's just say if it were mine, I'd be regularly trolling eBay for panels "just in case."

From the original Craigslist post: 1996 Bimota YB9SR for Sale

2,653 original miles. 2nd owner. All stock, 1 of 3 imported to the US. Email for more info. Available April 19-26 only.

So the listing contains very little information, but mileage is extremely low, and it looks to be in pristine condition from the few photos provided. And the price? A screaming deal at $5,500. I'm under the impression that the seller needs to sell quickly, which might explain a price more in line with a decent used 600cc supersport. Of course the YB9's 600cc engine means a modern 600cc supersport would probably destroy it in any straight-line competition, but handling should still be impressive. Maintenance should be affordable, but bodywork might be very difficult to obtain if you push a bit too hard... I'm not the biggest fan of the yellow color with blue graphics, but this is a great-looking bike and possibly the cheapest way to get into Bimota ownership outside the questionably-styled Mantra.

-tad

Screaming Deal: 1996 Bimota YB9SR for Sale
Bimota April 20, 2017 posted by

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale is this Sunday, April 23rd!

Any of our UK readers going to the Bonhams Spring Sale this weekend? Browsing through the book there are plenty of RSBFS worthy standouts. We'd love to hear your report on the action! If you'd care to share your experience, pictures, or purchases, please email us or comment on this post. Thank you in advance!

dc

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale

Bimota April 16, 2017 posted by

The Joy of SRX: 1987 Yamaha SRX250

Today we find a fun rare model that is - for once on RSBFS - totally affordable. The Yamaha SRX series included multiple displacements, although in the US we only received the XT-derived 250cc model and the XT-based 250cc machine. Home markets also included a 400cc variant. Based around a nimble, single cylinder air-cooled engine, the SRX models were extremely narrow and light, focusing on nimble handling and flick-ability rather than oodles of HP and straight line speed. The design was neo-British old school, and the overall package was unique and usable. Unfortunately for Yamaha, these were not great sellers, and the US models were limited to only a few editions over the 12-year global run. The 250 suffered the worst fate; a single year availability in the US over a 2-year model span. Then it was gone like it was never there at all....

1987 Yamaha SRX250 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Up for sale is my 1987 Yamaha SRX250. This bike is super rare and only imported the the US for one year. The motorcycle is super clean for being 30 years old. The bike is all stock and runs, drives, stops and idles very well. It has 10,708 miles. The bike is missing the side mirrors. The engine is 249cc with a 6 speed transmission. The engine shares many parts with the Yamaha XT250 enduro which was produced for many years. The tires will need replacing at some point. Inside of the fuel tank is pristine. The bike has a brand new battery. All controls work as they should, turn signals, horn, kill switch, ect....

I have yet to see another one on the road. The bike gets comments everywhere it goes. The bike is a blast to ride and has plenty of power.

The antithesis of the Ninja 250R and as far away from the Honda 250 Rebel as it could get, the SRX250 looked to have carved out its own niche. But the 1980s were not about small displacement bikes, and although attractive and utterly practical, the smallest SRX lost out to lack of interest. It was a practical bike that held the promise of a lot of fun (as much fun as 17 HP will get you), but small displacement and wild introductions of Hurricanes, Ninjas, Turbos and GSX-Rs ultimately buried that fun in a sea of noisy performance.

Today the SRX is a loved model (the 600 version much more so, since we are all capacity bigots). Honda has come closest to recreating the magic with the CBR250, and with a different era upon us is actually moving a fair number of units. The little CBR will never reach the rarity or novelty of the SRX250, but then again a marketing failure is an expensive way to create a future rare model. Check it out here. Sure it's more of a toy than a true canyon tool for many - but it's very rare, very cool, and very, very affordable. What's not to like?

MI

The Joy of SRX:  1987 Yamaha SRX250
Bimota March 28, 2017 posted by

Not Quite Stock: 1983 Bimota KB3

One of the all-time classic marriages of Japanese power plant technology with hand-built racing frame know how all wrapped up together in a tailored Italian suit is the little Rimini company of Bimota. Founded by three like-minded individuals who liked to go fast (and look good doing it), Bimota utilized donor engines and transmissions to power new, hybrid creations. During this time, the Japanese had the best engine technology, but their general frame design had not yet evolved beyond the 1960s. Bimota had exquisite frame building techniques, but were not a full-fledged manufacturer of complete motorcycles; they preferred to concentrate on the chassis and bodywork aspects. It is this approach that defined the KB lineup: Bimota frame and bodywork (and sourced suspension) motivated by a Kawasaki power plant. The KB1 was a Z1000 powered machine, the KB2 relied on the GPz550 motor, and the KB3 opted for the bigger, badder GPz1100 lump.

1983 Bimota KB3 for sale on eBay

Today's KB3 is not quite the showroom perfect example one could hope for - it has a highly modified motor and is not entirely in ship-shape condition. Seller notes that it has not been run in a few years, that the rear brake caliper has an issue, and that there are some other bits of concern. Photos are included, but the orientation does not make them easier to decipher the true condition of the bike. Pics have been modified here on RSBFS to help save that crick you get in your neck when trying to view posted photos that are orientated 90 degrees from upright.

From the seller:
Bike was built with one original Kawasaki GPz1100 motor come with bike but has a 1267cc Wiseco motor in it now. Needs rear Brembo caliper rebuilt master is new NOS part. Bike generally in very good condition has not been run for three years as brakes needed work in rear.Has parts to be offered with bike like carbs as well as general engine parts.

Original owner of one of 112 Bimota KB3's produced with a Kawasaki GPz1100 motor as well as an additional stock mostly complete engine. Needs side case on stattor side as well as small other bits clutch rod etc. Need rear caliper rebuilt, speedo working but mileage indicator not working.

The early KB models are rare, rare, rare. They command big bucks, because there were so few manufactured - only 112 were produced. This was likely a kit-built bike, meaning the original owner build it up from the frame kit and a donor GPz. As such, there will always be some variances between two bikes of the same model, and smaller issues like the odometer not working are really quite common. These early Bimotas are as much about the skill of the assembler as they are the quality of the components.

This bike is located in Ontario, Canada - meaning US buyers will need to deal with importation. This is a Buy It Now listing, with the seller looking for $18,000 USD, or best offer. That is big bucks indeed for a bike that cannot be ridden, yet represents fair (if not a little high) money for a KB3 if the anomalies could be rectified without great expense. Check it out here, and share your thoughts on the early Bimotas, KB bikes in general, or KB3s specifically.

MI

Not Quite Stock: 1983 Bimota KB3