Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota February 14, 2017 posted by

The VDue that worked:
1999 Bimota VDue Trofeo in Italy

Update 2.14.2017: We last posted this bike roughly a year ago, and bidding stopped at a little over $20k, reserve not met. Links are updated with the current auction. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Here is something we have only had on RSBFS once before, a Bimota VDue Trofeo edition.  The Trofeo was a track oriented VDue produced by the factory that incorporated a host of changes which Bimota claimed fixed the problems that had plagued the VDue since its launch.

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1999 Bimota VDue Trofeo in Italy

The VDue was supposed to be a game changer for Bimota; it would have not only the specialized frame and top-spec suspension components Bimota was known for but also have a new direct-injected 500cc two-stroke v-twin.  Pollution regulations in the 1990's were making it harder for new two-stroke models to get approved for street use. Bimota decided the solution was fuel injection; it would defeat a lot of the pollution and would place Bimota at the top of the sportbike-as-luxury-item category.

As regularly RSBFS readers know, despite the promise of the VDue design, the first VDue models had major problems, especially in the fuel management and engine areas.  These problems have been detailed in previous VDue listings here on RSBFS.  For anyone who is curious, an especially good explanation was done in a post back in December by RSBFS contributor Tad D which can be read here.

Suffice to say the VDue is now considered the bike that forced Bimota into bankruptcy and the last of the big/500cc two-stroke sportbikes.

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The Trofeo was an effort by Bimota to prove the VDue issues were resolved.  Built as a run of 26 track-focused bikes by Bimota and "leased" to racers by Bimota for a sponsored challenger/race series called "Trophy", the 26 Trofeo editions came with serious racing components, including race-oriented carburetors, a race-spec electrical harness and ECU and different exhaust systems.

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According to research, the Trofeo edition did not have the engine issues or peaky power delivery that had plagued the earlier models and the engine didn't suffer any major issues.   Another 177 VDue's were produced after the Trofeo version and those also seemed to have less problems but the initial reputation remained. and the VDue was one more nail in the coffin of Bimota.

Note:  I can't help but think what might have been if Bimota had taken the VDue racing first, identified and then resolved the engine issues and then made a street legal VDue version available to the masses.  Perhaps we would still be hearing stuff like this on the streets of the USA today.

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For this VDue Trofeo mileage is listed as zero and the bike has apparently been in a collection since 2003.  This bike shows a VIN# of 26 and the seller indicates this is the last Trofeo and the only one that is still in NOS condition.

NOTE:  According to the VDue.it website, the Trofeo models cannot have a numberplate for road usage.  Not sure what this means for any non uk buyer.

Obviously a full service (including tires) would be required before it went back on the street.

Here is what the seller has to say:

  • Not to be confused with the injection model or the later not factory built Evoluzione road model.
  • This is the last of 26 units the factory built in 1999 to compete in the Bimota 500 VDue Trofeo.
  • The bike is new unused/new san some small scratches in years of storing.
  • Unique occasion to own the most desiderable version of the only Bimota model with Bimota engine!
  • The only one of the 26 units still new

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What is this "last" VDue Trofeo worth?   Well I have seen VDue's listed for between $22,000 USD to $39,500 USD and given their limited production run of only 378(ish) units an average price for a VDue is tough to pin down.  In the UK gently ridden fuel injected models seem to be offered around $24,000 USD while in the US prices seem to be about $7,000 higher .  This one is supposed to be the last Trofeo which isn't fuel injected and has zero miles so I would guess a price of $27,000-$32,000 USD. While that price is kind of steep for a 16 year old bike that had a reputation for engine problems and might not be able to be used on the street, I do think it would be a jewel in any collection.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

The VDue that worked: </br>1999 Bimota VDue Trofeo in Italy
Bimota February 10, 2017 posted by

1984 Bimota KB3 in Italy!

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers appeared to know little about frame design and its effect on handling. Enter the small shop known as Bimota, formed as a hobby by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini. Using existing motorcycles as a jumping off point, the Rimini firm created stout new frames and sensuous bodywork made to accept a variety of Japanese engines. These were initially offered as kits; buyers received the chassis, bodywork and suspension, to which they affixed the engine, transmission and electrics from a donor cycle. Completed Bimota motorcycles were ridden to rave reviews; razor sharp handling (usually to the compromise of comfort and convenience) was the order of the day.

1984 Bimota KB3 for sale on eBay

This 1984 Bimota KB3 (the 3rd model in the series of Kawasaki-powered Bimotas), shows the company making a massive turning point. Unlike kit-built bikes assembled by amatuers or hired guns, by the early 1980s Bimota was starting to assemble them in their own factory. This tiny company from northern Italy near the Adriatic Sea was making the jump to become a full-fledged manufacturer of motorcycles. And whereas the kit-built bikes were all unique and custom - showing the nature (and skill level) of their builders - this move by Bimota to assemble in house leads to a more consistent offering across the model type. This KB3, powered by a Kawasaki KZ1000 engine, was one of the early Bimotas that could be considered "factory built."

From the seller:
Bimota KB3 1000cc - ONE OF ONLY 30 UNITS FACTORY BUILT
model year 1984
VIN 0051.

Fantastic original preserved shiny conditions, one of only 30 factory built kb3 (not a kit), just 15k kms from new. Perfectly working. Unique opportunity.

Ride and collect!

The KB3 came on the heels of the watershed bike for Bimota, the GPz550-powered KB2 Laser. And whereas the KB2 frame was created using short, straight sections of chrome moly tubing welded in a pyramid matrix to handle loads, the KB3 chassis incorporates longer sections of tubing and novel aluminum stress plates - all of which have been welded, bolted and epoxy bonded together. Billet aluminum sections join upper and lower sections, and provide a base for the swingarm pivot. The sleek bodywork is created from Kevlar - a magical substance of strength and lightweight in 1984. Maximizing stiffness to ensure optimum handling while shaving off an estimated 65 lbs from a standard KZ1000, the KB3 was perhaps the ultimate literbike in existence.

There were only 112 KB3s created, ensuring the rarity of these special bikes. We have seen a few on the pages of RSBFS, and they never fail to enchant. These are bikes that do not come around often, and never in such original condition. This bike is located in Italy (naturally!), appears to be in the best original condition we have seen, and is looking for a new home. When first offered by Bimota, these were very expensive machines ($13k and up). Collector status has done well for these incredible bikes, and while the opening ask on this one was a single US dollar, I expect the final auction result to include a few more zeros. No idea where the reserve is set, so this will be one to watch. Check it out here, and then share your thoughts on your favorite old-school Bimota in our comments section. Good Luck!!

MI

1984 Bimota KB3 in Italy!
Bimota December 28, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing – 2000 Bimota DB4 with Performance Kit

Update 12.28.2016: Now listed on eBay as well. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

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After dabbling with Japanese powertrains, Bimota formed a long-standing relationship with Ducati, and used the 904cc desmodue in several designs. The DB4 used an extraordinary alloy trellis frame to help keep the kg's off, updated the cams to add top end, and this DB4 has a carburetor / exhaust power kit.

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The oval-section alloy frame weighs just 5 kg., and has 43mm Paoli forks in front, with alloy swingarm and Ohlins monoshock out back.  Brembo supplies the brakes, 320mm fronts with 230mm rear.  The modern-looking bodywork provides an easy seat height and was supplied with or without lowers, this owner showing off the carbon clutch cover, which complements the carbon front and rear mudguards.

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This DB4 has been treated to a comprehensive performance upgrade including Moto Course exhaust, and Keihin carburetors, accomodated by an updated fuel tank.  From the Las Cruces, NM Craigslist posting -

It has the Moto-Point Performance Kit on it that consists of a handmade Corse Ti exhaust, Kei-Hin FCR Flat Slide Carbs, Air Filters, New Fuel Tank, Oil Cooler Lines, All Stainless Brake & Clutch Lines, and a few other little bits. All stock parts have been retained as you can see in the photos and come with the bike. I also installed a Ducati Corse Carbon open clutch cover and sprocket cover. It runs well and is a blast to ride, also sounds amazing!

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This original-owner machine has only 6,500 and change miles, and the tri-colore paint looks great.  Fairing lowers and take-off parts are included.

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The DB4 reviewed as a sharp-handling lightweight, needing just a few more ponies, and this owner has taken steps to provide them.  Very rare with only a few hundred total production, and just a handful in the U.S.  The owner asks $13,000 and can be reached via his Craigslist ad or on eBay.

-donn

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Featured Listing – 2000 Bimota DB4 with Performance Kit
Bimota December 14, 2016 posted by

Swede Speed: 1980 Bimota SB3

Do you have the winter blues? Are you hoping for a European getaway? Are you jonesing for some Italian flair? Does one liter power rattle your wok? If so, we have the International combo platter for you! Nestled in a garage near Stockholm sits this beautiful Bimota SB3 - just waiting for an enterprising hero to come save it. While not perfect, the bones appear to be solid. Trim pieces may need to be sourced (or fabricated), but with only some 400 bikes produced over a three year span, this is a rare looker that could be the cornerstone of any collection.

1980 Bimota SB3 for sale in Sweden

What you got when you bought a new Bimota SB3: Chrome-moly frame by the sublime Rimini artists at the Bimota factory. Marzocchi suspenders with Bimota aluminum triple clamps, novel rising-rate single shock rear swing arm (a big deal back in 1980), Brembo binders, and miles of hand-laid, thin & lightweight fiberglass. And that's it. YOU needed to supply the donor Suzuki GS1000 for engine, trans and electrical. And you needed to put it all together. You see, back in 1980, Bimota produced motorcycle kits. As a result, no two early Bimotas are ever exactly the same.

From the seller:
Up for sale is an old collectable sport bike. I have owned it since 2000 but it has been standing in my garage the last 7-8 years without touching it sad enough so the miles for 24000 km (Swedish) is probably correct. I don't know remember where I put the back turn signals but I do think it is the same as some piaggio or something.
The bike need TLC but will be worth it big time !! It was a really joy riding it. My time is my problem and that is why I decided to eventuality sell it. The bike is in Sweden outside Stockholm and I am able to help loading it if the buyer takes care of the rest.

Italian grace and stunning looks motivated by the very best Hamamatsu had to offer in the day results in the usual RSBFS motorcycle porn. Sure, the pictures could be better - way better in fact. And the seller could have made a better effort to clean up the works to better showcase this Italianese merger of noise and speed. On the other hand, one has to acknowledge the refreshing honesty in providing photos of the bike in situ; you know it has been looked after since it sits indoors, and you don't have to worry about the seller shining it up to make a quick, glossy buck. It is what it is and it is available now. Good luck!

MI

Swede Speed: 1980 Bimota SB3
Bimota December 5, 2016 posted by

New Hope – 2000 Bimota SB8R

Drawing on his experience re-invigorating Laverda, industrialist Francesco Tognon's similar approach to Bimota involved development of a slightly less exotic and more saleable motorcycle.  The resulting SB8R used Suzuki's TL-1000 L-twin in a carbon-aluminum hybrid frame, and put Bimota on the comeback trail.

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2000 Bimota SB8R for sale on eBay

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A showcase for early carbon-fiber production techniques, the SB8R used alloy twin spars and headstock keyed to carbon lower frame connectors, as well as a predominantly carbon fairing and self supporting seat sub-frame.  The 996cc Suzuki twin generated 138 hp after Bimota's comprehensive massage of the induction system, with 59mm intake horns and race-worthy shower injectors.  Suspension is fully adjustable at both ends, 47mm Paoli forks with rear monoshock.  Semi-floating 320mm Brembo disks are up front with a 230mm rear brake.  The carbon upper fairing incorporates fresh air intakes, making a big visual statement above the fuel tank / airbox and blocking any view of the handlebar switches.

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Shown in the midst of a little Italian collection, this SB8R could use a weekend at the spa, but looks complete and correct, with just a scrape here and there to show for its roughly 8,000 miles.  Either much better pictures or inspection would be great to really establish condition.  From the eBay auction:

2000 BIMOTA SB8R, SUPERBIKE IN GREAT CONDITION, RUNS INCREDIBLE, SOUNDS FANTASTIC, RECENT SERVICE, NO ISSUES, LOW RESERVE,  BIKE COMES WITH REAR WHEEL STAND, CLEAN LIEN FREE CALIFORNIA TITLE, WE AT BUYERS EXPENSE CAN SHIP WORLDWIDE, BIKE IS ADULT OWNED AND CHERISHED FROM NEW, SEXY AND RARE...

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With chain driven cams, maintenance on the big twin should be less than the Italian 996 it aspired to be, and parts availability will likely be easier.  Opposite for the Bimota-specific parts, which might take some research and lira to get ahold of.  The big carbon fairing reviewed as a little clunky design-wise but great protection for the rider as speeds climbed over the ton.  For whatever reason, more SB8R's are seen on the used market, but even higher production for Bimota meant only a few hundred each year.  Bimota weathered the late 1990's and went on to more exotic and less practical machines, but the SB8R is a signature Bimota, with an interesting but production powerplant and GP-inspired chassis design...

-donn

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New Hope – 2000 Bimota SB8R
Bimota November 15, 2016 posted by

Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale

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Most Bimotas are about obsessive light weight as a path to improved performance, but their radical Tesi goes a step further. The name literally means "thesis" in Italian, and that's what the series has represented from the start: an experimental alternative to traditional telescopic forks. Three-quarters of the Tesi looks pretty familiar: Bimota's hybrid trellis/ machined-aluminum frame and swingarm with minimalistic origami bodywork and a funky Zard exhaust. But the front looks a bit like the rear, with a second swingarm and a hub-center steering setup holding the front wheel, resulting in a machine that looks like nothing else on the road.

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It's pretty well established that telescopic forks are a triumph of development over design. They've got significant drawbacks, but those limitations are well-known and their widespread use means that most manufacturers stick with them. It doesn't help that tire manufacturers design their products around traditional suspensions and hub-center steering set ups like this theoretically could get away with softer compounds... Ultimately, the theory doesn't play out in practice, and the Tesi is typically criticized for the lack of front-end feel that afflicts Hossack-suspended BMWs. Really, the only high-performance machine to make anything other than a telescopic fork work was John Britten, and I'm still shocked that no one has borrowed one of his V1000s, taken it to pieces, copied it, and put it into series production...

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The Tesi has been around for a while, in several different iterations. The earlier 1D actually used a liquid-cooled 851 engine, giving it cutting-edge power, but later models used Ducati's air/oil-cooled two-valve engines, making them simpler and lighter, but down on power. I'd assume this is mainly down to Ducati's willingness to supply Bimota with engines, rather than a particular engine's suitability for the application, although aesthetics may have played a part: the Tesi does look better without a big old radiator cluttering up the place. Regardless, the use of simpler, higher-torque engines mean that the later Tesi models make for excellent road bikes.

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From the original eBay listing: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D LE (Limited Edition) for Sale 

This is number 05 of 29.  Exceptional condition, new Michelin Power3 tires. Comes with original tools, books, workshop manual, specialty tools, original rear shipping stand, and factory indoor cover.  Both keys and Zard Exhaust. The condition of the bike is as delivered.  This bike is a work of engineering art, the details are only appreciated in person.  Best guess is only 27 left in the USA, 2 were sold to collectors in Europe. These bikes do not come up for sale very often. The only minor issues circled in the last two pictures.

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The listing also includes this walk-around video. The "minor issues" the seller mentions do look pretty minor, just a couple of cosmetic blemishes you'd be likely to miss the first time you saw this bike in person, since you'd be busy trying to absorb all the jewel-like details of this very exotic machine. Bimotas no longer perform much better than mass-production motorcycles, but they make up for it by being exquisite in terms of craftsmanship and style. And with the Tesi, you get all that and more.

Bidding is up to $16,000 with the reserve not met and plenty of time left on the auction. For the money, it's certainly possible to buy a faster motorcycle, but you'd be hard pressed to find one more fascinating and exotic.

-tad

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Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale