Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota August 6, 2017 posted by

Big In Japan – 1988 Bimota YB7

Seen on RSBFS back in May, this YB7 is still available, links updated to current auction. - donn

Bimotas have always had a fan base in Japan, and the YB7 was dreamed almost specifically for their progressive licensing laws.  Just 399cc and 352 lbs. dry, it's a rarity with only 321 made over 1987-88.  The engine was well-mannered thanks to EXUP, and smooth handling made for a very rideable welterweight.

1988 Bimota YB7 for sale on eBay

 

From Bimota's billet period, the YB7 has gorgeous metal work, the big twin beam frame joined with machined connectors.  The triple tree is another art piece, as are the adjusters on the aluminum swingarm.  The monoposto bodywork is shaped and painted to recall the superbike YB4, which took the TTF1 honors in 1987 under Virginio Ferrari and had a shot at the WSBK crown !  Matched with oversized Marzocchi forks, Öhlins monoshock, and Brembo brakes, the YB7 did more than look the part.

  

Presented by a regular RSBSF reader, this very rare Bimota YB7 has but 6,000 miles and looks all original and very good.  The tank cover / seat console is unmarked save a corner of the foam seat, and the lightweight lowers show only a few stress cracks.  Engine side covers take the most abuse and could be refinished or replaced easily.  From the eBay auction:

Very rare Bimota YB7, 400cc Yamaha motor, never sold in USA, Japan bike only, very light and loaded with high performance goodies, hand built in Italy, very collectible and hard to find in USA, mine comes with IL clean title, was imported years ago from UK.  Bike is in very good condition, very little miles and use, been sitting indoors show room for few years now, took her out, cleaned the carbs, new battery and oil, starts and runs like a dream. Everything is original, no mods or alterations, tires were replaced few years ago, look like new but are a little old, has few scratches and nicks from normal use, some spider web cracks in the clear coat just like any other Italian bike from that era, the side motor covers are losing their finish and paint peels off but nothing too dramatic, one big scratch in the right fairing, one small piece of the seat foam broken off, I am sure there are more imperfections but this was a very light body hand molded and was never perfect from the beginning. Öhlins rear shock,  fully adjustable fork, light Bimota wheels, full floating rotors. 

 

The YB7 reviewed as one Bimota that was pleasant to ride in traffic and on the racetrack.  The well-balanced engine and chassis made it a great novice machine as well as a fine F3.  Almost above the big four's fray because of premium construction and pricing, the YB7 benefitted from Yamaha's excellent driveline.  Having recently been freshened up to ride, this YB4 needs just a couple of cosmetic details addressed to look really special as well...

-donn

 

Big In Japan – 1988 Bimota YB7
Bimota July 24, 2017 posted by

Eyes Wide Shut – 2008 Bimota DB6R

Using Ducati's air-cooled 1100 desmodue, the rest of the Bimota DB6R pushed a lot of boundaries in the name of light weight and design.  Spot-on ergonomics and handling had many reviewers proclaiming it the best naked bike ever.  Certainly one of the most unique, and rare as only a $35K naked can be.

2008 Bimota DB6R for sale on eBay

Ducati's top desmodue pushes 95 hp, with 76 ft.-lbs. torque on tap.  The minimal trellis frame, as well as sculptural swingarm and seat frame keep the weight below 370 lbs. fueled.  Carbon side covers, belly pan, fenders and headlight fairing ensure the light weight isn't the neglect of strength.  Elsewhere billet frame connectors, wheel and brake mounts, and forged Marchesini wheels stay on message.

Offered by a Miami exotics dealer, this DB6R has just over 7,000 collector miles, and looks original and immaculate.  Their comment from the eBay auction:

2008 BIMOTA DB6 R is for riders who are looking for the most unique naked bike out there and for whom money is not an obstacle. The MSRP was $34,990.00 very few were made. A collector's must have !

Somewhere between a standard and a hypermoto, the premium construction and components on the DB6R made it kind of the Neiman-Marcus naked bike, though is has been succeeded by a more mainline hyper in the DBX.  The "Transformers" headlight and fuel tank will have you showing the bike every time you park, and the Marelli fuel injection allows you to just hop on and go.  The form-follows-function design is almost timeless, looking fresh today and ready to take it to the streets...

-donn

Eyes Wide Shut – 2008 Bimota DB6R
Bimota May 26, 2017 posted by

Gone Too Soon: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

The SB6R could have been Bimota's biggest seller of all time. Certainly the earlier SB6 sold in quantities that nearly qualify as mass production, with nearly 1,200 built. Unfortunately, the utter failure of the overreaching two-stroke V-Due low-sided the company into a crash barrier and the GSX-R1100-powered SB6R was not part of the brand's renewal, killing it after just 600 were made. Sharp styling aside, the SB6's party piece is that absolutely massive-looking aluminum frame that uses Bimota's "Straight Connection Technology" concept to link the steering head stock and the swingarm pivot as directly as possible for optimized handling.

Great idea, but those big slabs of aluminum limit access to a number of important components, including the front sprocket and the alternator drive. This is a problem because the front sprocket will likely need regular replacement, considering the power and torque available, and the alternator drive needs cooling air to keep it from failing. So just what do I mean when I say that the frame "limits access"? Well both components require the engine to be at the very least unbolted from the frame and lowered, something that might deter owners just a bit...

Built during the same era as Ducati's original 916, the Bimota SB6R goes about being a fast motorcycle in almost the opposite way as its Bolognese rival: bulging and stout-looking where the 916 is impossibly slim at the waist, beam frame versus a trellis, and powered by an inline four versus a v-twin. But both featured stump-pulling torque over high horsepower: the GSX-R mill in the SB6R is backed by a five-speed gearbox and I've yet to hear anyone complain that it needs a sixth...

That engine is a bit like the small-block Chevy of the motorcycling world, and plenty of folks out there have tuned them to make fairly outrageous horsepower. Today's SB6R looks like it's gone that route: it isn't exactly stock, although the modifications are all under the skin and committed to the pursuit of absolute speed. A wise move, as the bike's aesthetics represent one of the bike's strong points. But is the seller's asking price just one toke over the line?

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Exotic Italian red handmade superbike.

Bimota SpA (www.bimota.it) was started in 1973 in Rimini, Italy, by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini (Bi-Mo-Ta). They design and build their own line of exotics, and the company and its people have also been involved with designing/developing Ducati, MV Agusta, and Lamborghini motorcycles. Bimota would study the market to see which drive trains they believed to be best of breed, purchase their components directly from those manufacturers, remanufacture and enhance them to Bimota standards, and then design and build an exotic motorcycle based on the new drive train. Bimota model numbers indicate which drive trains they were based on - SB (Suzuki), DB (Ducati), YB (Yamaha), KB (Kawasaki). Bimota also collaborated with other major brands on special models, and both SB and YB models have won world superbike and other class championships. True to the exotic business model, the company would only build a limited number each year, with very few making it to the U.S. market.

This SB6R was originally purchased new from Bimota by owners of a professional U.S.-based race team in the late 1990's, intending it as one of their anchor bikes.

Prior to race homologation, the principal team owner suffered major injury and the team was closed. Approximately $70,000 had been invested in this SB6R up to that time, but it hadn't yet raced and still remains in street legal configuration. If memory serves correctly, the original owner's dynomometer certificate listed 182 horsepower. This SB6R still has its original Bimota uprated (150+ HP) GSXR 1100 drive train, which was further blueprinted/uprated (to 1200 CC)/race-configured by a professional Suzuki team in the US. This Bimota can essentially be serviced and tuned by a competent professional Suzuki technician.

The second owner of the SB6R was a friend of the original owners and purchased it when the team was closed. He was also a colleague in my area of business (telecom), and I purchased it from him as he was retiring and moving away. The SB6R has always remained in climate controlled indoor storage and is only ridden briefly at the beginning and end of each season to keep it in good operating condition. Both the second owner and I bought the SB6R as collectors, not racers.

The purchaser should appreciate that it is essentially a race vehicle that remains street legal. Response can be startlingly quick and strong across even low RPM ranges due to Bimota's proprietary pressurized air box system. No tricks or gadgets, just simple, beautiful Italian race design on top of bulletproof horsepower.

Though not fully race homologated as intended, it will not ride and handle like a milder/more-comfortable/easier-to-ride street bike. It is designed for one rider of average racer size/weight and has no pillion or pegs for a second passenger. Riding posture and controls are designed for racing. Steering is designed to be more stable at high speeds, rather than more flexible at low speeds, and so is dampened and has less range of motion than normal street bikes. It is jetted for ~5000 feet altitude, and when cold will need to be warmed up patiently with graduated choke adjustments before being initially ridden (~15 minutes). Throttle control should be gentle and moderate, as response is fast and strong. Experienced riders (including me) have been caught by surprise when rolling in too much throttle in ordinary street riding conditions (especially from stops). The transmission is race configured (1-up, 4-down), which is the reverse of what is normal for street bikes (1-down, 4-up), and has a harsher sound and feel because it is heavier duty.

The buyer will arrange and pay for pickup. We've used a few different bike haulers over the years and they've always worked out fine. If the buyer happens to be in the Inland NW United States, I occasionally drive to Spokane or Bozeman for business and may be willing to deliver there or points between if serendipitous.

10% of sale proceeds go to the MARSOC Foundation.

Like many Bimotas of the era, the SB6R handles with aplomb, goes like stink, and looks the business, but the details let the side down: maintenance issues, including a gauge cluster prone to failure, and generally indifferent construction. It is one of my very favorite 1990s exotics, but that doesn't change the fact that the seller's asking price of $25,000 is extremely optimistic. It's very nice, but most SB6Rs are pretty well-preserved, and previous examples haven't gotten higher than around $15,000 before either selling outside eBay or going to the highest bidder. Is the extra attention lavished on the engine worth $10,000, or is it just gilding the lily? If you're a wealthy collector looking for a very nicely prepared, but decidedly non-stock SB6R, this might be just what you're looking for.

-tad

Gone Too Soon: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale
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