Posts by Category: Bimota

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.

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-left

2000 Bimota SB8R for sale on eBay

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-right-front

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-right-rear

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.

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-left-fairing

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-right-rear-wheel

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...

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-right-front-wheel

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-front

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

20161205-2000-bimota-sb8r-rear

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

Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale

2008-bimota-tesi-l-front

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.

2008-bimota-tesi-r-front-suspension

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...

2008-bimota-tesi-fairing

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.

2008-bimota-tesi-l-frame-detail

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.

2008-bimota-tesi-r-engine

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

2008-bimota-tesi-r-side

Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale
Bimota November 1, 2016 posted by

Nineties Flyer: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale

1991-bimota-yb8-r-side

With lightweight bodywork held on by just a few bolts [note the one-piece tank-and-tail unit] and a plastic fuel cell, the Bimota YB8 used plenty of tricks learned on the racetrack and was pretty far ahead of its time. Based on the previous YB4 and YB6 but powered by the larger FZR1000 engine, approximately 250 were produced between 1990 and 1994. Bimota claimed 149hp from the FZR1000 engine, up a bit compared to the stock bike due to Bimota ignoring the "gentleman's agreement" of the time and applying the usual tuning tricks, and the inline four puts its power to the rear wheel through the Yamaha's standard five-speed box. Top speed is a 173mph but, as always with Bimota, it's the cornering that impresses the most.

1991-bimota-yb8-l-side

It's hard to blame a small manufacturer if they wanted to recycle or slightly update an existing frame, especially if the donor engines slot in easily. Looking at the later YB11, the frames look very similar and, as was pointed out by one of the Commentariat, I wonder if a Yamaha R1 engine and transmission might slot in there without too much persuading... Somehow, that doesn't seem to be as sacrilegious an idea as it would be for something like, say, a Ducati. The resulting bike should be a shade lighter than the original R1 if the manufacturers' dry weights are to be believed...

1991-bimota-yb8-clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale

Very are super bike, mint condition, needs nothing, we ship at buyer's expense can ship worldwide. Runs excellent, reasonable reserve, rare opportunity.

1991-bimota-yb8-r-side-rear

The listing doesn't include much information and the bike is clearly part of a larger collection. That's unfortunate although, obviously restoring that engine should be much easier than for some other obscure motorcycles. Bidding is up to just $5,200 with the Reserve Not Met, but Bimotas of this era seems to be going for around the $10,000 mark these days. Sure, for the price, you could buy a couple of nice Yamaha R1's, but that's hardly the point of this bit of Italian exotica.

-tad

1991-bimota-yb8-front

Nineties Flyer: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale
Bimota October 27, 2016 posted by

Super and Leggera: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

1998-bimota-yb11-l-front

1990s Bimotas currently represent an amazing value, and this 1998 YB11 Superleggera has superbike performance, Yamaha reliability, and is very rare, all for under $10,000. “Superleggera” or "super light" is a style of construction that stresses lightweight materials and construction: Ducati’s Superleggera is so super and leggera that it actually weighs less than the British Superbike Championship Panigale including ballast... So while 400lbs dry may not be considered the absolute lightest bike out there by today’s standards, it’s still in the hunt and was a solid 30lbs lighter than the YZF1000 that donated its engine and gearbox.

1998-bimota-yb11-r-side

Plenty of superbikes these days weigh the same and make far more than the YB11’s 145 peak horsepower, but without their electronics and sophisticated traction control systems, they’d likely be wrapped around a tree in short order. The five-valve Yamaha engine that powers the YB11 should be far less peaky than something like an MV Agusta F4 or even a BMW S1000RR, as evidenced by the 5-speed gearbox, which suggests a reduced need to chase narrow powerbands. It says much about the original bike that it’s nearly 20 years old and, with 170mph top speed, can at least keep modern superbikes in sight, especially on the road.

1998-bimota-yb11-gauges

The only catch with that “Yamaha reliability” thing could be actual access to the Yamaha parts on the YB11. That beam frame may be light and strong, but Bimota didn’t worry about things like “servicing” when they designed this beast, and other bikes they've built aren't easy to service: for the similar, Suzuki GSX-R1100-powered SB6R, you actually need to drop the engine to change the front sprocket. The clutch slave? Drop the engine. And the alternator drive on the SB6R tends to fail due to overheating. Guess what you have to do to work on that?

1998-bimota-yb11-l-rear

Those beefy 51mm Paioli forks provide excellent roadholding but could be difficult to source parts for. And when I say “could” I mean, “I know one that was sidelined for a couple years with leaky seals because the parts were unavailable.” Although I'm sure it'd be possible to swap in the front end from a modern superbike, if you're friendly with someone who can knock up a set of custom triple-trees...

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale

A Unique and Rare Super Bike On Display in the New England Motorcycle Museum!

Extremely rare! Only 650 made! Not many opportunities to buy unmolested, low mileage Bimotas present themselves! Act now!

Borderline savage power-to-weight ratio! There was nothing in its class that could touch it in sheer acceleration

This bike features an engine based off the Yamaha YZF1000 and featured a larger air box, reworked carburetors & a 4 into 1 pipe that turned the Yamaha engine into a rocket ship without comprising its superb reliability!

Immense handling capabilities! Extremely light weight makes for easy input and lean angle limits that are most likely well beyond the rider’s capabilities.

This hand crafted, Italian made motorcycle is gorgeous and the photos speak for themselves! Here’s your chance to own this Italian Stallion!

Ready for your exotic collection

1998-bimota-yb11-tank

The seller does include a video of the bike with a walk-around, but doesn't fire the bike up. It's pretty clear from the photos that this bike is in superlative condition and has just 3,000 on it. I’m not sure if the YB11 has similar servicing issues as Bimota's SB6, but I’d consult with a specialist shop or spend some time on the forums before assuming these will be cheap or easy to maintain. Plus, bodywork might prove a little difficult to replace if you take a tumble. That being said, I’d buy one in a heartbeat: with a Buy It Now price of just $9,500 it’s rare, fast, and Italian. It even has passenger accommodations, something of a rarity for Bimotas in general.

-tad

1998-bimota-yb11-r-side

Super and Leggera: 1998 Bimota YB11 Superleggera for Sale
Bimota October 17, 2016 posted by

Honda-Powered Exotic: 1983 Bimota HB3 for Sale

1983-bimota-hb3-r-front

Considering just how rare Bimotas actually are, they've had a pretty strong influence on modern sportbikes. Take this Bimota HB3 for example: just 100 were ever made. And yet you can see that fully-faired, race-inspired styling that led to more mass-produced bikes like the GSX-R. In fact, Yamaha was very directly "inspired" by the Bimota's frame design when they put their very successful and long-lived FJ1100 together...

1983-bimota-hb3-r-rear

Like all Bimotas that weren't powered by in-house designed two-strokes plagued by aluminum porosity problems that bankrupted the company, the HB3 was motivated by a proven, durable, reliable engine and drivetrain from a well-established manufacturer. In this case, a 1062cc dual overhead cam air-cooled inline four from the Honda CB1100F and a five-speed gearbox.

That combo was good for 115hp and could push the 457lb machine to nearly 150mph, but top speed was hardly the point. There were bikes with higher top speeds, but few could touch the HB3 in a corner and it was praised for its high-speed handling, no surprise given the light weight, stiff frame, and quality suspension.

1983-bimota-hb3-l-side

This example is a bit dusty, but looks otherwise in good shape, although it's difficult to tell from the photographs... That stock Honda dash is a little disappointing, given the bike's otherwise exotic design, but at least you know it flat works, and parts should be no problem if anything ever fails or needs replacing...

1983-bimota-hb3-l-frame-detail

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Bimota HB3 for Sale

1983 Bimota HB3, very rare early Bimota, number 25 of 100, mint condition, 31950 kilometers from new, runs perfect recent tune up and new battery, this bike was the bike used for the Bike Magazine test and feature back in 1983, it needs nothing. We at buyer's expense can ship worldwide. Bike sold on a bill of sale only, very rare opportunity to own a hand made jewel.

1983-bimota-hb3-clocks

The details here are incredible, from the machined from aluminum frame side-plates to that one-piece tank and tail section: just a couple of bolts are needed to remove the bodywork and reveal that stunning trellis frame. Bidding is up north of $8,000 with the reserve not met. There's very little time left on the auction, so move quickly if you want to add this piece of sportbike history to your collection.

-tad

1983-bimota-hb3-l-side-front

Honda-Powered Exotic: 1983 Bimota HB3 for Sale