Update 7.28.2016: The seller has informed me this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc
Update 7.18.2016: This KB3 has been relisted and now has a buy-it-now of $14,995. Links updated. Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc
Several years after its original 1984 build, Motorcyclist and SportRider magazine writer Nick Ienatsch purchased a crashed basket-case and rebuilt it into the iconic 1980's sportbike it was - even more so as he upgraded the engine to 1,260 cc's. Due to the ergonomic realities of riding a 1980's sportbike with a 1950's body, this KB3 is again available to be the most extreme road machine in the gallery or on the vintage ride.
Bimota's early perimeter frame design is executed in chromoly steel and cradles the sides of the big Kawi four cylinder. Billet frame connectors hold the rear sub-frame and swingarm pivot, which is directly in line between the rear axle and primary sprocket. Ienatsch took the rebuilder's opportunity to install a dream engine, a 1260cc engine built by Gatlin Racing with dual-plugged and ported heads with oversize intake valves, Webcam cams, MTC cylinders, Wiseco pistons, and Falicon crank. With 38mm Mikuni smooth bore flat slide carbs, the engine claims 140 hp, rarified air for a two-valve per cylinder engine.
Chassis design being Bimota's specialty, the KB3 uses offset triple clamps to help control fork compression under braking. The 40 mm Ceriani forks have magnesium tubes and 8 settings. The De Carbon gas monoshock supports the chromoly swingarm with a rocker arm and pushrod arrangement. The subsystems are beautifully mounted on mostly billet brackets, from the brake calipers to footpegs, clutch slave to rear axle eccentric adjusters. The lightweight wheels are upgraded PM wheels as noted in the ad – 17” front and 18” rear. The KB3 carries a supersport's 3/4 fairing with roomy windscreen, and one of the sweetest integrations of the tank, side covers, and seat fairing ever.
In that era Bimota sold chassis kits and completed bikes, and the KB3 frame could also be a Suzuki-powered SB4 with different engine mounts, which was how this particular bike started life. The owner rides this bike occasionally and has brought maintenance up to date for the next caretaker, as he says in the eBay auction:
The bike was serviced about 500 miles ago with an oil change, brake and clutch fluid change and valve adjustment. I just installed (mid-May ‘16) a new Duracell AGM battery that has a two year full replacement warranty. The engine starts easily and runs well and the bike is a blast to ride. (I just did a 2-½ hour ride on it this past week.) Whenever the bike was going to sit more than a couple of weeks, I always drained the gas tank and carburetor float bowls to prevent any corrosion issues. It is air/oil cooled and easy to work on with easy top end access from above given the wrap around frame (see pics), and it is carbureted so you can work on it easily without a computer – not that I’ve had to do anything major – it is a well dialed in motorcycle. The custom exhaust with Supertrapp muffler sounds wonderful, and I don’t think there has ever been a more beautiful Bimota made! I prefer limited electronic gadgetry, and this bike fits the bill perfectly.
The final Kawasaki-engined Bimota, the KB3 was built for only two years and a total of 112 machines. Rarity assured, and the superb condition is a lot better than more neglected super specials, even as shown unfaired. The tricolore harlequin might be a leap of faith for some, but they will never be able to say they didn't see you coming. As featured in Motorcyclist magazine's Heavy Artillery series, it certainly qualifies - the big bore motor work, Bimota's heavyweight chassis engineering, and concours preparation.
The auction has 9 days left to run with a buy-it-now of $18,995. The Phoenix-based owner requests questions via his eBay listing.