For years, Bimota was a byword for high-performance motorcycles that provided ultimate speed and handling. But recent offerings like this DB6R have seemed strangely... practical. This shift even carries over to the exotic Tesi that is available with a set of handlebars, instead of the expected clip-ons. Recent Bimota offerings have showed a clear shift to building lightweight, jewel-like, highly-polished, but useable machines like the DB6. The air-cooled 1078cc Dual-Spark Ducati v-twin is certainly powerful and refined, especially in a machine with a claimed 390lb wet weight, but the 90hp it makes still isn't likely to overwhelm and that upright, naked design is far more practical than previous Bimotas. But that should come as no surprise: as a company, Bimota has had to evolve to keep one step ahead of the major manufacturers that have ruthlessly co-opted their innovations. And the new strategy appears to be: appeal to the more mature buyers who can likely afford toys like this and expect perfection for their money.
Bimota got their start in the early 1970s and followed in the footsteps of British builders like Seeley, Spondon, and Rickman, building stiff, lightweight frames around powerful, reliable, and easily serviced engines from the major Japanese manufacturers. Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha had clearly figured out how to build engines, but were still working on how to make their bikes really handle. As the major manufacturers caught up, Bimota had to evolve to keep one step ahead, and their new strategy appears to be: appeal to the more mature buyers who can likely afford toys like this and expect perfection for their money.
Today's SB6R is a gorgeously-detailed motorcycle. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: if you're into craftsmanship, just look closely at these pictures. The hinged caps on the risers for the bars, the complex swingarm with tubular and machined aluminum parts, the beautiful brackets and details that set Bimota apart. Miles are low on this one, and the bike appears to be in good condition, although the rear wheel is a bit dirty and the front and rear wheels don't match... For the Buy It Now of $22,000 you'd think the seller could at least clean it up a bit...
From the original eBay listing: 2008 Bimota DB6R for Sale
Bimota DB6R. Another very rare and unique bike from my own personal collection. One of three special bikes I'm currently selling online. No scratches, no wear and tear. One owner. Like new in pristine condition.
Now that the major manufacturers have the whole handling-thing figured out, where does that leave Bimota? Well, for a while, they were in the hyper-bike game, stripping weight out of their bikes to make them even faster than the already very competent bikes that donated their frames. But this "performance first" ethos led to bikes that needed their engines removed for basic valve services and a somewhat fragile reputation, to put it politely. I like this new, more practical Bimota. Will they survive? Only time will tell.