Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota April 20, 2017 posted by

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale is this Sunday, April 23rd!

Any of our UK readers going to the Bonhams Spring Sale this weekend? Browsing through the book there are plenty of RSBFS worthy standouts. We'd love to hear your report on the action! If you'd care to share your experience, pictures, or purchases, please email us or comment on this post. Thank you in advance!

dc

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale

Bimota April 16, 2017 posted by

The Joy of SRX: 1987 Yamaha SRX250

Today we find a fun rare model that is - for once on RSBFS - totally affordable. The Yamaha SRX series included multiple displacements, although in the US we only received the XT-derived 250cc model and the XT-based 250cc machine. Home markets also included a 400cc variant. Based around a nimble, single cylinder air-cooled engine, the SRX models were extremely narrow and light, focusing on nimble handling and flick-ability rather than oodles of HP and straight line speed. The design was neo-British old school, and the overall package was unique and usable. Unfortunately for Yamaha, these were not great sellers, and the US models were limited to only a few editions over the 12-year global run. The 250 suffered the worst fate; a single year availability in the US over a 2-year model span. Then it was gone like it was never there at all....

1987 Yamaha SRX250 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Up for sale is my 1987 Yamaha SRX250. This bike is super rare and only imported the the US for one year. The motorcycle is super clean for being 30 years old. The bike is all stock and runs, drives, stops and idles very well. It has 10,708 miles. The bike is missing the side mirrors. The engine is 249cc with a 6 speed transmission. The engine shares many parts with the Yamaha XT250 enduro which was produced for many years. The tires will need replacing at some point. Inside of the fuel tank is pristine. The bike has a brand new battery. All controls work as they should, turn signals, horn, kill switch, ect....

I have yet to see another one on the road. The bike gets comments everywhere it goes. The bike is a blast to ride and has plenty of power.

The antithesis of the Ninja 250R and as far away from the Honda 250 Rebel as it could get, the SRX250 looked to have carved out its own niche. But the 1980s were not about small displacement bikes, and although attractive and utterly practical, the smallest SRX lost out to lack of interest. It was a practical bike that held the promise of a lot of fun (as much fun as 17 HP will get you), but small displacement and wild introductions of Hurricanes, Ninjas, Turbos and GSX-Rs ultimately buried that fun in a sea of noisy performance.

Today the SRX is a loved model (the 600 version much more so, since we are all capacity bigots). Honda has come closest to recreating the magic with the CBR250, and with a different era upon us is actually moving a fair number of units. The little CBR will never reach the rarity or novelty of the SRX250, but then again a marketing failure is an expensive way to create a future rare model. Check it out here. Sure it's more of a toy than a true canyon tool for many - but it's very rare, very cool, and very, very affordable. What's not to like?

MI

The Joy of SRX:  1987 Yamaha SRX250
Bimota March 28, 2017 posted by

Not Quite Stock: 1983 Bimota KB3

One of the all-time classic marriages of Japanese power plant technology with hand-built racing frame know how all wrapped up together in a tailored Italian suit is the little Rimini company of Bimota. Founded by three like-minded individuals who liked to go fast (and look good doing it), Bimota utilized donor engines and transmissions to power new, hybrid creations. During this time, the Japanese had the best engine technology, but their general frame design had not yet evolved beyond the 1960s. Bimota had exquisite frame building techniques, but were not a full-fledged manufacturer of complete motorcycles; they preferred to concentrate on the chassis and bodywork aspects. It is this approach that defined the KB lineup: Bimota frame and bodywork (and sourced suspension) motivated by a Kawasaki power plant. The KB1 was a Z1000 powered machine, the KB2 relied on the GPz550 motor, and the KB3 opted for the bigger, badder GPz1100 lump.

1983 Bimota KB3 for sale on eBay

Today's KB3 is not quite the showroom perfect example one could hope for - it has a highly modified motor and is not entirely in ship-shape condition. Seller notes that it has not been run in a few years, that the rear brake caliper has an issue, and that there are some other bits of concern. Photos are included, but the orientation does not make them easier to decipher the true condition of the bike. Pics have been modified here on RSBFS to help save that crick you get in your neck when trying to view posted photos that are orientated 90 degrees from upright.

From the seller:
Bike was built with one original Kawasaki GPz1100 motor come with bike but has a 1267cc Wiseco motor in it now. Needs rear Brembo caliper rebuilt master is new NOS part. Bike generally in very good condition has not been run for three years as brakes needed work in rear.Has parts to be offered with bike like carbs as well as general engine parts.

Original owner of one of 112 Bimota KB3's produced with a Kawasaki GPz1100 motor as well as an additional stock mostly complete engine. Needs side case on stattor side as well as small other bits clutch rod etc. Need rear caliper rebuilt, speedo working but mileage indicator not working.

The early KB models are rare, rare, rare. They command big bucks, because there were so few manufactured - only 112 were produced. This was likely a kit-built bike, meaning the original owner build it up from the frame kit and a donor GPz. As such, there will always be some variances between two bikes of the same model, and smaller issues like the odometer not working are really quite common. These early Bimotas are as much about the skill of the assembler as they are the quality of the components.

This bike is located in Ontario, Canada - meaning US buyers will need to deal with importation. This is a Buy It Now listing, with the seller looking for $18,000 USD, or best offer. That is big bucks indeed for a bike that cannot be ridden, yet represents fair (if not a little high) money for a KB3 if the anomalies could be rectified without great expense. Check it out here, and share your thoughts on the early Bimotas, KB bikes in general, or KB3s specifically.

MI

Not Quite Stock: 1983 Bimota KB3
Bimota March 2, 2017 posted by

Sweet Air – 1991 Bimota YB9 Bellaria in Italy

Seen only a couple of other times at RSBFS, only a handful of the 145 total YB9 Bellarias ever made it to the states.  Bimota's only two-seater is based on the Yamaha FZR600 drivetrain, with a few extra horses from intake and exhaust work.  Re-painted as many were in reaction to the factory's ice blue color scheme, this Bellaria is offered in Italy, but would be worth a side trip from Venice if you are headed that way.

1991 Bimota YB9 Bellaria ( Italy ) for sale on eBay

Framed in Bimota's usual twin alloy spars with billet connectors, the YB9 was quite compact for a 600, even more so for a biposto.  Handling with the Marzocchi suspension front and rear reviewed better than the FZR, though the bikes were really for different markets, the Bimota being more of an exotic.  Oversize Brembo brakes and tires, plus 4-2-1 exhaust system insure function follows form.  Riding position is fairly relaxed with elevated clip-ons and roomy seat.  The air intakes make an outstanding visual statement crossing the frame and the lines are echoed in the seat console and belly stripe.  Early digital dash looks clean but was hard to read.

 

While the fairing on this Bellaria appears original, the usual stepped dual seat has been replaced with a sportier mono-plus, maybe a knowledgeable reader knows the origin of this mod.  Now in white with what seems to be the factory steel blue trim, shows low miles and looks good save the alternator cover.  The auction indicates a salvage title which would have to be investigated.  From the eBay auction:

BIMOTA BELLARIA YB9 RARE MODEL ONLY 142 EXEMPLARY PRODUCTS, THE MOTORCYCLE IN QUESTION HAS THE NUMBER OF CHASSIS 112.
THE MOTORCYCLE 'marching, COUPON HAS MADE ONLY 6350 KM (3900 MILES) PLEASE NOTE AS' WAS CHANGED BACK,
FOR ALL INFORMATION AND VIDEO OF THE MOTORCYCLE FUNCTIONING, CONTACT,
SHIPPING WORLDWIDE THROUGH COURIER SPECIALIZED.

 

Bimota claimed 95 hp from the 599 cc four, and weight was nicely under control at 385 lbs. dry.  Named for and built to cruise the coastal towns near the factory's home, the Bellaria was easy on the eyes if not the checkbook.  Impossibly rare here, winning the auction would just be the beginning of a story involving travel and paperwork, and with luck a sweet ride in the last chapter...

-donn

Sweet Air – 1991 Bimota YB9 Bellaria in Italy
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.

vduetrof1

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.

vduetro4

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.

vduetroph5

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.

vduetrof3

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

vduetrof2

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!