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Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota August 9, 2017 posted by

Unobtanium alert: 2008 Bimota 3D Carbonio

Here's one that meets all the major RSBFS criteria, a 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D in the rare carbon bodywork.  Enjoy!

2008 Bimota Tesi 3D Carbino on eBay

Ah the Bimota Tesi 3d...an evolution of an idea that began in 1991 with the 1D, continued with the 2D/Vyrus in 2005 and then reached its final form in the 3D in 2007.  The original Tesi was the work of Bimota founder and legendary designer Massimo Tamburini, the same person responsible for the Ducati 916 and MV Agusta F4 and a tesi is probably on every rare sport bike collectors "bucket list".

While the 3D certainly looks the business, in typical Bimota fashion the result didn't quite quite live up to the promise of the design concept.   It wasn't a major failure like the V-Due, but most reviews expressed a sentiment of it not being all that it could have been in large part due to the power limit of a 95 bhp Ducati engine.  Reviewers also noted a lack of front end feel which was no doubt due to the hub-centered front fork design.  But on the plus side, the same fork system offered improved braking due to no front-end dive and it still looks amazingly cool.

The seller indicates this is one of 29 Tesi 3D units.  While experience has taught us that any official production number information from Bimota should be taken as  leap of faith (cough-VDue-cough-SB6-cough) the Tesi is certainly something you don't tend to see at bike night.  Oh, and one additional note -  from what I understand, the carbon-skinned bodywork makes this a much rarer model.

This low mileage of this particular Bimota Tesi 3D seems to indicate it was a bit of a toy for the current owner.  As for condition, the seller indicates the standard Ducati belt service has not been done, the brake fluid looks dark and no mention is made of tire age so I am thinking this one has been standing for a while.   The seller does mention oil changes in the questions section of the ebay listing but overall I would expect to spend $1000 to put it back on the road and a few more thousand if the intent is to make it a concours-level machine.

Here is a recap of the info provided in the eBay post:

  • Mileage 4,355
  • Due for a timing belt/ inspection replacement
  • Has Zard carbon fiber slip-on's with the stock exhaust included
  • Last serviced in 2010 by Rockwell Cycles (dealer bike was purchased from) at approximately 2,500 miles.
  • I have personally changed the oil and filter several times since the initial dealer servicing.
  • Excellent condition except for small cracks in -pain at fuel tank fill (see photos).  Other than the paint crack near the tank it needs no other work and is basically a new motorcycle.

So let's just to the big question - is this bit of carbon skinned Italian goodness worth the current $30,000 USD Buy-It-Now asking price?   Well lets look at the positives and the negatives

  • Positives -  the Tesi 3D is probably the ultimate iteration of the hub-centered philosophy and given its low production number, this one will likely hold its value.  Also this is the carbon edition of which suposedly very few were produced and for collectors of factory offered carbon-skinned Italian exotics of this era, this is right up there with the Aprilia Nera, Benelli Tornado Tre and Ducati MH900e.
  • Negatives - the asking price is well above what we have seen other carbon Bimota Tesi 3D's go for on RSBFS. Furthermore, if the intent is to buy it as an investment, bringing it back to concours-level condition will probably involve a few more thousand in cost.

I have to admit that I am a fan of the 3D Tesi but I prefer the non-carbon version as it seems to be a more dramatic presentation of the hub-centered technology.  This carbon skinned Tesi 3D seems like it will appeal most to either a collector focused on Bimota's, someone who is already familiar with the Tesi/Vyrus lineup, or an investment oriented collector who is willing to put it into dry storage for a bit.

One additional note - the seller indicates offers are being accepted but I wouldn't expect to see any serious reduction from the asking price simply because even though its almost 10 years old, its still a damn cool bike.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unobtanium alert:  2008 Bimota 3D Carbonio
Bimota August 8, 2017 posted by

Baby Bimota: 1973 Bimota HB1 350

What you are looking at is somewhat of an oddity. Most people likely do not even know this model existed in the Bimota lineup - probably because it didn't. Whereas the HB1 was officially a frame/suspension/bodywork kit designed around the Honda CB750, the HB1 350/400 provided a shorter list of components designed to augment Honda CB350 and CB400s. The smaller kit did not provide a new frame (which was the major cost associated with a Bimota offering). Instead, the smaller HB1 model provided some bodywork and a swingarm which were meant to augment the performance of the smaller Honda fours and relied upon the stock, Honda chassis.

1973 Bimota HB1 350 for sale on eBay

Like all early Bimotas, the HB1 350/400 components were delivered separate from the remaining pieces necessary to build a complete motorcycle. The buyer was expected to supply a suitable donor machine which would then be utilized as a parts bike. Not only that, but the buyer was expected to build the bike - or at least hire a competent shop for assembly purposes. In the case of the 350/400 kits, the donor machine WAS the base motorcycle, and buyers had their choice of a few different Honda fours from this period. Of the handful of kits that were produced (numbers are *extremely* hard to verify in this case as no frame numbers are associated with the pieces), most appear to have been built on the CB400 Four. This example utilizes a CB350.

From the seller:
Up for No Reserve auction is this nice example of a rare Honda/Bimota HB1 350. Produced in very limited numbers (approximately 10), the original HB1 was based on a Honda CB750 and all were built for the track. However, Bimota also produced a handful of kits that fit CB 350 and 400 fours. The kit consisted of the tank, bodywork, swingarm, and a couple of other odds and ends. This particular machine started life as a European market 1972 CB350, and one of the aforementioned kits was added later on. Generally speaking this bike shows well, and its bodywork's aging paint is in very good condition.

This motorcycle has been imported from the U.K., and was test ridden in Yorkshire. It preformed well, and the engine pulled linearly through the power-band. The auction's winner will be provided with British ownership paperwork, a dating and authenticity letter, and import documents.

This is an excellent opportunity to augment your motorcycle collection with a sharp looking rarity for a small fraction of the cost of the factory original HB1s.

Make no mistake - Bimota started life out as a small-bike racing company, and built successful frames and components for 350cc racers. Thus this was not really a departure for them, but rather a stepping stone to help finance the bigger, more ambitious projects. As such, this smaller Bimota-outfitted machine is both a tribute to the beginnings of this legendary company as well as a more affordable alternative to the models that would follow. The build itself looks good, and provides a proper cafe racer stance that nicely compliments the Bimota name, logo and colors.

A full HB1 750 build is something reserved for the wealthy - at auction you can expect one to easily cross the $75,000 USD threshold. The 350/400 kitted Bimota will be much, much more affordable. Sure, it's missing the hand-welded trellis frame. Yes, the bodywork is a bit spartan and has not aged particularly well. And let's face it: the Honda CB350 - while a fine motorcycle in its day - is never going to haul the mail with much gusto. All that adds up to a very rare set of pieces that will likely go for a bargain. Bidding on this no reserve auction started down in the basement (99 cents) and is climbing quickly from there. Lots of time left on this one, so watch it carefully; you may be able to score yourself a very rare, Italian deal. Good luck!!

MI

Baby Bimota: 1973 Bimota HB1 350
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