Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota October 17, 2016 posted by

Honda-Powered Exotic: 1983 Bimota HB3 for Sale


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...


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.


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...


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.


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.



Honda-Powered Exotic: 1983 Bimota HB3 for Sale
Bimota September 7, 2016 posted by

Framing the Superbike: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike For Sale

1988 Bimota YB4 R Side

Although it's often the slinky bodywork that people remember about Bimotas, the frames are what really define them. The Bimota YB4 was designed around Bimota’s signature and unmistakable beam frame they used throughout the late 80s and 90s. No soft, moulded contours here: the spars look like girders that were extruded by some giant, industrial device, then cut and welded into place, with access to that five-valve Yamaha "Genesis" engine clearly an afterthought... The frame was amazingly stiff and, equipped with typically top-shelf suspension bits at both ends, the YB4 offered superlative handling.

1988 Bimota YB4 Front

Introduced in 1987, the YB4 started out as a pure racing machine, with no road-legal counterpart. But when rules were announced for the new World Superbike racing series, Bimota was forced to make a limited number of roadbikes for homologation purposes in order to compete. The bike was successful in both the earlier Formula 1 championship that predated the roadgoing YB4 as well as the later fledgling World Superbike series, where it successfully competed against Yamaha’s own highly-developed OW01, a testament to the YB4’s handling prowess.

1988 Bimota YB4 Dash

Of course, being a Bimota, the engine is far more pedestrian than the beautifully crafted frame and sleek bodywork. The YB4 was powered by a 749cc version of the five-valve Yamaha “Genesis” motor which, while not very exotic, packed plenty of performance, and that powerplant was backed by the standard Yamaha six-speed gearbox. The roadbike weighed in at a claimed 396lbs dry and used fuel injection, but the racing machines featured carburetors. Just over 300 were built and unusually, the YB4 is visually almost identical to the bigger-engined and more common YB6 that was stuffed full of 1000cc Genesis motor.

1988 Bimota YB4 Carbs

Today’s YB4 isn’t a road bike, or even a road bike converted into a track-only machine. This YB4 is actually the reason we have any roadgoing YB4s at all: it’s a genuine World Superbike racing bike as raced by Steve Parrish’s team with Keith Huewen at the controls.
From the original eBay listing: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike for Sale

Bimota YB4 Racing WSBK - ex-Huewen/Parrish Team Yamaha Loctite UK

M.Y. 1988 VIN 000037

It is the 1988 Bimota YB4 WSBK Team Yamaha Loctite Parrish/Heuwen The bike was raced in 1988, ridden by Keith Huewen who is now a Moto GP commentator. It was ridden in the British Championship and also some World Championship events like the Hungaroring.

It has all the genuine parts with special quick release pipes magnesium sump etc. and very important it is exactly as it was raced. There were originally only 4 imported to the UK Team Loctite had problems with the fuel injection and converted them all back to carburettors.

Iconic bike of an iconic race era. Ride, parade and collect! Bulletproof investment.

1988 Bimota YB4 L Side Unfaired

According to the seller, the bike is currently in the UK, but that shouldn’t pose much of a problem for the well-heeled or seriously dedicated collectors considering a purchase of this machine. What's it worth? Well, it's basically a successful racing machine from an exotic Italian manufacturer that was campaigned by a famous rider for a famous team, making it a one-of-a-kind piece of motorcycle history.


1988 Bimota YB4 L Side

Framing the Superbike: 1988 Bimota YB4 Race Bike For Sale
Bimota August 23, 2016 posted by

Affordable Italian: 2001 Bimota SB8R for Sale

2001 Bimota SB8R R Side Front

If simply going fast is your thing, you probably don't spend much time on this site. You went out and bought a Suzuki GSX-R1000, threw some sticky rubber, rearsets, and a Power Commander on it, then went out to dominate road and track, with stone axe reliability and off-the-shelf parts availability. But in a sea of same, some of us want to have our cake and eat it too, and exotic bikes don't necessarily have to cost a fortune to buy and own. Bimota's exotic SB8R generally trades for south of $10,000 and offers up v-twin character and midrange punch, light weight, sophisticated handling, and the reliability of a Suzuki.

2001 Bimota SB8R Front

Styling is striking, if not actually pretty, and the view from the seat is dominated by those huge carbon intakes that recall the ZX-7R of the late 80s and early 90s. Handling was much improved compared to the TL1000R: it weighed a good bit less than the donor Suzuki and, if nothing else, it replaced the famously troublesome rotary rear damper with a more traditional unit.

2001 Bimota SB8R Clocks

The SB8R is surprisingly wide for a twin, but the bulbous fairing at least provides some wind protection but, like all Bimotas, the frame was the real centerpiece of the SB8. In this case, it was a sophisticated variation on the beam frame often used by Japanese superbikes. But here the construction is composite, with aluminum spars and carbon fiber side plates. The tail piece is self-supporting and also made of carbon. If that headlight looks familiar, Bimota wisely cribbed the part for their SB8, along with that very ordinary-looking, but functional dash. Suzuki obviously also lent the bike their eight-valve, liquid-cooled 996cc v-twin engine, modified with different injectors to produce a claimed 138hp, and a real-world 124whp.

Keep in mind that, until World Superbike twins grew to 1200cc and started chasing hp at the expense of the midrange that was previously their forte, 124hp was considered huge power for a twin. Especially when the only traction control was your sensitive right hand...

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Bimota SB8R for Sale

I hate to let my dream bike go, but I have to do it. It's got the factory fuel trimmer and full Arrow exhaust. I have the stock mirrors and rear fender/taillight/blinker assembly. I installed a lithium battery less than a year ago. It makes servicing/accessing the battery a TON easier.

2001 Bimota SB8R R Side Rear

As far as Bimotas go, these are pretty common, but that's not saying very much. The listing is pretty spare, but the photos are good and should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. Obviously, the engine should be easy to service, but bodywork will be difficult and/or expensive. As always, Bimota experts are welcome to weigh in and point out anything for potential buyers to be aware of but, aside from some slightly faded carbon as you'd expect on a bike this old, everything appears to be in order, or available from the seller. Bidding is very active but currently up to just north of $4,000 with the reserve not met and just a couple days left on the auction.


2001 Bimota SB8R R Side

Affordable Italian: 2001 Bimota SB8R for Sale
Bimota August 20, 2016 posted by

Metal Confection: 2008 Bimota DB6R for Sale

2008 Bimota DB6R R Side2

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.

2008 Bimota DB6R Front

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.

2008 Bimota DB6R R Side Rear

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.


2008 Bimota DB6R Seat

Metal Confection: 2008 Bimota DB6R for Sale
Bimota July 18, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing – 1984 Bimota KB3

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

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left

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.

1984 Bimota KB3 for sale on eBay

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 right front

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left engine unfaired  20160602 1983 bimota kb3 right front wheel

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.

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 dash

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 right grip  20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left peg

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.

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 front

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 right rear wheel  20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left steering head unfaired

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.

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left from unfaired

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 right peg  20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left rear wheel

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.

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 right rear

20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left seat  20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left rear

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.


20160602 1983 bimota kb3 left cockpit

Featured Listing – 1984 Bimota KB3
Bimota June 21, 2016 posted by

Affordable Exotic: 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

1995 Bimota SB6 R Side

Aside from the disastrous VDue, Bimota's stock-in-trade was wrapping lightweight frames and fantastically exotic bodywork around reliable powertrains from established manufacturers. The magical formula that led to bikes like the Bimota SB6 seems so simple, it's a wonder it took so long for other manufacturers to catch on: wrap too much engine in too little motorcycle, fit quality suspension, profit. But it's obviously more difficult than it looks to make that formula work, and the Japanese tendency to overbuild was clearly blunting the otherwise very butch GSX-R1100's performance: the SB6 made virtually the same power, but weighed a stunning 90lbs less than the donor Suzuki.

1995 Bimota SB6 Cockpit

With 1,700 built, the SB6 was one of Bimota's most successful models, and that means that prices are relatively low for this Suzuki-powered blaster. It's not a cutting-edge performer anymore but, with almost 150hp from the 1074cc inline four, huge midrange, and light weight, a well-ridden SB6 will certainly keep up with modern machines.

1995 Bimota SB6 Front

There are some very minor blemishes on this example, just some small chips around fairing fasteners. But aside from that awful touring seat pad that'd be in the garbage before I even got the bike home, the bike is pretty much immaculate and looks great in the very Italian tri-colore paintwork on the swoopy body panels. I personally prefer the look of the later SB6R, but there's no doubt this is a very striking motorcycle.

1995 Bimota SB6 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale

9809 miles
excellent condition
72 year old owner can no longer ride
Well, that's not all that much to go on, but considering the low mileage and the condition evident from the photos, maybe it's all we need. This is a new listing, and there are no takers yet at the $4,800 starting bid. From what I've seen in the past couple years, an SB6 could be a very nice way to get a fast, relatively reliable motorcycle with exotic credentials, distinctive looks, and big, four-cylinder power. Keep in mind that, although the Suzuki powertrain should be easy to service, at least once you get access to it, some other parts like bodywork, electricals, and suspension parts could be hard to come by. It's a real bummer when your beautiful Italian exotic is sidelined by unobtainable seals for those snazzy Paioli forks... So you'd never want one as your only ride but, considering what these Bimotas are going for, they're looking very, very tempting at the moment.
1995 Bimota SB6 L Side
Affordable Exotic: 1995 Bimota SB6 for Sale