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Bimota posted by

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

It seems like most of the Bimotas that come up for sale these days aren't really for sale. I mean, if people wanted to actually sell them, the asking prices would probably be a bit lower... Bottom line: the Bimota YB11 is a cool bike and still pretty fast, even compared to modern bikes. But prices for 90s Bimotas in particular are at a low point right now. Honestly, I'd be very surprised if this continued indefinitely but, for the time being, these represent some pretty great bang for your collecting buck. Even if you end up not being able to source fork seals for the beefy, right-way-up Paioli forks on your Bimota YB11, you can always park this thing in your livingroom and no one will wonder why... Even if they think you're crazy for replacing your flat-screen with an Italian motorcycle.

The YB11 is pretty classic Bimota: the engine is from Yamaha's YZF1000R and basically unchanged, aside from being slotted into Bimota's own aluminum frame that hugs the Genesis engine closely. Perhaps too closely: more on that later. The lightweight bodywork is swoopy and dramatic, the riding position pretty odd, and the bike actually was available with pillion accommodations, although this one is missing the rear pegs.

They're elegant, exotic and, at least in terms of finding engine parts, pretty simple to keep running. Tales abound of strange little quirks that can keep them from being enjoyable: the weird, twin six-volt batteries in the nose of the SB6, the frames that block access to carburetors and prevent adjustment while they're on the bike or the engine is in the frame, iffy fuel pumps, and so on. But for a person who wants something truly different, these Bimotas are pretty hard to beat.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Emilia Motors is happy to offer this 1997 Bimota YB11, these Bimotas really show the attention to detail that the Italian motorcycle builders put into the design and suspension of the bikes they build. The Bimota is truly a handcrafted work of art and are a must for any real motorcycle collection, plus the beauty and design are second to none. This bike has new tires, battery and starts and runs top notch. Manuals, rear stand and Bimota cover are included. Please feel free to call with any questions thanks Anthony 954-540-8495

So what is the seller asking for this one? $9,000 or $10,000? Nope. Just $6,799 buys you a slick, low-mileage Italian exotic a mechanically competent enthusiast could keep running for peanuts. Just don't drop it: a whole new engine won't be hard to find or expensive to rebuild, but that bodywork will be pricey if you drop it. Which is why I'm hoping this one doesn't have damage on the right side, since the photographer couldn't be arsed to turn the bike around for some additional pics...

-tad

7 Comments

  • Thanks for sharing. If you scroll down the eBay ad there are a bunch of pictures including the other side. The dash area on this bike is pretty cool too.

  • Those of us who grew up in the 80s would remember, that aluminium frame was the answer to everything. It’s light, and with proper engineering and selection of appropriate process, it can also be made very strong. ELF did a whole lot of test on that front, so did Bimota. NSR and YZR ruled the GP scene, and F1 class, endurance racing, and superbikes were chock full of GSXR, FZR, ZX, and of course, RC30 and RVF. We admired the beauty that was Ducati’s trellis frame, but we all knew it was inferior. Then at one point, it was either NSR or RVF, I can’t remember, but HRC started experimenting on how to make them more rewarding to the riders. On a race track, during a race! They could have done this because at that point, either NSR or RVF (sorry, I can’t remember which!) was so competitive and developed to the point of perfection. And also, it was experiment in different philosophy about rider-bike interface. Instead of just making the frame stiff and rigid, which was the 80s, HRC started controlling the way it flexes, so as to transmit more physical information from the tires to the chassis to the rider, so that the rider could have much more communication with the machine, and the road surface, in turn that HRC believe that it could make the machine faster. I’m just using HRC as an example, because I used to know a few people who worked at HRC’s R&D back then, but I’m sure that there was a bit of the zeitgeist in that sort thinking. Anyway, the point is, that I look back now, I just marvel at how the idea and philosophy of riding motorcycle has changed. That kind of reflects on the current offerings by manufactures, too, because you don’t see a lot of aluminium framed bikes, instead, sports bikes often talks about how stiff but gentle, and they talk about controlled flex, and a lot of technology now is in the electronics, that make bikes easier and safer to ride. I do miss the days that the manufactures were trying to out do each other with frames and swingarm designs and how high can an engine rev and stuff like that, and really Bimota was that king of the hill. Sorry, it was just a very long winded way of saying how much I appreciate Bimota’s almost unhealthy obsession with aluminium frame designs.

  • Totally forgot about the “tuned flex” phase of Japanese superbike development. I don’t ever recall Ducatis having those issues. Somehow the Italians seem to get it right straight out of the box. Cant speak for Bimota though.

  • Bimota built some right beauties of bikes – but either their accountants or their managers couldn’t cope cos they went bust so many times over the years and brought some real turkeys to market – remember the V Due?
    Also the bikes could be a curse to live with in the real world if you actually wanted to use it to go places – quality went down and up over time with all the financial shenanigans that only the Italians can give you-the 90s Yamahas would not be regarded as a high point but(and this is the important BUT) every Bimota has the input of Massimo Tamburini who has been elevated to God-like status since his death so over time every Bimota, always fairly rare and made in low numbers, will rise in perceived value and as they become fittings in peoples living rooms and offices it will be forgotten how flawed some of them may have been.
    Which is a long way of saying buy this if you want a slice of proper Italian engineering.
    And I couldn’t agree that aluminium frames are any better than steel, Ducati managed to win many many World Superbike Championships with good old fashioned steel. Aluminium has to be 4 times thicker to provide the same strength which is why they are such huge things. They are pretty, but so is steel in the right hands.
    Check out the liker of a Seeley framed Commando racebike if you want pretty-or the early Manx Norton – sweet and simple.

  • A close friend of mine and I have both bought bikes (FZR750 and FZ750 both oozing with YEC kit parts and absolutely beautiful) from this seller (Anthony). Aside from a strange penchant for chrome sidestands on all his bikes, Anthony was very easy to deal with and the bikes arrived as advertised, other than needing some sorting from having sat for years and just recently brought out of hibernation. I spoke to Anthony about this Bimota a few months ago and despite me being a bit of a Yamaha fanatic, I just don’t want to add another to the collection right now. I’m actually trying to go the other way right now, with a couple bikes to unload, as I’m starting to feel guilty with my lineup of cool bikes that I just don’t ride nearly enough.

    At any rate, kudos to a good seller and a nice deal on a very cool throwback to simpler sportbike times!

  • I had a couple of these YB11s. Handled ok, had adequate power. This is a good deal for someone who doesn’t want to deal with a tricky Ducati powered Bimota. Just watch the exhaust valve…they always stick and cause all sorts of bullshit.

  • What an amazing deal! Someone truly bought this one for a song. Cool thing is, they can ride it for a long while and may even see some appreciation. I hear so many complaints and concerns about Bimota’s but just don’t understand why as I’ve owned quite a few and their no different then any other bike. Maybe a pain to get some of the bodywork off or find bodywork for but so much more interesting then run of the mill mass production bikes and typically loaded with trick stuff!

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