Posts by tag: Bimota

Bimota April 21, 2017 posted by

Screaming Deal: 1996 Bimota YB9SR for Sale

This is the first Bimota YB9SR I can remember seeing for sale and the seller unfortunately includes very little information, although the photos are of decent quality. The one detail you might want to keep in mind? The $5,500 asking price which, assuming the bike is mechanically sound, makes it an absolute steal. You probably won't find the YB9 on a short list of classic Bimotas, but bascially every Bimota is rare, fast, and collectible, although "fast" might be pushing things a bit here. The "9" has nothing to do with the bike's displacement and simply indicates that it's the ninth Bimota powered by a Yamaha engine. It's a bit down on power compared to its stablemates the SB6 and the YB11, which feature the GSX-R1100 and YZF1000R "Thunderace," respectively, since the YB9 actually uses the liquid-cooled inline four and transmission from the YZF600R "Thundercat" [Ho!] with around 100hp and it even uses that bike's stock gauge cluster, nestled in between the carbon air-intake tubes.

Bimota obviously made its reputation wrapping lightweight frames and sexy bodywork around reliable powerplants from Japan, sexy powerplants from Ducati, and even the occasional German powerplant from BMW... Their early offerings used tube-style frames like the Verlicchi part from yesterday's Ducati 750 F1, but by the 1990s they'd moved on to aluminum beam frames as seen here. Access on some beam-frame models for maintenance and repair can be a bit iffy: the massive-looking part used on the SB6 and SB6R is designed to connect the steering head and swingarm pivot directly, but makes access to some parts difficult, like the front sprocket that supposedly requires the engine to be dropped when it needs changing... I've heard no such complaints about the YB11 that uses a very similar frame to the one seen here, which makes a certain amount of sense considering the fact that both use Yamaha engines.

This appears to be the carbureted SR model, not the fuel-injected SRi introduced in 1996: the metal knob at the top of the triple clamp looks like it could be the choke. That's probably no bad thing, as the fuel injection system was exclusive to the Bimota and will probably make maintaining the bike more problematic: with just 651 YB9s built, anything exclusive to the model might be tricky to source. The system did add a few claimed ponies but, like all Bimotas of the period, reviews of the fueling "improvements" varied a bit and I've read both rants and raves. And as easy as it should be to maintain the YZF600 engine and transmission, be aware that bits and seals for those forks and the Paioli rear shock might not be so easy and the bodywork... Let's just say if it were mine, I'd be regularly trolling eBay for panels "just in case."

From the original Craigslist post: 1996 Bimota YB9SR for Sale

2,653 original miles. 2nd owner. All stock, 1 of 3 imported to the US. Email for more info. Available April 19-26 only.

So the listing contains very little information, but mileage is extremely low, and it looks to be in pristine condition from the few photos provided. And the price? A screaming deal at $5,500. I'm under the impression that the seller needs to sell quickly, which might explain a price more in line with a decent used 600cc supersport. Of course the YB9's 600cc engine means a modern 600cc supersport would probably destroy it in any straight-line competition, but handling should still be impressive. Maintenance should be affordable, but bodywork might be very difficult to obtain if you push a bit too hard... I'm not the biggest fan of the yellow color with blue graphics, but this is a great-looking bike and possibly the cheapest way to get into Bimota ownership outside the questionably-styled Mantra.

-tad

Screaming Deal: 1996 Bimota YB9SR for Sale
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 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!
Bimota December 14, 2016 posted by

Swede Speed: 1980 Bimota SB3

Do you have the winter blues? Are you hoping for a European getaway? Are you jonesing for some Italian flair? Does one liter power rattle your wok? If so, we have the International combo platter for you! Nestled in a garage near Stockholm sits this beautiful Bimota SB3 - just waiting for an enterprising hero to come save it. While not perfect, the bones appear to be solid. Trim pieces may need to be sourced (or fabricated), but with only some 400 bikes produced over a three year span, this is a rare looker that could be the cornerstone of any collection.

1980 Bimota SB3 for sale in Sweden

What you got when you bought a new Bimota SB3: Chrome-moly frame by the sublime Rimini artists at the Bimota factory. Marzocchi suspenders with Bimota aluminum triple clamps, novel rising-rate single shock rear swing arm (a big deal back in 1980), Brembo binders, and miles of hand-laid, thin & lightweight fiberglass. And that's it. YOU needed to supply the donor Suzuki GS1000 for engine, trans and electrical. And you needed to put it all together. You see, back in 1980, Bimota produced motorcycle kits. As a result, no two early Bimotas are ever exactly the same.

From the seller:
Up for sale is an old collectable sport bike. I have owned it since 2000 but it has been standing in my garage the last 7-8 years without touching it sad enough so the miles for 24000 km (Swedish) is probably correct. I don't know remember where I put the back turn signals but I do think it is the same as some piaggio or something.
The bike need TLC but will be worth it big time !! It was a really joy riding it. My time is my problem and that is why I decided to eventuality sell it. The bike is in Sweden outside Stockholm and I am able to help loading it if the buyer takes care of the rest.

Italian grace and stunning looks motivated by the very best Hamamatsu had to offer in the day results in the usual RSBFS motorcycle porn. Sure, the pictures could be better - way better in fact. And the seller could have made a better effort to clean up the works to better showcase this Italianese merger of noise and speed. On the other hand, one has to acknowledge the refreshing honesty in providing photos of the bike in situ; you know it has been looked after since it sits indoors, and you don't have to worry about the seller shining it up to make a quick, glossy buck. It is what it is and it is available now. Good luck!

MI

Swede Speed: 1980 Bimota SB3
Bimota November 15, 2016 posted by

Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale

2008-bimota-tesi-l-front

Most Bimotas are about obsessive light weight as a path to improved performance, but their radical Tesi goes a step further. The name literally means "thesis" in Italian, and that's what the series has represented from the start: an experimental alternative to traditional telescopic forks. Three-quarters of the Tesi looks pretty familiar: Bimota's hybrid trellis/ machined-aluminum frame and swingarm with minimalistic origami bodywork and a funky Zard exhaust. But the front looks a bit like the rear, with a second swingarm and a hub-center steering setup holding the front wheel, resulting in a machine that looks like nothing else on the road.

2008-bimota-tesi-r-front-suspension

It's pretty well established that telescopic forks are a triumph of development over design. They've got significant drawbacks, but those limitations are well-known and their widespread use means that most manufacturers stick with them. It doesn't help that tire manufacturers design their products around traditional suspensions and hub-center steering set ups like this theoretically could get away with softer compounds... Ultimately, the theory doesn't play out in practice, and the Tesi is typically criticized for the lack of front-end feel that afflicts Hossack-suspended BMWs. Really, the only high-performance machine to make anything other than a telescopic fork work was John Britten, and I'm still shocked that no one has borrowed one of his V1000s, taken it to pieces, copied it, and put it into series production...

2008-bimota-tesi-fairing

The Tesi has been around for a while, in several different iterations. The earlier 1D actually used a liquid-cooled 851 engine, giving it cutting-edge power, but later models used Ducati's air/oil-cooled two-valve engines, making them simpler and lighter, but down on power. I'd assume this is mainly down to Ducati's willingness to supply Bimota with engines, rather than a particular engine's suitability for the application, although aesthetics may have played a part: the Tesi does look better without a big old radiator cluttering up the place. Regardless, the use of simpler, higher-torque engines mean that the later Tesi models make for excellent road bikes.

2008-bimota-tesi-l-frame-detail

From the original eBay listing: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D LE (Limited Edition) for Sale 

This is number 05 of 29.  Exceptional condition, new Michelin Power3 tires. Comes with original tools, books, workshop manual, specialty tools, original rear shipping stand, and factory indoor cover.  Both keys and Zard Exhaust. The condition of the bike is as delivered.  This bike is a work of engineering art, the details are only appreciated in person.  Best guess is only 27 left in the USA, 2 were sold to collectors in Europe. These bikes do not come up for sale very often. The only minor issues circled in the last two pictures.

2008-bimota-tesi-r-engine

The listing also includes this walk-around video. The "minor issues" the seller mentions do look pretty minor, just a couple of cosmetic blemishes you'd be likely to miss the first time you saw this bike in person, since you'd be busy trying to absorb all the jewel-like details of this very exotic machine. Bimotas no longer perform much better than mass-production motorcycles, but they make up for it by being exquisite in terms of craftsmanship and style. And with the Tesi, you get all that and more.

Bidding is up to $16,000 with the reserve not met and plenty of time left on the auction. For the money, it's certainly possible to buy a faster motorcycle, but you'd be hard pressed to find one more fascinating and exotic.

-tad

2008-bimota-tesi-r-side

Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale
Bimota November 1, 2016 posted by

Nineties Flyer: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale

1991-bimota-yb8-r-side

With lightweight bodywork held on by just a few bolts [note the one-piece tank-and-tail unit] and a plastic fuel cell, the Bimota YB8 used plenty of tricks learned on the racetrack and was pretty far ahead of its time. Based on the previous YB4 and YB6 but powered by the larger FZR1000 engine, approximately 250 were produced between 1990 and 1994. Bimota claimed 149hp from the FZR1000 engine, up a bit compared to the stock bike due to Bimota ignoring the "gentleman's agreement" of the time and applying the usual tuning tricks, and the inline four puts its power to the rear wheel through the Yamaha's standard five-speed box. Top speed is a 173mph but, as always with Bimota, it's the cornering that impresses the most.

1991-bimota-yb8-l-side

It's hard to blame a small manufacturer if they wanted to recycle or slightly update an existing frame, especially if the donor engines slot in easily. Looking at the later YB11, the frames look very similar and, as was pointed out by one of the Commentariat, I wonder if a Yamaha R1 engine and transmission might slot in there without too much persuading... Somehow, that doesn't seem to be as sacrilegious an idea as it would be for something like, say, a Ducati. The resulting bike should be a shade lighter than the original R1 if the manufacturers' dry weights are to be believed...

1991-bimota-yb8-clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale

Very are super bike, mint condition, needs nothing, we ship at buyer's expense can ship worldwide. Runs excellent, reasonable reserve, rare opportunity.

1991-bimota-yb8-r-side-rear

The listing doesn't include much information and the bike is clearly part of a larger collection. That's unfortunate although, obviously restoring that engine should be much easier than for some other obscure motorcycles. Bidding is up to just $5,200 with the Reserve Not Met, but Bimotas of this era seems to be going for around the $10,000 mark these days. Sure, for the price, you could buy a couple of nice Yamaha R1's, but that's hardly the point of this bit of Italian exotica.

-tad

1991-bimota-yb8-front

Nineties Flyer: 1991 Bimota YB8 for Sale