Posts by tag: GSX1100

Bimota September 14, 2017 posted by

Even Rarer than Rare: 1984 Bimota SB4S for Sale

You'd think that, with just 272 built during its run, the SB4 would be as rare as it gets for a production motorcycle. But no: Bimota actually offered an even rarer version of their Suzuki-powered race-bred machine, the even more limited-production-y SB4S. Just 34 of these thoroughbred machines were factory-built, with another 72 sold in kit form. That's right: Bimota used to make build-your-own superbikes!

These days, Bimota makes moto-jewelry, high-end fashion accessories that just happen to be incredibly fast motorcycles. But their creations used to be some of the fastest, best handling motorcycles available at any price. Unfortunately, modern manufacturers' products are not only reliable, but offer handling and refinement Bimota can't hope to significantly better, considering their limited resources. So modern Bimotas offer an unmatched level of craftsmanship and exclusivity, but minimal performance advantages, compared to the motorcycles that donate their engines and transmissions. But that wasn't always the case, and bikes like the SB4 are the perfect example of what Bimota did to earn their respected place in motorcycling history.

The rugged, air-cooled Suzuki engine that powered the SB4 displaced 1075cc and came equipped with four valves per cylinder, along with their TSCC or "Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber" technology that improved combustion efficiency. It made plenty of power, so Bimota left it largely stock. Instead, the Bimota's performance advantage came from improved suspension and much lighter weight: the SB4 shed almost 140lbs off the Suzuki's 535lb dry weight. The lightweight, one-piece tank and tail is attached by just a few bolts, and can be easily removed for maintenance.

The frame is a masterpiece, and a major contributor to the bike's improved handling. A hybrid construction of chrome-moly tubing with gorgeous machined aluminum side plates, it's a shame it's mostly hidden in the photographs. Wheels were modular 16" and fitted with radial tires, which were a relative rarity at the time.

So what made the SB4S more exclusive than the regular, pedestrian SB4? Well supposedly we'd be looking at a four-into-one exhaust, although this bike seems to have the regular SB4's dual exhaust. The S should also have an oil-cooler as well, but it's hidden behind the fairing in the pictures, if indeed it is present. This machine also features some pretty ugly turn signals fitted to the fairing, which is unfortunate as the stock bike would originally have had none. Not very safe, but much nicer-looking. Given the dual exhaust, I'm not even sure if this is actually an SB4S, so I'd be happy to get any input from any knowledgeable readers. Either way, it's still a very rare and exclusive Bimota, and bidding is pretty active, with several days left on the auction.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Bimota SB4S for Sale

1994 Bimota SB4S, mint condition, very rare and beautiful, pearl paint, Campagnolo wheels, no issues, we at buyer's expense can ship worldwide.

As always, I'd like a bit more information about this motorcycle in terms of maintenance and history. It's a bit dusty in the photos, and it'd also inspire more confidence if the seller got the year right: it's listed as a 1994 model but I'm pretty sure Bimota, in spite of a pretty weird production history, wasn't still making the SB4 in 1994...  At the end of the day, a mechanical restoration shouldn't be too hard, as long as the frame, suspension, and bodywork are all intact, since the Bimotas of the era used many components, including the gauges and switchgear, from the donor Suzuki GSX1100.

-tad

Bimota September 9, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Bimota SB5 for Sale

Sept 9 Update: Due to some issues with eBay UK, the seller has relisted this amazing SB5. Links updated. -MI

The fifth Bimota powered by Suzuki engine, the SB5 was a development of their successful SB4, which is no bad thing: both bikes followed Bimota's formula of wrapping a solid, Japanese engine in a race-bred trellis frame and lightweight, swoopy bodywork. The style of the SB5 is very 80s sportbike, with a huge fairing and windscreen that should make trips to the 160mph top speed relatively comfortable. As with many Bimotas, the devil is in the details: notice how few fasteners hold that one-piece tank-and seat section to the bright red frame? And what's that there, hiding under the tail section? A passenger seat?! Yes, the SB5 was basically an SB4 with a longer wheelbase and passenger accommodation added in the form of a hidden seat and pegs that tuck away into recesses in the bodywork.

Most of the 158 SB5s made were fitted with the 1135cc inline four from the GSX-1100, but this ultra-rare example is apparently fitted with the similar, but slightly smaller unit from the Katana 1100 that displaces 1074cc. It lacks liquid cooling, but the engine was otherwise fairly sophisticated and incorporated dual-overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, along with Suzuki's TSCC or "Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber" that promoted faster and more efficient combustion, all fed by a quartet of Mikuni carbs and backed by a five-speed gearbox. Claimed horsepower for the standard SB5 was 119hp with 77lb-ft of torque. The Katana engine installed here doesn't seem to offer any performance advantages compared to the one from the GSX, but does add to the bike's rarity.

As was the style for high-performance sportbikes for a very short period at the time in the 80s, 16" wheels were fitted at both ends of the SB5 for nimble, if sometimes unstable handling. Bimotas may be famous for their light weight, but that's relative in this case: the GSX was definitely heavier, but the SB5 clocks in at a solid 513lbs full of fuel and lubricants. The bike featured triple Brembo brakes and quality suspension at both ends. Period reviews naturally praised the bike's handling and straight-line performance, although the SB5's high cost made it more dream bike than something a normal rider might seriously consider.

From the Seller: 1986 Bimota SB5 for Sale

1 of 5 factory build SB5 with the 1074cc engine

This 1986 Bimota SB5 is one of a handfull of bikes left from our collection which we have been dissolving this past year due to continued health related reasons which in turn require us to consolidate all our personal items and to scale back from multiple locations to just one.

This is not a 'normal' motorcycle in 'average' condition so the text describing it and this sale's particulars might be somewhat different than what one would normally see written in a listing here on Ebay. If you dont care for long descriptions, please feel free to just skip to the photo album link here below and enjoy the images. If those images raised your interest level i am sure you will take the time to read the remainder of our description as posted below.

There are really no guidelines as to what the value of this fairly rare Bimota SB5 in this exceptional, low mileage condition might be worth in the current international market place, so all we expect is a reasonable and fair offer that both, we as the seller and you as the buyer can be satisfied with and the motorcycle will be sold.

Details:

One of the last 10 Bimota SB5 build in the factory in Rimini in 1986, one of only 5 known to be delivered with the 1074cc Katana engine, due to homologation issues surrounding the later 1135cc engine in all other SB5 models in some marketplaces. Total production run of the SB5 was 158 units, 5 of which were these special 1074cc versions. This makes this one of the rarest factory Bimotas build in the 80-ies and fairly collectible

We bought it because we liked the look and have always favored Suzuki's 1074cc power plant. At the time we had the choice of buying the SB3 or this SB5 and we decided in favor of the SB5 because of the newly designed frame which incorporates an aluminum CNC machined centerpiece and because with only 158 bikes build and this being one of five special ones it seemed much more collectible than the SB3 which was build in over 400 units and didn't allow for a passenger to enjoy the great road handling as well.

As an added bonus this SB5 is in superb condition, with very low original mileage, all original with the correct Bimota wheels, Bimota stand, correct Magneti Marrelli mirrors (never installed) and small round black-body turnsignals with black aluminum stalks and the correct black chrome exhaust system

Having only been ridden some 14-thousand kilometers ( 8000 miles) from new it runs as good as it looks.

I do not think there is a need to go into extreme detail on every component on this motorcycle, the images in the photo album say more about what level of condition this motorcycle is in than words could ever do

As mentioned before, we have prepared such an online photo album showing this motorcycle in detail in more than 50 high quality images that might be of interest to a serious collector.

So it may have been an out-of-reach luxury machine when it was new, but what will it cost to put a Bimota SB5 in your garage today? This extremely nice example is listed on eBay's UK site with a price of £14,500, the equivalent of about $18,800, and is currently located in Germany. All-in-all a very exotic, very collectible motorcycle that could form the centerpiece of your Italian motorcycle collection or a very cool roadbike.

-tad