Posts by tag: Tesi

Bimota December 28, 2017 posted by

Bitcoin level Bimota: Zero miles 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D in Switzerland

Here is a time capsule, a zero miles/NOS Bimota Tesi 1D SR that has never had fluids installed.  The 1st generation Bimota Tesi is already a bit of unobtanium and something every collector considers so this one is certainly one to take notice the color scheme is perfect for the holidays.

1992 Bimota Tesi 1D with zero miles in Switzerland

Thinking back on the late 1990's, it seems safe to say that the manufacturer that best embodied the period ethos of "throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" was Bimota.   Part of that was due to its small nature/lack of multi-layered governance and part of it was also probably due to it being an Italian firm where a certain level of is expected.  Regardless, Bimota was willing to bring unproven concepts all the way to market and while some of these never delivered as promised (cough-VDue-cough), the Tesi series actually did what it promised.

The Tesi promise was improved handling via a new suspension feature; hub-centered steering.  The Bimota hub centered suspension setup transferred braking force into the frame, not up into the headstock area like on a conventional bike.  Without the impact of braking on the forks, the front end was significantly more stable which made handling feather quick and rock stable.

NOTE:  A good write up about the concept of hub-centered steering and Tesi can be found here.


At the launch of the Tesi 1D Bimota said the plan was to build 300 but the actual production numbers are a bit vague.   According to sources I found, over 400 were produced between its launch and end in 1994 and this number is said to have included about 50 produced with 400cc for Japan as well as some "Final Edition" and SR models which came with a 904cc 851 motor (the seller indicates this is one of the SR editions).

Mounted in Bimota's beautiful "Omega" frame the 904cc Ducati powerplant worked with the hub-center handling improvements to deliver a bike incredibly nimble for its size.  So why didn't the the Tesi and it's hub-centered design become the future of motorcycling?  The main factor was probably price.  When introduced the Tesi was offered at the eye-popping price of $40,000 USD which made it the most expensive motorcycle on the market.   Also, the complexity of the bike scared away some owners, especially after reports surfaced that the futuristic electrics and digital dash board could suddenly shut down or give wrong readings.


Now lets look at this particular Tesi 1D.  According to the seller, the bike has essentially been a display piece since production.  Below is a summary of what the seller has to say:

  • Never ridden, never run, properly prepared for long term display.
  • Specifically ordered from the distributor without any fluids when new in 1992. Neither the hydraulic brake system front and rear, nor the cooling system nor the original battery have ever been filled with fluids.
  • All mechanical components inside the engine are still coated with assembly lube from the Ducati factory. The engine is filled with a light-weight oil to preserve internals, it has never been started or run.
  • Kept in a climate controlled environment without UV light present, so there has been no deterioration of any rubber pieces and no discoloration of any painted or coated surfaces. Of course there is no oxidation present on any metal surfaces or fasteners.
  • The protective yellow zinc plating on all three cast iron Brembo rotor surfaces is still present, the seat foam on the molded solo seat pad and backrest is still uncompressed. The tires mounted were specified to be racing tires when ordered new. Levers, grips, pegs, chain, sprockets as most everything else on this motorcycle are as new as they were in 1992.
  • Comes with all the original ownership documents, customs forms, the owners manual, the warranty booklet, copies of the parts manual and workshop manual and the original Tesi toolkit in duplicate.
  • The original early Tesi rear stand, the one off custom front stand (for displaying the bike with both tires off the ground) both mph and km/h dash boards (km dash & computer packed up, mph dash with protective white film still underneath, mounted in the fairing) and two original Weber Marelli P7 ECU computers, one chip'd for regular street use and the other fully open P7 ECU chipped for race use performance, are also included.
  • Multiple other original spares come with this bike. Of course the red Bimota cover is present and in its correct Bimota bag.

Note:  The seller also provides additional photos via an online photo album here.

Now for the real question - is this bike worth the current asking price of $150,000 USD?   Yes, you read that number right - $150,000 USD.   That's almost 4 times the original asking price which is a level of increase I don't think we have ever seen on RSBFS before.  To be honest, when I saw that asking price I thought this was possibly a test listing by the seller but after communication with them, this is in fact the actual Buy-It-Now asking price.  Since in most cases sellers expect offers with 10-15% of the BIN price, its seems safe to say this one is going to cost 6 figures US for any interested parties.

So is a zero miles 1D SR Tesi worth that much?  Personally I don't think so but the 1D and 2D series of the Tesi come up for sale so rarely I don't know what the current value is.   I do think the current ask price means it won't go to an investment oriented collector but it could draw interest from the zero miles/"crate-bike" crowd.   I guess we can only wait and see...but it would sure be a nice way to start the new year with it in your living room.

-Marty G/Dallaslavowner

Bitcoin level Bimota:  Zero miles 1992 Bimota Tesi 1D in Switzerland
Bimota November 15, 2016 posted by

Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale


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.


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...


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.


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.


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.



Funky Forkless Flyer: 2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for Sale
Bimota February 7, 2015 posted by

The real culprit: 1991 Bimota Tesi 1D SR (in the UK)


Regular readers of RSBFS have seen many posts regarding Bimota, their history, collapse and rebirth. The Bimota V-Due (or VDue) model is usually referred to as the bike that caused Bimota to go bankrupt but this isn't the whole story. The VDue and the sudden disappearance of one of Bimota's main sponsors during the 2000 World Superbike season finally pushed the company into receivership but the Tesi effort actually started Bimota downwards.

The Tesi series  was a design and production effort based on the idea of hub centered steering offering improved stability over conventional forks. The Tesi 1D appeared in 1991 and attracted attention for its hub-steering system. (Note: The ‘D’ in 1D signifies Ducati as power came from the engine designed for the Ducati 851). The Bimota was equipped with a fuel injection system Weber dual injector per cylinder and other modifications that produced 113 bhp.

The problem was that the Tesi 1D and following Tesi related models were big development efforts than never translated into huge sales for Bimota, and the Tesi effort put Bimota into a a restricted financial condition.  Perhaps without the Tesi effort Bimota would have been able to weather the storm caused by the VDue debacle...


1991 Bimota Tesi 1d for sale on ebay uk

While the Tesi 1D is already a rare bike, the seller indicates this particular Tesi 1D is one of the limited edit SR models.  The SR models were different in that the engine had larger displacement, weight was reduced, the tank was reduced to 4 liters and the suspension was switched to Öhlins.  Only  164 SR versions of the 1D were produced, and they can be recognized by the green lines on the bodywork.


Like a lot of the early 1990's Bimotas', this one appears to have been owned by a collector.  The seller states that it was previously in Italy but it is now for sale via a UK-based dealership.  It certainly looks to be pristine and even seems to have the stock mufflers/exhaust canisters.


Is this ultra-low mileage Tesi 1D worth the $35,000+ asking price?  Well prices for the previous ones we have posted here on RSBFS have gone from 15,000 USD back in 2011 to over 20,000 USD just a few years later and all the Bimota Tesi models seem to be moving to the front of collectors most wanted lists.  Personally I think this price is a bit high but given the trend, this may be one of those situations a potential buyer looks back on soon and regrets not acting on.


The real culprit: 1991 Bimota Tesi 1D SR (in the UK)
Bimota October 8, 2014 posted by

Middle Child: 2006 Bimota Tesi 2-D in California

Update: This one sold before we could finish writing it. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc


Hub center steering bikes make the occasional appearance here on RSBFS.   Sometimes they are wild like the Gilera CX125, sometimes they are mild like the Yamaha GTS listed earlier this week...and then we have the Bimota Tesi/Thesis series.  The Bimota Tesi lineup originated with a fairly standard sport bike with an oddball front end with the 1-D, went to the other extreme with the 2-D and then came back to the middle with the 3-D.  While the 1-d and 3-d make occasional appearances on RSBFS, this is the much rarer middle child, the 2-D.

For those unfamiliar with the middle child Tesi, the 2-D began in 2002 when Ascanio Rodorigo, a former Bimota employee, founded his own motorcycle company ARP and decided to produce an updated version of the hub centered Tesi.  Less than 6 months later Rodorigo unveiled his creation, the Vyrus.  Given his close relationship with Bimota, its not surprising Bimota and Vyrus reached an agreement on how to sell his creation; Vyrus would build the bike and could sell it as a Vyrus, Bimota would be able to re-body/re-badge and sell it as the 2-D Bimota through its more established sales network.


2006 Bimota Tesi 2D for sale on ebay

To put it simply, the 2-D not only looked miles better than the 1-D, it performed much better too. Handling was a quantum leap over the old bike due to the shocks on both front and rear plus the huge reduction in weight and bulk from the 1-D, with the new Tesi having no fairing and almost no bodywork leaving the aluminum omega frame exposed.


Like most limited edition models (only 30 were made each year), the Vyrus/Tesi 2-D wasn't cheap.  Interestingly the Bimota Tesi 2-D was the more expensive option at  €46,000 while the Vyrus was only €38,000. The 2-D was removed from the Bimota lineup in 2007, after less than 50 units were built so as not to compete with the Tesi 3-D under development at the time.

Here is the info about the bike from the seller:

One of 10 brought to the US.  To my knowledge two have been exported, one is in the Barber Motor sports museum.

I know of one more private owner so at the most six are here.

One owner, part of a collection & it is just not getting used.

Southern Ca. Location , will assist with a trusted shipper.

FLAWLESS paint, ceramic coated exhaust & Kellerman signals.

Owners manual, & extra key.

So what's it worth?  Well, the Tesi bikes are kind of like the Ducati Supermono - prized by collectors, rarely seen on the actual street.   Given that this one is one of the rare 2-D series the asking price of 39,000 USD actually seems about right.   Personally I would love to have this one tucked away in my collection...maybe a RSBFS reader will pull the trigger and let me come over and drool on it a bit?


Middle Child:  2006 Bimota Tesi 2-D in California
Bimota March 31, 2014 posted by

2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for sale in California

2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for sale

Like the Yamaha GTS posted on RSBFS earlier this month, the Bimota Tesi 3D has a hub centered fork. And that's about where the similarities between the two end. The GTS was a single model attempt by a big Japanese manufacturer to adapt hub centered fork technology to an otherwise standard bike. The result was an uninspiring, heavy, restricted sport touring package that failed to excite most buyers.

2008 Bimota Tesi for sale on eBay


In contrast, the Bimota Tesi effort began in 1991 with the 1D but continued with the 2d in 2005 and the 3d in 2007. The Tesi 3d was pure Italian and about as far away on the motorcycling spectrum from the GTS as you could get; only made in small numbers, priced out of the reach of most mere mortals and something guaranteed to draw a crowd during bike night. A review of the Tesi can be found here


This particular tesi is listed as being a slightly repaired carbon version here in the USA and is listed with no reserve. KBB lists the value between 20k and 25k so the sellers asking price is actually spot on, even with the damage. That plus the the good eBay feedback number would seem to indicate a reasonably trusted sale. Bidding will still probably be brisk and it would certainly be a worthwhile add for a collector.


2008 Bimota Tesi 3D for sale in California
Yamaha March 19, 2014 posted by

Strange New World: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A


In the late 1980s and early 1990s it seemed that everybody was trying to improve upon motorcycle front suspension design. The working theory was that as front forks have to deal with multiple different forces (suspension, braking, steering), they needed to be extra beefy to handle them all. A better way might be to isolate some of the forces, enabling a better handling, safer motorcycle. Engineer James Parker developed the RADD concept, which was adopted by Yamaha for this rare sport-tourer: the GTS1000.

1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for sale on eBay


From the seller:
Right side has been down, plastics have been replaced, scratches on the frame and front swingarm


There were many interpretations of "funny front ends" during this era, including the Bimota Tesi and the legendary ELF racers (both of which experimented with alternate takes on the swingarm front end concept). Noted designer Tony Foale created one, and Dutch master Nico Bakker marketed an example as well. But for all the benefit of isolating braking, suspension and steering forces, the concept has yet to take off commercially. All of what adds up to make this GTS a rare bird.


This bike is far from perfect, but then we don't see many of them around. Prices are relatively cheap, and aside from the front end the rest of the bike is pretty standard Yamaha - meaning parts availability and mechanical reliability are what you would expect. Click here to check out all the pictures. Be sure and let us know what you think!


Strange New World: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000A