Well this is interesting: two Bimota DB1s in as many days, each very unusual, but in different ways. This DB1R is one of only four made purely for racing, a seriously exotic piece of kit, offered up by the same seller as the Ducati Supermono we featured yesterday. I’ve been told he’s a collector with very good taste and given what we’ve seen so far, I’ve got no reason to disagree!
Modern Bimota is famous for their super-exotic, carbon-origami confections and alternative front suspensions. Not to mention their eye-opening price tags. These days, it’s pretty hard to improve much upon the bikes being turned out by the major manufacturers, but Bimota got their start in an era when the handling of factory motorcycles often left more than a little bit to be desired and frame design was somewhat of a black art.
The name “Bimota” actually comes from the co-founders’ last names: Bianchi, Morri, Tamburini and the company was created in 1966 as a manufacturer of heating systems, of all things. But they branched out into motorcycles in the 70’s when they made their name cramming the refined and powerful engines of big-name Japanese manufacturers into aerodynamically-slippery machines that could go around corners without bending in the middle…
Aside from the disastrous but gorgeous two-stroke V-Due, all Bimotas have used engines from other manufacturers. Looking at a Bimota and wondering whose engine powers it? The clue is in the name: an SB is powered by Suzuki, an HB by Honda, and a DB by Ducati. The number represents how many bikes Bimota has built working with that manufacturer: so the DB1 was the first Ducati-engined Bimota.
The original eBay listings for these are always so spare. I’m guessing they just sort of assume “if you have to ask, you have no business buying…”
From the original eBay listing: 1986 Bimota DB1R for Sale
Bimota DB1R, 1 of 4 built, factory raced at Daytona by Malcolm Tunstall, new fluids, runs perfect
A couple years back, we featured one of these DB1R’s over on ClassicSportBikesforSale which looks to have been in more restored, less patina’d shape. That post is worth a look if you’re not familiar with the DB1, since that article has some good shots of the bike without the fairing: the frame is a serious work of art. And it probably doesn’t hurt that I have a bit of a fetish for big, white, Veglia tachometers with the smaller numbers conspicuously missing…
Bidding’s very active, and has headed north of $35k with the reserve met. Not really a surprise considering how rare these are. A very different proposition than the recent DB1 track bike we featured. That one was one-of-one, but not especially original though perhaps more usable. This one is a piece of history.