Posts by Category: Bimota

Bimota January 30, 2021 posted by

Why Be Anything Else? 1991 Bimota YB8

Bimota – a significant and famous portmanteau for motorcycle enthusiasts. Named after a combination of the three founder’s last names (Bianchi, Morri & Tamburini), Bimota started life out as a small design firm creating chassis and bodywork kits for racing. By replacing the spindly frames from production motorcycles, Bimota found that they could engineer a bike with much better performance than stock – even while using otherwise stock components such as wheels, brakes, engines and transmissions. This led to building street bike kits, until eventually Bimota became a full-fledged builder of complete motorcycles. Other than a brief foray into building their own engine (the ill-fated V-Due), Bimota has always relied upon donor engines and transmissions for their creations. And such it is with today’s beautiful Bimota YB8, which takes its heart from the mighty Yamaha FZR1000. Bimota supplies nearly everything else, given the bike its soul.

1991 Bimota YB8 for sale on eBay

The YB8 is not just another pretty face. Naysayers may look at a Bimota and see it as a rebodied or rebadged Yamaha. This could not be further from the truth. From the big beam aluminum chassis that exploits stiffness and mass centralization, the YB8 starts out life as a completely different motorcycle than the donor FZR. Bimota is very particular about their engineering and design; what is on the bike belongs on the bike, and nothing more. From the gorgeous frame plates to the svelte rear wheel eccentric adjuster, the components on a Bimota exude class. So too does the lightweight fiberglass bodywork; it has style and aero to compliment its utter lack of weight. And there is genius in the simplicity; one piece of bodywork comprises the entire tail section and tank cover, and one piece comprises the entire rest in a clamshell design.

From the seller:
I purchased this bike from Bob Steinburgler at Bimota Spirit. It was one from his personal collection just like the Vdue 500 I bought from him . One of the pictures is the bike at his shop before shipping it to me .YB8 is mint there’s no stress cracks on the body it is perfect so is everything else. Low mileage as well. If you’re looking for a collectable one this is it. Please feel free to message me if you have any other questions. Thank you very much.

As the Bimota brand is about uncompromising performance and style, it should not surprise the reader to discover that they are not about easy maintenance or access. Removing the lower bodywork is a stress test as these areas are known for cracking the thin gel coat. Components are very tightly packed together to centralize weight. Headers wrap very tightly against the engine and cases to provide minimalist dimensions overall, but make tasks like changing the oil a chore. In some Genesis-powered models, the engine needs to be lowered from the frame to adjust the valves. Is all that hassle worth it? You bet!!

Bimotas are rare and special bikes that are largely hand-built. They are designed and assembled by motorcycle enthusiasts that are willing to compromise some areas to ensure important aspects (again, performance and style) are enhanced. These are not mass produced, and numbers are relatively few. Parts for the Fizzer power plant and tranny are plentiful, making the YB series a pretty good way into the Bimota range. Power and performance is more than adequate, and the styling is off the charts. Nice touches like the Bimota-branded binnacle cluster show fit and polish that distance this bike from its kit-bike roots. This rare and wonderful machine is being offered up by the same seller that has brought us a recent stash of ultra-cool bikes (V-Due, OW01, YZF-SP, Superlight, 851…), and looks to have been maintained as is deserving of its pedigree. Check out all of the photos and details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Why Be Anything Else? 1991 Bimota YB8
Bimota January 25, 2021 posted by

Maybe Be My Always – 2000 Bimota V-due 500C

Seeming to have made a silk purse from a nasty old two-stroke 500, Bimota had just about set the moto world on its ear when reality intervened.  This V-due has carburetors set up by a Bimota cognoscenti and proves that there really are unicorns among us.

2000 Bimota V-Due 500C for sale on eBay

With its two stroke v-twin, the V-due was able to match 105 hp with a dry weight of just under 400 lbs.   Electronic fuel injection ensured low emissions and 50-state compliance.  Sergio Robbiano designed a signature chassis, with alloy extrusions connected by Rimini’s exquisite billet machinings.  A large diameter Paoli fork set is fully adjustable, as is the horizontal Öhlins monoshock.  Swoopy and angular bodywork is executed in carbon fiber, with a single seat and dual expansion chambers.

This V-due looks immaculate and shows just 212 miles on its almost bespoke dash.  Due to poor running and more major issues, the first examples were recalled by the factory and many were converted to carburetors by a factory engineer.  Even then they required careful tuning, this time done by a North Carolina Bimota shop / museum.  Spare NOS fairings are seriously unobtanium.  Very little history to tell, but comments from the eBay auction:

Bimota V-due 500C. This was One of Bob Steinbugler’s bike from his collection Bob from Bimota Spirit I purchased this bike from him about 3 -4 years ago. Bike runs great this is the carburetor model which he serviced and tuned for me . The bike will come with a NOS set of spare fairings still in the wrapper. Upper fairing and left and right side fairing.

The conversion to carburetors indicated that more was amiss than just the fuel injection system, and the inconsistent power delivery was traced to under-engineered crankshaft seals ( each bay of a multi-cylinder two stroke has to be independently sealed to make induction vacuum ).  Unfortunately, at that point Bimota had run through their funding and had to shut the doors until new investors revived the company.  As individual as any Bimota is, the V-due might be their rarest and most exotic model.  And right here in our own back yard.

-donn

Maybe Be My Always – 2000 Bimota V-due 500C
Bimota December 15, 2020 posted by

Performance Kit – 1984 Bimota SB4S

Early on, Bimota sold kits to incorporate the buyer’s own drivetrain into their chassis and fairing designs.  This unicorn was professionally prepared and has only seen the light of day for 1,800 miles since.

1984 Bimota SB4S for sale on eBay

Bimota specified the 1075cc air-cooled engine from the GSX-1100, and shares its formidable 112 hp.  Rimini made their own four-into-two exhaust, and of course their chromoly semi-cradle chassis, with billet aluminum sideplates.  Components are a history lesson of their own, with Ceriani forks and DeCarbon monoshock.  Looking bigger in the 16-inch wheels, brakes are all 280mm disks, with four-piston calipers up front.  Lightweight fiberglass is stretched over the hippy package, baring only the three-piece alloy wheels.

Showing clean but maybe not museum storage, this SB4S appears original right down to the tires, and complete.  The GSX engine was evidently blueprinted before sliding it into the Bimota kit.  A slick detail and maybe re-finish the front fender and it might look more like the rarity it is.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This bike is super rare, with only 100 or so of the S versions with the full fairing being made. The other 200 or so SB4 models had a 2/3 fairing that did not go under the engine.

This is one of the last (Chromoly) steel framed Bimota made before going to aluminum frames. It is also one of the last kit bikes they sold. This particular bike was ordered and assembled by The Performance Works of Canoga Park, CA. The original build sheet is included with the bike. Details include:
  • Brand new Suzuki GS1100 engine as a starting point
  • Yoshimura pistons, 2mm oversize
  • Vance & Hines clutch basket
  • Welded crank
  • Heavy duty cam chain
  • Carb work
  • Only 1,800 miles!

This bike has just been serviced with new Mobil 1 oil change, OEM oil filter, NGK plugs, and a new battery. It fires right up and sounds great.

Along with the original build sheet, there is the factory sales flyer and a copy of the parts list for the entire bike. The VIN for this bike is SB400127 (#127 out of the 300 or so SB4 and SB4S total bikes built).

So close I could be there in a half hour, but ’tis no longer the season for a test ride.  No worries about getting out of the air stream, any rider under six feet will be stretched out on the tank just to reach the clip-ons.  Geared tall and set up for higher speeds, wide open two-lane would be a lot more fun than errands around town.  Not that this collectible is liable to see a whole lot more of either.

-donn

Performance Kit – 1984 Bimota SB4S
Bimota December 9, 2020 posted by

All Red and Green ( and White ) – 2000 Bimota BD4

In livery looking a bit like an xmas ribbon candy, this sweet DB4 claims just 325 miles, minty fresh and some nice factory accessories.

2000 Bimota DB4 for sale on eBay

Bimota borrowed Ducati’s 904cc desmodue for the DB4, replacing its fuel injection with Mikuni carburetors and of course their own exhaust system.  An identical 80 hp were the result, though torque improved a bit.  As always, the chassis is the real story, with an alloy space frame and swingarm, a skwosh smaller than the donor machine.  Premium Paoli forks and Öhlins monoshock are part of the package, as are 320mm Brembo Gold Line brakes.  Though it has a full fairing, it’s lightly built and carbon accessories keep the riding weight under 400 lbs.

Not really enough pictures to answer any question, but this DB4 looks every bit as good as 325 miles might suggest.  No word on why the forks are Öhlins rather than the expected Paoli, but it’s a happy circumstance.  The front brake lever’s end has been removed, but no sign of any other damage.  Not a huge money bike, but a pre-purchase inspection and engine run might be worth every inconvenience.  Limited notes from the eBay auction:

Here is your chance to own a very low mileage rare bike! The Bimota DB4 is in very good condition and will include the factory cover as well as the stand. This bike was part of a collection and was serviced. It has a brand new battery and starts right up. Grab this one of a kind beauty at the lowest price online currently.

Bimota concentrated on Japanese power trains early on, and took advantage of Ducati’s L-twins starting in 1986.  Since then it’s been a series of winners, with success meaning a few hundred copies.  The brilliant 904 combined with the lightweight chassis made for a twisty road sweetheart.  Not sure a classic Bimota with not even break-in miles will ever find its way to the road again, but like a winning Powerball ticket, it would sure be nice to try.

-donn

 

All Red and Green ( and White ) – 2000 Bimota BD4
Bimota September 29, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing: 2003 Bimota VDue

The last gasp of the two stroke sportbike could have been something incredible; a jewel of a machine with impeccable balance and style and an unmatched power-to-weight ratio. And it almost was. When Bimota release the 500cc v-twin two stroke V Due in 1997, all the elements were there. Acres of carbon fiber, trick and expensive Paioli forks and a direct-injected 90-degree engine. But the first 150 or so bikes were nightmarishly unreliable, thanks to dodgy castings and a fueling system that never worked properly.

2003 Bimota VDue for sale on eBay

The result was the bikes leaked and seized more often than not, and when they did run the fueling and power delivery were untamed and unruly. The debacle ended up torpedoing Bimota as it existed then.

But in 2003 and 2004, a Bimota engineer bought the leftover bikes and fixed what plagued them, throwing a set of carburetors atop the v-twin, which saw in the neighborhood of 120 horsepower in a 320-pound bike. Thanks to emissions regs, the carbs meant the bike was a no-go for the street, but at least its riding potential could be realized.

This 2003 Bimota VDue has just over 330 kilometers on the clock, and according to the seller has lived inside as a display piece since the mid-aughties. The ad doesn’t go into the mechanical condition, but if the cosmetics are to be believed, this is a VDue you could actually get some seat time on.

From the eBay listing:

Bimota 500 VDUE

Year 2003 with 336 kilometers. Immaculate bike.

This bike has been inside an office for decoration over 14 years.

Number 067 from 180 unities made.

Bike is in Portugal with Italian Documents.

Please feel free to ask me more pictures or videos.

Transport to UK costs around £550 and will be Chas Mortimer Logistic Ltd collecting this bike.

Any doubt please call me +351916524741 or call Chas Mortimer Ltd to ask for my feedback.

The damage for this beautiful piece of Italian history is just over 35,0000 USD, and that’s before you get it here from Portugal. But, if you’re of a mind and the means, you’re unlikely to get a similar opportunity too many more times.

Featured Listing: 2003 Bimota VDue
Bimota September 16, 2020 posted by

Once Bitten – 2000 Bimota SB8R-S Carbon

Last seen on RSBFS in 2015, Bimota’s SB8R-S brought Suzuki’s TL-1000 twin to the Rimini carrozzeria.  Out of Vegas with minimal pertinent information, the condition of this SB8RS is to drool for.

2000 Bimota SB8R-S Carbon for sale on eBay

As Bimota liked to do, they took a leading drivetrain and wrapped it in their innovative chassis.  In this case the aluminum twin-spars terminate in carbon frame connectors.  The lighter weight and Bimota’s intakes, bespoke fuel injection, and exhausts put 133 hp up against sub-400 lbs. dry weight.  Components from Paoli, Öhlins, and Brembo transform the lazy handling TL-1000 into a superbike worthy of the name.  Bimota showcased their carbon fab skills, with the big-weave fresh air tubes dominating the cockpit.

No maintenance or ownership history is mentioned by the selling dealer, but 1,500 miles and excellent condition tell their own story.  Though the black on black presentation is tricky, exquisite details abound.  While the interface between the seat sub-frame, frame connector and fairing is a futuristic landscape, the asymmetrical triple tree with off-center ignition switch greets the owner on every ride.  Gold Paoli accents are echoed at the pegs and brakes.

Though the SB8R was a winning model, the V-Due and Moto GP sponsor debacles forced the doors closed for a few years.  It’s a  pretty nice testament to the design that it was reinvigorated in 2005 as the SB8K.  This might be the same example auctioned at Iconic recently, if so it’s said to have a celebrity owner Nicholas Cage in its past.  An SB8R-S in this condition should be celebrity enough for any owner, though if it’s a short-term sale the reserve is probably up there.  Something to keep a close eye on !

-donn

Once Bitten – 2000 Bimota SB8R-S Carbon
Bimota August 30, 2020 posted by

Robbiano Report – 2008 Bimota DB6R with 2,040 Miles !

Revitalized in the early 2000’s, Bimota and their sadly late designer Sergio Robbiano presented the DB6R Delirio, powered by Ducati’s latest 1100cc air-cooled engine.  This Long Island example has barely been ridden and looks basically new.

2008 Bimota DB6R for sale on eBay

Even Bimota was compelled to produce an all around naked sport, but the mixed chassis of trellis and billet connectors puts a fine edge on the concept.  Ducati’s injected dual-spark twin pumps 95 hp through the factory slipper clutch, and the stepped seat will hold you in for 160 mph.  Superbike-sized Öhlins and Brembo components are found front and rear, and carbon fiber mudguards cover the natural-finished Marvic wheels.  The complex array of mostly carbon side covers and fairing pieces don’t push the riding weight over 370 lbs.

Just enough information in this auction to make one want more, but what’s here appears clean and without a scratch.  The Delirio came with a modern canister exhaust but the Zard update is a sportier-looking replacement.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is in perfect condition in every way with only 2,040 miles.  It has a carbon fiber Zard exhaust installed by Bimota dealer at time of original purchase.  This may not be factual, but I was told that only approximately 6 of these bikes were imported into the US directly by the Bimota importer, making this a truly collectible and rare bike.

Robbiano started at Ducati, drawing Tamburini’s ideas for the 916, and was taken early from the middle of a successful design career which was always about two wheels.  As intended, the DB6R made a splash in Milan, and the production bike had great reviews.  Seemingly undamaged in many years of under-use, the bidding on this Delirio starts at just half of the list price.  For a fan of the brand or a design buff, a quick change of belts, tires, and liquids will give this Bimota a new lease on life.

-donn

Robbiano Report – 2008 Bimota DB6R with 2,040 Miles !
Bimota July 26, 2020 posted by

The Purist: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale

The Bimota DB2 is a bit of an odd duck [pun!]: the company’s claim to fame was building high-spec, light weight, race-inspired sportbikes powered by Japanese engines. Those engines came from bikes that were overbuilt and often significantly heavy, so Bimota found a significant performance increase by building motorcycles as much as a hundred pounds lighter than the original machines that donated their powerplants. But Ducati, with a few exceptions, has always had the whole handling thing pretty much nailed, and the DB2 isn’t much lighter than the Ducati 900SS that donated its engine to the endeavor.

Bimota’s naming system flies in the face of motorcycling convention. You’d probably think a Bimota SB6 would be powered by a 600cc engine. It’s not. Instead, it’s packing 1100cc of Suzuki heat. “SB6” means the bike in question is the sixth Suzuki-powered Bimota. The number has nothing to do with displacement. Because Italy. The original Ducati-powered DB1 proved to be a big seller and, at around 600 units, qualified as nearly volume production.

Luckily, the DB2 was a bit lighter than the 900SS at a claimed 373lbs dry. The one-piece tank shroud and tail section was held in place by a few fasteners, and was wrapped around a plastic fuel cell, all of which helped keep things simple as well as light. It was powered by Ducti’s 904cc air-cooled Desmodue v-twin from the 900SS that produced 86 claimed horsepower. That charismatic engine was suspended in a trellis frame similar to the original Supersport unit, matched to a sexy tubular swingarm, with stout Paioli forks and an adjustable Öhlins shock out back.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale

1993 Bimota DB2 VIN#ZES1DB21XPRZES018. 408 DB2s were manufactured and this is one of the 285 full-fairing models. I purchased this bike in 2014 and have put less than 1,000 miles on it since then. After picking it up it was fully serviced by DucPond (Ducati Winchester, VA) with valves, belts, fluids and a new clutch basket and plates. Most recently in Feb 2020 it was back for belts and fluids at DucPond. Bike has the air cooled Ducati 2 valve motor in it. This is a very light bike with remarkable handling and great brakes – only bike I have ridden with true floating front discs. Reliable, easy to work on and tons of options available for it. It runs strong and pulls very nicely.

Everything works on the bike. The low fuel level light comes on and off regardless of the fuel level – common to these bikes I think. If I was keeping it I would put fresh tires on it (the ones on it are past their shelf life); change the brake fluid again; and replace the blinker relay with an adjustable one (they blink too fast). Bike charges fine and has a newish battery in it. No warranty expressed or implied – it is 27 years old, but I would happily ride this bike anywhere. As a 27 year old bike it is not perfect and has a few flaws which I have tried to highlight in the pictures. The paint is probably as good as the factory, but has blemishes in it. Clear title in my name.

Not on the bike but included are the steering dampener and original airbox. It comes with two sets of keys and the original books. Separately I have a lot of spares for this bike, that are not included with the sale here but I will consider a good offer on them from the purchaser of the bike. Bike shows 1978 miles and if the below is correct, then total mileage would be about 5,000 miles.

Prior to my ownership what the previous owner stated (these are not my words). There is a letter in the paper work indicating acceptance of the bike as a gift.

“This motorcycle was completely restored in 2001 when it had approximately 3000 miles and donated to the Larz Anderson Transportation Museum in Boston, who elected to auction it to focus on their older collection of pre-war cars.

Enhancements performed in 2001:

“944cc big bore kit, stainless steel engine studs, carburetor jet kit, new timing belts, carbon fibre belt covers, braided brake lines, polished wheels, mufflers, intake manifolds, new chain and sprocket, adjustable brake and clutch levers, tinted windscreen, Euro headlight, new speedometer and tachometer, painted frame.”

Bike is located in Northern VA.

Bidding is very active on this example, which is no surprise considering it hasn’t even cracked $10k yet. I have to be honest: the Bimota DB2 is one of my favorite Bimotas, but I’m not a huge fan of those graphics with their dripping paint/urban camo design. I’d happily live with them though, even in the garish white/purple [?!]/white scheme that was also available. It’s one of the purest expressions of Italian motorcycling, a light, nimble machine with striking looks and just enough power to be fun. The DB2 is easy to run as well, at least as far as the two-valve Ducati engine is concerned. Don’t be put off too much by the scary Italian reputation: a well cared-for Desmodue is good for 100,000 miles or more, and servicing isn’t all that expensive, or difficult for a handy home mechanic.

-tad

The Purist: 1993 Bimota DB2 for Sale