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Motown – 2000 Bimota SB8R

Bimota was fighting its way back from the V-Due debacle and brought forward the SB8R, based on Suzuki’s 996cc V-twin.  This example appears to have components from an SB8R Special, sporting all carbon bodywork and so even lighter.  It hails from an area more known for NASCAR but should be at home on any back road.

2000 Bimota SB8R for sale on eBay

The WSBK Series was in Bimota’s plans when their designers looked into the SB8R, and though that wasn’t to be, the design is a smashing collaboration between the boutique frame and mass-market powertrain manufacturers.  The aluminum perimeter frame has carbon connectors and 137 hp on tap from the Suzuki engine.  Bimota’s engineers tweaked the fuel injection with 59mm Marelli throttle bodies and underseat exhaust, resulting in a more SBK experience, as does the adjustable Paioli suspension.  Carbon fairing and carbon seat subframe lead to a ride 45 or so pounds lighter than the TL1000.

The owner hints that this is a race bike on its way back to road duty, and though there are no mirrors or signals, it looks way too nice to have ever actually done a race season.  Maybe a premium track day machine.  From the eBay auction:

Spectacular all carbon fiber bodywork steals the show at motorcycle gatherings.  The awesome intake sound through the huge snorkels is hard to describe and really enjoyable.

Starts, runs, rides perfectly.  Fantastic canyon or track day motorcycle.

Great ride due to its light weight (395 lbs dry),  fully dialed suspension, torquey TLR engine (though with Bimota’s own EFI and throttle bodies), and awesome Arrow race exhaust note. Engine and transmission gone through with everything returned to stock configuration.

All new fluids and ready to go except needs new street tires — pick per your preference. Carbon fiber clip on handle bars, special race rear set foot controls, Arrow carbon fiber racing mufflers. All the trick stuff that Bimota did on this design such as the self supporting carbon fiber subframe/tail, hybrid aluminum-carbon fiber main frame, mean intake snorkels, rear shock placement (forward for mass centralization)…

Even Laverda patron Francesco Tognon couldn’t turn the tide at Bimota, after their WSBK sponsor bailed early in the season.  Revitalized in the early 2000’s, the company has a new race team and a line of bespoke machines.  Very special but not in the giant killer way of the race-derived SB8R generation.  This auction has seven days to run and appears to have had a starting bid but no reserve.  Something to keep an eye on…




  • Cool bike to look at, but much more of a track fiend than a street rider. Remembering locations for turn signals, horn etc is essential as those are completely blocked from the rider’s by the ram air tubes, but the ergos for long upper body with short legs is not something you want to deal with in daily riding especially if one is to go on more than a 20 mile trip in even the lightest of traffic.

    Why the switch to carbon? Perhaps it was dumped and the body work was replaced. The current rendition is not very appealing with funky “batcycle” graphics. Interesting that who ever did the mods retained the regular SB8R silver color wheels rather than going for the black SB8RS set. That alone changes the entire appeal of the bike. Front brake lines are not routed correctly. Looking at the pictures of the dash, I did not see anything resembling controls for the engine management. SB8R in stock form had it attached to the top of the triple clamp and had 8 presets which were not optimal but better than nothing as these bikes liked to run a bit lean, Best option was an Evoluzione “infinitely” adjustable system but these are rarer than hen’s teeth. Perhaps a PC was installed but I didn’t see any mention of one.The TL-R motors like to leak after sitting for too long, make sure clutch shaft seal and the like have been replaced. Suzuki factory plastic clutch cover will leak, an aftermarket billet replacement will solve that headache.

    On the plus side, ISR calipers should be installed – much more effective than the factory Brembo units. Stock mirrors are included as well as the turn signals and clip ons.

  • Love my SB8R but definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under around 5’10 as its a big bike. Jump from this onto the DB5 and it’s like switching from riding an elephant to a greyhound! Definitely not the get on and just ride kinda bikes either, constantly have to play with the air/fuel mixture and I swear, there’s always something leaking! Still love mine though, she’s just a little high maintenance and beautiful in my opinion. I’d prefer the stock paint job though and ditch the purple bolts! To each their own though….

  • tirefriar – even with all those things missing, for $8K, is it a steal? I know Bimota’s a fickle bikes to work on, but if I had an extra $10Km this would almost be a dream come true. I say ‘almost’ since an RC45 for $10K is a dream come true. lol

  • They are not that bad to work on. Just have to pull the tail off to get under the tank. Just need to take your time and it’s all good. I’ve owned a couple dozen TLR’s when I used to have my last shop, super easy to work on. The leaks I speak of were a common issue, fuel line problem from factory and a poorly routed coolant line. Simple fixes. This one should go for About 9K IMO but who knows these days.

  • Pietro, part of the answer to your question is it depends which part of the world you are in. In Europe, particularly UK or Germany Bimota is still a recognized premium brand and are relatively easier to find a buyer who will lay out the extra cash these bikes so deservedly command. In US, the brand enjoys significantly less recognition and hence has a much more limited market potential. My former SB8R was a much better bike than the example here, with original body work, Evoluzione fuel management, ISR front calipers installed, Arrow exhaust, etc. I did the clutch cover mod and had the bike gone through by ProItalia to alleviate some oil leaks. It was also a handful, and I mean that literally, of road going SB8R in the US. In my opinion, my bike was a $12k bike but in the end I sold it for less.

    Looking at this SB8R from the US market perspective, I would say the biggest issue here is the lack of originality. The missing factory fairings are extremely hard to find. The positive here is that you can ride this bike without much fear of ruining an original example if something was to happen as its already a half-way frankenbike. However, it is still an SB8R with first ever road going bike frame integrating load carrying members made out of CF. It still won an endurance race and was able to bring Bimota back from the brink of extinction. The TL-R with Arrows sounds just freaking fantastic and it handles like a scalpel. With under 400 lbs dry weight being pushed by 135 hp it is also quite fast. If you are too loosey goosey with the throttle off the stop light, you will be reaching for the sky at a tip of hat (or should I say visor))).

    My opinion is that its a good buy at $8k. As you approach $10k mark your options increase and you can locate a much more original example. Its interesting that with about 260 or so SB8R bikes built and only 50 officially brought into US, the SB8R tends to pop up for sale more frequently than anyone would expect. On a parting note, check out the Bimota Spirit website: https://www.bimotaspirit.com/for-sale They are offering a 2000 SB8R with less than 1000 miles, all original for about $12k. The seller is a stand up guy, Robert Steinbugler. He was a Bimota general importer for the US and is still very active in the Bimota community. Bimota Spirit is also in North Carolina, I would suggest reaching out to Bob to see what he knows about this bike and to hear his opinion.

  • Hello Tirefrair: thanks for the info and Robert’s Bimota website. Carrollomotoclassics in Italy sold a fine EXUP and it was nice to see another great example for sale the SB2 is amazing.
    Thanks again for the outstanding post.

  • Motoman; Tirefriar,

    Thank you both for taking the time to provide a response. I’ve always admired the Bimota’s SB8R’s since they had the ‘look’ to compete with the 916.

    Also, let’s not forget Gobert’s WSBK win on it as well!

    The bimotaspirit site looks fantastic. I’ll definitely keep an eye on it from now on.

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