Posts by tag: Paioli

Laverda October 30, 2019 posted by

Zany Personality: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula

The Laverda 750S Formula was a massive gamble to revive a long a storied (but sinking) brand. This excerpt from an earlier post on a similar bike is being utilized by the seller of today’s find in the advert – but only partially. In the spirit of completeness (and to be lazy), I reprint it here:

“While there is no guaranteed formula for success in the motorcycling business, there are some pretty basic tenets worth following. The first is to start with a decent brand name and reputation. Laverda – building performance motorcycles since 1949 – fits that bill perfectly. The second rule is that the bike has to look good; as we all know, style sells. The Formula edition of the 750S offers full bodywork rivaling the best Italy has to offer (Bimota and Ducati included). Rule number three is to engineer the heck out of it to ensure a solid platform. Laverda rang up legendary framemeister Nico Bakker who created the robust chassis. The next step is to ensure adequate power – Laverda punched out their 650cc parallel twin to 750cc and the Formula edition provided uprated cams, revised fuel-injection settings and carbon-fibre Termignoni silencers to boost top-end power to aclaimed figure of 92bhp. The last step is to drizzle liberally with the best components money can buy, which Laverda did with Termi exhaust, Brembo binders, Paioli suspension front and rear, Marchesini wheels and Weber-Marelli electrics. What emerged as the 750S Formula was a handsome, potent machine that totally failed to turn the tides of Laverda’s fortune. The company went under for good a few short years later.”

1999 Laverda 750S Formula for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Up for auction is my 1999 Laverda 750 S Formula. This bike only has 1684 Kilometers (about 1000 miles) – it is all original. If you’re interested in this bike you probably know all there is to know about it. You can also search about this Zane era Laverdas for more info.

NOTE: For what I can gathered based on information and title, the bike was a theft recovery many years ago. The bike was then stored for about 10 years. Since I bought it, I have put in a new ECU, ignition key, battery, rebuilt the brakes and put new fluids. The bike is 20 years old and it has some blemishes and scratches, but nothing mayor. I have tried to point out the most noticeable in the pictures. I have not cleaned or detailed the bike 0 this is the way it was after I took it for a little ride on wet pavement.

The fear of “theft recovery” looms large, but that doesn’t always have to sound as harrowing as one can make it out to be. Given that the advert states a clear title, that means that this bike wasn’t stripped down for parts and left with a salvage slip. In the photos the bike looks to be in good condition, with the usual nicks and scrapes that 20 years of use can bring. If you watch the video the bike sounds great (love those carbon cans) – and let’s not forget about that fantastic frame! Provided the miles listed on the odo are actual and that unit was not replaced, this looks to be a solid example of a rare breed.

These “Zane” era Laverdas (built in the locality of Zane, to separate them from the earlier era of Laverda) are truly great motorcycles. They have all the great looks you would expect from the Italians – even verging on the precipice of appearing to be Japanese. These are undeniably rare motorcycles, but the values have not risen as quickly as one might expect. If you love an underdog story, if you are looking for a sport bike that is fast enough, looks great AND isn’t a 748 or CBR, this 750S Formula just might be for you. Bonus: Bidding is down below $3,500 with a reserve still in place. Depending on what that is set for, this could be another RSBFS bargain in the making. Check it out here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Zany Personality: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula
Bimota October 21, 2019 posted by

From the Cape: 1998 Bimota SB6R

Bimota is known for taking the road less traveled – in order to travel that road faster and with more exclusivity. And while Bimota has had some brilliant successes and failures, it was the SB6R that promised mainstream potential. Housing a GSX-R1100 powerplant magically wrapped in aluminum and fiberglass, the SB6R weighed less than the Suzuki donor bike that gave up the engine and trans. Fast, powerful and looking like it was built to break speed limits everywhere, the SB6R is among the most approachable of the Bimota set, and always worth a closer look.

1998 Bimota SB6R for sale on eBay

While you would be forgiven to lust after a more exotic Bimota – say a VDue or Tesi – the SB6R is a work of art in its own right. Look closely at the details and let the fun begin. Where to start? How about that asymmetrical swing arm, complete with BIMOTA stamped out in raised lettering. Light, trick and very indicative of the level of workmanship. Check out the under tail exhaust poking out shotgun style over the rear wheel. Look at the solo saddle. No passengers on this ride, and there is no faux solo seat cover to confuse the issue. This is a rider’s bike. Check out the Bimota-logo instruments and spend some time on those lovely triple clamps. Yes, those started life out as billet blocks. Even the non-Bimota stuff is gorgeous: the rear Ohlins shock and placement, the right side up Paioli fork with carbon covering and quick release, and the Brembo binders all work together to create art.

From the seller:
On offer is this mint condition Bimota SB6R.
Corse exhausts.
Low mileage, well maintained and serviced recently.
I have also included an additional original rear wheel.
This prime example would make a great addition to any motorcycle collection.
Worldwide shipping is available at competitive rates.

In a sad twist of irony, it was the more exotic Bimota VDue that sealed the fate of the SB6R. With the recalls of the two-stroke machine pushing Bimota into bankruptcy, a mere 600 SB6Rs were produced – far fewer than anticipated. That makes this particular bike a bit rare. Unfortunately in this case rare does not immediately equate to expensive. While this was priced above $30,000 when new, these are laregely sub $10k machines today. And that makes them well worth the purchase. Where else can you find the exclusivity and panache that only a Bimota can give you – not to mention the handling and performance – for that kind of dosh? Sure, maintenance is a bit tough on many of these models due to the tight tolerances between the engine, frame and bodywork, but thankfully the Suzuki mill is well neigh bulletproof. Check it out here, as this one is looking for an opening ask of $9,900. That is more than many we have seen recently, but not out of the range of reason by any means. Good Luck!!

MI

From the Cape: 1998 Bimota SB6R
Bimota July 22, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Update 8.23.2019: This bike has sold to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

I’m unreasonably fond of the Bimota SB6R, making me possibly the very best or the very worst person at RSBFS to write up this particular Featured Listing. It’s hard to explain why. It’s not the prettiest bike of the era, but somehow the bulbous styling and classic graphics and general Bimota weirdness and current low prices just make it an object of lust for me. This example was originally posted here back in 2016 when it was for sale by the previous owner (for a considerably higher price), and now the current owner wants to pass it along to a new home.

Bikes of the era represent “peak Bimota” to me: earlier machines offered perhaps more of a racing pedigree and later bikes are more refined, but the big, bruising SB6 and YB11, the fabulous but temperamental V Due, the original Tesi, even the classic DB2 all epitomize the handbuilt, race-inspired engineering that exemplifies the brand, even if inconsistent build quality and impractical construction made them frustrating to own. What do I mean? Well the formula for the SB6R was simple: take the honking big inline four from the GSX-R1100 that weighed in at nearly 550lbs full of fluids and put it into a machine weighing in almost 100lbs less. That naturally required the body and frame to be virtually shrink-wrapped around the powertrain, and that led to issues with access when servicing them.

Luckily, that engine is pretty easy to take care of, once you gain access, and the bodywork is made up of very few pieces, making it relatively simple to strip it down. You still have to work around that massive aluminum beam frame, but at least you can admire its industrial beauty while you try to adjust the carburetors… The rest of the bike is as trick as you’d expect from a Bimota: the lowers on the right-way-up Paioli forks were carbon fiber and the fully-adjustable Öhlins shock was tucked in alongside the engine, with the remote adjuster slung underneath.

With supposedly just 600 made, you probably haven’t seen one in person. I’d always loved the front but felt the tail was a bit awkward, but finally seeing one in the flesh changed my mind completely. From the pictures, this one appears to be in very nice cosmetic condition. The miles are now pretty much what they were on the bike back then, which is the only real issue here: it’s largely been sitting as part of a collection, so it will need to be gone-through if you plan to use it on the road. Or on the track, if you’re that kind of lunatic.

From the Seller: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

I have a ’98 Bimota SB6R that I’d like to sell. I bought the bike from a friend who owned Austin Vintage Cycles. He bought it at the Mecum Jan. 2016 auction and has divested his interest in AVC. As such, he sold me the Bimota and a bunch of Ducati Bevel stuff. So neither of us have much info on the bike. However, I recently spoke with the previous owner who took it to Mecum. It was part of a 15 bike collection of interesting bikes all having low mileage in common. He told me he rode the bike once or twice, in 2014 or 2015 and it was ”very fast’’. He had the tank drained prior to the auction but couldn’t remember if the float bowls were drained; I’m guessing not. I’m not sure whether there’s a battery in the bike but it’s certainly dead if it’s there. The bike will therefore need a fairly extensive “going over” before being ready to ride, most likely including new tires. Currently, the bike and title are at the former site of AVC in Leander TX, just north of Austin. We will facilitate shipping with Federal, who we’ve used extensively and are comfortable with them.

  • Frame & Engine Numbers Matching: ZESSB6009WR000010
  • Only 2,505 Original Miles
  • Original Red Paint and Bimota Badges & Decals
  • Carbon Fiber Fairing Inserts and Wheel Covers (Front & Rear)
  • 5-Speed Transmission with Chain Drive
  • Electric Start with White Gauge Cluster (tachometer & speedometer)
  • Liquid Cooled 1,074cc Engine
  • Four Stroke, Transverse Four Cylinder w/DOHC (4 valves per cylinder)
  • Paoli suspension, Brembo brakes, Marchesini wheels
  • *156 bHP with 174 Top Speed (per Bimota)
  • *29.7 Seat Height and 419 lbs Dry Weight (per Bimota)

All lights and electronics work perfectly. There are blinkers and a mirrors installed so it will easily pass vehicle inspection in Texas.

Price: $8,000 $7,500

The seller is asking $7,500 for the bike, with reasonable offers considered. Obviously, it’s going to need a bit of servicing to get it running, but that’s honestly pretty common when you’re looking at a bike this old. In the plus column, it’s a Suzuki GSX-R1100 motor, so getting parts to make it roadworthy should be dead easy. In the minus column, that Suzuki motor is in a Bimota, which means that installing those parts could be a bit tricky. At the end of the day, the cosmetic condition appears to be excellent, which should be the primary concern for anyone looking to buy a Bimota, since those parts can be difficult and expensive to obtain. I love the SB6R, so hopefully the right person will pick this one up and get it running!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale
Bimota March 11, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Today’s Featured Listing is a bit of a flashback. We posted this very clean Bimota SB6R in April of last year and, although it didn’t sell at the time, the owner has been doing what you should do with an Italian exotic: enjoying it, racking up an additional 1,300 miles. That means it’s still collector-bike low with just 4,250 miles in total, but the fact that the seller has been riding it should be a big selling point for anyone looking to buy a 90s Bimota. Too many of these bikes sit, admired and displayed instead of being used in anger, slowly succumbing to neglect. Sculptural they may be, but Italian bikes were meant to be ridden.

Bimota made its name building cutting-edge racebikes, but the SB6R is first and foremost a roadbike. Utilizing Suzuki’s powerful and bulletproof liquid-cooled GSX-R1100 engine that displaced 1074cc, the SB6R wasn’t really eligible for many racing classes. But it was used the very best, competition-worthy components available at the time, with triple Brembo brakes, a Paioli fork up front and an Öhlins shock fitted almost horizontally, and was built with Bimota’s usual attention to detail, using  Lotus-founder Colin Chapman’s philosophy: “light makes right.”

With a claimed 156hp from the eminently tunable Gixxer motor pushing a claimed dry weight of just 419lbs, the SB6R is a massively capable roadbike that can easily keep up with modern machines. Keep in mind that the SB6R weighs nearly 100lbs less than the famously fast GSX-R that was powered by the same engine. The flexible powerplant is backed by Suzuki’s five-speed gearbox that takes advantage of the bike’s huge midrange and 74 lb-ft of torque.

As always with a Bimota, the frame is the real star of the show, something casual observers might overlook at first, with all the curvy carbon fiber bodywork on display. But once you notice those massive aluminum spars, they become the bike’s defining feature. The design utilizes Bimota’s “Straight Connection Technology” concept that prioritizes as direct a link as possible between the steering head and the swingarm pivot. It’s not the most practical way to design and build a frame, but Bimota’s goal was ultimate performance, and the matching, asymmetrical swingarm even has “bimota” embossed in one side for an extra does of craftsmanship.

Make no mistake, this was one of the fastest and most exotic motorcycles of the 1990s. Just 600 were ever made, and the model’s life was cut tragically short when Suzuki discontinued the GSX-R1100, then Bimota’s first bankruptcy ended any dreams of a GSX-R1000 powered follow up. It’s a shame, because the earlier SB6 was one of their best-selling models and I much prefer the looks of the later SB6R. This example has serial number 000023 and includes a lightweight Corse exhaust, a very nice bonus. If you want a different exhaust for your SB6R at this point, pretty much your only other option would be something completely custom.

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

I have come once again to your fine forum to move a jewel. I know you have featured a few of these, so I wont go through the Bimota propaganda and just get to the meat of what I have done. The usual Bimota story, well heeled individual purchased and rode very little, used more as a object d’art, rather than a mode of transportation for the majority of its life. She is now ready for riding. This thing rips, even with my 6’4″, 220 pound, Yeti-like mass aboard.

  • Equipped  with the Bimota Corse Titanium exhaust
  • Kevlar brake lines
  • Michelins
  • Rebuilt carburetors, new needle valves
  • New NGK plugs
  • Oil and filter
  • New fuel pump from Bimota Classic Parts
  • New petcock from Bimota Classic Parts
  • All new Motion Pro fuel lines
  • New fuel filters
  • Cleaned fuel tank
  • The fuel system is now up to original Bimota factory spec.
  • This bike pulls like a freight train.
  • 2 small cracks in the gauge lens
  • Ridden and on the road
  • Every system functional
  • No issues
  • All paperwork in order.
  • 2 Original Bimota keys.

Price: $11,500
Contact Chris: gsxronly@aol.com or 407-492-5854

I can’t stress enough how this one’s recent mileage is critical. Many low-mileage collector bikes have spent a lot of time sitting, and will require hefty sums to get them truly road-worthy again: seals, hoses, gaskets, o-rings, gas tanks, tires… It all adds up. That’s fine if you just want to display your exotic, and Bimotas certainly look good standing still. But these really were meant to run, and if you want a collectible you can also take out on weekends to blitz the back roads, this one’s $11,500 asking price is a relative bargain, considering that the SB6R cost a whopping $35,000 in 1998!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale
Laverda November 7, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

Update 12.12.2018: The seller has notified us that this bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Sort of an homologation special for a company that wasn’t planning to actually go racing, the Laverda 750S Formula used premium components to upgrade the company’s existing fully-faired sportbike. After falling on hard times in the 1980s, Laverda was resurrected in the 1990s, with production centered in the town of Zanè, so you’ll sometimes see these referred to as “Zane-era Laverdas” to differentiate them from the 1970s classics. The revitalized company managed to make very nice sports motorcycles with limited resources, and the Formula took their  750S and added some of the very best components available at the time to create something they hoped would give them the kind of reputation and attention Ducati enjoyed with their Tamburini-designed superbikes.

Laverdas of the period used either a steel trellis or an aluminum beam frame that apparently shared the same geometry, which was a very good thing. The Nico Bakker-designed beam frame, polished as seen here on the Formula, gave the 750S an excellent foundation, and Paioli suspension kit at both ends just sweetened the deal: every period review I’ve seen raved about the bike’s handling. Unfortunately, they also noted the bike’s performance deficit, compared to the Ducati 748.

These days, parallel twins can be made to be very smooth and refined with balance shafts and other trickery, but at the time, the only real reason Laverda chose that configuration was practicality: they already had one. Dating back to the 1970s Alpino, the existing air-cooled 500cc unit had its carburetors replaced with Weber-Marelli fuel injection for more modern performance, and was enlarged to 668cc, then again to 747cc. Along the way, it gained liquid cooling, although you can still see the cooling fins once the fairings are off.

Claimed peak power was on par with the competing Ducati 748, but the reality was that, although handling was possibly even superior to the Ducati, the engine was not. It was peaky, a bit thrashy, and it loved to rev, although you really had to work the six-speed gearbox to keep up with a 748. That shouldn’t bother prospective buyers today: either bike would get murdered by a modern 600. And while the 748 is a design classic, it’s almost too familiar, a cliché. The Formula, on the other hand, is a very exclusive machine, with around 600 examples built. It’s also more comfortable, if you care about that, and while the Formula is not as pretty as the 748, it is very striking in these black-and-orange colors.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale

1999 Laverda 750 Formula S. 750CC  (6790 ORIGINAL MILES)  $12,500

This is a 2 owner bike, part of a very rare large collection now being offered for the first time via the web. Current owner is an avid collector of pure, rare Automotive and motorcycles. This concourse conditioned bike has all the correct lightweight carbon parts and pieces. Never been on a track, abused or laid down. In a private heated collection, never seen rain. This investment will only increase over time and you will be very hard pressed to ever see another one, clearly not like this with these miles.

Laverda’s Formula S is essentially a factory built special edition of the basic Formula, with extensive engine tuning and even more special chassis componentry. The original Formula was a 650, built in 1996, with the Formula 750 following a year later in 1997.

The engine work was more extensive than most factory specials, and took the Formula almost to a race tune straight from the showroom. Updated cams, revised fuel injection settings and carbon fiber Termignoni mufflers all boost top end power to an impressive claimed figure of (92BHP)- almost as much as the Ducati 748. The chassis also compares to the Ducati being considerably lighter and with suspension and braking components every bit as impressive.

Fully adjustable Paioli Upside Down forks and monoshock. Fully floating Brembo racing brakes and lightweight Marchesini wheels all play their part in giving the Formula impeccable manners for the street or track. The polished aluminum beam frame looks much more impressive than the Ducati’s thin steel tube!! A single seat race style fairing incorporates stylish cooling louvers and twin endurance style headlights, and is finished in Laverda Orange, the firm’s racing colors.

This is your chance to stand out and be different with a stunning example of Italian heritage.

I’ve lusted after these for a while now, and this appears to be a very clean, low-mileage example that should appeal to collectors with a taste for the exotic. The mirrors appear to have been removed and the standard exhausts were carbon fiber, but these Termignoni parts are a desirable extra. Certainly, the name “Laverda” has a great deal of cachet with collectors and this bike represents a missed opportunity for the brand: it’s a good, if flawed bike, and really did offer an interesting alternative to the Ducati. Parts for Zane-era Laverdas can be tricky to source, depending on what you need, but I expect this one will end up leading a pampered life in a collection somewhere and won’t rack up enough miles to matter very much.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula for Sale
Bimota September 12, 2018 posted by

Artful Dodger: 2000 Bimota SB8R

The masters from Rimini were on a roll: From the tube-framed madness from the cusp of the 1980s to the aluminum beams as the 1990s approached, Bimota has always been in the frame game. But unlike many bespoke frame makers who concentrated only on the chassis, these Italian artists disguised as motorcycle makers ensured that their bikes handled the stage of the visceral world as well as the paved one. As such, Bimotas continue to delight with their strong visual presence, coupled with legendary handling and performance. All of this comes at a price, however – making riding a Bimota a relatively exclusive affair.

2000 Bimota SB8R for sale on eBay

Introduced in the years following the V-Due debacle, the SB8R returned to Bimota’s more successful business plan of stuffing a 3rd-party engine and transmission into a motorcycle of their own design. In this case, power is courtesy of Suzuki’s ripping TL1000R v-twin. This Japanese homage to Ducati’s 916 mill is well known for being potent across the entire face of the tach, excelling at a high RPM rush not unlike that of inline fours. Devoid of the rest of the TL package (including the funky rotary damper), Bimota engineered a beast of a bike that was lighter and more precise than the Suzuki that donated its guts. It also looked far less porky then the Japanese offering.

From the seller:
This is an excellent original SB8R in the configuration it left the factory with a couple of small modifications (improvements). The light switch was modified so the headlight can be turned off, foot-pegs were replaced with European fixed position pegs, and the fueling system was modified to make it more rideable in street configuration.The fairings have original paint, carbon fiber parts have no cracks, all lights, turn-signals are original and working, tires have little wear, although they are at least 2 years old, so may want to consider replacing. Shocks don’t show signs of needing seals, engine has no leaks, runs great, once it warms up (these are cold-blooded beasts). Brakes have plenty of wear left, recommend oil change for the engine, something I intended to do, but haven’t made time. Bike is kept on battery tender to keep the (lithium) battery up.This is probably as close a time capsule as you’ll find for an SB8R.

More from the seller:
This bike was purchased new from Ducati Bellevue on 3/2/2002. The 1st owner was a local Seattle aerospace engineer who rarely rode the bike. There were only 2 owners prior to my purchasing it in 2015.

The 1st owner made only one modification to this machine. His one mod was having a custom fuel trimmer or potentiometer made to work with the existing wiring harness. These bikes are known to have fueling issues due to the massive throttle bodies and this is where the potentiometer helps out. Unfortunately the potentiometer is old technology and the adjustment range was limited. The second owner installed a PCIII that was tuned by Nels at 2 Wheel Dyno Works in Woodinville, WA.

PCIII was installed by second owner to permanently wash out some of the fueling issues that was typical of the SB8R model and its huge throttle bodies. This bike accelerates easier through the rev range than before. The fuel trimmer that had been installed by the first owner was only finite and could not adjust or reach some of these issues in the rev range. This modification alone makes it rideable if you get stuck in traffic.

Braided steel clutch and brake lines (stock ones were rubber).

As mentioned above, the first owner added an Out-of-production Evoluzione SB8R fuel trimmer provided by a Bimota enthusiast in Colorado. This unit is more precisely calibrated with nearly infinite settings between 0 and 999. The Bimota trimmer has 8 positions total.

The arrow exhaust on the bike has been cored for better performance and sound. The result is outstanding in that it essentially replicates full racing pipes with much better performance and sound.

Always assembled with top-shelf suspension and brakes – Paioli and Brembo in this case – the SB8R reeks of class. From the huge snorkels that force-feed the air box hiding under the tank cover (the actual tank is the back half of that structure and extends downward centering/lowering the mass), to the way the huge exhaust cans poke out of the back seat, to the carbon-composite join plates of the frame to the exquisite swingarm with the embossed logo, everything looks expensive – and indeed it was a far more expensive motorcycle than its Japanese counterpart when new.

This particular bike looks to be in nice shape. With only 5,000 miles under the wheels, it has a reasonable number of miles and has been ridden without having been used/abused/trashed. There is plenty of evidence to know that the TL platform holds up well, making this one barely broken in. The haters will comment on the picture quality which makes it difficult to tell if we are looking at reflection or imperfection in the bodywork, but what we can see looks good. The seller appears to be knowledgeable about the machine and has 100% positive feedback, so I’m sure questions posed by serious buyers would be answered to satisfaction. With an opening ask of only $5,000, this Bimota is starting this auction in the basement. Interested parties should get in on the action now. This is the TL that Suzuki should have made; we’re just lucky that the boys from Rimini were still around to give the TL motor some love. Good luck, and be sure and share your thoughts in the comments.

MI

Artful Dodger: 2000 Bimota SB8R
Bimota August 29, 2018 posted by

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

It seems like most of the Bimotas that come up for sale these days aren’t really for sale. I mean, if people wanted to actually sell them, the asking prices would probably be a bit lower… Bottom line: the Bimota YB11 is a cool bike and still pretty fast, even compared to modern bikes. But prices for 90s Bimotas in particular are at a low point right now. Honestly, I’d be very surprised if this continued indefinitely but, for the time being, these represent some pretty great bang for your collecting buck. Even if you end up not being able to source fork seals for the beefy, right-way-up Paioli forks on your Bimota YB11, you can always park this thing in your livingroom and no one will wonder why… Even if they think you’re crazy for replacing your flat-screen with an Italian motorcycle.

The YB11 is pretty classic Bimota: the engine is from Yamaha’s YZF1000R and basically unchanged, aside from being slotted into Bimota’s own aluminum frame that hugs the Genesis engine closely. Perhaps too closely: more on that later. The lightweight bodywork is swoopy and dramatic, the riding position pretty odd, and the bike actually was available with pillion accommodations, although this one is missing the rear pegs.

They’re elegant, exotic and, at least in terms of finding engine parts, pretty simple to keep running. Tales abound of strange little quirks that can keep them from being enjoyable: the weird, twin six-volt batteries in the nose of the SB6, the frames that block access to carburetors and prevent adjustment while they’re on the bike or the engine is in the frame, iffy fuel pumps, and so on. But for a person who wants something truly different, these Bimotas are pretty hard to beat.

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale

Emilia Motors is happy to offer this 1997 Bimota YB11, these Bimotas really show the attention to detail that the Italian motorcycle builders put into the design and suspension of the bikes they build. The Bimota is truly a handcrafted work of art and are a must for any real motorcycle collection, plus the beauty and design are second to none. This bike has new tires, battery and starts and runs top notch. Manuals, rear stand and Bimota cover are included. Please feel free to call with any questions thanks Anthony 954-540-8495

So what is the seller asking for this one? $9,000 or $10,000? Nope. Just $6,799 buys you a slick, low-mileage Italian exotic a mechanically competent enthusiast could keep running for peanuts. Just don’t drop it: a whole new engine won’t be hard to find or expensive to rebuild, but that bodywork will be pricey if you drop it. Which is why I’m hoping this one doesn’t have damage on the right side, since the photographer couldn’t be arsed to turn the bike around for some additional pics…

-tad

Nice Price: 1997 Bimota YB11 for Sale
Bimota August 17, 2018 posted by

Styling Exercise: 1998 Bimota DB3 Mantra for Sale

Bimota’s stock-in-trade has always been aggressive, lightweight racebikes for the road but, every once in a while, they throw us a curveball. Or even the occasional knuckleball like this DB3 Mantra. An unapologetically road-biased machine, Bimota’s third Ducati-powered special featured upright ergonomics, an oval-section trellis frame shared with the later DB4, a roto-molded fuel tank that included a storage cubby at the back in an ill-advised nod to practicality, and styling could be called “wild” if you were feeling gracious.

It was polarizing then and now, but if you like the looks, you shouldn’t let anything discourage you from buying one: the hard parts are all easy to service, reliable, and pretty entertaining. Ducati’s air and oil-cooled two-valve v-twin has been around forever, and is relatively simple to service and parts are readily available to maintain them. Yeah, the regular belt-changes are kind of annoying, but easy to do if you know your way around an engine, and the valves generally aren’t too much of a problem either. And if the bike’s 85 claimed horses from the 904cc twin don’t adequately blow your hair back, you can build yourself a high-compression, 944cc monster that should do a pretty good job of stretching your arms.

The styling was slightly insane, but the bike handled very well, with a 43mm Paioli fork out front and an adjustable Paioli shock out back. The oval-section trellis frame was stiff and very light: just 11 pounds. Basically, it was a lighter, weirder, much more expensive Monster with better suspension. Like all Bimotas, it makes no sense from a financial perspective, as performance advantages over a Monster that cost half as much were minimal. But 454 Mantras found buyers, which makes the bike pretty much volume production for Bimota.

This example is a second-generation Mantra, with updated styling at the front, tubular handlebars instead of raised clip-ons, and Antera wheels to replace the earlier Marchesini hoops. I have a soft spot for these, as it was one of the first bikes that, as a non-rider, really caught my eye when it was new. Weird as they are, I still kind of dig the DB3 and would have one in a collection if I could afford to:

A: Have that plastic, burl-wood dash replaced with something stupid, like genuine wood or some nice carbon fiber.
B: Replace the horrible four exhaust pipes and the ludicrously-styled hangars with something much simpler.

Remove the taller screen, fit some simple bar-end mirrors and have fun.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Bimota DB3 Mantra for Sale

This is an excellent example of a DB3. 400+ made, 23 in red. Very few in the US. Very low mileage at under 9200. Ducati 900 engine just has been serviced with new belts, oil and plugs. New AGM battery. New Conti tires. Previous owner removed the complicated fuel pump system and now it is just gravity fed.

Here are the 3 issues. Without a choke cable, it is a little hard starting until fuel gets in the carbs. With a cable, I imagine it would go on the first try. Once started, restarts fine. Tach works 50% if the time, loose connection? Lastly has a slight whistle noise at an exact rpm. Ducati said it is caused by lack of the factory air box. It hurts nothing, just the flow of air… These are 3 minute things, but I go for full transparency. The bike is in great shape. Very unique Italian styling.

“Very unique Italian styling” might be the epitome of understatement in this case. But the bones are good and the DB3 should make a pretty great weekend roadster for cruising, carving up traffic, and shocking onlookers. “What is that?” is something I’d expect you’ll hear pretty often, riding the Mantra. So what’s it worth? Well the Bimota pedigree and rarity certainly makes it more valuable than an equivalent 900SS or Monster powered by the same engine, with similar performance. But by how much? Values for 90s Bimotas are currently at a bit of a low-ebb, although I doubt that can continue forever. Bidding on this one is very active and up to just about $5,000 with another day left on the auction.

-tad

Styling Exercise: 1998 Bimota DB3 Mantra for Sale