Posts by tag: SB6R

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!!


From the Cape: 1998 Bimota SB6R
Bimota May 26, 2017 posted by

Gone Too Soon: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

The SB6R could have been Bimota’s biggest seller of all time. Certainly the earlier SB6 sold in quantities that nearly qualify as mass production, with nearly 1,200 built. Unfortunately, the utter failure of the overreaching two-stroke V-Due low-sided the company into a crash barrier and the GSX-R1100-powered SB6R was not part of the brand’s renewal, killing it after just 600 were made. Sharp styling aside, the SB6’s party piece is that absolutely massive-looking aluminum frame that uses Bimota’s “Straight Connection Technology” concept to link the steering head stock and the swingarm pivot as directly as possible for optimized handling.

Great idea, but those big slabs of aluminum limit access to a number of important components, including the front sprocket and the alternator drive. This is a problem because the front sprocket will likely need regular replacement, considering the power and torque available, and the alternator drive needs cooling air to keep it from failing. So just what do I mean when I say that the frame “limits access”? Well both components require the engine to be at the very least unbolted from the frame and lowered, something that might deter owners just a bit…

Built during the same era as Ducati’s original 916, the Bimota SB6R goes about being a fast motorcycle in almost the opposite way as its Bolognese rival: bulging and stout-looking where the 916 is impossibly slim at the waist, beam frame versus a trellis, and powered by an inline four versus a v-twin. But both featured stump-pulling torque over high horsepower: the GSX-R mill in the SB6R is backed by a five-speed gearbox and I’ve yet to hear anyone complain that it needs a sixth…

That engine is a bit like the small-block Chevy of the motorcycling world, and plenty of folks out there have tuned them to make fairly outrageous horsepower. Today’s SB6R looks like it’s gone that route: it isn’t exactly stock, although the modifications are all under the skin and committed to the pursuit of absolute speed. A wise move, as the bike’s aesthetics represent one of the bike’s strong points. But is the seller’s asking price just one toke over the line?

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Exotic Italian red handmade superbike.

Bimota SpA ( was started in 1973 in Rimini, Italy, by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini (Bi-Mo-Ta). They design and build their own line of exotics, and the company and its people have also been involved with designing/developing Ducati, MV Agusta, and Lamborghini motorcycles. Bimota would study the market to see which drive trains they believed to be best of breed, purchase their components directly from those manufacturers, remanufacture and enhance them to Bimota standards, and then design and build an exotic motorcycle based on the new drive train. Bimota model numbers indicate which drive trains they were based on – SB (Suzuki), DB (Ducati), YB (Yamaha), KB (Kawasaki). Bimota also collaborated with other major brands on special models, and both SB and YB models have won world superbike and other class championships. True to the exotic business model, the company would only build a limited number each year, with very few making it to the U.S. market.

This SB6R was originally purchased new from Bimota by owners of a professional U.S.-based race team in the late 1990’s, intending it as one of their anchor bikes.

Prior to race homologation, the principal team owner suffered major injury and the team was closed. Approximately $70,000 had been invested in this SB6R up to that time, but it hadn’t yet raced and still remains in street legal configuration. If memory serves correctly, the original owner’s dynomometer certificate listed 182 horsepower. This SB6R still has its original Bimota uprated (150+ HP) GSXR 1100 drive train, which was further blueprinted/uprated (to 1200 CC)/race-configured by a professional Suzuki team in the US. This Bimota can essentially be serviced and tuned by a competent professional Suzuki technician.

The second owner of the SB6R was a friend of the original owners and purchased it when the team was closed. He was also a colleague in my area of business (telecom), and I purchased it from him as he was retiring and moving away. The SB6R has always remained in climate controlled indoor storage and is only ridden briefly at the beginning and end of each season to keep it in good operating condition. Both the second owner and I bought the SB6R as collectors, not racers.

The purchaser should appreciate that it is essentially a race vehicle that remains street legal. Response can be startlingly quick and strong across even low RPM ranges due to Bimota’s proprietary pressurized air box system. No tricks or gadgets, just simple, beautiful Italian race design on top of bulletproof horsepower.

Though not fully race homologated as intended, it will not ride and handle like a milder/more-comfortable/easier-to-ride street bike. It is designed for one rider of average racer size/weight and has no pillion or pegs for a second passenger. Riding posture and controls are designed for racing. Steering is designed to be more stable at high speeds, rather than more flexible at low speeds, and so is dampened and has less range of motion than normal street bikes. It is jetted for ~5000 feet altitude, and when cold will need to be warmed up patiently with graduated choke adjustments before being initially ridden (~15 minutes). Throttle control should be gentle and moderate, as response is fast and strong. Experienced riders (including me) have been caught by surprise when rolling in too much throttle in ordinary street riding conditions (especially from stops). The transmission is race configured (1-up, 4-down), which is the reverse of what is normal for street bikes (1-down, 4-up), and has a harsher sound and feel because it is heavier duty.

The buyer will arrange and pay for pickup. We’ve used a few different bike haulers over the years and they’ve always worked out fine. If the buyer happens to be in the Inland NW United States, I occasionally drive to Spokane or Bozeman for business and may be willing to deliver there or points between if serendipitous.

10% of sale proceeds go to the MARSOC Foundation.

Like many Bimotas of the era, the SB6R handles with aplomb, goes like stink, and looks the business, but the details let the side down: maintenance issues, including a gauge cluster prone to failure, and generally indifferent construction. It is one of my very favorite 1990s exotics, but that doesn’t change the fact that the seller’s asking price of $25,000 is extremely optimistic. It’s very nice, but most SB6Rs are pretty well-preserved, and previous examples haven’t gotten higher than around $15,000 before either selling outside eBay or going to the highest bidder. Is the extra attention lavished on the engine worth $10,000, or is it just gilding the lily? If you’re a wealthy collector looking for a very nicely prepared, but decidedly non-stock SB6R, this might be just what you’re looking for.


Gone Too Soon: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale
Bimota March 15, 2016 posted by

Dual Nature: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

1998 Bimota SB6R R Side Front2

Although it’s nearly twenty years old now, it’s likely very few people would realize that this Bimota SB6R is anything other than a modern motorcycle: while many 90s designs have quickly become very awkward or dated at the very least, it’s clear Bimota knew what they were doing when they styled this thing.

1998 Bimota SB6R L Side

With Italian looks and the heart of a Japanese superbike, the SB6R epitomizes Bimota’s philosophy. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they used dead reliable powerplants from major manufacturers and wrapped them in lightweight bodywork and decked out the resulting motorcycles with the best suspension money could buy, creating bikes that were lighter than the donor bikes and generally easy to source parts for, if not exactly easy to work on.

1998 Bimota SB6R Front Wheel

The SB6 was powered by Suzuki’s GSX-R1100, so it wasn’t exactly difficult to build something ligher. Weighing in at 90lbs less than the Gixxer with a genuine 150hp the bike was a fierce performer then and now. The SB6R featured a fully adjustable Öhlins shock, huge Paioli forks, and a self-supporting carbon-fibre seat unit. Although the bike was a pretty big seller for Bimota, just 600 of the R models were made during their production run.

1998 Bimota SB6R Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

This 1998 Bimota BS6R was Bimota’s most popular bike and is a fine example of a rare Japanese / Italian hybrid. The BS6R (upgraded BS6) features brutal power from a Japanese engine with the style of a a fine Italian chassis. As is typical with most Italian motorcycles, they cost 2x more than their Japanese counterparts…back in 1997, this Bimota would cost you $35,000 new. To help justify some of the price difference, unlike many Japanese sportbikes – the BS6R comes loaded with some of the best components available at the time – Paoli suspension, Brembo brakes, Marchesini wheels and more.

This Bimota SB6R has been well loved, rarely ridden and stored inside its entire life. A rare find indeed, with low mileage and pristine condition.

Features of this 1998 Bimota SB6R

– 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.

As you can see in the close up pictures, some of the carbon is slightly faded, although that seems nearly impossible to avoid on a bike of this age… And a bit of elbow grease or some new clearcoat might take care of that. The auction is currently sitting at $9,000 with one bid and plenty of time left on the auction.

1998 Bimota SB6R Rear Suspension

That’s certainly not chump change but nine large seems like a pretty small price to pay for a piece of Italian exotica. Performance certainly won’t be as eyeball-flattening as a modern literbike, but the performance on tap should be enough to keep things interesting for all but the fastest or most jaded riders… And if you’re feeling the urge and aren’t too worried about originality, the aftermarket makes plenty of go-fast bits for the venerable Gixxer motor that should give you all the power you can handle, confident that the chassis will deal with anything you throw at it.


1998 Bimota SB6R R Side

Dual Nature: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale
Bimota January 18, 2016 posted by

Zero Mile 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

1998 Bimota SB6R L Side

The Bimota SB6 was one of the Rimini-based company’s best sellers, with 1,700 built, including 600 of the more exclusive SB6R models like this one. Powered by Suzuki’s GSX-R1100 engine and five-speed transmission, it was a whopping 90lbs lighter than the donor bike and, with top-of-the-line Paioli forks up front and a shiny Öhlins shock in back, connected by a beautiful aluminum beam-frame, the bike was fast and very, very exotic.

1998 Bimota SB6R R Side Fairing

While 150hp may not sound especially impressive in this era of 200bhp superbikes, keep in mind that these old-school literbikes had something often lacking in today’s screamers: torque. Suspension geometry may be a little bit laid-back, but that, combined with the flexible engine, just makes the SB6R a great weekend blaster.

1998 Bimota SB6R Clocks

Today’s bike has no takers so far with the opening bid at $13,999. In time-capsule condition with zero miles, I’m sure the seller has high expectations for this particular bike, but the SB6 is generally considered pretty entry-level as far as Bimotas go, and these are relatively common and often very affordable.

1998 Bimota SB6R Front

The original eBay listing from the dealer selling the bike can be found here: 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale

1998 Bimota SB6R Tail

A nearly 20 year old bike with zero miles on it will obviously need plenty of work if you plan to ride it. The listing contains no real detail about the bike’s history or whether it’s been kept ready to run. That makes it great for collectors who plan to let it sit in a heated garage with their other dozen or non-running motorcycles. But that seems a shame, considering the fact that the GSX-R1100 powertrain makes for such a relatively practical motorcycle: you may have to dismantle half the bike to do any work on it, but at least parts should be easy to find…


1998 Bimota SB6R R Side

Zero Mile 1998 Bimota SB6R for Sale
Bimota September 21, 2015 posted by

Affordable Exotic: 1997 Bimota SB6R in South Africa

1997 Bimota SB6R R Side Front

The idea behind the SB6 is classic Bimota: take a dead-reliable, honking big Japanese engine and wrap it in a sexy, lightweight frame, drape with carbon bodywork, and fit top-shelf suspension at both ends. Unfortunately, by the mid-1990’s, Japan had well caught up to the Europeans in terms of handling and, although their bikes sometimes had a bit of a “mass-produced” air about them, they certainly performed.

1997 Bimota SB6R R SideSo Bimota started down the path of making their bikes “more exotic” rather than actually faster. Luckily, the SB6 was based around Suzuki’s slightly lardy GSX-R1100 so the resulting machine was almost 90lbs lighter. Certainly it followed the Bimota template in every other area, with a gorgeous frame, sleek bodywork, fully adjustable Öhlins shock, huge Paioli forks, and a self-supporting carbon-fibre seat unit.

1997 Bimota SB6R L Side Rear

With 150 or so horsepower from the 1074cc engine and light weight, the bike was a scorching performer and a big seller for Bimota, with 1,700 made, including the 600 “R” models like the one shown here. This one is available in South Africa and includes the desirable Corse exhausts that look pretty sharp and should make the bike sound a bit more exotic to match the wild looks.

1997 Bimota SB6R Tail

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Italian design flair combined with Japanese reliability makes this one of the most desirable motorcycles in the world. Powered by the legendary Suzuki GSX-R 1100 engine and weighing in at almost 40 Kg lighter the Bimota ticks all the right boxes. This exotic bike a great investment as there were only 600 built with the “R” designation.

1997 Bimota SB6R Front Wheel

Although the seller references the “reliable exotic” trope, the reality isn’t quite so simple. The SB6 is certainly easier to maintain than a Ducati or MV Agusta, but Bimotas of the period are notorious for those annoying little “Italian bike foibles:” bits vibrating loose, electrics failing, a fairing that can push back into the headlight unit and crack at speeds over 140mph. You know: little things.

1997 Bimota SB6R Dash

Earlier SB6 bodywork used a pair of round lamps and I do like that look, but this later design with a VeeDue-style headlight and “speed holes” reminiscent of a CBR900RR is very distinctive. I appreciate Bimota’s desire to use their bespoke dash, but they are far from reliable. I think I’d just rip it out anyway and fit some kind of cool race-style dash or Motogadget unit.

1997 Bimota SB6R Rear Wheel

When new, these things were stupidly expensive. Now, like the MV Agusta F4, a nice SB6 can be had for basically peanuts. Of course you can buy a modern bike that will eat an SB6 for lunch, but you won’t look nearly as good doing it, and there’s something to be said for pride of ownership. These certainly aren’t perfect bikes, but if you don’t mind dealing with a few quirks, the SB6 represents a pretty serious bargain right now.


1997 Bimota SB6R L Side

Affordable Exotic: 1997 Bimota SB6R in South Africa
Bimota June 16, 2015 posted by

Big Power in a Refined Package – 1998 Bimota SB6R

1998 Bimota SB6R on eBay


The Bimota SB6R is possibly the peak of Bimota’s unique formula which was stuffing a big Japanese engine into their own refined platforms.  The SB6R took Suzuki’s big and bad GSXR-1100 engine and surrounded it with the best parts possible.  It featured an aluminum beam perimeter frame, Anterra wheels, Paoli suspension, Brembo brakes and generous use of carbon fiber to keep the weight down.  Bimota also reportedly tweaked the big ‘Zook engine with new cams and claimed over 155hp for their SB6R.  It was an expensive bike, but one that ended up being more than just the sum of it’s parts.  As can be expected with the 90s Italian motorcycles, most owners report a love/hate relationship with them.  Which basically means it’s not without it’s quirks, but ends up being a more engaging experience as an owner.  It might not be the best choice if you only have room for one bike in the garage, but as a second bike for those special days, it deserves consideration.


This one reportedly came from a private collection (don’t they all?) and is showing a very low 2300 miles.  It appears to be very close to stock with a few more details found in the seller’s eBay listing seen here: 1998 Bimota SB6R

The SB6/7 had hairy Suzuki GSX-R engines, sublime handling and craftsmanship and characteristically Italian unreliability and fickleness. Then came the SB6-R – the first Bimota ever to be labeled “Racing”, and the factory solved many of the “Italian” characteristics. With a larger airbox, the SB6-R was more powerful than the SB6 and with a single easy to access battery, it was much easier to maintain. The SB6-R comes with all of the standard Bimota componentry from the time – Paioli forks, Ohlins shock, Anterra wheels and Brembo brakes. 

This particular example is from a collection and has only 2,314 miles on it.  It is in excellent condition and looks like new.



Big Power in a Refined Package – 1998 Bimota SB6R
Bimota March 25, 2014 posted by

1997 Bimota SB6R available in Massachusetts

1997 Bimota SB6R for sale

I always feel like these get a bad rap as there always seems to be a handful for sale. But the seller is right, I can’t say I’ve actually ever seen one in person. SB6R cliff notes: GSX-R 1100 motor 156hp, 418lbs, Paioli forks, Öhlins shock, Antera wheels and Brembo brakes. This bike in particular has 7200 miles (shocking!) and the Corse exhaust as well. Opening bid is $7000 reserve not met and no takers at the moment.


1997 Bimota SB6R for sale on eBay


from the seller:

This bike is #13 built of a very limited run. Only 600 were to be produced but I have been told that not all 600 were produced. I have never seen another one other than online. This bike is great to add to someones collection or just to ride every day.

Some of the features include:

– Corse titanium exhaust costs $2,500
– Ohlins rear shock
– Paioli carbon fiber front forks
– Brembo brakes and calipers
– Braided brake lines
– Antera rims
– Michelin tires
– All carbon fiber tail section

Look closely this bike is 100% complete.

Why ship it when you can ride it home.

The reason I am selling it is to make room in my collection. I’m running out of space.



1997 Bimota SB6R available in Massachusetts
Bimota July 17, 2013 posted by

How do you say “Gixxer” in Italian? 1997 Bimota SB6R


When a Japanese-engined Italian exotic shows up at an El Paso Harley Davidson dealership, you begin to wonder if perhaps Bimotas are not that rare after all. The truth is that you would be both right AND wrong. These are hand crafted motorcycles from a very low-volume manufacturer, but they made a few more of some models than others. This particular model, the SB6, is just such a bike – and is probably the most frequently listed of the Bimota line up.


Consisting of a GSX-R 1100 engine and transmission wrapped in a Bimota-designed twin spar frame and topped liberally with top-shelf components such as wheels, brakes and suspension, this SB6 follows the standard Bimota mold. To say that it offers carbon fiber bits is a bit like mentioning in passing that the Pope might have visited Rome once. In short, this is classic Bimota execution – the best of Japanese with the best of everything else. As a result, these were (and are) very expensive when new.


From the seller:
Great example of Bimota’s famous Suzuki GSXR1100-engined exotic. Just gone through, fresh oil, new battery, new air filter, etc. Runs out perfectly, no known problems, very good cosmetics. I’ve had three of these off and on throughout the years. The Suzuki engine is super reliable and the bike turns heads wherever it goes, the red paint really lights up in the sunlight so these bikes are always much brighter when viewed in person. Clean examples of these Bimotas are getting harder and harder to find, I end up paying more each time I get one. This one runs very smoothly, seems to be a really good one. I got it with a bound copy of an owners manual and nice brochure.


Bimota has come a long way from motorcycle frame kits that the buyer had to assemble (after sourcing parts like engine, tranny, wheels, brakes, electrical and gauges). In doing so, they might have also lost a bit of the fanatical exclusivity that they once enjoyed. But moving motorcycles is what ultimately puts food on the table (pasta, sushi or steak, depending upon your region), and while this SB6R is undeniably a Bimota, it may not be the ultimate rare machine.


Pricing on these models has come down to more reasonable levels these days. When new this was a $30k plus machine. This auction is currently up to $5,100 with reserve still in place. We have seen some SB6 examples struggle to pull in $8k, and I would top this range out at $10k (to be kind). Click on the link to jump over to the auction on this one – it is a good looking example of the breed, and worthy of consideration if Bimota is your thing. What’s your favorite bike from Rimini? Hit the comments section and let us know!