Bimota Honda HB1 at Imola racetrack in 1973
Bimota is a small Italian manufacturer of custom and production motorcycles.
It was founded in 1973 in Rimini, Italy by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini The company name is a portmanteau derived from the first two letters of each of the three founders' surnames, Bianchi Morri Tamburini
Because the state of frame design and overall packaging was poor, Bimota concentrated initially on building high-quality motorcycles around existing engines. From the beginning they customised the top models of Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. During the late 1970s, Bimota also helped develop and build motorcycles branded as Lamborghinis. In the 1980s they also customised Yamaha and Ducati motorcycles.
Bimota's co-founder and long-time chief designer Tamburini has been an influential player in the development of other Italian brands, most significantly his work on the popular Ducati 916, the Ducati Paso, and the MV Agusta F4; other designers such as current Bimota chief Sergio Robbiano have also been involved with larger-volume manufacturers.
Bimota models currently in production include the DB5, DB6, DB7, DB9 and the Tesi, with a DB8 featuring the Ducati 1198 engine in development. The latest model features the Tesi 3D which along with the co-designed Vyrus is said to be the only bike on production to house Hub Steering.
Bimota first experienced international racing success in 1980 when Jon Ekerold, a true privateer, won the 350cc world championship on a Yamaha-powered Bimota. They also experienced success in the early years of the Superbike World Championship. Virginio Ferrari won the 1987 Formula TT title aboard a YB4 EI, partnering with Davide Tardozzi. Tardozzi won five races in the inaugural 1988 world superbike championship, more than any other competitor, but inconsistent results relegated him to third place in the final standings.
After many years without success, the Australian rider Anthony Gobert caused a major shock in 2000 by winning a wet race at Philip Island on a Bimota SB8R. The Alstare team entered a Bimota package into World Superbikes in 2014 for riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon, however the bike initially did not have enough units in production to pass the championship's homoglation rules. As a compromise, the bikes were allowed to enter from round 2, but ineligible for points until homoglation is achieved. At the end of the year the team finished unclassified and disqualified.
Bankruptcy and rebirth
The V Due, introduced in 1997, had a design flaw with its engine. Bimota was forced to ditch the novel fuel injection system and re-engineer the entire engine. Bimota ultimately recalled the entire run of the V Due, and made an improved version, the 'Evoluzione'. Only 340 original V Dues and 21 Evoluziones were built. While this was occurring, during the 2000 World Superbike season, one of Bimota's main sponsors disappeared, owing the company a great deal of money. The combination of events forced Bimota to file for bankruptcy and close their doors.
A new group of investors purchased the rights to the Bimota name and designs and restarted the company. The investors that bought Bimota, Marco Chiancianesi who is the current president and his business partner Daniele Longoni are both active Scientologists.
Recent reports paint a less optimistic picture for the future of Bimota. In 2017, the factory at Rimini reportedly closed with spares and incomplete bikes mothballed elsewhere, possibly Switzerland.
List of Bimota motorcycles
Bimota model names reflect the origin of the engines they begin with: Yamaha engined models being with a "Y", Honda models with a "H", Suzuki versions with a "S", Kawasaki versions with a "K", andDucati versions with a "D". For example, the DB5 and SB8K are the 5th Ducati-engined and 8th Suzuki-engined models.
|Engine maker||Model||Engine||Quantity||Year of production|
|Bimota||V Due||500 cm³ 2-stroke||150||1997–1999|
|V Due Corsa||26||1999–2001|
|V Due Corsa Evoluzione||120||2001–2003|
|V Due Evoluzione||14||2003|
|V Due Racing Edizione Finale||30||2005|
|BMW||BB1 Supermono||Rotax extract from BMW F650||376||1995–1997|
|BB1 Supermono Biposto||148||1996–1997|
|Ducati||666 LE||992 Desmodue DS||1||2003|
|DB1 J||400 SS||52||1986–1987|
|DB2 J||398 Desmodue||106||1994–1995|
|DB2 SR||904 Desmodue||157||1994–1996|
|DB5||992 Desmodue DS||2005|
|DB5 S||1078 Desmodue DS||2007|
|DB5 E Desiderio||1078 Desmodue Evoluzione||2011|
|DB6 Delirio||992 Desmodue DS||2005|
|DB6 Delirio Azzuro||23||2006|
|DB6 R||1078 Desmodue DS||2007|
|DB6 Delirio E||1078 Desmodue Evoluzione||2011|
|DB6 Delirio RE|
|DB7||1098 Testastretta Evoluzione||2007|
|DB8||1198 Testastretta Evoluzione||2010–2012|
|DB8 Italia||1198 Testastretta 11°||2013|
|DB9 Brivido||1198 Testastretta 11°||2011|
|DB9 Brivido S||2011|
|DB10 B.motard||1078 Desmodue Evoluzione||2011|
|DB11||1198 Testastretta 11°||2013|
|Tesi 1/D 851||851 Desmoquattro||127||1990–1991|
|Tesi 1/D J||400 SS||51||1992–1993|
|Tesi 1/D 906||904 cm³
(derived from 851 Desmoquattro)
|Tesi 1/D SR||144||1992–1993|
|Tesi 1/D ES (Edizione Speciale)||50||1993|
|Tesi 1/D EF (Edizione Finale)||25||1994|
|Tesi 2/D||992 Desmodue DS||25||2005–2006|
|Tesi 3/D Concept||1078 Desmodue DS||29||2007|
|Tesi 3/D Rock Gold||1||2009|
|HDB2||250 or 350 Aermacchi||35|
|Honda||HB1||CB 750 Four / CB400F||10 / 12 (est)||1975–1976|
|HB2||CB 900 Bol d'Or||193||1982–1983|
|HB4||CBR 600 RR Fireblade||2010|
|KB2 J||Z 400|
|KB2 S||Z 550||72|
|KB2 TT||Z 600||62|
|KB3||Z 1000 J||112||1983–1984|
|SB8 R||TL 1000 R||1998–2000|
|SB8 RS||150 on demand|
|SB8 K Gobert||2005|
|SB8 K Santa Monica|
|Yamaha||YB1||TZ 250 ou 350||12||1974–1975|
|YB4 R||FZ 750||2||1987|
|YB4 e.i. SP||15|
|YB8||FZR 1000 Exup||252||1990–1992|
|YB9 Bellaria||FZR 600||145||1990–1993|
|YB10 Dieci||FZR 1000 Exup||224||1991–1994|
|YB11 Superleggera||1000 Thunderace||600||1996–1998|
|YB11 25th Anniversary||50||1998|