After Ducati and Husqavarna, another Italian manufacturer has gone into the hands of a foreigner buyer, this time its the turn of Bimota.
The manufacturer whose name was based on its founders, Bianchi, Morri and Tamburini celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and been bought by a Swiss group - the name of the company has yet to be revealed - and apparently the owner has a passion for motorcycles.
For the moment it seems that Bimota will remain in Italy (Rimini), with just fresh capital flowing into the company’s coffers, and that the marque will continue their longtime collaboration with Ducati and BMW for their engines.
Bimota went bankrupt in 2001 and was reborn in 2003.
Press release after the jump.
We would like to introduce you to two brand new concepts from Italian designer Oberdan Bezzi: the Bimota BB-2 and BB-3 “Paura”, that Mr.Bezzi has conceived thinking about a possible partenership between the diminutive but renowned Italian manufacturer and the BMW Group. After all, in the aftermath of the the recent acquisition of Ducati Motor Holding by Audi - and therefore, by extension, the Volkswagen Group - the Bavarian manufacturer might actually be interested in provoding its engines to the small but prestigious Italian maker.
The Bimota BB-2 is meant to be a road racer equipped with the powerful 4-cylinder engine of the S 1000 RR Superbike. The model would be a super-compact motorcycle with a mixed aluminum trellis frame, single swingarm and, of course, all the top-notch components currently available on the market, as you would expect in a bike of this leverage. The BB-2 would be a proper dream bike, with a price that would be absolutely out of reach for regular riders and therefore reserved for the great collectors.
The BB-3 “Paura” - which is the Italian for ‘Fear’ - is a sort of Streetfighter variant of the aforementioned BB-2, therefore fitted with the same 1000 cc four-cylinder unit of the Munich-based manufacturer. This naked model would be supposed to flank the road version (BB-2), using the same sort of constructive refinement, exclusivity and wild character. The BB-3 “Paura” would be designed for experienced and savvy riders who would have no problem to tame a true thoroughbred.
Italian designer Oberdan Bezzi has become a sort of a regalur feature in our blog, and here is his latest creation: the Bimota SB9 Metallo, a graphic concept that its own maker acknowledges would be quite unusual even for the usually bold Italian manufacturer. According to the concept, the Metallo would be powered by a Suzuki twin engine with displacement enlarged up to 670 cc, while chassis and suspension would use top notch material and components within an overall neat and classic structure.
“The best thing about this concept bike - said Mr.Bezzi himself - would be its bodywork, that should be entirely made of hand wrought aluminum. That would make it a proper and expensive jewel, which would not go for over-the top performance or technology but is rather focused on high quality craftmanship and premium finishing“. Click on the image above to see it in high-resolution. To find out more about Mr.Bezzi’s work, you can check out his official blog (in Italian).
Our Italian cousins at Motoblog.it are at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona this weekend and at the Bimota stand found former Superbike rider Ruben Xaus who is now officially working with Bimota as their sporting director and was able to interview him.
MB: Bimota has several new things in store for their fans, so how did this partnership with them come around?
RX: By chance. I was talking to some very passionate friends from the Romagna region and was introduced to the Bimota world. I was at a crossroads, not knowing whether to continue racing or to dedicate myself to something else. On the one hand, there were the last season with many injuries and no replies, so I decided to take matters into hand and this collaboration was born. I wanted to take control of my destiny and decide what to do and when to do it.”
MB: What do you do for them?
RX: “I was only supposed to do some small things, instead I’m doing a lot. In the beginning my role was to be their image man, because I have riding schools in Spain, France and Russia, so we thought I’d use their bikes and my name for marketing, but as time went on and with my experience in asset management and finances (something that I’ve personally always worked in) we decided to expand my role and now I’m the sporting director, with the objective of outsourcing and expand the business with targeted marketing strategies. “
We’ve already mentioned that Ruben Xaus had taken up a new role as sporting director for Bimota and the Spaniard was on track at Almeria for a shakedown test for Bimota’s Moto2 and Superbike project as the first step in their comeback project.
Launched in the 70s, the brand has always been a protagonist introducing new technologies that later designed on its own models and now has set up the Bimota Research Development Department in a joint venture with EDO Racing that will manage the marketing and development area and new partnership with Bitubo suspensions.
At Almeria Xaus and the test rider tested their newest Moto2 version, the HB4 2012. A slighly improved motorbike where aerodynamic studies allowed an extremely low CX that led to improved timings and even less workloads.
We haven’t checked out an Oberdan Bezzi vision for a while, so here’s a look at his Bimota TB-1 675 motorcycle design effort. The Bimota model is designed to be a competitor to the new MV Agusta F3 - providing an attractive and alluring design that other bikes can’t match. The designer says:
The very valid 600cc Japanese bikes can’t compete in terms of fascinating and refined design and build; and the dynamic high performance of the Triumph Daytona 675 doesn’t have the same allure that makes for a dream bike.
And so we get the idea for a three-cylinder Bimota that can compete with the MV Agusta, using a 675cc engine and some good looking fairing. It will never see the light of day, but it’s an intriguing proposition all the same.
These behind the scenes live pics of the 2010 Bimota Day come from the guys at Motoblog.it who were lucky enough to visit the Bimota factory facilities during its open day. With Bimota representatives, and plenty of bikes on show, this is the one chance you will get to see so many examples of the famous models in one place.
Present at the day was Pietro Canale, marketing manager, who says: “Bimota has always made sports bikes and you will never see an enduro with our brand,” highlighting what the brand is famous for. Also present was former rider Loris Reggiani. Having raced with Bimota in the past, he said: “These are among the few bikes that still put me in mind of true workmanship. Race bikes have to be like this.”
Established in 1966, Bimota originally made cooling systems for bikes, but with the passion of people like Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and the celebrated Massimo Tamburini, the company became famous for its chassis building. It has housed many engines from many different brands but today, keeping things local, it’s using the Ducati V-Twins as motors.
Bimota has presented its DB6 SuperLight model at the Rome Motodays event. These live pics show the bike, which is based on the Bimota DB6 Delirio. It’s a prototype which has been produced in collaboration with the Bike Research lab and centres on a new-look fork-chassis combination which further accentuates the extreme style of the DB6.
The Bimota DB6 SuperLight is already in testing phase and could even appear on the market in Bimonta dealerships by the end of the year. The aim is to keep the SuperLight with a weight of 158 kg in what has been an innovative project for the company. See if you like it in the pics below.
After the Bimota HB4 seen at the Motor Bike Expo, here is the other Bimota that was on show, the new
Bimota DB8, which is also a very sexy bike. In contrast to the return to Honda engines for Bimota with the HB4, the DB8 has a Ducati engine - no less than the 1198 Testastretta, in fact, which produces 170 hp off the back of a bike weighing 171 kg.
There is space for a passenger, but as the guys at Motoblog.it remind us, it’s not an armchair. The aluminium frame has been studied to accommodate the passenger space, and be both light and strong. The suspension has also been developed for use by two people, and with 131 Nm of torque, this makes it a fast bike to be riding duo.
The Bimota DB8 should cost about 23,000 euros, making it less entry-level than suspected, but it looks like a great bike and certainly isn’t lacking in speed and technology. A new version of the DB7 naked bike should still be developed, adding to a small range that Bimota fans should definitely appreciate. Technical specs after the jump.
Bimota will be debuting with FB Corse in the Moto2 series with this Bimota HB4. It should prove to be an exciting bike with a Honda engine (from the Honda CBR 600 RR), and a stunning Bimota trellis chassis of steel and cast magnesium. These shots show the Bimota HB4 live at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona (courtesy of Motoblog.it) where you can also see the rear Ohlins suspension, Paioli front fork and Brembo brakes.
Other features include an aeronautical system for the frame, adjustable steering head and forged magnesium wheels. The Bimota HB4 weighs 135 kg (dry) and has a 21-litre capacity fuel tank. Rumours say that if the bike is successful and generates enough interest, we could see a production version turn up.
On the racing front, Bimota won its first world championship back in 1980 with Jon Ekerold, and then in 1987 with Virginio Ferrari. And the Italians are hoping that this is an opportunity for Bimota to dust off the trophy cabinet a bit. Check out the Bimota HB4 Moto2 promo video here.