Bimota may have been absent from the motorcycle scene for a while, but they could soon come back in a big way. Bimota will soon be unveiling a successor to its legendary Tesi H2, this time, powered by the engine of Kawasaki's Z1000.
Like MV Agusta's Superveloce 800, the Bimota KB4 pays tribute to classic sportbike designs back in the day. Its outer shell is a retro tribute but it's very much 2020 underneath.
For starters, it will share the same 141 Ps (140 hp) engine as Kawasaki's Z1000/ Ninja 1000, with electronics rumored to be more advanced than the Kawasaki's. It's built on a state-of-the-art frame made of composite materials. It will ride on top-shelf Öhlins suspension for both the front and rear, complemented by Brembo braking systems.
If in fact the rumors are true, this scene-stealing bike from Bimota could already be headed for the production line. It may land in showrooms before the year ends. As for the price tag, well, that's another story. No word yet. Not even a ballpark figure.
What is Bimota?
Bimota is an Italian company that specializes in customization of production motorcycles as well as producing a few of their own. It was founded in Rimini, Italy by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini (The same one who designed masterpiece motorcycles for Ducati, Cagiva, and MV Agusta) in 1973.
The company name is a portmanteau derived from the first two letters of each of the three founders' surnames, Bianchi, Morri, and Tamburini.
A Ducati-powered Bimota Tesi 3D with its unique hub-center steering system. (Wikimedia)
Bimota is famous for fitting some of its products with a unique and complex hub-center suspension and steering system. Though they did not invent it, it continues to be experimented on by some maverick motorcycle builders. It works like a swingarm for the front wheel that still allows it to be steered. Though more complex and expensive, the hub-center front suspension and steering system reduces nose diving when braking, making the bike more stable when entering corners.
Unfortunately, despite its beautiful and collectible creations, the company has also had a tumultuous history. A problematic model and a problem with a World Superbike team sponsor happening at the same time led to the company filing for bankruptcy in the early 2000s. Its new investors seemed to have done little with the brand since. More recently, Kawasaki Heavy Industry's acquired 49% stake in the company, giving it a new lease on life and kickstarting its production again with models based on Kawasaki bikes.