Bimota DB2 — Classic Bike Mechaniker Magazine

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Bimota DB2

Published: 12:24PM Feb 2011

Part Ducati, trellis-framed special, the Bimota DB2 is doubt a latin lovely.

20 years ago, my older had a used Honda 750 four, the big fuel tank and brown paint. They were the days where no one wanted used, so the Hondas were to buy and run as hacks in London. Lovely fast and smooth, but the rest of the was awful; it handled like an Sultan racing a shopping around an ice rink, and it had a gravitational towards the ground in corners was almost supernatural.

It was probably a of years of mechanical neglect and that could have remedied if we had more mechanical between us, but we were at that where we liked to ride our not fix them.

So the Honda was unfairly Japanese rubbish and swiftly on. not long before I read an in one of the bike mags about a HB1 that used the same 750 motor, and learned how well it and saw in the photos how low and lean it looked I was impressed, and the odd name Bimota in my mind, and insists on doing so more after riding Bimota DB2; Ducati and Bimota frame combining to pure riding pleasure.

to the Bimota phenomenon is Massimo the now retired, but for ever legendary, designer and creator of the Ducati 916 and MV F4. He had learned his metal working back in his home town of Italy, manufacturing and installing and air conditioning units. From tubes during the week to with his friends on weekends, he crashed his Honda 750 at Misano, several ribs, and spent recuperating by designing and building his own to accommodate the powerful Honda

The HB1 was born, and in 1973, with and business partners Bianchi and Bimota was created, famously the first two letters of each

Bimota’s fortunes as a company waxed and waned over the but the original concept of building frames around production engines has always remained and their motorcycles have been very special, powered by the big four Japanese or more harmoniously in a patriotic Ducati engines.

This DB2 a Ducati motor, hence the Bimota prefix, and was built in by Bimota in 1997. The plaque to the flush mounted filler cap this machine as number 036 of the Finale, or Final Edition, consisted of just 100 bikes. As you expect, the DB2 followed a DB1 which was by Federico Martini, who had replaced at Bimota on his move to Cagiva.

The DB1 was the and, for many, the best Bimota to be powered by a Ducati the two-valve 750cc engine. wheels and expensive components set the DB1 and it sold well, saving from imminent financial

Bimota went on to develop the but their customers still a traditional and good handling so the DB2 was launched in 93. They sensibly to the theme of using a Ducati as past financial crises’ had been exacerbated by sticking with Japanese motors, but also wanted variety, for the high price tags new Bimotas wear.

The heart of the DB2 is a two-valve Ducati engine, the as graced the 900 Super Sport through the 90s. I owned a Ducati 900SS, and apart cylinder studs that like spaghetti and a clutch rattled like a tin of Tutti the Desmo two-valve motor was a and I could forgive its foibles to be able to enjoy its lazy ways and heaps of character. experience, I know not to expect acceleration from the Bimota, but fascinated to experience that in a Bimota frame, even the Ducati was a sweet handling in its own right.

Unlike the DB1, which all-enveloping bodywork, the chrome steel frame is proudly on and the manner in which its bright red breaks up the expanse of silver/dark bodywork between fairing and tank is striking. DB1 designer had left by the time the DB2 was produced, but it was by his protégé Pierluigi Marconi, who on to also project the Tesi.

I how Italian designers love to off their frames by painting bright red Lino Tonti did the with his Guzzi V7 Sport Rosso, and the red frame has the same here, especially as the oval cantilever swinging arm is painted in the red and has the same trellis design as the so the eye can follow an almost unbroken from top left to bottom of the Bimota. It’s this of attention to detail and ability to lines and curves that effortlessly one into the other makes the Bimota approach so and it’s really no surprise the Bimota way was so imbued in the Ducati one of most people’s top five stunning motorcycles ever.

This DB2 is also very looking, with smooth though I wouldn’t necessarily it beautiful. Much has been of the headlamp, which was allegedly from a box of Yamaha FZR spares, but it strike me as awful and if anything typically 90s. The red of the frame is out and continued in the graphics, and the Bimota is a classic. The green Paioli contrast with just everything else on the DB2, and expensive.

Like much of the they are personalised with a casting with the Bimota impressed into it no wonder was a £14,000 motorcycle when it was

The white face Veglia are familar, as is the orange lettered CEV but I’m aware that the position is quite different to my old SS. On, or like in, this Bimota, forced slightly more by the uncompromising seat unit, in losing a pillion pad to gain for the silencers underneath seems to also squeezed the rider The bars seem more or the same, not too radical but sporty to look right and give the enough distance from the to be able to remain reasonably

Starting the Bimota up, I hear the clunky, lumpy motor me that I was used to hearing all years ago, and the mechanical when running on the choke in with the bag o’ nails rattle don’t really much confidence that is actually a performance motorcycle in I’m sure that potential Ducati, let alone owners may even have put off at this stage.

But after a few minutes riding, the motor and tyres warm up, the begins to shine brightly. It light and nimble, but most focused for confidence-inspiring and precise My 900SS also handled but the limitations of its Showa suspension was discovered, especially on bumpy when the suspension just harsh, and there were when it just got too uncomfortable and annoying to ride quickly.

The in comparison, has top notch components, the Paioli forks, and a rear shock, all adjustable for compression, and damping. The bike is already set up, and in fact it’s in very original condition, with 5000 or so miles on the clock.

Bimota DB 6 R
Bimota DB 6 R

Bimotas are bought as second or collectors’ investments machines, and DB2 has probably been kept the way, so clean is it. Where my SS served as a London commuter, I imagine using the DB2 for the same it wills you to get up into that between 3000 and 6000rpm, at 50 to 120mph, where these excel the most, and are strong and

Acceleration is brisk and the Bimota is enough to excite anyone, yet the is stable and easy. A claimed at 7000rpm or thereabouts isn’t a lot, but is six more than the SS, due to a airbox and the different exhaust

The carburettors on both bikes are Mikunis, and they fuel from second gear up into top and sixth gear speed racing, and without any glitches, but the Bimota is also than the 900SS, conceding or 33lb, of weight and subsequently it feel a more urgent The DB2 also has a slightly shorter and a 23.5 degree head and certainly seems to turn than an SS. The DB2 eats up the Suffolk that I’m riding effortlessly, though it still to be pushed a little with rider input on the bars and

The brakes are from the Brembo series, and the four-piston calipers and discs pull the Bimota to a whenever required, in an awesome but not progressive manner.

Surprisingly the brake master cylinder is a Ducati item, as is the clutch cylinder on the opposing bar, and have thought that for a out of the financial reach of most, get Brembo kit all round. Other include mirrors that you can see in but can’t be folded in at all, and the flip-up sidestand that courtesy of the Ducati parts Lighter Antera wheels and front mudguard and rear complete the Bimota DB2 makeover.

The worth of this Bimota not in any one individual area of its motor, or pricy parts but in the combination, or the sum of parts. The sound from twin exhausts is wonderful; musical but not any louder than the SS, was slightly muted through its cans. It’s an odd but pleasing to actually sense the Ducati escaping from the motor tubes just centimetres your backside!

The frame and its is special and when paired a V-twin Ducati motor, isn’t hard to love for all its and ready nature, the combination succeeds like a match in Italian motorcycling heaven. one of those bikes that are and the reasons as to why it should function so are just as hard to explain, and only those with pockets could afford to out when it was new.

Whether you would consider it to be for Classic Motorcycle Mechanics or not is matter, but I would say without a The DB1 from the mid-80s is already a classic, for the same reasons this DB2 final edition, one of 100 made, is destined to become the The fascination with Ducati and any Ducati-engined special, which is the Bimota DB2 is more or less, always attract collectors and

Best of all though, Bimota has its in a similar spirit to those and visionaries as Paul Dunstall, Egli, John Britten or Buell, and when the plan out as well as this, the desirable DB2 can be called a classic motorcycle.

many thanks to John for lending us the very clean

Tel: 01449 612900


James Adam Bolton Matt Crossick

Bimota DB 6 R
Bimota DB 6 R
Bimota DB 6 R
Bimota DB 6 R

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