Table of contents:
- Bimota SB5, the Marconi era
- Bimota SB6, the return of Suzuki 7 years later
- Bimota SB7, the return to competition
- Bimota SB8, the latest Italian gixxer
2023 Author: Nicholas Abramson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 02:44
As we began to see in the first part of this article in its short but rich history Bimota employed (mostly) during his first 30 years engines Japanese brands like Suzuki under the different forms of sale that it had. On the one hand with their kits, on the other with the units that they themselves assembled at the Rimini plant and to which they incorporated and adjusted their propeller. Always in a low number of units or on request.
Very friends of the short series built by hand, they have always stood out in the precise behavior of its part cycle, in a high reliability and in the power of the motors used. With the Hamamatsu brand they made eight models (14 with their slopes) from 1975 to 2005. The last time they used a Suzuki engine was in the Bimota SB8K Santa Monica, that of the Suzuki TL1000R racing. Today we get closer to the last four Bimotas SBThey were under the mind of Pier Luigi Marconi, Tamburini's successor.
Bimota SB5, the Marconi era
The Bimota SB5 It was practically a restyling of its predecessor, Marconi already entered it. It drifts directly from the SB4 with the odd change like a longer wheelbase, altered suspension curve, or different weight distribution. In its aesthetic part it stood out for its retractable tail that allowed to fix a seat for the passenger, being the first machine of the firm to offer this possibility.
The Bimota SB5 had the standard 1,135cc 115hp engine of the Suzuki GSX 1100
Presented in Cologne at 1984 it was made 158 units until 1986, the model's last year of production. 71 of those units were factory assembled and the rest were sold in kits. The Bimota SB5 was only available in red and white with the red chassis.
It was powered by the standard water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke engine from 1,135 cc and 115 hp of power of the Suzuki gsx 1100, supplied directly by the Japanese manufacturer together with the instrumentation. The chromium-moly steel tubular chassis is the same as the one on the Bimota YB5 with a Yamaha engine.
Bimota SB6, the return of Suzuki 7 years later
The sixth model with Suzuki, the Bimota SB6 was presented at the Milan Motorcycle Show in 1993, seven years after the last Bimota SB5 lit by the firm. It marks a turning point in terms of design and aesthetics, logically much more modern with the jump of the decade. It is built by the engineer and designer Pier luigi marconi in what we could call the second phase with Hamamatsu engines and that includes its last three models.
The 1996 racing version received Marchesini rims, new instrumentation, carbon reinforcements under the fairing and a Suzuki-like look.
This Bimota is the model with the highest production. Between its two aspects, the SB6 and SB6R, manufactured from 1994 to 1998, the Italian factory lit 1,744 units, 600 of which were of the Racing version, an inscription that appeared on the fairing.
The engine is that of the Suzuki GSX 1100 R, a water-cooled four-cylinder in-line with 156 hp of power and powered by four 40mm diameter Mikuni carburettors. Its chassis is perimeter and made of aluminum, with it and other technical solutions Marconi achieved a more compact machine, very rigid and low in weight. It mounted a Paioli fork with a diameter of 46 mm that could be replaced by a titanium one for a plus in the price. Öhlins and Brembo appear among its components.
On 1996 the model was re-presented in Cologne with a restyling. The Bimota SB6R received a few adjustments, among them the Marchesini rims, a new instrumentation imbued in a new frame now made of carbon fiber, different carbon reinforcements under the fairing and seat, new optics similar to the Suzuki, a larger air box. and a forced air intake system. Its wheelbase also changed due to the length of the swingarm being increased by 10mm.
Bimota SB7, the return to competition
The Bimota SB7 It was presented at the same time as the SB6, at the same 1993 Milan Motorcycle Show and is also built under the ideas of Marconi but with different premises: the desire of the Rimini firm to return to competition. The SB7 was developed specifically for this and therefore only 200 units were manufactured, those that were needed by the script's requirement to participate in the World Superbike Championship 1995. Its production ended that same year.
The powertrain derives from the third generation of the first modern superbike, the Suzuki GSX-R 750, in its SP version (the racing one). The engine in the Bimota provides 132 hp of power (14 hp more than in the Japanese). It was a liquid-cooled inline four cylinder with electronic injection, more efficient camshafts and mated to a six-speed gearbox.
The Bimota SB7 had an aluminum chassis, steering damper, multi-adjustable Paioli 46mm telescopic fork, Öhlins rear shock, 320mm two floating disc Brembo brakes with four piston calipers up front and a 210mm disc with dual caliper. rear piston and a carbon and fiberglass saddle that forms one piece with the fuel tank.
Bimota SB8, the latest Italian gixxer
The Bimota SB8 It was the last model with Suzuki of the brand and the one that was in production for the longest time under its five different aspects: SB8R, SB8RS, SB8K, SB8K Gobert and SB8K Santa Monica. The Bimota SB8 was presented at the Milan Motor Show in 1997 and manufactured between 1998 and 2005 with a total of 1,504 units. Designed around the V-twin engine at 90 degrees to the Suzuki TL 1000R 996 cc and 135 hp of power. It differed from that of the Japanese in that it was equipped with a Magneti Marelli electronic injection system.
In 2000 Bimota lit up 150 copies With the name SB8K, a version with improved aerodynamics and engine. It was the minimum production required by the FIM to allow the brand to participate in the World Superbike championship. History tells us that in the race of Phillip Island Australian pilot Anthony Gobert claimed the brand's first and only victory at this time over the SB8K. The Rimini firm was once again enjoying success 11 years after Giancarlo Falappa made the Bimota YB4 shine on the French Paul Ricard circuit in 1989.
In that same year 2000, the brand declared bankruptcy and suspended production of the SB8. Production was resumed again in 2004 under new management with the latest versions of the Bimota SB8, the SB8K Gobert in tribute to the victory of the pilot and the SB8K Santa Monica, both equipped more sophisticated components and threw a little more power 142 hp (7 more than the first model).
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