Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Memorable: The Bimota DB2

The 1993 Bimota DB2. Beautiful!

Based in Rimini, Italy, Bimota are one of those motorcycle companies that never seem to be doing very well. At any given point in time, Bimota have either gone bust, are in the process of going bust, being resurrected after having gone bust, or going bust again after having been resurrected! Their motorcycles have always been products of passion – beautifully designed and packed with top-spec components – but execution often leaves something to be desired. And the promises of performance are often left unfulfilled.

None of the above, however, takes away anything from the fact that Bimota have indeed made some brilliant motorcycles over the last two decades. Our favourites are the YB11, the YB6 Tuatara and the Furano. And, well, the DB2 wasn’t too bad either. Powered by an air-cooled, SOHC, two-valves-per-cylinder, 904cc, 90-degree v-twin sourced from Ducati, the DB2 was launched in 1993.

Other memorable Bimotas: The Furano (above) and....

...the SB6 (left), the YB11 (right)

With only about 80 - 90 horsepower (depending on which magazine road test you choose to believe…) available from the engine, the 168-kilo bike did not boast of a tyre-shredding power-to-weight ratio, but the beautifully crafted bodywork and high quality running gear made up for some of that. In any case, the DB2 did the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds and had a top speed of 225km/h, so things were just about acceptable in the performance department.

Equipment was top-notch as usual – stiff and light steel-tube trellis frame chassis, Paioli forks, monoshock at the back, Brembo brakes and six-speed transmission. The bike was fitted with 17-inch wheels, wearing 120/70 rubber at front, and 180/55 at the back. Overall, handling was said to be very good, and definitely better than most Japanese supersport machines of the early-90s.

Today, a well-kept example would be hard to find, spares would not be available and Japanese 600s would blow a DB2 into the weeds. But for sheer Italian style and panache, the old Bimota might still be hard to beat…

More Italian exotica:
MV Agusta F4 CC: The most beautiful motorcycle in the world?
The amazing Ducati Desmosedici RR!
Legendary racer: The 1970s Laverda V6...
The 1950s Moto Guzzi V8
Now available: The Benelli Tre-K 1130 Amazon
MV Agusta F4 Senna. God's own motorcycle...
Istituto Europeo di Design: The World’s Most Beautiful Motorcycles!
Pierre Terblanche: Ducati 916 vs 999

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