Bimota BB3 — Italian Design, German Performance

11/06/2013 @ 7:53 am, by Jensen Beeler25 COMMENTS


Today marks a formal new beginning for Bimota, as the boutique Italian firm has recently been acquired by Daniele Longoni and Marco Chiancianesi. Helping to commemortate that event, Bimota debuted at the 2013 EICMA show its new S1000RR-powered Bimota BB3 sport bike.

Using the 999cc four-cylinder superbike motor found on the BMW, the Italians quote 190hp for the Bimota BB3, the same as what the Germans have been able to coax from the S1000RR. Weight is 394 lbs dry, also the same as the BMW S1000RR, so on paper the two bikes appear to be quite similar. In person though, they are anything but.

Bimota has applied the same general design aesthetic to the BB3 that it has done with its current DB line of Ducati-powered motorcycles. A steel trellis frame is mated to alloy plates, which comprises the chassis, while choice bits from Brembo, Öhlins, and OZ abound.

The build is clean and efficient, with smooth lines running from the tidy tail piece all the way to the front of the BB3. From the rear, the Bimota BB3 is quite a sight to see, from the front though, the bike feels quite bland, and reminiscent of Suzuki’s current design direction.

Walking away from the unveiling, we were left with the feeling that the headlight feels vaguely familiar, though you will have a hard time pin-pointing which Japanese street bike has been lifted from. Meanwhile, the air intakes feel like a complete afterthought. Still an attractive machine, but it makes us long for Bimota’s of yore.

While the Bimota BB2 was a huge departure from Bimota’s previous work, and you either loved it or hated it, the BB3 is a very conservative journey down Bimota’s recent past — an interesting situation for a brand that has been anything but conservative since its inception. At least, that is our take on it. What’s yours?











Technical Specifications for the 2014 Bimota BB3:

Engine type: 4 cylinders, 4 stroke, 16 valves -Displacement: 999 cc
Bore x Stroke: 80 x 49.7 mm
Compression ratio: 13,0:1
Fuel System: Electronic injection
Battery: Li-Ion extra light battery
Driving assistant: Anti-wheeling, traction control, ABS, electronic shifter
Cooling system: Water-cooled
Emissions: Euro 3
Power: 193 CV / 142 kW at 13000rpm
Torque: 112 Nm / 11.42 kgm at 9750 rpm

Gearbox : 6 gear
Clutch: Multi-disc with antislip system
Final drive: Chain

Frame type: Steel trellis and light alloy side plate
Swingarm: Light alloy fully machined, adjustable pivot position
Rake fork angle: 25°
Front suspension: Telescopic fork Ø43mm, adjustable in pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension : Monoshock, adjustable in pre-load, rebound and compression damping
Front rim: 3.50 x 17” aluminum forged
Rear rim : 6.00 x 17” aluminum forged
Front brake: Double disc Ø 320mm, Brembo calipers Freno posteriore – Rear brake: Single disc Ø 220mm
Front tyre: 120/70-17”
Rear tyre: 190/55-17” or 200/55-17”

Overall Length: 2075mm
Overall Width: 1130mm
Overall Height: 830mm
Seat Height: 820 mm
Wheelbase: 1430 mm
Dry Weight : 179 Kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 liters

Source: Bimota; Photos: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • SteaminSteven

    Me thinks the headlight is from a GXR from a few years back…. The machine sure doesn’t look like their typical uncommon design language….

  • Bob

    “Walking away from the unveiling, we were left with the feeling that the headlight feels vaguely familiar, though you will have a hard time pin-pointing which Japanese street bike has been lifted from.”

    2004 Suzuki GSX-R 1000

    Bimota motorcycles were special at one point. Bimota, in the past, made a name for itself by taking reliable, proven motors and making them go around corners really quickly. Something the Japanese had a difficult time doing, long ago. Since the early 90’s, though, Japan has been producing some of the best handling bikes available. Bimota’s old formula is no longer relevant.

    The BB3 is an overpriced S1000RR, with the silhouette of an ’08 Fireblade, and the face of Gixxer. The BMW is a looker, it’s priced well, and no one can argue that is one of the most capable sport bikes every made. So, what’s the point?

  • Paleochocolate

    The headlight is from a hayabusa. Sure looks like it.

  • Paleochocolate

    oh, so 2004 gsx-r1000 it is.

  • What a shame for such a bike to re-re-re use a headlight that we have seen for the first time almost 10 years ago..i believe the headlight is a quite expensive piece to engineer and produce, but they could have used something more modern..

  • Nico

    A modern motor with 90s/early 00s design – a step backward. Disappointing for Bimota, disappointing for Italian design.

  • Looter

    Bimota just phoned it in when designing that front end. You guys sure the new owners didn’t change the name to Bipolarmota? Like Jensen stated, nice arse but Oh…that butterface!

  • @Paleochocolate, the headlight is not from Suzuki, but from the bimota Db5, produced in 2004..that’s typical italian practice, i believe ducati 900ss/888 headlight was from a fiat car.

  • I’m not 100% sure but i think the guy behind the new bimota’s designs is this one

  • Mr.X

    Design engineering for a headlight reflector can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and someone has to write that check.
    And a Bimota with a fork? Still, though, nice aluminum pieces.

  • Paleochocolate

    @budspencer, i personally believe the Db5 looks more elegant with that headlight than the BB3.

  • Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

    “While the Bimota BB2 was a huge departure from Bimota’s previous work, and you either loved it or hated it”

    I actually thought the BB2 prototype looked really cool. For better or worse nothing else on the market looked even remotely close to it. All of Bimota’s designs are a bit of an acquired taste most of the work has a polarizing effect.

    I would say shut up and take me money, but I don’t have that much. I’m guessing this bike is going to start around $30K or more new.

  • They should have let Sergio Robbiano design this bike because his Bimotas had a lot character regarding design (DB5, SB8, 500) this has nothing to do with the “old” Bimotas…it has the same power and weight so what is the point? Like Mr.X said, maybe with a FFE it would have been different…

  • starmag

    I can understand the premium for bragging rights of having a visually unique Tesi, (if you can live with the turning radius), but how is this worth more than a stock S1000RR again? A trellis frame you mostly can’t see and isn’t highlighted? Bimota better think of something quick.

  • Superlight

    Disappointing. I expect Bimota to push the design frontiers more than this, with a unique exhaust treatment, wild LED head/tail lights, unique wheels and maybe a rearview camera instead of conventional mirrors – something the big OEMs wouldn’t take the time to do.

  • Norm G.

    re: “I actually thought the BB2 prototype looked really cool.”


  • MikeD

    I liked the previous design better with the wierd headlights and it’s retro look.

    I would rather buy and ride a ” Bill The Cat ” faced S1000RR with the Motorrad Team Blue, White & Red paint scheme than this Italian Gixxer 1000.

  • MikeD

    Upon closer inspection and blowing up the photos:

    We can call this bike all kinds of nicknames and make fun of it but it’s execution, level of hardware, fit and finish is very good.

    I would make sweet love to that swing arm, fork, calipers, side plates, OZ Wheels, (re-badged Akra Can ?) . . . (~_^)

  • Norm G.

    re: “The BMW is a looker”

    well… it’s a good first effort, but lets not get crazy.

  • Norm G.

    re: “it’s execution, level of hardware, fit and finish is very good.”

    solution: combine the 2 designs. that first design actually wasn’t finished. i believe it still used the stock frame and the swing arm was just a cover over the stocker.

  • “….Weight is 394 lbs dry, also the same as the BMW S1000RR”

    How did Bimota not cut weight compared to the stocker considering their bike is a solo seat? Changing a sub frame is an easy way to loose weight, so is their chassis heavier?

  • Norm G.

    alright, i’m just gonna come out and say it. bimota, this version SUCKS A$$. I don’t know who told you the BB2 wasn’t on point…? but they lied to you. you hear me…? they LIED to you. it was nearly perfect in the classic sense of bimota.

    I’m keen on it for two reasons. #1, I’ve never really warmed up to the s1000’s mk-1 mod-0 styling and since it’s a still a new model in the grand scheme, it’s perfect for a remake (“fan-summers” have only ever seen ONE version of it). #2, the BB2 reminds me of a modern YB7, a bike I still lust after. BB3…? keep the chassis, bin the fairings. they’re rubbish.

    the modern ducati stuff like the DB7 and the Tesi 3 were great, but to advance the brand you’ve gotta diversify and get back to producing kit from other manufacturers, and the s1000 is the way to go. however, making it look like the Moto2 racer is not.

    oh and speaking of Moto2 racer, stop screwing around and produce something nice and retail that as well. Moto2’s been around, what, almost 4 years now…? and nobody’s done it yet. hellloo…!? mcfly…!? YOU can be the first.

    end transmission.

  • DFR

    Great power plant we all know! But, IMHO, an absolutely pathetic design. What were they thinking? Who are they designing for? Please don’t answer these questions. I don’t wanna know!

  • NeilS

    New guys buy company, want to increase sales/turnover, dumb down brand? Sales fall. Onlookers unsurprised.
    All the really fast bikes are better than their owners and everyone knows it. Got one.
    Bimota need a Supermono alike or Moto2 otherwise they will just wither on the vine.

  • Why would anyone buy this bike, its styling is horrible compared to other Bimota’s. If you want an ultimate Italian bike with ultimate Italian styling and the ultimate engine, just go and buy an Aprilia RSV4 Factory, it has more than proven itself in WSBK and MotoGP, it is a full Italian package engine and all!