It was Italian Motorcycle Investment S.p.A. (IMI) that actually bought a 49.9% stake in Bimota S.A., with IMI being an investment arm created by Kawasaki Motors Europe, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Got all that?
Is there a more iconic motorcycle brand from Italy than Bimota? I think you could make some arguments to the contrary, but you would be hard-pressed to deny that the brainchild of Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini hasn’t produced some of the most impactful and drool-worthy motorcycles in the past 50 years.
Sadly, the story of Bimota is not always a happy one, and after a failed restart by Swiss investors Marco Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni, the Italian brand seemed like it was finally set for the deadpool. But then, something interesting happened.
About six weeks ago, news started circulating that Bimota was to be reborn again…and that Kawasaki had purchased the now defunct Italian marque. Well, we have good news for Bimota fans and motorcyclists alike. Bimota is back!
And to get things started right, we have been leaked images of the company’s first new creation, the Bimota TesiH2, and it looks very, very good.
Rumors out of Italy are suggesting that Kawasaki Heavy Industries has bought the Bimota motorcycle brand and its intellectual property.
We first saw the report on this news at the respected GPOne website, though details on the transaction remain virtually non-existent, with a press conference on the news expected in the coming days.
If true, this information is truly interesting, as it will likely set off a firestorm of speculation regarding what Kawasaki could want with the defunct boutique Italian motorcycle brand.
Things don’t look great for Bimota, one of the most iconic motorcycle brands ever created. The happy merger of the talents of Valerio Bianchi (BI), Giuseppe Morri (MO), and Massimo Tamburini (TA), Bimota has a storied past of failure, and a history of rebirth.
Several weeks ago, we covered a report from Cycle World’s Bruno dePrato, which outlined the currently dire state of the company. It seemed that once again that Bimota was falling on hard times, and the future of the brand remained uncertain.
Bimota took issue with this news, naturally.
The Bimota brand has a storied past, from its creation by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini, to its modern rebirth (several times over).
In between those chapters, we have seen a story born out of the company’s Rimini headquarters that has created some of motorcycling’s most iconic models, but it seems that the Bimota story is set to end.
In a story published by Cycle World, Bruno dePrato reports that Bimota has closed its doors in Italy, and all but officially ceased its business operations.
It has been exactly two years since we lost Massimo Tamburini, the father of iconic motorcycles like the Ducati 916 Superbike and the MV Agusta F4.
Despite his passing, the Italian designer’s influence can still be felt in the motorcycle industry today, and his creations continue to be highly coveted pieces for motorcycle collectors around the world.
Many know that Tamburini was the “ta” in Bimota, which saw The Maestro team up with Valerio Bianchi and Giuseppe Morri, and together the three pillars of the industry would create countless exotic two-wheeled examples.
In essence, Tamburini’s name can be linked to the most lust-worthy motorcycles in the modern era, and we are about to add one more machine to that list.
It would seem that Tamburini apparently had one last design up his sleeve before he departed this world, and it is debuting today. Giving tribute to his name, the Tamburini T12 Massimo is a BMW S1000RR powered superbike that is meant purely for the race track, and maybe the museum.
The 2015 EICMA show is finally over, and of course the guys from the Two Enthusiasts Podcast have something to say about everything that was unveiled in Milan. There is so much to talk about, in fact, that we had to break up the EICMA coverage into two separate shows.
So first up is Episode 9, which is Part 1 of our EICMA round-up. It covers all the happenings from the Italian OEMs: Aprilia, Benelli, Bimota, Ducati, Energica, Moto Guzzi, and MV Agusta.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 (Episode 10), which should debut on Wednesday, and will feature an in-depth discussion on the rest of the OEMs. Yes, that means double the Two Enthusiasts Podcast goodness for this week. Booyah!
Bimota is known for making drool-worthy motorcycles, and at EICMA the boutique Italian brand debuted two fine motorcycles. But, we think the real show-stopper for Bimota was its add-on supercharger system for its Ducati-powered motorcycles.
Good for 15% to 20% more power (probably more, if you like to tinker), the Bimota supercharger kit uses a Sprintex dual-screw supercharger, which has been tastefully made to match the belt covers on the Ducati Testastretta engine.
As you can see from the photos below, the supercharger looks pretty damn good, especially when paired with the “Bimota Experience” package, which adds a carbon fiber frame and swingarm to the chassis.
The Bimota Impeto is the first model to officially have the supercharger as an option, but the Italians say it can be made to work with any of its water-cooled Ducati-powered models.
If you’re not listening to the Two Enthusiasts Podcast, you should…there is some good two-wheeled gold in the show. So, with a hat-tip to my co-host Quentin Wilson – whose new favorite phrase is “pinnacle weird” – we present you with perhaps the strangest motorcycle to debut at the 2015 EICMA show.
The Bimota Tesi 3D champions the hub-center steering chassis design, and is one of the more unique motorcycles in the industry right now. Its design is positively futuristic, so it is a little strange that Bimota is trying to make the Tesi 3D into a café racer with the launch of the Bimota Tesi 3D RaceCafe.
Powered by the same 803cc air-cooled v-twin engine that’s found in the Scrambler series, you can tell that Bimota is trying to latch onto the post-heritage trend that is dying a slow death in the motorcycle industry, but hasn’t quite figured out how to do it yet.
The Bimota range has a long history of Ducati-powered machines, as the Italian brand has been used the most out of all the motorcycle manufacturers to power Bimota’s street and race bikes.
The Bimota Impeto adds another Ducati-powered model to the slew of others, but it differentiates itself as the only 162hp streetfighter in the lineup. If the Impeto looks familiar to the Bimota DB8, there’s good reason, as the two bikes share the Ducati Diavel’s Testastretta 11° DS engine.
As such, the chromoly steel chassis share a number of components, leaving most of the differences down to styling choices between the two liquid-cooled models. Our personal favorites are the exhaust and seat, which mirror each other with a rising flair.