Bimota re-launch at EICMA with the TESIH2.

The The Remini based Italian firm Bimota. Launch a redesigned bike, powered by the Kawasaki H2 at EICMA.

Because the state of frame design and overall packaging was poor, Bimota concentrated initially on building high-quality motorcycles around existing engines. From the beginning they customised the top models of Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. During the late 1970’s, Bimota also helped develop and build motorcycles branded as Lamborghini’s. In the 1980’s they also customised Yamaha and Ducati motorcycles.

Bimota’s co-founder and long-time chief designer Tamburini has been an influential player in the development of other Italian brands, most significantly his work on the popular Ducati 916, the Ducati Paso, and the MV Agusta F4; other designers such as current Bimota chief Sergio Robbiano have also been involved with larger-volume manufacturers.

Previous Bimota models were the DB5, DB6, DB7, DB9 and the Tesi, with a DB8 featuring the Ducati 1198 engine in development. The latest model features the TESIH2 ( powered by the Kawasaki H” supercharged engine) which along with the co-designed Vyrus is said to be the only bike on production to house Hub Steering.( not a new concept, as used by Elf endurance racer in the Bol d’or in the 80’s)

Hub-center steering systems use an arm, or arms, on bearings to allow upward wheel deflection, meaning that there is no stiction, even under braking. Braking forces can be redirected horizontally along these arms, or tie rods, away from the vertical suspension forces, and can even be put to good use to counteract weight shift. Finally, the arms typically form some form of parallelogram which maintains steering geometry over the full range of wheel travel, allowing agility and consistency of steering that forks currently cannot get close to attaining. The hub center steering’s Achilles heel, however, has been steering feel. Complex linkages tend to be involved in the steering process, and this can lead to slack, vague, or inconsistent handlebar movement across its range.
De Cortanze’s designed ELF endurance bike.

Racing

Bimota first experienced international racing success in 1980 when Jon Ekerold, a true privateer, won the 350cc world championship on a Yamaha-powered Bimota.( South Africa has always been a big supporter of the Bimota brand, as you can still see models at track days or in private collections). They also experienced success in the early years of the Superbike World Championship. Virginio Ferrari won the 1987 Formula TT title aboard a YB4 EI, partnering with Davide Tardozzi. Tardozzi won five races in the inaugural 1988 world superbike championship, more than any other competitor, but inconsistent results relegated him to third place in the final standings.

After many years without success, the Australian rider Anthony Gobert caused a major shock in 2000 by winning a wet race at Philip Island on a Bimota SB8R. The Alstare team entered a Bimota package into World Superbikes in 2014 for riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon, however the bike initially did not have enough units in production to pass the championship’s homolagation rules. As a compromise, the bikes were allowed to enter from round 2, but ineligible for points until homolagation is achieved. At the end of the year the team finished unclassified and disqualified.