The Bimota SB8R is hard and track-focused. It seems a shame to take something so carefully crafted and so beautiful then risk cart-wheeling it into a worthless pile of scrap. But if you don’t thrash your Bimota round a track you’re not using it properly. The Bimota SB8R is superb at that but less happy pottering - although it’ll cope.
The Bimota SB8R's powerplant is a big V-twin borrowed from Suzuki’s TL1000 but hotted up in the Rimini factory. Large throttle bodies up power to 138bhp at the crank (around 124 at the rear wheel) with devastating mid range too. The Bimota SB8R is a delight to use and not for the inexperienced – but not a vast improvement over the original TL1000S and slower than an R1.
Bimotas are well built but most SB8Rs are track or race motorcycles and few rack up tens of thousands of road miles so few problems are heard of. Quality is high. The biggest problem with ownership will be the lack of dealer back up – at the time of writing there was no importer for Bimota which means proper servicing and spare parts will be hard to come by, although this has now improved slightly.
The SB8R is cheap for a Bimota (£14,500 in 1999), expensive compared to more mundane rivals. If you’re looking for the best performance per pound, look elsewhere (probably at a GSXR1000). But if you’re after a slice of motorcycling history, a bike with more charm than Terry Thomas and thing of beauty that’ll draw a crowd at any motorcycle meet, it’s worth a look. Find a Bimota SB8R for sale.
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What’s there is generally good enough for the Bimota SB8R to sit in an art gallery. Cost is rarely an issue – getting it right and making it look good are. For example the Bimota SB8R's tail unit has no frame to support it – it's all carbon giving a 2kg weight saving. Plus there's a bespoke aluminium frame made using high-tech techniques. The pegs are high, bars are low. Compare and buy parts for the Bimota SB8R in the MCN Shop.