BIMOTA V-DUE 500 (1997-1998) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"A complex, high tech, ridiculously expensive two-stroke"

Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding

"A complex, high tech, ridiculously expensive two-stroke"

  • At a glance
  • 499cc  -  110 bhp
  • 30 mpg  -  125 miles range
  • Medium seat height (805mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Only in Italy could someone bet the company's future on a complex, high tech, ridiculously expensive two-stroke, which couldn't compete with a 1000cc superbike of the time. The gamble was taken by Bimota in 1997, when (after eight years of development) the V-Due 500cc two-stroke appeared, and was almost universally slated as a rough-running, not particularly fast, oddball motorcycle for rich posers. Oh dear.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Big respect here, a superb chassis, probably over-engineered for the 500cc motor, but super-lightweight and possessed of outstanding suspension and brake. It made the Bimota V-Due a sweet thing to razz around corners, when in the right gear/rpm combo...

Engine 2 out of 5

If you're going to build a two-stroke, then make it a tiger, not a pussycat spitting up a fur ball. The sad reality is that the Bimota V-Due never really had enough poke, and it made its claimed 110bhp in a narrow power band, which made the motorcycle very hard work to ride. When the 175bhp R1 appeared a year after the V-Due was launched it made the Bimota V-Due look like some badly jazzed up club racer's 250 stroker.

Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5

Nearly everyone who bought a Bimota V-Due seemed to take it back and demand a refund at some point in the late 90s. The trick upper cylinder lube system didn't work effectively and the fuel injection rarely played ball below 5000rpm. Body parts were rumoured to crack. Oh Lordy. The motorcycle was such a warranty and PR disaster it more or less sank Bimota financially.

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

As a classic bike investment, picking up a Bimota V-Due now might - just might - pay off in another 10-20 years time. But forget about riding it anywhere, just air bubble the thing and hope that the Italian government funds a musuem of motorcycle design folly in 2025. Find a Bimota V-Due for sale.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Hmm, perhaps it was the way that the mirrors looked straight off a Cagiva Mito 125, or the naff indicators poking through the carbon fibre bodywork, but the Bimota V-Due didn't exactly drip from head to toe in designer kit for £14,500. They even put two warning lights in the headstock and not the dashboard...bit poor. Compare and buy parts for the Bimota V-Due in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the BIMOTA V-DUE 500 (1997-1998).

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1997
Year discontinued 1998
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 64 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 30 mpg
Tank range 125 miles
Specification
Engine size 499cc
Engine type V-twin, two stroke, 5 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin beam
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 147kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm disc
Rear brake Twin 320mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

1997: Bimota V-Due launched, about 15 sold in UK.
1998: About 12 of the 15 returned under warranty.
Late 1998: Bimota V-Due discontinued.
2001: Receivers called in at Bimota factory.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Side view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • BIMOTA V-DUE 500  (1997-1998)
  • BIMOTA V-DUE 500  (1997-1998)
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Front view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Side view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Top view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Side view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • BIMOTA V-DUE 500  (1997-1998)
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Side view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Front view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Side view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Top view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Side view
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding
  • Bimota V-Due motorcycle review - Riding