These are the first pictures to emerge of Bimota's upcoming supercharged DB11 VLX, under development, taken by a factory insider. The completed machine is expected to go on sale early next year.
The standard DB11 is currently the Italian firm's range-topping superbike, featuring a 162bhp V-twin1198 engine, taken from the current Ducati Diavel. It's an evolution of the 1098-engined DB7 and the DB8, which ran the now discontinued 1198 superbike engine.
But Bimota decided 162bhp isn't enough, so they've fitted a supercharger and the result is this: the 191bhp DB11 VLX.
Although it boosts power by newly 30bhp, Bimota says the supercharger unit only adds around 4-5kg to the DB11's 175kg dry weight and because the Diavel motor is in a relatively mild state of tune to begin with, it hasn't had to be retuned. The engine even maintains its original 11.5:1 compression ratio.
Belt driven superchargers are better for bikes than exhaust-span turbos - they don't suffer from 'turbo lag' and work immediately from low revs. Bimota test riders have told MCN that during testing, the DB11 VLX's power delivery is smooth, predictable and even at full lean, easy to manage all the way through the revs. In fact, they say it feels just like a normally-aspirated Ducati engine - only faster.
There are no plans to create a supercharged range of motorcycles in the future and Bimota have only produced the DB11 VLX 'because they can'. The power for the next fast Bimota in the pipeline, will come from BMW and the firm are currently working on an S1000RR-engined 'BB3', which will be shown at the EICMA international motorcycle show this autumn.