BIMOTA SB6 (1994 - 1999) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
For many The SB6/7 is the pinnacle of old school Bimota craft. The recipe back then was simple: take the best and most powerful Japanese engines and wrap them in the most exquisite and fine handling hand-made Italian chassis and bodywork. The SB6/7 had hairy Suzuki GSX-R engines, sublime handling and craftsmanship and characteristically Italian unreliability and fickleness. After this, Japanese motorcycles handled better – for half the price.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
In its day – and that’s a decade ago, remember – the Bimota SB6 was phenomenal. But it's now looking decidedly old hat. The Bimota SB6 steers well enough and is reasonably lithe and low thanks to its massive twin spar aluminium frame and decent geometry and (Paoli) suspension, but everything else has been well overtaken…
EngineNext up: Reliability
Forget the WSB-homologation special 750, the GSX-R1100-powered Bimota SB6 is the daddy. Huge, terrifyling and awesome it needs handling with respect but rewards with 147bhp and enough meaty midrange to satisfy a truck driver. The Bimota SB6 is big, solid and there are few bigger rushes…
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
There’s no doubting the Bimota SB6's ingredients are top quality, albeit ones chosen more for their out-and-out performance rather than durability, but the way they’re put together is often a little slipshod. Panel gaps are poor, bits fall off or unscrew themselves and, like all Bimotas, the SB6 generally needs treating with kid gloves.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
When new, the Bimota SB6 was getting on for twice as much as its donor bike and, even used, their an expensive luxury from the Italian school of exotica. That said, today you can still get yourself one hell of a superbike, albeit a slightly old-fashioned one, for less than the price of a used Japanese 600. Find a Bimota SB6 for sale.
No luxuries or creature comforts, the Bimota SB6 is a pared to the bone sportster. But that it does have is top notch. Hand-milled aluminium everywhere, a sprinkling of carbon fibre and among the very best of cycle parts – Paoli suspension, Brembo brakes, Marchesini wheels and more. Compare and buy parts for the Bimota SB6 in the MCN Shop.
|Engine type||16v transverse four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||19.5 litres|
|Front suspension||Compression, rebound|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||Single 230mm|
|Front tyre size||120/60 x 17 in|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 17 x in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||35 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||-|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||156 bhp|
|Max torque||87 ft-lb|
|Top speed||175 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.6 secs|
|Tank range||140 miles|
Model history & versions
1994: Bimota SB6 and SB7 introduced.
1996: Bimota SB7 discontinued.
1997: Uprated Bimota SB6R introduced.
1999: Bimota SB6 discontinued.
1999: Bimota SB6R discontinued.
Owners' reviews for the BIMOTA SB6 (1994 - 1999)
3 owners have reviewed their BIMOTA SB6 (1994 - 1999) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
looks fabulous even 20 years old - old school maybe but I also have a K1300S and whilst the Bimota is no match its so much more involving. beautifully made you can pick them up now for very low prices and they should be future classics - these are real old school muscle bikes you need one just admit it
great components not great finish but not too shabby and fabulous to look at
Owned one of these for 2 years until I wrote it off on a corner! First Bim I had bought at the time (now on SB8), so it was a complete learning process compared to the faultless, but less involving Jap bikes I've had. First thing to do is to junk the twin 6v batteries behind the clocks. These are always going flat & causing problems. The engine is restricted by the too-small airbox so this needs to be taken out & a Stage 3 Dynojet kit fitted. Where the airbox was you now have a space where you can insert a battery box which will hold a 12v battery. Much better starting from cold plus helps centralise the weight. I replaced the standard underseat exhausts with a set of original Bimota race pipes, unbelieveably loud plus noticeable power increase. All of the above work was carried out by an ex-Williams F1 engineer who I was lucky enough to meet & who also owned an SB6. He had carried out further improvements to his bike, such as replacing the awful one-piece fibreglass fairing which fastens underneath the sump, with a 4 piece custom made carbon one, which made servicing & access to the engine much easier. He had also fitted Yoshi cams & a big bore kit, so that in a straight line the bike was as fast as my '99 R1! You need to keep a spare supply of bolts handy as these tend to vibrate loose & fall out, particularly around the point where the carbon seat unit meets the frame spars. It might sound from the above that I didn't really enjoy the bike, but in fact I absolutely loved it. The best handling bike I've owned (better than R1, R6, GSXR750) plus due to the low seat height, knee down around the corners on the roads, right or left, is just a given! Attracted attention wherever you go & I just adored the GSXR1100 engine...absolutely bulletproof. One final piece of advice: speeds in excess of 140mph, the wind pushes the fairing back onto the headlamp mounts & starts to crack the fibreglass. Screw the headlamps as far back as you can with the adjusters to prevent this happening...& find an understanding MOT tester when they check the lights & they're shining on their ceiling! Good luck if you get one, it's like all good relationships...hard work but ultimately worth it in the end!
Excellent bike and not for the faint hearted. I bought mine as a bargin £1400 and needs a paint job. Ok it won't out accelerate the modern 600 but on top end it will give all the 1000's a run for there money.The electric are from gsxr1100 modified to fit the bim.The bike is better when a dyno jet kit is fitted and to sort the handling fit a 12/70/17 on to make more stable just like the sb7 and 6r.The engine is bulk standard so there is lots you can do with it. Hope this helps.