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Bimota’s radical cafe racer

Published: 25 November 2015

The first café without a fork headlines new performance range

Bimota unveiled two new models at the Milan show last week – jumping firmly onto the retro bandwagon with their new hub-centre steered Tesi 3D RaceCafe, and continuing their legacy of performance roadsters with the new Impeto.

Powered by the air-cooled 803cc engine originally used in the Monster 796, Bimota’s new Tesi 3D RaceCafe uses these relatively humble underpinnings as the foundations for an absolute work of art.

While the Tesi family ties are obvious enough, this is a significantly different bike to the existing model, and there’s nothing low-tech about it. The RC gets the trademark double swingarm arrangement for which the Tesi is so famous but here they are made of carbon-fibre rather than metal tubing, and the damping control is courtesy of a matched pair of beautiful Öhlins race shocks mounted to the bridge-like machined billet frame spars.

The arrangement lends the RC a level of adjustability most bikes can only dream of, and is ride-height adjustable at both ends via two eccentric adjusters where both swingarms join the chassis. This means that the RC can be raised or lowered over a range of 23.5mm.

The front-end gets twin 320mm discs gripped by the latest Brembo monobloc calipers, while the RC manages a twitchily short 1390mm wheelbase and feather-light 165kg dry mass. It’s a bold addition to the range, pulling Bimota into new territory where style is the watchword rather than performance.

Impetuous performance

But don’t start thinking Bimota have gone soft. The range gets another new model for 2016 in the form of the Impeto. Powered by the liquid-cooled 1198cc twin spark engine from the Ducati Diavel, it promises to be a brutal super-naked.

And if the basic bike isn’t special enough for you, a host of parts from the Bimota Experience catalogue can be added, such as alloy and carbon-fibre frame and swingarm, and 3.5in TFT colour dash with data recording, GPS and automatic track identification. The Bimota SuperCharger Kit can be added, while it comes with traction control, ABS and ride-by-wire as standard.

Bimota’s new Supercharger kit will fit any of the liquid-cooled Ducati engines used in the firm’s range, and will increase power and torque by 15-20%. An electronic engine management system is also included with the kit, which is accessed through the datalogger.

The supercharger works off a geared drive train within the clutch cover to achieve the high rpm drive needed to spin the impeller inside the unit, and fits neatly between the two cylinders of the V-twin configuration to aid weight distribution. 

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