Pre-production version of retro-styled Bimota KB4 set for summer 2020 reveal

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A spokesperson for Italian firm, Bimota, has today confirmed to MCN that the first pre-production version of their retro-inspired KB4 sportsbike could appear as early as summer 2020. 

The second new model to arrive since Kawasaki purchased a 49.9% stake in the company late last year, the bike will feature the latest 1043cc four-cylinder engine, found in the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX, wrapped within a new Bimota trellis chassis.

Unlike the fully-built Tesi H2 we saw unveiled at Eicma in November 2019, the KB4 has only been seen as a render and a short YouTube video so far.

"The first test prototype is scheduled to be on the road during the spring 2020, so it’s reasonable at the moment to plan a pre-production bike for the summer 2020," Bimota press officer, Gianluca Galasso, said. 

Bimota say the bike will also adopt the Kawasaki’s electronics package, to help the chassis manage the bike’s 140bhp engine. This appears to include Kawasaki’s latest ride-by-wire throttle, which allows the SX to have cruise control and is given away in the imagery by the bulky housing behind the right twist-grip.

Bimota KB4 front end view

"The idea shared by Bimota technicians is to have a 600cc size motorcycle with the power of a torquey 1000cc engine," Galasso added.

"This started at the beginning of the company, during the 70s and 80s, when Bimota’s primary idea for a bike was one the size of a 500cc with the performance of a 1000cc machine." 

The new bike also bears more than a passing resemblance to Bimota’s early KB1, which first appeared in the late 1970s. As well as featuring a similar curved front fairing and single rounded headlight, the KB1 was also powered by a four-cylinder engine taken from Kawasaki’s original Z1000. The same basic 1043cc engine found in the new KB4 has also featured in Kawasaki's modern Z1000, too. 

A side view of the Bimota KB1

The first new Bimota since the BMW S1000RR-powered BB3 in 2014, it features the same supercharged 998cc engine found in the Kawasaki Ninja H2 and is suspended by the firm’s unique front swingarm technology.

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade