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Bimota working on an “Adventure Sports” bike?


advrider

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bimota-tesi-adv-bike.jpg

Bimota is back, and it’s not content with simply building neo-retro sportbikes, naked bikes, and exotic hyperbikes. The company plans to expand into the ADV an touring categories in coming years.

The news comes as the good people at Motorcycle News, aka MCN, chatted with Bimota CEO Pierluigi Marconi at the recent EICMA motorcycle industry show in Milan. The big news at Milan was Bimota’s new KB4-series machines, just as the big news at the last EICMA show was the Tesi H2. Those are the sort of machines we’d expect from Bimota, but Marconi told MCN his company has plans to go much further.

In the MCN interview  (see the whole thing here), Marconi said Bimota is developing a new machine based around a Tesi chassis—that is, with hub-centric steering. He said Bimota had previously focused on sportbikes, but now plans on moving out into other segments, including adventure bikes and tourers. From his comments, we’d expect to see the new bike unveiled at the 2022 EICMA show.

Another Bimota insider told MCN the new bike would be based around the supercharged Kawasaki H2 SX inline four, which should make just under 200 horsepower in its Euro5-legal configuration.

Bold moves ahead

It’s a big change-up for Bimota, which has often struggled to even stay afloat in its core business in past years. Bimota’s business plan has usually revolved around shoehorning other manufacturers’ engines into its own innovative chassis, completing the project with a healthy coating of Euro-style bodywork.

The problem was, Bimota’s orders weren’t necessarily at the top of other manufacturers’ priorities, and sometimes Bimota couldn’t get the engines it needed. Add in the other usual list of financial miseries that smaller manufacturers face, and Bimota was notoriously unstable.

That’s all changing, as Kawasaki has bought a massive chunk of the company, and has every interest in making it succeed. Kawasaki also has whole departments of white-collar employees who are able to lend their expertise to Bimota, far beyond simple sharing of engines and other hard parts. If there’s a demand for a Bimota adventure bike, Kawasaki’s wonks should be able to figure that out quickly, and direct the factory towards this or other profitable market segments.

To sum it up: The times, they are a-changin’ for this boutique brand, and ADVers might be the next segment to benefit.


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