1,191 original miles
1992 Bimota Tesi DB1
Frame no. 10
Engine no. 904.003301
In the 1970s and 1980s, the fact that Japans motorcycle frame design lagged behind that of its engines meant that anyone wishing to exploit a motors full potential had little option but to opt for a bespoke chassis. A number of specialist firms sprang up to satisfy this demand, among them Moto Martin and Segale in France, Nico Bakker in Holland and Fritz Egli in Switzerland, while in the UK, Harris and Spondon joined the already established Rickman. But at the very pinnacle of this exalted group was - and still is - the Italian firm of Bimota. Founded in the mid-1960s, Bimota manufactured heating and ventilation ducting before the enthusiasm of two of its motorcyclist founders - Guiseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburrini - saw it turn to motorcycle production in the early 1970s. The intervening 30-plus years has seen Bimota established as one of the worlds foremost producers of exclusive, limited edition, high performance motorcycles, with a reputation for quality second to none. Technical innovation too has long been a Bimota hallmark, as exemplified by the hub center-steered Tesi models, while on the worlds racetracks Bimota-framed machines have won hundreds of races and numerous championships, including the 350cc World title in 1982. Equipped with nothing less than the very best suspension and brakes, Bimotas were necessarily expensive, but then, like George Brough, it was never the firms intention to build anything compromised by budgetary restrictions.
Bimota has repeatedly returned to the hub-center steering concept, the most recent example being the current 3D model. Why? Because - theoretically at least - hub-center steerings separation of steering and suspension functions offers considerable advantages over conventional telescopic forks. Hub-center steering was not a new idea (there had been a number of varyingly successful examples pre-war) and Bimotas version originated as a 1982 university thesis (tesi in Italian) by Pierluigi Marconi, later to become the companys chief engineer. Bimotas Tesi debuted as a Honda VF400-engined prototype in 1983, but it was not until 1991 that a production DB1 version would become available, albeit in strictly limited numbers. There was with a choice of Ducati 851cc or 904cc water-cooled 8-valve v-twin motors, the latter stretched and tuned by Bimota to produce a maximum of 114bhp.
Frame number 10 of the 20 examples produced, this Tesi has the 904cc engine. The machine was purchased new in Italy by the previous owner and registered in Idaho, where it was maintained by his personal mechanic. Sold to the current owner in 2005, the machine is reported as in original condition apart from the rear indicators and license plate, which have been replaced, and the addition of a charging plug. Offered with Certificate of Title.
- Lot 840A, a 1992 Bimota Tesi DB1, has been added to the sale.