One owner, 1,164 miles from new
1997 Bimota 500cc V-Due
Registration no. R299 SLH
Frame no. ZESVT5000WR000114
Engine no. ZES499AEV00125
Founded in the mid-1960s, Bimota manufactured heating and ventilation ducting before the enthusiasm of two of its motorcyclist founders - Guiseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini - saw it turn to motorcycle production in 1973. 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 centre-steered Tesi models, while on the worlds racetracks Bimota-framed machines have won hundreds of races and numerous championships.
Since its foundation Bimota has weathered a succession of financial crises and changes of ownership, one of the most celebrated being the bankruptcy triggered by the premature launch of the V-Due in 1997. The V-Due was a road-going version of the Rimini firms twin-cylinder 500cc Grand Prix racer, which had pioneered the use of direct fuel injection rather than the traditional carburettors. With 105bhp at the rear wheel of a package that weighed only 150kg (330lb), the race-replica V-Due should have been the most exciting bike on the planet. Trouble was, the fuel injection didnt work properly and the early production bikes were virtually unrideable. Crippled by the costs of eight years research and development and with a warehouse full of unsellable V-Dues, Bimota went bust.
Ownership of the company then passed to wealthy entrepreneur, Francesco Tognon, who succeeded in buying back almost all of the 300-or-so V-Dues sold. Tognon knew that this was the only way to salvage Bimotas reputation and set about developing a carburettor-fed Evoluzione, of Mk2, version of the V-Due. Eventually, the bought-back machines plus the 300 unsold examples were converted to carburettors and sold off a few years ago.
First registered on 4th November 1997, this V-Due is still in the hands of its original owner and has covered a mere 1,164 miles from new. The machine was purchased new from Mach Motorcycles in Kenton, Middlesex (since ceased trading) at a cost of £14,500, and because of the fuel injection problem was recalled by Bimota on 3rd December 1997. Bimota went into receivership while the machine was at the factory and it was returned to the vendor with the problem unsolved. In 2003 its owner commissioned PM Tuning Racing Products Ltd, to fit two 39mm flat-slide carburettors together with an under-seat exhaust system. We are advised that dynamometer tests recorded a maximum power output of 95.6bhp at 9,648rpm.
Stored in a heated garage and started on a regular basis, the bike has not been used since fitting the carburettors and is currently SORNd. All manuals, tools, original parts, bills and Swansea V5 are included in the sale together with a photocopied article on the V-Due by Alan Cathcart.