1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised

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Lot 408NMT N
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara
Registration no. not UK registered Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised

£ 8,000 - 10,000
US$ 11,000 - 13,000
Amended
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara
Registration no. not UK registered
Frame no. 00566
Engine no. to be advised
• One of only 56 made
• The fastest production motorcycle of its day
• 20 years in a private collection

In the 1970s and 1980s, Japan's motorcycle frame design lagged behind that of its engines, meaning that anyone wishing to exploit a motor's full potential had little option but to opt for a bespoke chassis. A number of specialist firms sprang up to satisfy this demand, at the very pinnacle of which 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 - Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini - saw it turn to motorcycle production in the early 1970s. The intervening 40-plus years has seen Bimota established as one of the world's foremost producers of exclusive, limited edition, high performance motorcycles with a reputation for quality second to none.

Powered by Yamaha's 989cc pre-EXUP engine, the ultra-rare Tuatara offered here is one of only 56 made. Using the pre-EXUP Genesis engine could have been a handicap, but Bimota dispensed with the stock carburettor induction system and equipped the Tuatara with Weber-Marelli fuel injection and a different exhaust; moves that upped maximum power from 135bhp (unrestricted) to 152 horsepower. To put that figure into perspective, it is five horsepower more than the maximum claimed for the unrestricted Kawasaki ZZ-R1100, a motorcycle that weighed getting on for half as much again as the Bimota.

Otherwise the Tuatara was pretty much like the Genesis-powered YB6 of 1988 but with Marzocchi upside-down forks in place of the latter's conventional items. The factory claimed a maximum speed of over 180mph for the Tuatara, making it the fastest production motorcycle of its day. Ironically, the New Zealand lizard that gave the bike its name is one of the slowest moving creatures on the planet. Of the 56 made, only four were allocated to the UK and sold instantly despite an asking price of £17,500, one of the purchasers being a designer of Formula 1 cars. For the record: Yamaha's contemporary FZR1000R EXUP cost a comparatively trifling £6,149. Belonging to a private collection for the last 20 years, this ultra-rare and equally desirable Bimota superbike will have been inspected and run immediately prior to the sale.

Footnotes

  • Please note, this lot is subject to VAT at 20% on the hammer price (denoted by NMT in the catalogue) in accordance with HMRC's NOVA Scheme: Motor vehicle lots marked "NMT" in the catalogue originate from or are registered in another EU member state and have travelled less than 6,000km from new. Accordingly HMRC and the DVLA classify such machines as 'New Means of Transport' under the Nova Scheme and are subject to VAT at 20% on the hammer price

    As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The odometer displays 1,070km. The frame number is YB600566. The engine number is 2GH-900320.
Contacts
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
1990 Bimota 989cc Tuatara Frame no. 00566 Engine no. to be advised
Auction information

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Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia Clearance
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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.

NMT New Means of Transport

Motor vehicle lots marked "NMT" originate from or are registered in another EU member state and have travelled less than 6,000km from new. Accordingly HMRC and the DVLA classify such machines as "New Means of Transport" under the Nova Scheme and are subject to VAT at 20% on the hammer price.