1980 Bimota SB-3 for Sale

1980 Bimota SB3 L Front

Well here’s a bit of a rare thing.  This 1980 Bimota SB-3 was considered a pretty seriously rare piece of kit in its day, and is even more so now.  And when I say “kit”, I mean that exactly: Bimota shipped the bikes sans powertrain, and the buyer had to supply a donor bike for the engine and some other assorted bits.  Powered by Suzuki’s powerful GS1000 motor and transmission, the SB-3 combined reliable Japanese four-cylinder power with sophisticated frame and suspension geometry, then cloaked it futuristic, aerodynamic bodywork.  Take a look at that one-piece tank cover and tail section!

1980 Bimota SB3 L Rear

Most of the eBay listing is just specs for the bike: 1980 Bimota SB-3 for Sale

Bimota SB3 1980 Bimota SB-3 #118 of 402 built. Very rare Bimota in perfect condition. Please see photos for vehicle condition. The odometer is shown in kilometers = 2503 miles. This bike is ex-Hodgson and is now in my Bimota collection.

If you’re not familiar with them, except as makers of angular, forkless, Ducati-powered exotica, the name Bimota was derived from the three founders; Valerio BIanchi, Giuseppe MOrri, and Massimo TAmburini.  Bimota was originally established in 1966, but not as a motorcycle manufacturer: they specialized in heating and air-conditioning systems.

In the 70’s and 80’s, many of the major manufacturers were still figuring out frame and suspension technology and, while their machines often had powerful, reliable engines, their handling was sometimes lacking.  This allowed small, boutique companies to step in and provide frame and bodywork kits to fit existing powertrains.

Bimota first wrapped its innovative, stiff frames and swoopy, aerodynamic bodywork around the Honda-powered HB-1 in 1973 and the rest is history.

For your edification: the first letter in any Bimota’s name indicates the motor manufacturer, the second is for “Bimota”, and the number indicates how many bikes have powered by that manufacturer.  So a Bimota DB-5 would be the fifth Bimota with a Ducati motor.

1980 Bimota SB3 Dash

Bimota has been in-and-out of bankruptcy several times since its creation, but it currently offers a broad lineup of achingly beautiful machines.  Handling deficiencies in modern motorcycles can generally be handled by minor or significant suspension upgrades, so Bimota has focused instead on innovative design and exotic construction to sell bikes..

Just 402 of these were supposedly made, and they don’t come up for sale very often.  While contemporary reviewers criticized the suspension as being far too harsh for the street, a bike this valuable and rare is reasonably more of a museum piece than a rider.  But I’ll bet a set of updated forks and a new shock would make this into something that could compete with modern machinery at the track…


1980 Bimota SB3 R Front

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1 Response

  1. Michael says:

    Little trivia:
    The turn signals are from a Vespa PX200 🙂