Originally founded to manufacture heating systems, Bimota turned its obviously wasted talent and enthusiasm to motorcycles in the 1970’s. During the 60’s and 70’s, major manufacturers were relatively hit-or-miss when it came to handling. This led to a number of small shops that specialized in frames to house powerplants from European and especially Japanese companies, who sometimes seemed content to stuff their powerful and reliable engines into bikes with the rigidity of a Schwinn bicycle.
Companies with names like Egli, Spondon, and Harris made everything from complete bikes, to frames, to kits you could buy and build your own specials. Bimota took the best ideas available and combined them to create their stunning SB2 in 1977, a bike so far ahead of its time it took the major manufacturers another twenty years to incorporate some of its more unusual features.
While Ducatis are only rarely criticized for their handling, some of Bimota’s most famous collaborations include the feisty twins from Bologna: we’re up to DB11 as of now, not including the innovative Tesi bikes, and this trend is likely to continue.
On that note, Bimota names can generally be decoded as follows: the first letter indicates the name of the manufacturer, the “B” is for “Bimota” and the number represents the bikes place in the history of Bimota’s working relationship with the manufacturer. So the “DB1” is really the “first Ducati-Bimota collaboration.”
DB1’s are pretty uncommon beasts although they were produced in relatively large numbers for a Bimota. But this particular example is very, very rare.
From the original eBay listing: 1986 Bimota DB1R for Sale
Bimota DB1R, 1 of 4 built, factory raced at Daytona by Malcolm Tunstall, new fluids, runs perfect,
A few years ago, I wrote up another one of these, meaning that two of the four in existence have featured on this site! It’s worth a quick look for the pictures of the bike with bodywork removed: the complex trellis frame looks like a Ducati by way of a Maserati Birdcage. And while the regular DB1 makes do with the regular Ducati clocks, the R has just one instrument: a honking big Veglia racing tach.
I really should just buy one of those already and mount it in a shadowbox or something…
Bidding is up over $26,000 which is no surprise, given the condition and rarity of this wonderful machine.