1998 BIMOTA SB6R SPECS AND REVIEWS
Engine and transmission
|Displacement||1074.0 ccm (65.54 cubic inches)|
|Engine type||In-line four, four-stroke|
|Power||156.0 HP (113.9 kW)) @ 10000 RPM|
|Torque||115.0 Nm (11.7 kgf-m or 84.8 ft.lbs) @ 8700 RPM|
|Top speed||280.0 km/h (174.0 mph)|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Transmission type||Chain (final drive)|
Chassis, suspension, brakes and wheels
|Front brakes||Dual disc|
|Rear brakes||Single disc|
Physical measures and capacities
|Dry weight||199.0 kg (438.7 pounds)|
|Power/weight ratio||0.7839 HP/kg|
|Seat height||755 mm (29.7 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.|
See Maintenance Specs*
*Always verify maintenance and service data with the bike owner’s manual.
MORE PHOTOS OF BIMOTA SB6R
PRICE AS NEW AND USED OF BIMOTA SB6R
Private Price Guide
Price as new
REVIEWS AND COMMON PROBLEMS WITH 1996 BIMOTA SB6R
Few Americans have heard of Bimota motorcycles, and few have been sold here, owing to the high price of this Italian exotica. The company would purchase reliable engines and then construct a new chassis around them. SB6-R denotes the sixth Bimota to be powered by a Suzuki engine, in this case the GSX-R1100. And the R appeared to stand for Race, despite the fact that this model was merely a modest advance over the previous SB6. Bimota improved the handling of the machine while also reducing its weight. The normal GSX-R weighed 509 pounds dry, but the Bimota model weighed 418 pounds dry — a significant difference.
When and where did it all start? In the summer of 1973, in the beach town of Rimini. Massimo Tamburini crashed his Honda CB750 on the neighboring Misano racetrack, breaking a few bones. While recovering, he reflected on the accident and blamed it on a badly designed chassis. It was the 1970s, and the Japanese were making increasingly powerful bikes that went well in a straight line but had poor handling when trying to get a knee down in a curve.
Tamburini and two buddies, Valerio Bianchi and Giuseppe Morri, had a shop that made commercial air-conditioning ducts, so they knew a thing or two about metal. They decided to develop stronger frames and suspension for existing motorbike engines as a sideline and incorporated in 1973 as Bimota, a mash-up of the first two initials of their three names. In 1975, the CB750-powered HB1 debuted, as did the SB1, which was powered by the Suzuki TR500 racing-only two-stroke Titan engine. The corporation quickly discovered that the money was in the street-legal motorcycles.
Tamburini, the son of a farmer, was a self-taught engineer as well as an artist, and his machine ideas immediately grabbed the attention of other manufacturers. When the company went bankrupt in 1985, he obtained a position with Ducati. But Bimota persisted, employing a designer named Pierluigi Marconi, who was responsible for the 1994 SB6, dubbed “the ultimate café racer” in later years.
The editors of an American publication were not impressed with a 1996 model road test, as it produced only 128 horsepower on the dyno and cost $23,000. Tamburini was creating the renowned Ducati 916 model at the same time Marconi was putting together this SB6. While the 1996 Bimota cost roughly $23, the Ducati was a more manageable $16, and the factory Suzuki was even more manageable $10,000. You had to pay a price if you desired exotica.
The Suzuki frame had a double cradle, but Marconi designed a twin-spar aluminum alloy version, with the spars merging at the steering head. This was dubbed the Straight Line Connection by Bimota. The SLC frame was supported by a pair of rectangular swingarms composed of strong alloy aluminum.
A 46mm Paioli upside-down, fully adjustable telehydraulic fork with a rake of 23.5 degrees and a trail of 3.6 inches was mounted up front. The wheelbase had been reduced; the axle to axle distance on the Suzuki GSX-R was 58.5 inches, while it was 53.2 inches on the SB6. Excellent for exploring rural nooks, but not so excellent for navigating city traffic.
The rear suspension was accomplished with a single hlins shock absorber and a rising-rate rocker arm on the right side of the swingarm, rather than the middle, due to the reduced wheelbase. Adjusting the spring preload, rebound, and compression damping was possible, however the adjusters were a little tough to reach.
The magnesium Marchesini wheels were both 17-inchers, with a 120/60 front tire and a 180/55 rear tire. The front wheel had two 320mm Brembo Gold Line discs squeezed by four-piston calipers, while the rear wheel featured a single 230mm disc with a two-piston caliper.
Marconi believed a minor improvement was in needed after three years on the market, hence the R on the model seen in the images. Other than new camshafts, little internal repair was done. The steering damper had been in an awkward, difficult-to-adjust location and had been moved to the outside of the left spar. Two adjustments were made under the saddle, the first being the enlargement of the airbox for improved breathing. The second challenge was locating a location for a single large battery rather than the original’s two small cells. The front of the fairing and the instrument panel were also new. Both the price and the horsepower increased somewhat.
Suzuki built the GSX-R1100 for the last time in 1999, and other Bimota models were not selling well, prompting Bimota to go bankrupt around the turn of the century. However, it has been revived multiple times since then, most recently after Kawasaki purchased 49.9% of the firm in 2019 and Bimota unveiled the new Tesi H2, which features hub steering and is powered by Kawasaki’s four-cylinder 998cc supercharged engine. With a price tag of around $50,000. There has been no information on how Bimota is dealing with the pandemic.
Personally, I am not a huge admirer of Italian motorcycles; they simply do not appeal to me. I’ve only handled a handful bikes since taking my test in 1987, and aside from a Ducati Paso that boiled its brake fluid on the M11 in 2004 and nearly killed me, most have left no lasting impact.
I do, however, have a soft place for anything with Bimota on the tank. I can trace this back to being at school and seeing my older brother mooching around on a KB1. A mix of Italian design and chassis technology, with a Kawasaki Z1000 engine shoved down the tubes. It just looked different to my adolescent eyes.
The formula has been tried and true. Put the greatest engines from several motorcycle manufacturers in the best chassis available at the time. That’s exactly what Bimota achieved in 1996 when they crammed a Suzuki GSX-R1100WP into their custom chassis.
‘I wasn’t even looking for one when I got it,’ says the owner.
I was looking to buy a GSX-R1100 Slabby, but after several weeks of looking, all I found were tarted-up ordinary bikes with optimistic price tags. I was even willing to pay top dollar for the appropriate bike, such was my desire! Then another merchant claimed he had a Bimota SB6R for sale. After a few text messages back and forth and a virtual emoji handshake, the deal was sealed. I got a fancy GSX-R1100WP for less than the price of a modified Slabside.
‘So, what’s the catch?’
It’s difficult to believe that this bike is 25 years old. The chassis components are all of high grade. When you compare the standard GSX-R1100WP chassis to the blingy Bimota chassis, it’s like taking a Pandora bracelet and turning it into a Tiffany one. The engraved Bimota on the swinging arm is a perfect example of the Italians’ artistry on the chassis pieces.
‘If it’s so fantastic, why are you selling it?’
Like all impulse purchases, no matter how good they feel at the time, they will nag you later. We’ve all bought that shirt we thought we needed only to discover later that it doesn’t really match our tastes or the rest of our wardrobe. That shirt is the SB6R. It’s also a little snug around the armpits. The riding position is classic 90s, with the head down and the arse up. Excellent for track days or running to a nearby meet, but not so much for an everyday commute or trip to Tescos.
‘Hit me up, Buttercup, what’s the price?’
GSXR1100 Bimoto SB6R
Since purchasing the bike, it has languished in my garage, and it has gradually been moved more to the back! After a year of neglect, it now need a new battery and good service. I’ve lost interest in it and have no desire to put time and effort into getting it up and running again. Partly because if I do and it doesn’t sell in roughly a year, I’ll have to start all over again.
As a result, I’m going to sell it “as is.” If you want to possess a piece of 90s nostalgia, my laziness could work to your advantage!
Here are the essentials in case it is appealed.
Galleria Italia sold and serviced the bike from new in the United Kingdom. It’s traveled 10,000 kilometers and hasn’t been used much in the last few years. On the fairing, there are minor cosmetic flaws. It has carbon silencers, and somewhere in my possession is the regular silencer that goes with it. I have some paper history, as well as a V5 and keys. Bring an empty van and £6,500 with you. Peterborough PE6 collection.
For many, the SB6/7 represents the peak of old school Bimota craftsmanship. Back then, the idea was simple: take the best and most powerful Japanese engines and wrap them in the most elegant and finely crafted hand-made Italian chassis and bodywork. The SB6/7 had hairy Suzuki GSX-R engines, superb handling and craftsmanship, and unreliability and fickleness that was typically Italian.
Pierluigi Marconi was a gifted engineering student from Bologna University who came to Bimota to work on his thesis (“tesi” in Italian) on a radical, forkless motorcycle chassis, and was eventually appointed as the firm’s chief engineer to bring it into production. Marconi’s Tesi 1D was a flop that nearly bankrupted Bimota. However, his SB6, powered by Suzuki’s GSX-R1100 engine, went on to become the marque’s most successful model, selling over 1,700 units, including the following SB6R.
It is inaccurate to describe the SB6 as conventional. Its massive metal frame spars curled all the way down outside the engine to accommodate the swing-arm pivots. The rear suspension was handled by a hlins unit mounted horizontally on the right. In Grand Prix fashion, the seat unit was a self-supporting carbon-fibre structure. It melded seamlessly with the tank lid, which is made of carbon and fiberglass. Under the hood was a mechanically standard 1064cc GSX-R engine that was tweaked to 154bhp with Bimota’s high-level exhaust.
The SB6 was more visually appealing, 40kg lighter, and significantly more expensive than the ordinary GSX-R1100. Around 1744, they were manufactured.
This SB6 was only the 17th off the assembly line (Frame SB600017) and was originally offered in Belgium. It was purchased at auction in 2013 and made entirely road legal. It is a stunning specimen in excellent condition, with amazing carbon fiber bodywork encasing a genuinely incredible engine. Suzuki’s (the S in SB) 1100 four-cylinder monster has been tuned for even more power. On the road and out of town, the bike is a thrill; as long as you’re constantly accelerating, you won’t notice the ‘committed’ riding position. It gets around town okay, but this isn’t a motorcycle designed for commuting. It’s had two service visits in the last 18 months. Like all Italian bikes (including ones with Japanese engines), it requires regular maintenance, but with those lines, what’s not to love?
MOT’d and with no advisories, the bike is ready to ride quickly. This is one of just eight Bimota SB6 machines that are currently licensed for use on UK roads.
This was another another instance of the emotions taking precedence over the brain. I have a fascination for impractically beautiful motorcycles, but I’ve never regretted buying this one. It has sweeping lines, a rock hard seat, harsh suspension, an under seat exhaust, and roughly 140 BHP, which I believe is what a sports bike should look like.
Why don’t it have wing mirrors? I’m guessing what’s behind you isn’t worth worrying about. I believe they are available as ‘optional extras.’ The exhaust, which exits the bike about two inches below your undercarriage, sounds amazing when you start the bike. On the move, it’s very manageable and almost user friendly, but the committed riding position, very narrow high and hard seat remind you that this bike is about performance and that even though it’s now 23 years old, not much on the road on two, three, or four wheels can keep up with it, and when you’ve ridden it, you feel like a riding god, Agostini, or Rossi because you’ve mastered a true Italian masterpiece.
KNOWN 1998 BIMOTA SB6R MODIFICATIONS AND TUNING
Because there appears to be little traffic on the forum, I’d like to put a few mods I’ve been thinking about out there to see what ideas I can get.
These are just a few ideas I’m considering to give the SB6 a facelift.
1. Batteries – has anyone replaced them with a single battery? Has anyone repositioned themselves?
2, Forks – anyone can be replaced with USD. If so, what was used and were there any issues?
3. Exhaust – Aside from a nice moto corse number from those wonderful Japanese titanium fabricators, I don’t know of any other way to get a lighter, free flowing system. Anyone know of a complete system or have one built?
- Answers in order…………….
1. I don’t see why a single battery couldn’t be used; it would certainly reduce front tyre wear. Laughing
Relocating the battery is a little more difficult. Place it exactly where you want it. Question \s2. I’m sitting here with a very nice Paioli USD front end doing nothing. Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes, and so on should fit with little difficulty. I’ve been saving it to replace the fors on one of the three sb6’s I keep tripping over, but that’s unlikely to happen now. Wink \s3. You can always have a nice custom exhaust made. There are numerous companies that are doing it. A single large carbon can with an oval outlet. Probably less expensive than motocross. Wink
1. I never said I knew where I was going to put the battery; I just said I was going to relocate it. It all depends on which single battery will suffice. Has anyone found a single that fits in the front tray and appears to be reliable? The only thing that comes to mind is one of those Lithium race cars, which are so small that they could go anywhere. The goal is to reduce body weight.
2, I have a set of 50mm SB8 paiolis and a spare set of BST’s, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me what I’m getting myself into.
3, Has anyone had any experience with the aforementioned one-off system? Can any old pipe bender slap together a full system and not make it run like a dog, or is the 1100 motor quite easy to please? Quill is the closest man to me with a good reputation; has anyone dealt with him?
1. I never stated that I knew where I was going to put the battery; I simply stated that it would be relocated. Everything is dependent on which single battery will suffice. Is there a single that fits in the front tray and appears to be dependable? The only thing that comes to mind is one of those tiny Lithium race cars that could go anywhere. The goal is to lose body fat.
2, I have a set of 50mm SB8 paiolis and a spare set of BST’s, but I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into.
3. Is anyone familiar with the aforementioned one-time system? Is it possible for any old pipe bender to slap together a complete system and not have it run like a dog, or is the 1100 motor quite easy to please? Has anyone dealt with Quill, the closest man to me with a good reputation?
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Inspired by Pompey’s blatant vandalism, modding his side stand, I decided to have a go and try and stave off the Bimota falling over disease.
Step 1 is to remove the stand from the bike.
get the hacksaw out
The hole down the centre, I drilled out and tapped M10. There is enough meat to drill and tap M12, I just used what i had lying about. Used a length of threaded bar, loctited into one end
Whack it back on the bike and adjust to desired length
Now I’ve got it to the right length, I can measure the length of spacer I need to turn up.
screw it together
whack it back on the bike
I need to decide how I’m going to finish it off from a cosmetic point of view. Stainless sleeve like Pompey. Blast and powder coat it. Or probably, Turn up a new spacer from alloy and mirror polish so it blends in with the chrome.
The beauty is, like Pompeys, it’s adjustable by using different length spacers
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Get it here:
Bimota SB6R MAGNUM BrutaliTune Tunable Motorcycle Performance Exhaust Muffler (magnumtuning.com)
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*All motorcycle specifications (also called SPECS) on our pages are provided by the respective manufacturers.
**Motobase reccomends to install your tuning parts and modifications only at authorized workshops.
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