1996 BIMOTA YB 9 SR SPECS AND REVIEWS
Engine and transmission
|Displacement||599.0 ccm (36.55 cubic inches)|
|Engine type||In-line four, four-stroke|
|Power||100.0 HP (73.0 kW)) @ 12500 RPM|
|Torque||65.0 Nm (6.6 kgf-m or 47.9 ft.lbs) @ 10000 RPM|
|Top speed||250.0 km/h (155.3 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||173.0 kg (381.4 pounds)|
|Power/weight ratio||0.5780 HP/kg|
|Seat height||810 mm (31.9 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.|
See Maintenance Specs*
*Always verify maintenance and service data with the bike owner’s manual.
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PRICE AS NEW AND USED OF BIMOTA YB 9 SR
Private Price Guide
Price as new
REVIEWS AND COMMON PROBLEMS WITH 1996 BIMOTA YB 9 SR
BIMOTA YB 9 SR Review
THE BIMOTA STAND AT THE MILAN SHOW LAST OCTOBER had a number of Ducati and Suzuki-powered beauties that drew a lot of attention. A model who deserved equal attention was lost in the showtime, showbiz frenzy. The YB9SR is a new 600cc sportbike powered by Yamaha’s YZF600 engine.
Mind you, this isn’t the first YB9. The Bellaria was this bike’s predecessor. It utilised the ancient FZR600 engine and featured strange, two-seater design. Despite numerous race victories in the hands of Bimota test rider Gianluca Galasso, it was not a very successful design, having been drawn more to appease business brass than to gratify the designer’s curiosity and creativity.
So now we have this new design, which is not intended for the United States. However, it is a truly hard-nosed supersport challenger with unrepentant racetrack breeding, a tiny passenger seat, and aggressive style based on Bimota’s Tesi ES, and it is certain to find some eager customers in Europe. Bimota has nailed the supersport target for the second time.
This is an entirely new bike that only shares the main design of the preceding YB9’s twin-spar frame, which has been updated, with the head angle reduced from 24 degrees to 23.5 degrees. Everything else is brand new.
That certainly applies to the YZF600 engine on the bike. It is unheard of for a manufacturer to supply an outside firm with its latest engines before the model from which it is developed is in production. But that’s exactly what occurred here. Despite the fact that Bimota left the engine totally stock, the YB9SR boasts 4 more horsepower at the top end than the engine in the YZF chassis, generating a claimed 104 at 1,750 rpm at the crankshaft. The freer-flowing 4-into-l Bimota exhaust that replaces Yamaha’s 4-into-2-into-1 system, as well as a reworked airbox design, are responsible for this improvement.
The throttle response of the YB9SR is so sharp that you risk unhooking the back tire briefly when cranked over on uneven terrain, even if you twist the wrist carefully. The sharp acceleration you get from as low as 3000 rpm—the real power hit happens at 8000 rpm—is more than enough to compensate for the rather abrupt throttle response.
Pierluigi Marconi, the bike’s designer, claims his major goal in adapting the existing YB9 frame to this new model was to adjust the steering geometry and weight bias to make the bike steer faster and improve front-wheel grip. He upped the rear suspension ride height significantly as part of a formula meant to meet those aims, and he got what he wanted: a 52/48 percent front-wheel weight bias on a 53.9-inch wheelbase. This base chassis is equipped with a Paioli shock, which provides very progressive action and is surprisingly supple for such a dedicated sportbike. The 41mm Paioli fork is completely adjustable and is the same conventional one that came with the DB2. When the bike was laid over, the front tire chattered over road ripples—possibly due to insufficient rebound damping, or perhaps because the weather was too cold for the high-viscosity oil in the fork. The front brakes are made up of a pair of 12.6-inch rotors and Brembo calipers, and they provide all the stopping power you’ll ever need, in line with the bike’s sports ethos.
The YB9SR is what the Italians call a molto impegnativo, which means that despite its small stature, this is a physically demanding and ultimately tiring bike to ride. You’re sitting far forward, with much of your body weight on your arms and shoulders over low-mounted clip-ons, all in an effort to help load the front tire. This GP-style riding position is highly successful, however it gives the bike the feel of a 250 two-stroke rather than a 600 four-cylinder.
Despite sacrificing comfort for handling, there were occasions when the bike seemed to knife into a turn for no apparent reason, rather than lying in controllably and properly. This characteristic was more disturbing than dangerous, and the front wheel never actually tucked under.
But the transition from little lean to full lean came far faster than I expected. Marconi ascribed this to the bike’s 120/60 front Michelin tires, which he says Bimota would homologate as an option so consumers can use it for racing, where it provides significantly faster handling than the 120/70 streetbike tires. Because of the increased intrinsic flexibility of the tire sidewall compared to the lower-profile tire, this higher-aspect tire appears to have more neutral, if less precise, steering with a softer feel.
It’s incredible how much Bimota has accomplished in little over four months of YB9 development. Make no mistake, this is a capable motorbike with very good specifications for the class. Only the last touches are required. The necessities are already present.
So, at least in Europe, it appears that the 600 supersport category is about to be enforced with a new class standard, and at a realistic price—at least in Europe—of around $15,000. American 600cc fans with a penchant for the unusual and access to the gray-market pipeline should take advantage of the opportunity. Cathcart, Alan
KNOWN 1996 BIMOTA YB 9 SR MODIFICATIONS AND TUNING
AKRAPOVIC, DYNOJET, K&N OR OHLINS?
USER SCORES OF BIMOTA YB 9 SR
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