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Bimota KB4 : Italian with a little help from Japan

The Bimota press material may have been translated by Google into English because some of the phrasing was quite unusual – but then again this is a very unusual bike. What was obvious in the information provided was that the company intended to disregard all cost limitations in creating these two unusual machines, the KB4 faired bike and the KB4RC naked. Cost thrown to the wind,  Bimota’s goal was to build an easy-to-ride bike, featuring abundant torque, agility, lightweight and above all, beauty. Again, reaching for the stars. 

The KB4 engine is sourced from Kawasaki, as the Japanese company is part owner of Bimota. The good news here is that you get a proven engine with 142 horsepower combined with some very unusual Italian styling.  

Glancing at the bike, something looks different. It’s hard to pinpoint what. It’s intended to be vintage inspired with the big, round headlight but is obviously a very modern design. It has been styled to have a very short wheelbase and that was achieved by placing the radiator under the seat—which explains the ducts running the length of the bike grabbing air at the nose and routing it to the rear, and the fan-assisted radiator. There is Öhlins suspension, a TFT screen, leather seat and hand painted details.

“The KB4 and KB4RC, they both look sleek and fast—just like the process that created it,” says Bimota designer Enrico Borgesan. “It went from first sketch to full-size model in a few months using computer-aided design, and without missing any of the passion that has made so many Bimota products fun to ride and show off. You ride some bikes because you have to; but you ride these Bimota because you want to.” 

The company says the actual production bikes that will be for sale in 2022 are almost exactly the same as the original concept bike. The speed of the design process perhaps eliminating time for second thoughts and fiddling. Hesitation that may have allowed time for a little second guessing.  

The Bimota KB4 press release from Bimota goes on at length about how fantastically good the  bike is to look at and how it will contribute to the iconic status of both past and future Bimotas. However, there are few actual technical details. It is as though the folks at Bimota thought, “Yeah, we will let Kawasaki take care of the technical details.” Which is fair enough; they are in good hands there, allowing Bimota to concentrate on making the bike beautiful.

That Bimota seems to have done. The KB4 is said to be a halo bike for the brand but seeing as the other bike is the equally unusual Tesi model that features hub steering, it’s hard to say which one is supposed to be the flagship.

Canadian Biker Issue #357


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