For $12,000, Could This 1999 Bimota SB8R's Price Entice You To Bi This Mota?

Illustration for article titled For $12,000, Could This 1999 Bimota SB8R's Price Entice You To Bi This Mota?
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bimota is a best for racing bike that’s never been raced. Let’s see if the price tag on this rare bird should at least have buyers racing for their checkbooks.


Many of you proposed that yesterday’s 1986 Mercedes 300E would have been a killer deal at $5K, a relative bargain at $6K, questionable at $7K, and Crack Pipe at $8K, it’s actual asking. That brought back long suppressed memories of my Econ 101 final which I did pass with flying colors. The Benz passed too, taking home a narrow but decisive 52% Nice Price win. Yay, old shit!

There are a number of companies out there that borrow other manufacturers engines for use in their cars, the current Lotus lineup and McLaren’s F1 being textbook examples. There haven’t been that many companies though who have done so with bikes.

Illustration for article titled For $12,000, Could This 1999 Bimota SB8R's Price Entice You To Bi This Mota?

This 1999 Bimota SB8R is one of those few, those proud, those… well, those bikes using someone else’s motor. That’s a 996-cc V-twin appropriated from the Suzuki TL1000R, but which has been breathed upon by Bimota to imbue it with a scrotum-stretching 138-bhp at the crank. It’s nestled in a racing-oriented frame rife with carbon fiber bits and alloy, and the whole thing tips the scales at a modest 436.5 pounds wet. That, and its half-fairing design, conspire to give a 164-mph top end.

Let’s talk a little about the company that put all that together. Bimota was founded in 1973 and takes it’s name form the first two letters of its three founding members’ surnames—Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini. Over the years the Rimini Italy-based company enjoyed success on the track and ups and downs with its finances. They’ve built bikes based on Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha engines, and of course like this one, Suzuki.

Illustration for article titled For $12,000, Could This 1999 Bimota SB8R's Price Entice You To Bi This Mota?

The SB8R’s 90° four-stroke V-twin features DOHCs, Fuel injection, a wet sump, and feeds through a standard six-speed gearbox. Bimota built only about 150 of these so equipped so don’t say, “I’ll wait for the next one” like it’s a questionably smelling elevator.

This one is claimed to have come from a collector and only has 6,800 miles on the clock. The seller says that’s only going to go up as the bike gets ridden on a daily basis. It was pulled out of the mothballs early in 2016 and at that time saw a rebuild of its non-factory six pot front calipers to bring it back to street condition.

Illustration for article titled For $12,000, Could This 1999 Bimota SB8R's Price Entice You To Bi This Mota?

The bike is otherwise reasonably stock, although it does feature an aftermarket Arrow exhaust, an upgraded fuel trimmer and a billet aluminum clutch cover as well as those ISR six-pot front brakes in place of the factory 4-piston Brambo units.


The carbon fiber bodywork looks to be in excellent condition here as does the covering on the thinly padded saddle. This is a one-up bike, and don’t think about popping somebody on the tail faring for even a short trip because as a weight-saving measure Bimota decided not to place a supporting structure under its carbon fiber cap. Snap! Drop! Sue!

Illustration for article titled For $12,000, Could This 1999 Bimota SB8R's Price Entice You To Bi This Mota?

If you do ride it as it was meant to be ridden, you’ll find the pegs to be positioned pretty high on the frame, which combined with the low bars and semi-wide tank gives you a bit of a chimp around a tree stance. The experience is said to be well worth it however.

To experience it you’ll need to show up with $12,000, which is the asking price for this California-located example. That get’s you a rare bike with a clean title and all the wheelie popping action you can handle. It should be noted that these sold for about $14,500 new back in 1999.


What’s your take on this rare Italian/Japanese bike and that $12,000 price? Does that seem like a deal to get your Bimota on? Or, is even its rarity and reputation not enough to command that kind of cash?

You decide!


San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to lurking Faux Shizzle for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.


I am surprised and kind of disheartened to see how little today’s Jalop voters care about the oddball nature and pedigree of this bike.

Tell me if you think that this is interesting:

Suzuki was dominating WSB with the GSX-R750. For branding reasons, Ducati was married to the V-twin layout, but a 750 V-twin can’t compete with a 750 I4 - so they petitioned for a rule change allowing a 1000 V-twin to compete in the same class with the 750 I4's.

Having done that, they started to dominate WSB. Both Honda and Suzuki were now in the position where their I4 racebikes were no longer competitive under the new formula. So they both made Ducati clones with 90° V-twin, 996cc engines.

Honda’s bike (the RC51) was wildly successful and took the crown back from Ducati. Suzuki’s bike came in 2 flavors - the TL1000S, a semi-naked predecessor to the SV1000, and the TL1000R - a bonkers widowmaker with twitchy steering and an oddball rear damper with a reputation for bad fuelling and scary handling.

So then Bimota, who had a long history of building bikes with both Ducati and Suzuki engines, picked up the TL1000 engine for use in the SB8, another competitor to the Ducati superbikes. In an odd way, this bike represents a full circle:

Ducati (at the time a boutique Italian brand) can’t compete with Japanese I4's.

Rule change has Japanese manufacturers scrambling to clone Italian V2's.

Honda V2 bikes start to dominate as Suzkuki V2 falls to the wayside.

Bimota, an even smaller, more exclusive boutique Italian brand picks up Suzuki V2 to compete (really just for sales) with Honda and Ducati.

Jalops shout “A used R1 is faster and costs 1/3 as much!”