Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bimota Impeto, Tesi 3D RaceCafe unveiled at EICMA

The Bimota Impeto, a supernaked streetfighter that uses the Diavel's 162bhp engine

Bimota usually always have something new to show at the EICMA every year and this year is no different. First up is the new Impeto, a supernaked streetfighter powered by a Ducati 1198cc V-twin (the same units that's used on the current-generation Ducati Diavel), which pumps out 162bhp and 130Nm of torque. The chassis is, of course, Bimota's own. In recent years, Bimota have moved away from the beautiful aluminium alloy beam frames which they used to do in the 1990s, and the Impeto gets a steel tube trellis frame with aluminium alloy plates.

The Impeto has all the electronics that you might expect to find on a modern Bimota, including ABS, ride-by-wire and traction control etc. There's a fully adjustable 43mm Öhlins USD fork up front and fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock at the rear. Brembo brakes all around - twin 320mm brake discs at the front with radial-mount 4-piston calipers, and a single 220mm disc at the back. The bike rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels, shod with 120/70 and 190/55 ZR-rated rubber.

The list of accessories available for the Bimota Impeto is truly impressive. You can choose to have the standard steel tube trellis frame replaced with a carbonfibre unit, get an advanced 3.5-inch digital dashboard with TFT colour display, integrated data recording, GPS and automatic racetrack identification (!) and, if that weren't enough already, even have a supercharger bolted on to your Impeto. Yes, Bimota are offering a supercharger kit for the Impeto, which boosts power by up to 20%. No word on pricing though.

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With hub-centre steering and Art Deco styling, the Bimota Tesi 3D RaceCafe is simply spectacular

The other Bimota unveiled at the EICMA this year is the Tesi 3D RaceCafe, which is powered by a Ducati 803cc V-twin, though Bimota have not supplied any power/torque figures for the bike. The composite chassis is comprised of an aluminium alloy section, mated to steel tube trellis front and rear swingarms. Yes, the Tesi has hub-centre steering, hence also has a swingarm at the front. Not having a conventional front fork suspension is pretty cool. Always has been, ever since Bimota started mucking around with the first Tesi 1D back in the late-1980s/early-1990s.

From a cutting-edge superbike that the Bimota Tesi 1D was back in the early-1990s, the Tesi has evolved and morphed into the 3D RaceCafe, which is quite spectactual. Bimota have more or less single-handedly kept this whole hub-centre steering / front swingarm suspension thing alive for almost four decades now, and deserve applause for that.

Fully adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers are used at both ends on the Tesi 3D RC, which rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 120/70 and 180/55 ZR-rated rubber. Twin 320mm brake discs are used at the front, with radial-mount 4-piston Brembo calipers, fuel tank capacity is 16 litres and the bike weighs 165kg dry. You can have the front and rear steel tube trellis swingarms replaced with carbonfibre units, which brings dry weight down to 162 kilos. Ride height is fully adjustable, front and rear, by up to 23mm.

In a world where even the biggest of motorcycle manufacturers prefer to play it safe, we can't help but admire Bimota for the unique, cutting-edge motorcycles that they've been building for decades despite severe financial troubles which they've been facing for years. Brilliant stuff, Bimota!

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