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The Bimota SB2 was the most avant-garde motorcycle design of the 1970s. The prototype introduced at the Motor Show of Bologna showed revolutionary thinking—and styling! Massimo Tamburini, its creator, wanted to produce a chassis with impeccable handling and that could accomodate high lean angles. He focused on a very low center of gravity and high-exit exhaust. To achieve this, he located the fuel tank below the engine and curved the exhaust system up and over the engine, exiting under the seat and tail section. Other novel features for the time were locating the swing-arm pivot concentric with the gearbox countershaft to minimize the effect of the chain during swing-arm movement, and using beautifully crafted conical joints in the frame above the engine to facilitate removing the frame from the engine for service.
Unfortunately, technical issues with the fuel pump and carburetors led him to abandon the fuel tank and exhaust solutions, but the rest of the design made it through to production. (It is interesting to note that he was finally successful in achieving his high-exit exhaust goal with another of his avant-garde designs - the fabulous Ducati 916.) The Bimota SB2 was produced from 1977-1979, and sold in both kit and fully-assembled motorcycle forms.
The motorcycle shown here from the Bimota Spirit Street Collection, is SB2-00016 (1977) and Bimota Historic Register – SB2-004. It had the honor of representing the SB2 model during the Bimota 25th Anniversary celebration in Rimini in 1998. It is in original condition except that the wheels have been re-finished, the paint on the magnesium having corroded over 30 years.
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