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Bimota mantra test

The wheel of life

In India life is only valid as a test in the eternal circle of growth and decay. If the mantra works, Bimota will be again in Rimini.

What a country where the love of life is religion. No, not about Italy, but about India, the home of Tantrism, in which fish and meat, wine and women hold body and soul together. That and a few mantras – religious verses – on their lips: The Indian doesn’t need more for his paradise – excuse me: nirvana – on earth. Logically, that no Italian can sit down with something like that. Because nirvana – excuse me: paradise – on earth can of course only lie between Apulia and Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany. There is also no shortage of fish and meat, wine and women in Italy. So far only the mantras were missing. But they have now managed to do that too. Not as tantric-religious verses. The Pope was there. But has now B.imota in Rimini – of course: Veneto – built a motorcycle that goes by the name of »Mantra«.

Bimota mantra test

The wheel of life

Mantra we. The 904 cubic centimeter V-Twin wakes up rumbling but reliably from hibernation even in minus temperatures and only needs the choke for a short time. It’s nice that the dry coupling cannot stick and also separates cleanly when cold. It’s bad that you need forearms like Popeye to do it. In the long run, the clutch is painfully difficult. It even gives the mantra driver the greatest fun: traffic light sprints. The hard clutch springs make the hydraulic clutch so difficult to adjust that the fine line between the clutching clutch and the front wheel rising is almost impossible to hit. The six-speed gearbox has long shift travel, but works with sufficient precision. The final translation is quite shorts. The nominal speed of 7000 tours is only 175 km / h in the last gear. Every km / h above this is a welcome, but actually superfluous addition; because nobody needs almost 200 km / h on an undisguised motorcycle.

The low-vibration motor always develops thrust thanks to the tight final gear ratio – regardless of whether it is 3000 tours or hard on the red zone. And how: In 3.5 seconds the mantra is to 100 km / h and, if everything goes well, in eight seconds from 60 to 120 km / h. The amazing thing: The Ducati Monster 900 is even a little better according to previous MOTORCYCLE measurements. But the fatter tuned Mantra-V-Twin is subjectively more greedy to the gas and converts every gas movement into propulsion so spontaneously that you don’t miss a hundredth. But over long distances, the mantra will soon run out of juice and strength. At a constant 100 km / h, 4.9 liters of Super are burned, 5.9 liters in city traffic, 7.2 liters run through the nozzles of the 38 Mikunis in a tight curve sprint and a full 12.3 liters at an average of 170 on the motorway. So the Sprinter stays better on the country road and feeds itself honestly from its 16 liter plastic tank, which is artfully guided around the steering head and even mutates into the headlight carrier.

Between the wheel axles of the Paioli-sprung cantilever triangular swing arm and the conventional telescopic fork with 43 millimeter stanchions, the tubular tubular frame, welded from oval aluminum tubing, extends just 1370 millimeters. The lack of disguise of the mantra frees the driver from stub handlebars and racing cramps. You sit very comfortably, but still sporty, with a slim knee, narrow handlebars and despite the deep notches with good lean angle in a well-formed, wide seat. However, you really shouldn’t expect more than the evening jaunt into town for the passenger. Resting too high and too wide, the seat too short and too narrow – and if the driver is a little heavier, the mantra with a payload of just 142 kilograms becomes a monoposto. The suspension is quite firm at the front and rear, but comfortable enough. The damping of the shock absorber is almost too tight with the rebound stage fully turned up. The eight digits on the wreath are dazzling: the Paioli shock absorber offers eleven levels of damping. The spring base is continuously adjusted using locknuts and hook wrenches.

The height of the stern can also be changed via an additional thread. The telescopic fork of the tested motorcycle was only adjustable in the rebound stage. The adjusting screws in the stile caps offer 26 levels. Turned in ten clicks, the damping kept the front well under control. However, Bimota dealers offer a retrofit kit for the Paioli fork at an additional cost, which includes compression adjustment screws and an adjustment option for the spring base. But note: If this kit is not installed, the bolts with oval twelve-nut heads at the lower end of the fork only serve as oil drain plugs. Instead, the compression damping is set using brass-colored slotted screws embedded in it.

The 17-inch cast wheels from Mantra with 3.5-inch and 5.5-inch wide rim beds at the rear accept sports tires in sizes 120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 180/55 ZR 17 at the rear. Equipped as standard with Michelin Hi-Sport TX 15 / TX 25, the German Bimota importer Reinhold Kraft in Leutkirch wants to have approvals issued for other tire makes and types as well. A wise decision. The Michelins do not have a particularly positive influence on the driving behavior of the mantra. You can feel how willing the light, short motorcycle reacts to steering movements. But with the Michelins, the mantra hardly follows the chosen radius in curves and straightens up strongly when braking. Every small bump also acts on the wide rear tire in an inclined position with the erection force of a jack, and if it is otherwise already tipping in ruts and over lane markings, the mantra hooks there like a rabbit when braking.

But it should be possible to find a more suitable tire pairing. After all, the mantra is surprisingly stable for its radical chassis geometry even at high speeds. The floating 320 rotors and Brembo four-piston calipers in the front wheel have no problems with the few mantra kilograms. The rear brake does its job unobtrusively and therefore well. When braking hard, however, a violent rubbing from the front wheel was transmitted to the machine. Apparently the fork legs start to resonate. But that should be possible.

So far, so good: but how nice? When testing the Bimota Mantra, doesn’t it also have to assess its extreme design? The flat, broad-cheeked stern – which from the rear looks almost like the spaceship Enterprise? The tank-headlight monocoque with glove compartment, Testarossa gills and instruments on an imitation burl wood panel – as if Katana designer Hans A. Muth had dreamed of a Jaguar XJS? The headlight, the four rear silencers and the fairing keel – a combination of Schwalbe, Vespa and Vmax? No, you don’t have to. Because what you like is allowed. Or, as old Fritz von Prussia wisely decided when he was once supposed to decide on the correct religion in his state: "With me everyone should be saved according to his own style." He is right

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