Report – Where’s Bimota?

Table of contents

Report - Where's Bimota?
www.bilski-fotografie.de

Report - Where's Bimota?

Report - Where's Bimota?

Report - Where's Bimota?

Report - Where's Bimota?

16 pictures

Report - Where's Bimota?
Breutel

1/16
Entrance to the new, much smaller Bimota plant.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Breutel

2/16
Left: Bimota owner Chiancianesi with the three employees Massimo, Mimmo and Gianni in front of the Grand Prix Bimota, which started in Moto2 in 2010/11.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Bimota

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1973: Massimo Tamburini and Giuseppe Morri founded the remodeling company Bimota Meccanica in Rimini.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Bimota

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The first trick is the super sporty HB1 based on the Honda CB 750.

Report - Where's Bimota?
archive

5/16
1978: After Honda and Suzuki motorcycles, Bimota refined the Kawasaki 900 Z1 to the KB1 and landed a bestseller: 827 units were produced by 1982.

Report - Where's Bimota?
archive

6/16
1983: Tamburini leaves Bimota, he is succeeded by Federico Martini. At the same time, the demand for sports motorcycles is falling, Bimota falls into a crisis and is briefly placed under state administration. 1985 the first purely Italian Bimota goes into production. The DB1 with the engine of the Ducati Pantah 750 and the special series S and SR was a considerable success.

Report - Where's Bimota?
archive

7/16
1987: Virginio Ferrari wins the TT-F1 World Championship on the YB4, the forerunner of the Superbike World Championship. Bimota builds the YB4 E.I. with the four-cylinder Yamaha FZ 750 for customers, the first street Bimota with an aluminum bridge frame and injection.

Report - Where's Bimota?
www.bilski-fotografie.de

8/16
From 1988: Golden times for Bimota. The YB6 with FZR-1000 motor (720 units) and the YB9 with FZR-600 motor (1,021 units) are particularly in demand. Bimota sells even more, namely 1744 units, of the SB6 / R powered by the Suzuki GSX-R 1100.

Report - Where's Bimota?
duke

9/16
1991: Under the head of development Pierluigi Marconi, the Tesi goes into production, a revolutionary motorcycle with stub axle steering, powered by Ducati’s super sporty four-valve engines. But the motorcycle was not fully developed and was discontinued in 1994.

Report - Where's Bimota?
factstudio.de

10/16
1995: Bimota works with BMW for the first time: Bavaria’s single-cylinder Rotax engine is transplanted into a fully disguised Bimota chassis and is henceforth called Supermono.

Report - Where's Bimota?
factstudio.de

11/16
1997: Bimota builds its own engine for the first time, a two-stroke two-cylinder that is in the 500 Vdue. But the ambitious project has serious technical defects and in the end costs the company its existence. In 2001 Bimota went bankrupt and was auctioned off. After a few detours, the Milanese entrepreneur Roberto Comini bought the small company and tried to build on old successes.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Fig

12/16
2005–2014: A difficult decade for Bimota. The Ducati refinements DB5, DB6 and DB7 sell reasonably well, the big hit remains. Even a new Tesi 3D with an air-cooled Ducati engine is not putting Bimota on the road to success.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Bimota

13/16
2013/14: The BB3, a super sports car with the engine of the BMW S 1000 RR, is supposed to provide the urgently needed buoyancy. The deal with BMW is still being threaded under the owner Comini, but before production can begin, he sells the company to two real estate entrepreneurs from Switzerland.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Turci

14/16
2015– ?: At EICMA, Bimota will be showing the Tesi 3D RaceCafe and the Streetfighter Impeto with the Ducati Diavel engine. After that there is radio silence for the time being. According to the latest Bimota plans, the two motorcycles should still be built – but in a year at the earliest.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Breutel

15/16
The new Bimota rooms have art and boxes, tools and processing machines – but no motorcycles.

Report - Where's Bimota?
Breutel

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The remaining production, including several BB3, is currently in a warehouse in Switzerland.

counselor

traffic & business

Report – Where’s Bimota?

Bimota suddenly seemed to have disappeared from the scene: no motorcycles, no price lists, no news on the website. We finally started looking for the Italian manufacturer – and still found what we were looking for.

Eva Breutel

08/03/2017

The weeds grow between the stone slabs in the front garden, the red company logo looks faded. No question about it, the historic factory headquarters of Bimota in Rimini is orphaned. For decades, the inconspicuous light brown building in Via Lea Giaccaglia 38 attracted crowds of motorcyclists who wanted to admire with their own eyes the creation of the fast Italian racers. 60 employees worked here during the manufacturer’s economic heyday. Now everything is empty. A sad sight.

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Bimota has moved

But the sign on the struts of the white metal fence points to new premises: Bimota has moved, around 300 meters and only one block away, to Via Emilia Mariani 8. The manufacturer has apparently found a new home in an elongated commercial building, on the bars At least a small Bimota flag hangs in front of the factory yard. You pass a bicycle distributor, a supplier of ice cubes and industrial ice cream, and a Chinese sewing shop, with the Bimota rooms at the very back. What is supposed to become a workshop and production facility is full of shelves, boxes and tools, and three employees are busy putting things away. “It’s not yet presentable, we only finished the move this morning,” explains Marco Chiancianesi. The Swiss real estate entrepreneur bought Bimota in September 2013 together with his nephew Daniele Longoni. The two of them had big plans, entered the Superbike World Championship and raved in the MOTORRAD interview about the planned production of 600 motorcycles per year, about a factory museum, and about perfect service for importers, dealers and buyers. “A spare part”, Longoni said at the time, “has to be available to our customers in two days.”

Production didn’t really get going

The two of them couldn’t stop their announcements. Bimota was soon thrown out of the Superbike World Championship because of violations of the rules, the promisingly announced new German importer Wilberts was terminated after less than a year and the mega-project BB3 with the engine of the BMW S 1000 RR was still being developed and presented to the end , but the engine delivery soon dried up due to a lack of money. Production didn’t really get up and running, and more and more employees were fleeing. In 2015 there was another riot, the two owners brought back Pierluigi Marconi, the company’s former chief developer. He quickly designed a new Tesi with an 800 Ducati engine and the Streetfighter Impeto with the powerful drive of the Ducati Diavel, even a performance-enhancing compressor was announced. When these innovations were presented at EICMA 2015, a ballerina danced to classical music – the two Swiss had demonstrated a knack for unusual and entertaining productions from the start.


Report - Where's Bimota?


factstudio.de

1995: Bimota works with BMW for the first time: Bavaria’s single-cylinder Rotax engine is transplanted into a fully disguised Bimota chassis and is henceforth called Supermono.

Marconi, on the other hand, danced off again a few months later, and from then on one could only hear booming silence from Bimota. The website was no longer updated, there were no new price lists, the few remaining dealerships were without motorcycles. Even when the city of Rimini organized an exhibition on the local motorcycle history last September and even paid tribute to the German Bimota Club that had traveled there, no one from the management showed up. The planned factory visit by the German guests, including the former Bimota importer Reinhold Kraft, ultimately failed because it was not possible to register in Via Giaccaglia: E-mails were not answered in advance, nor were phone calls.

Calls to the factory were ineffective

MOTORRAD had a similar experience with the search for clues, which soon resembled a detective game. Calls to the Bimota plant came to nothing, the switchboard was never manned, and the existing extensions no longer worked. The privately contacted press spokesman said he had left the company with Marconi, and the cell phone numbers of Bimota Vice President Daniele Longoni and his wife, who had also worked for the company, turned out to be logged off. The Chamber of Commerce in Rimini was questioned, as were colleagues from Italian magazines, as well as German dealers and a number of former Bimota employees – without any result. Nobody knew whether motorcycles were still being built on Via Giaccaglia in Rimini or whether the bulkheads were tight.

No success after ten years

Apparently only one person was still in contact with the owners, albeit not directly: the Milanese pharmaceutical and food entrepreneur Roberto Comini, who had acquired Bimota as an investment property after the bankruptcy in the early 2000s. Because after ten years there was still no success, he sold to Chiancianesi and Longoni. But he apparently had little luck with them either. “We never received rent for the building in Via Giaccaglia that we had kept,” he says indignantly. And the purchase price for Bimota agreed at the time was also not paid in full: “There is still a lawsuit pending.” Comini has had enough of the motorcycle industry; he doesn’t want Bimota back.

So what to do Check off Bimota?

The conversation again gave no positive evidence of the search for clues. So what to do Check off Bimota? But then, when the swan song, which should be on these pages, was almost finished, unexpected feedback came from Rimini. According to an email without a signature, the company was currently moving and would like to welcome MOTORRAD as soon as business was resumed. After some back and forth, Bimota President Marco Chiancianesi finally got in touch by phone: Of course the company still exists, he is in Rimini himself today. At the hastily arranged on-site meeting three hours later, he confirmed difficulties in the past year, but assured him that he definitely wanted to continue Bimota. The passion for motorcycles – “I am the Italian master of the 50+ class”, he says proudly – is taken from the 58-year-old Chiancianesi. But what exactly his concept looks like is not clearly clear in this conversation. After all: the search for traces was ultimately crowned with success, the swan song on Bimota has been postponed for the time being. Hopefully indefinitely.

Interview with Marco Chiancianesi


Report - Where's Bimota?


Breutel

Left: Bimota owner Chiancianesi with the three employees Massimo, Mimmo and Gianni in front of the Grand Prix Bimota, which started in Moto2 in 2010/11.

The real estate entrepreneur from Lugano has owned the small manufacturer Bimota for almost four years. In the future, the brand will build even more expensive, more exclusive luxury motorcycles than before – at least probably.

MOTORCYCLE: Where were you then? We haven’t been able to reach Bimota for about a year.

Marco Chiancianesi: We already existed, we sold 80 motorcycles last year, admittedly not as many as it should have been. But Daniele Longoni and I had to primarily look after our company in Switzerland for the past year and a half. The real estate market has collapsed there, at least in the luxury segment in which we work. It goes without saying that the motorcycles fell short. But we don’t do bimota to make money.

MOTORCYCLE: But?

Marco Chiancianesi: To have fun, to live out our passion for motorcycles, to be very close to fascinating technology.

MOTORCYCLE: What did the fun cost you?

Marco Chiancianesi: We paid 4.2 million euros for Bimota, and then we invested another 1.5 million. But Bimota is now debt-free, something that hasn’t happened so often in the company’s history.

MOTORCYCLE: Why did you move?

Marco Chiancianesi: The 2,200 square meter building in Via Giaccaglia was much too big for what we are planning to do. Now we don’t even have a tenth of that, but that’s enough.

MOTORCYCLE: What are you going to do with Bimota??

Marco Chiancianesi: Of course we want to continue building refined motorcycles, we still get the engines from Ducati. But we also want to customize them in the future and offer our customers real one-offs and really luxurious motorcycles. We currently have 58 Tesi 3D and 35 frames for the BB3, seven of which are motorized. Maybe we’ll even use it to build a real superbike with real racing technology. But that is not yet certain.

MOTORCYCLE: And the Impeto, which you presented at the end of 2015?

Marco Chiancianesi: We build them too. The former Bimota developers Pierluigi Marconi and Andrea Acquaviva have opened a project office in Rimini and we are working with them.

MOTORCYCLE: Will you keep Bimota?

Marco Chiancianesi: Yeah, I don’t want to sell. But if a suitable investor comes along, I could imagine working with them. There have been several interested parties lately, the name Bimota has a strong charisma. But they were adventurers, and I don’t need people like that. I’m an adventurer myself – but at least I have a real passion for motorcycles.

MOTORCYCLE: If you look back: you would make some decisions differently?

Marco Chiancianesi: Yeah, a lot. I didn’t think the motorcycle industry was so different from the real estate space I come from. It’s not easy either, but not nearly as difficult as motorcycles! We made a lot of mistakes, but we also learned a lot. I hope so anyway.

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