Short test Bimota SB 6 R


Short test Bimota SB 6 R

Bella Bestia

With the pre-series, the devil was in the details. Importer Konemann promised a remedy. Does the beautiful predator now function as the high racing standards promise?

Crouching like a predator on the lookout, she stands there, compact and formidable. The Bimota SB 6 R should be able to do everything better than the hapless SB 6. Should use the advantages of the »Straight Connection« frame and finally put the promised engine power on the rear wheel. And should, on the initiative of the German importer, be robbed of its annoying pre-series defects (MOTORRAD 3/1997).
Indeed, Bimota has changed a few things. The load-bearing carbon fiber parts have been reinforced, first and foremost the self-supporting hump – which puts an end to the luffing of the rear – and the front fender, which is prone to defects. Additional struts calm the nervously fidgeting mirrors, instruments and silencers in the pre-production series. Insulating mats shield the tank, which is now more stable, from the waste heat from the collector pipe, and the Riminesen ankle protectors have provided the footrests. And finally, the Bimota rolls – as requested by the German importer Konemann – as standard on the sticky Pirelli Dragon Corsa. So far so good.
When you sit up, the comfortably padded bench is noticeable, but the elongated seat position looks antiquated for a modern superbike. In addition, the position of the sporty, deep handlebar stubs takes a lot of getting used to, and the wide frame limits the steering angle. Thus, maneuvering is not so easy.
First start the big block. The Suzuki engine sounds like a cannon blow from the two silencers and, with a measured 87 dB (A), even exceeds the tolerance limit of well-meaning motorcycle fans. Engage gear. Apparently the gear lever is translated differently, the original Suzuki part, which is actually shifted cleanly, loses its precision due to the long shift travel. Engage (easy to dose!) And – what a bull! The big motor accelerates the Bimota brutefully. Excessive torque, the front wheel becomes light, the rear tire whines. The Bimota loosely shakes its power from the depths of its engine. Unfortunately, the load changes are pretty rough, sensitive turning of the whisk is called for. The annoying jerking is particularly annoying when driving slowly. But mostly “slow” is the wrong adjective.
“Fast” needs to be mastered with this abundance of power, with the chassis helping out nicely. The massive bridge frame and the massive swing arm ensure stability. Fork and shock absorber – a Paioli fork at the front and an Ohlins shock absorber at the rear – offer every imaginable adjustment option. The spring elements respond sensitively and smooth out unevenness in the asphalt, but also most storms of unbridled driving dynamics. With proper coordination, the modified rear deflection works fraternally synchronously with the fork, rocking movements like the old SB 6 only occur when cornering at high speed or on the racetrack. In the interest of staying true to the line, it is better to live without the steering damper fitted as standard. The Pirelli tires do everything in terms of grip, although a 180 would drive more neutral in the rear. Fast corners, slow corners, abrupt changes in lean angle, everything is done precisely by hand. At higher speeds, however, emphatic physical effort is required to throw the 230-kilogram Bimota from corner to corner. The bulbous tank limits freedom of movement, but offers welcome storage space for extremities on the outside of the curve. A pleasure: the unfathomable freedom of inclination. But oh – the brakes. The same dilemma: muddy pressure point, poor controllability, weak effect. As if nobody had criticized it, as if it wasn’t easy to turn off. Such an expensive motorcycle simply deserves better.
Without this inadequacy and the outdated acoustics, the Bimota would be S.B 6 R is a thoroughly exciting motorcycle at an equally exciting price.

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