Some bikes simply look right from any angle and the DB2 is one of them.
Powered by the Ducati 900SS motor from the early 1990s, the Bimota DB2 has swoopy, all-enclosing bodywork that gives this bike a rakish, ready-for-action style.
Because of that Ducati lump, it isn´t the fastest thing on the planet, but it also boasts a beautifully engineered chassis, with eye-popping Brembo brakes and top quality Ohlins suspension to make up ground on the corners. The sound from the twin underseat exhausts is another good reason to check out a DB2 if you ever see one.
Collectors with deep pockets will want to keep a lookout for the SR version.
It wasn´t much of a day for wheelies. A cold winter wind blew across north-eastern Italy, its occasional strong gusts dictating that motorcycles were best ridden with both wheels planted firmly and sensibly on the ground.
But even so, when aboard the Bimota DB2sr it was hard to resist the temptation to lift the front wheel just occasionally, at least on a deserted country road. If ever a bike was designed for fun and frivolity, it´s this gloriously light and responsive new version of the sportster built around Ducati´s air- and oil-cooled 900SS motor.
The “sr” initials are intended to imply sports and racing, but a more logical addition to the DB2´s name would surely include an “i” for injection. Apart from new red, white and purple paintwork, the only change from the standard DB2 is that this bike uses a fuel-injection system, developed by Bimota in conjunction with TDD of Bologna, in place of the original model´s 38mm Mikuni carbs.
Bimota claim the injection adds power all through the range, increasing peak output from 86bhp at 7000rpm to 89.4bhp at 7500rpm. But while that probably gives a slight boost to the DB2´s modest top speed of around 135mph, Ducati´s 904cc, two-valves-per-pot V-twin has always been more notable for its raw feel, raucous exhaust note and abundance of midrange grunt.
The DB2sr makes that even more true, not least because peak torque rises slightly from a maximum of 66.5ft.lb at 5700rpm to 68ft.lb, delivered 200rpm earlier. Like its predecessor, the injected but internally standard Ducati motor fired-up with a gorgeous noise from its stylish high-level silencers, and felt rather lumpy at very low revs.
But from 3000rpm upwards its response was superbly crisp and urgent, perhaps even more so than before. Simply winding on the throttle at four grand in first was enough to make the little Bimota surge forward with its front wheel pawing the air. In the higher gears, thrilling overtaking punch was always instantly available.
Predictably the DB2sr´s simple but surefooted chassis added to the enjoyment. Everything else on this model is unchanged, including its Ducati-style tubular steel space-frame, which holds 41mm Paioli forks with machined-from-solid alloy sliders. Rear end comprises a cantilever swing-arm with multi-adjustable Ohlins shock.
Crucially the little Bimota weighs just 370lb, which combined with compact geometry and grippy, 17-inch Michelin Hi-Sports to give quick, precise steering and unshakeable roadholding. The Brembo brakes were hugely powerful, too. Very few bikes would have been as fast or as easy to ride as this on the twisty roads around Rimini.
Sadly the DB2sr´s appeal diminishes dramatically when you discover that it costs considerably more than the carburetted DB2. The difference puts this model midway between the four-cylinder SB6 and the basic DB2 on price, and makes the original V-twin´s tag of Budget Bimota look a bit sick.
But it´s a magical motorcycle, the SR, giving an extra edge to the original DB2´s exquisite blend of style, agility and charisma. If money´s no object and you prefer the thunder and lightning of a slim, torquey V-twin to the sheer speed of a multi, the DB2sr provides as much fun as you can have on two wheels.
Get Bimota motorcycle insurance for the DB2 SR.
|Engine||Air/oil-cooled 90-degree V-twin|
|Claimed power (bhp)||89.4bhp @ 7500rpm|
|Front suspension||41mm telescopic Paioli|
|Rear suspension||One Ohlins damper, adjustments for preload, compression and rebound damping|
|Front brake||2, four-piston Brembo calipers, 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||Double-action Brembo caliper, 230mm disc|
|Front wheel||3.50 x 17in; cast aluminum|
|Rear wheel||5.50 x 17in; cast aluminum|
|Front tyre||120/70 x 17in Michelin Hi-Sport|
|Rear tyre||180/55 x 17in Michelin Hi-Sport|
|Top speed||approx 135mph|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|