2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed

Based around the engine from the Kawasaki Ninja 1000, it’s light and small

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While we’ve known for a while what it looks like, up to now we’ve been short on detail specification of the new Kawasaki-engined Bimota KB4. In advance of its likely appearance at the EICMA motorcycle show in November, the specification has now been confirmed.

Bimota KB4 Is Go!

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed
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Bimota KB4
Engine from the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 sports tourer in a bespoke frame. Bike is lighter and smaller

Since 1973, Bimota has been taking mass-produced engines and slotting them into bespoke frames which were far superior to the frames they left the factory with. In the early days of the company, the main target was Japanese four-cylinder engines, which were reliable, powerful and affordable, while the chassis of those early sports bikes often lagged way behind the performance of the engines. Thus you had SB models (Suzuki), YB (Yamaha), KB (Kawasaki) and, more recently, DB (Ducati).

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed
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Early Artist’s Impression
Not far from the finished article. Radiator mounted under the seat, fed by ducts from the front of the fairing

As time passed, the Japanese got infinitely better at chassis design, thus removing a lot of Bimota’s reason for being. The company struggled on but the disastrous V-Due and an ill-fated attempt at racing sounded the death knell for the company. A group of investors bought the company, only for it to run into financial trouble again in 2017. Kawasaki then stepped in and bought 49% of Bimota in 2019.

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed
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Bimota DB1
Bimota made its name by putting engines into much better frames than the factories. This one had a Ducati engine

Bringing us right up to date is the latest Bimota, the KB4, which adheres to the traditional Bimota formula of turning a bloated machine into a razor-sharp sports bike. The engine is the 1000cc four-cylinder from the Ninja 1000, which produces 140bhp at 10,000rpm and 82lb.ft of torque at 8,000rpm.

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed
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Bimota Tesi
Radical hub-centre steered bike. Cured dive under braking but led to slightly wooden steering feeling.

Bimota has slotted this engine into a steel and carbon fibre frame and fitted its own exhaust system and bodywork. The net effect of all this is a weight saving of 90lbs over the standard donor bike (518lb down to 428lb).

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed
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Bimota V-Due
The bike that sunk the original Bimota company. 500cc v-twin 2-stroke gave fantastic power but it was woefully unreliable.

Not only is it much lighter, but t is also physically smaller. The wheelbase has dropped by 50mm to 1,390mm and the bike is 50mm slimmer. The reduction in length has been achieved in an interesting way. Simply shortening the swing arm would have upset the weight distribution, moving the bias rearward, which is not ideal for handling purposes.

2022 Bimota KB4: Detailed Specification Revealed
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Bimota DB5
Not so much the Italians, but the early Japanese frames lagged far behind the engine technology

Bimota’s solution is to move the front wheel back and, in order to do this, they have had to re-site the radiator as the front wheel would hit it as the forks compressed. So, Bimota has placed the radiator under the seat, fed air by ducts along the side of the bike that are in turn fed by inlets in the fairing.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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