Bimota SB8K


Make Model

Bimota SB8K




Four stroke, 90°-V-twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder


996 cc / 60.9 cub. in
Bore x Stroke 98 x 66 mm
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Cooling System Liquid cooled


Fuel injection


Electronic inductive
Starting Electric

Max Power

98.4 kW / 132 hp   @ 9500 rpm
Max Torque 93 Nm /9.4 kg-m / 73.6 lb-ft @ 8500 rpm


6 Speed
Final Drive Chain

Front Suspension

Telehydraulic upside-down fork with 46mm stanchions and compression, rebound and preload adjustments

Rear Suspension

Fully adjustable shock absorber

Front Brakes

2x 320mm discs 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 230mm disc 4 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/65 ZR17

Rear Tyre

190/55 ZR17

Dry weight

179 kg / 394.6 lbs

Fuel capacity

20 Litres / 5.3 US gal.

Bimota caused a sensation at the start of the 2000 World Superbike season when the small and financially troubled Italian firm's rider. Australian Anthony Gobert. won a race at only the team's second ever meeting. Gobert's machine was Bimota's new SB8K. powered by Suzuki's TL1000R V-twin engine. Although the win owed much to an inspired tyre choice on a damp Philip Island track, it gave Bimota a huge boost and focused attention on the SB8K.

 The production SB8K roadster on which Gobert's racer was closely based was essentially a homologation special: a redesigned, more aerodynamic and slightly more powerful version of the previous SB8R model, which used the same 996cc engine. Bimota planned to build only 150 units in 2000: the minimum number required by World Superbike rules. Like the SB8R. the K model was an exotic machine that combined the TL's liquid-cooled. 90-degree V-twin engine with a frame whose twin aluminium main spars incorporated carbon-fibre sections at the swingarm pivot. In Bimota tradition the eight-valve motor remained internally standard, though the SB8K gained a little power from a new Weber Marelli unit with larger. 59mm throttle bodies for improved high-speed flow. The new bike's larger airbox was fed by a conventional system from the fairing nose, rather than the SBSR's more flamboyant arrangement of large ducts running up over the fuel tank. Bimota optimistically claimed that the SB8K. which was also modified with revised injection mapping and a new high-level exhaust, produced 149bhp. fully I5bhp more than the standard Suzuki. There was no change to the SB8R's composite main frame or the suspension: thick 46mm Paioli upside-down forks plus a horizontally mounted Öhlins shock, situated inside the right frame spar and worked by an aluminium rod from the swingarm. But the race-ready SB8K incorporated some extra details including adjustable swingarm pivot points for tuning racetrack handling. 

 Thunder and aggressionAt 3791b (172kg) the SB8K was slightly lighter than the SB8R and a substantial 551b (25kg) down on the TL1000R. This combined with the extra power to give storming straight-line performance. The Bimota's big V-twin power pulses sent the bike thundering forward with even more force and aggression than riders of the ultra-torquey Suzuki had come to expect. The SB8K was wonderfully responsive in the lower gears, although it had a stiller throttle action than the TL. which made accelerating smoothly while leant over in mid-comer more difficult. At higher revs the Bimota really started making use of it big throttle bodies, as it charged towards it top speed of over 160mph (257km/h). Although the blend of potent V-twin motor, light weight, short wheelbase and racy geometry could have made the bike a real handful, the SB8K's rigid frame and top-quality suspension ensured otherwise. It steered quickly and easily, yet stayed stable even under hard acceleration. Fat radial tyres gave typically high levels of grip, and Brcmbo's front brake set-up was powerful. Demand for the SB8K was strong and took off following Gobert"s remarkable victory at his home round in Philip Island, but things went downhill fast for Bimota. Firstly the racebike suffered a string of mechanical problems, one of which caused Gobert to crash heavily. Then the race team was disbanded in mid-season, after a main sponsor disappeared owing a large amount of money. Finally Bimota. already in severe financial trouble following the disastrous introduction of the 500 V-due. with it clean-burning but unreliable two-stroke engine, found itself in a worse financial position than ever before. Production ceased completely before most of the SB8Ks had been completed, and the future looked bleak for the famous and forward-thinking Rimini firm which, for almost 30 years, had built some of the world's fastest and finest superbikes.

Source Fast Bikes by Roland Brown