Bimota SB8K - Up To Speed

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Picking up the pieces from WSB

Bimota's racing season has fallen apart in unfortunate fashion, but at least the firm has a hot new bike to show for its World Superbike efforts. A homologation special, the SB8K is a redesigned, more aerodynamic, more exotic and slightly more powerful version of last year's SB8R. Only 150 will be built this year, the minimum required by World Superbike rules.

The 996cc V-twin from Suzuki's TL1000R motor is rotated forward six degrees and remains internally standard, though the K's fuel-injection system is replaced by a Weber-Marelli unit with 59mm throttle bodies for more power. Revised injection mapping and a new high-level exhaust system help give a maximum of about 140 bhp at the rear wheel.

There is no change to the main frame or suspension, which comprises a 46mm Paioli inverted fork and a horizontally mounted hlins shock situated inside the right frame spar, worked by an aluminum rod from the swingarm. Numerous chassis modifications include adjustable swingarm pivot points.

New triple clamps are machined from billet aluminum, and allow rake to be adjusted between 23 and 24 degrees. An enormous handmade, U-shaped radiator replaces the previous three separate coolers, and allows the front of the bike to be slimmer and more aerodynamic.

At a claimed 379 pounds, the K-bike is 13 pounds lighter than the SB8R (55 down on the TL1000R), which probably does as much as the extra power to give it a straight-line advantage. Those big V-twin power pulses send the bike ripping forward with all the aggression you'd expect of Suzuki's torque-monster.

In Italy, Bimota expects the bike to cost between 50 and 53 million lire (about U.S. $25,000-$27,000), compared with the SB8R's 45 million lire. -R.B.

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