The whole COVID-19 thing seems to be getting in the way, but we are getting a new Bimota KB4 eventually. In case you had doubts, Bimota’s released footage of the bike undergoing testing.
The KB4 is one of of the first machines to come out as part of Kawasaki’s new partnership with Bimota. It’s actually more of a buy-in than a partnership; Kawasaki purchased a significant share of the company to make this deal happen. It looks like it could be one of those match-made-in-heaven arrangements. Kawasaki’s good at making powerful bikes with reliable engines, and it’s definitely got the wildest machines of all the Japanese OEMs at this point. Bimota is really good at coming up with outside-the-box chassis design and wild styling, but has always had trouble sourcing components, especially engines. It’s hard to build bikes if you don’t make engines in-house, and your supplier leaves you high and dry.
Under the new arrangement, Bimota should have access to Kawasaki’s supply chain, especially its supercharged engines. It’s also got Kawasaki’s deep pockets backing its decisions. That means Bimota should have fewer worries about paying the bills, in theory, and can theoretically concentrate on melding Italian chassis and styling design with reliable Japanese engineering. It’s a win-win.
The wildest Bimota project we know about is the Tesi H2 hyperbike, using Kawasaki’s supercharged four-cylinder from the H2 line. The KB4 is a little less silly; it uses the same engine as the Z1000 (a 140-horsepower liquid-cooled four-cylinder), with Bimota’s trellis frame. Gossip from Italy says it’s also getting a full electronics safety package (leaning-sensitive ABS and traction control, etc.) as well as top-shelf Brembo brakes and fully-adjustable Ohlins electronically-managed suspension. On the outside, the KB4 wears bodywork styled after vintage superbikes.
All very nice, and we initially expected to see pre-production versions this bike in the summer of 2020. Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic impacted the KB4’s development plan, but it seems the wonks are testing away now. Maybe we’ll see more details on the bike this winter, once the holiday season wraps up?