1997 Bimota 500 V due
A thoughtful stop if you are traveling back in time 25 years would be Rimini, Italy. You could walk into the Bimota workshop and say to Signores Bianchi, Morri and Tamburini, NO, for God’s sake, DON’T! THIS WILL NOT WORK!!
You would have saved them and the entire motorcycling world a lot of heartache. When the V Due finally arrived shortly after this April 1997 article, it clearly wasn’t ready for prime time. The production version of the revolutionary two-stroke V-twin would barely run. After years of development and millions of liras spent, the entire motorcycle series has been recalled. As he worked through this fiasco, the sponsor money that Bimota was relying on for his 2000 World Superbike effort was not presented. Soon after, bankruptcy beckoned. Double shame, really, as Australian wild child Anthony Gobert won a Phillip Island WSBK race on the Bimota SB8.
Bimota has, of course, bounced back, most recently with a little help from Kawasaki. Hopefully the Kawasaki H2-powered Tesi performs better than the V Due.
This bike will get athletic cyclists’ pulse racing to overload – before they even get in the saddle.Early next year, a milestone will be written in the history books when mass production begins on the first two-stroke motorcycle in over 10 years to meet 50-state EPA requirements. States, and everywhere else in the world for that matter. . And what a motorcycle it will be. Bimota, makers of the world’s most exclusive sportbikes, will release their 500cc two-stroke V-twin, dressed to kill in a livery full of racing technology. This bike will get athletic cyclists’ pulse racing to overload – before they even get in the saddle. The Due will obviously be competing for the title of Ultimate Sports Machine.
Bimota spent over six years developing this marvelous machinery, which is no surprise since the R&D department never had more than a single-digit headcount. Traditionally, Bimota has borrowed power plants from its industrial colleagues in the Far East and wrapped them in exquisitely crafted frames and bodies. Bimota’s recent models saw more and more applications of fuel injection in engines, which served as a proving ground for the development of the direct-injected two-stroke engine.
With their racing roots, Bimota initially hoped to develop the engine for GP use, encouraged by the debate within the sport at the start of the decade over the banning of 4-cylinder configurations. Luckily for all of us, the level of investment to develop a complete new bike for GP racing has forced a change in direction that has resulted in the imminent arrival of the street machine.
The Due will obviously be competing for the title of Ultimate Sports Machine.
Interest in two-stroke power plants has spread throughout the motorcycle and automotive industry over the past 10 years, sparked by the company’s development of a new generation of fuel injectors. Australian Orbital. The new system offered fuel atomization granularity that made their application in a two-stroke engine practical. Two-stroke engines are of interest to the automotive industry because of their simplicity and high power-to-weight ratio – if only they weren’t so dirty and fuel-inefficient. Both of these phenomena are caused by the two-stroke principle of using cool, fuel-rich intake air to clean or flush exhaust gases from the cylinder. Tuned exhaust systems try to prevent much of this charge from escaping the cylinder with the exhaust gases, but many still do. With direct injection fuel, this is no longer a problem as air can be used to expel the exhaust gases, and the injectors only fire when the exhaust ports have closed. The result is nice clean exhausts, free of unburned hydrocarbons and a fresh, clean, unpolluted charge waiting for the big bang of the next ignition pulse. Two-stroke heaven.Bimota has a simple tagline which they claim is at the heart of all their R&D work – Technology of the Emozione.Too good to be true, right? Well, just a little. Honda tried fuel injection on its NSR500 GP machine in 1993, but it was dropped after that season. Surprisingly, they chose to inject a direct emulation of how a carburetor works into the crankcase and as a result found carburetor-like performance. This could have been imposed on them by the very short time available for fuel atomization in an engine running at 13,000 rpm. Uneven or incomplete atomization will result in uneven or incomplete ignition and lower top power output. The Bimota Due indicated maximum power developed at 9000 rpm and the difference in engine speed may be just enough to eliminate this problem. Interestingly, the new Honda NSR500 V-twin racing engine delivers its peak output of 135 hp at 10,250 rpm, pumping AVgas through conventional carburettors.
Speaking to Bimota staff at the recent IFMA show in Cologne, they made it clear that they wanted to start production as soon as possible and hoped for an initial production run of 500 units.
The exact configuration of the fuel injection system is not yet known for the Bimota, but it seems that they have chosen to recover the exhaust gases by pumping fresh air through the crankcase and the ports of conventional two-stroke transfer. Reed valves are still used to regulate airflow into the cylinder, with each cylinder being fed by a separate reed block. There are six transfer ports and three exhaust ports, a common configuration for contemporary two-strokes. The fuel injection system will be linked to an engine management system which checks many factors that influence the amount of fuel to be injected, including air temperature, water temperature, gas temperature exhaust and air box pressure. Another major contribution to the Due’s clean exhaust is the use of gearbox oil to lubricate the main bearings, rather than relying on fuel/oil mist from regular two-strokes. The lubrication of the cylinders and the crankshaft is always ensured by two-stroke oil, which flows in small galleries in the bowels of the engine. There is a two liter oil reservoir bulkhead on the fuel tank which will require very infrequent refilling.
The machine’s racing heritage is evident, with a hydraulically operated dry clutch and 6-speed side-loading cassette gearbox coming in handy if you want to change up your gear for your favorite set of curves. The frame follows Bimota’s recent preference for oval profile alloy tubing, with an Ohlins rear shock and fully adjustable 46mm Paioli front forks. Carbon canisters keep the exhaust note muted, and carbon fiber is also used for the seat. Brembo discs, Antera alloy wheels and Michelin Hi-Sport radial tires complete the list of premium equipment.
Speaking to Bimota staff at the recent IFMA show in Cologne, they made it clear that they wanted to start production as soon as possible and hoped for an initial production run of 500 units. That might not seem like a lot, but considering that last year Bimota produced less than 1500 bikes, that’s a significant part of how they operate. Further questions revealed that the bike literally wasn’t ready for show until the last minute, and some inconsistencies between spec sheets suggest it may not be ready for full production yet. On the other hand, now that the project has come as far as it has, Bimota will want to start production as soon as possible to start recouping the huge investment they made in new engine technology. Bimota has a simple slogan that they claim is at the heart of all their R&D work — Technology of the Emozione. In the 20 years since their first Kawasaki-powered KB1 production bike, Bimota’s motorcycles have stirred the emotions of the global sportbike community. The 500cc Due proudly continued this tradition until the last years of the decade.
Manufacturer: Bimota Model: 500 V due - 2 tempi Iniezone Elettronica Engine: Liquid-cooled, Two-stroke V-twin Bore x stroke: 72 x 61.25 mm Displacement: 499 cc Compression Ratio: 12:1 Carburation: Twin injectors Max power: 110 HP @ 9,000 rpm Max torque: 9 Kgm @ 8,000 rpm
Frame: Aluminum alloy pipes with oval cross-section Wheelbase: 1340 mm Rake: 23° Trail: 89 mm Front Brake: Brembo double discs Rear Brake: single disc Wheels: 3.50x17 front - 5.50x17 rear
Max Length: 1940 mm Seat Height: 790 mm Fuel Capacity: 20 L Claimed dry Weight: <150 Kg