It’s 1972 at the Circuito Internazionale Santamonica, an Italian race track located near Misano Adriatico, a Province of Rimmi. Hunched in the gravel trap at the Curva della Quercia (Curve of the Oak) is an injured Massimo Tamburini. The downed racer is about to make a decision that will shape the future of motorcycling. In a heap next to him lays his battered Honda 750 race bike. Nursing three broken ribs Tamburini concludes that the Honda’s frame simply wasn’t up to the task of handling all the horsepower and G-forces created during racing. He decides that the only solution is to build his own frame and swing-arm, and in that fortuitous moment Bimota Motorcycles was born.
The K&N and Bimota connection was a technical partnership over a year in the making
Bimota the company was actually formed in 1966, at the time they specialized in heating systems. The original founders were Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini. The company’s name comes from the first two letters of their surnames – Bi-Mo-Ta. Tamburini however was the bike nut, and in his spare time he used his engineering skills to create very custom, one-off, “specials.” Tamburini’s reputation for excellence in the world of motorcycle racing had already been established when the decision to split the company into two divisions was made in 1972.
Bimota the Italian motorcycle manufacturer started at first by developing their own frame designs, and using the existing engines from the top-end models of Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. Later on in the 1980’s, Bimota also started using Yamaha and Ducati engines for their production models. The current production models only make use of Ducati engines, with the exception of a prototype model unveiled at the EICMA Motorcycle Salon in Milan, Italy in November 2012, which uses the engine from the current BMW S1000RR.
K&N is very proud to announce that they have become an official technical partner of Bimota. The famous K&N logo will now be prominently displayed on the bodywork of every Bimota model produced with factory installed K&N products.
“It took us about six months to make this partnership a reality, although we started brief conversations with Bimota about air filter development back in 2011,” details Joost Adriaans, K&N’s EMEA R&D Manager and OEM Account Manager living in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.
K&N and Bimota share a very similar business visions based on staying in the forefront of technical innovations
“At first, we were searching for the correct filters, making sure they were complimenting the high power output of the Bimota DB8 and DB11. Data showed that performance improved just as expected when a K&N air filter was installed, and that told us that our K&N filter was a perfect piece of the puzzle in the Bimota intake system.”
“Since K&N and Bimota are both companies with a very similar business attitude, the fit of this partnership is so perfect. We both try to be innovative and ahead of the game, using modern technologies and creative, effective designs in our work. Therefore we are very proud that we can apply our air filter technology to make these bikes perform even better than they already do.”
Adriaans’ role in this project involved making certain that both parties were provided with the proper information at all times. This included the handling of filter samples to administration discussions with K&N’s Marketing Director about the bodywork branding. “We all worked very hard on the realization of this partnership and the outcome is superb,” Adriaans adds.
“The idea to connect Bimota with K&N started when I first started thinking about the supercharger application. Personally, I associate the K&N brand with the one of the best examples of high performance engineering coming from the USA, and I’m a big USA enthusiast,” remarked Bimota’s Davide Comandini. “And what is more American then a supercharger application on an engine? This was my starting idea when I asked Joost if K&N would be interested to cooperate with Bimota.”
Comandini is a highly accomplished and respected engineer with many years of motorcycle R&D factory experience. Until a few months ago, Comandini was the only person at Bimota referenced for engine developement and calibration, including all electrical parts applications. “Now I’m the project leader for the development of the DB11 VLX (with supercharger) and DB11 (naturally aspirated) engines,” he adds.
The new Bimota motorcycles with K&N air filter technology were a big hit at the EICMA show in Milan
What was the initial overall reaction to the new Bimota motorcycles at the EICMA show? “The comments were unanimously great!” reports Adriaans. “Everyone loved the new bikes, especially the DB11 VLX, which uses a supercharger to take the standard 162 BHP of the DB11 all the way up to 191 BHP. Another favorite was the Tesi 3D. This bike uses a highly innovative steering mechanism to create a perfect weight transfer under braking and accelerating.”
Comandini concludes with his own world visionary prediction, “Soon the rest of the world will know about the K&N and Bimota partnership.”
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.