Bimota may be about to make a comeback, sort of.
According to GPOne, the Italian manufacturer is in the middle of negotiations for a buyout by Kawasaki. Comments from Bimota insiders seem to confirm the rumours, although there’s no official announcement from Kawasaki.
It’s the right time of year for this sort of gossip, as Milan’s EICMA show is just around the corner, the perfect setting for a big announcement about a prestigious brand. Because, although Bimota has been in a funk since its last buyout in 2013 (as Asphalt & Rubber points out), the company has been responsible for some of the most technically interesting superbikes in the era before electronic gadgetry took over.
Bimota was always beset by two major problems, though. The first was financial instability, partly due to a problem with warranty claims, and partly just because it was a small company to start with. The other problem was difficulty in dealing with suppliers, especially engine suppliers. Bimota used engines from other manufacturers, and would be unable to meet production goals if those engines weren’t supplied in time. Buyers would get tired of waiting, and spent their money elsewhere.
A deal with Kawasaki would solve both those problems. Kawasaki has incredibly deep pockets, and could provide a consistent supply of superbike components—not just engines, but also electronics systems, which are just as important these days. If this team-up really happened, it could be just the kick in the pants that Bimota needs to move back into the forefront of motorcycle design.
It could be a good deal for Kawasaki as well, giving it the respect the Big Four have been lacking in recent years, as the Euro manufacturers have been getting all the great press in the superbike wars for the past decade, roughly. Stay tuned on this one, as more news is sure to leak.