Bimota may have seen some setbacks in 2020, but it’s still working on its master plan of releasing hybrid Japanese/Italian motorcycles. This video of the KB4 prototype testing is proof!
If you’ve been paying attention you’ll remember Kawasaki bought a big chunk of Bimota in 2019. Bimota teased the Tesi H2 hyperbike as the companies’ first collaboration, but also released hints of a new retro-styled sportbike, the KB4. Unfortunately, the Italian motorcycle industry was hit hard by COVID-19, and so was international trade and travel—good luck building an Italian bike with Japanese parts, if the planes aren’t flying.
Bimota hasn’t done as much publicity work for the KB4 prototype as it has the Tesi H2, but the KB4 is likely a more practical motorcycle for most riders (if not more affordable). The KB4 has a trellis frame and conventional suspension setup (supposedly fully-adjustable and electro-managed, courtesy of Ohlins), unlike the wacky H2. Brakes are supposedly from Brembo; the bike’s also supposed to have a full electronic safety suite. If Kawasaki’s involved with the project, there’s a good chance the electronics are actually developed in conjunction with Bosch.
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You can see the electronic safety systems under testing in the video above. The KB4 certainly seems to be reasonably far along in its development; maybe we’ll see a production machine in early 2021?