Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
By the early ‘90s, Bimota had been in operation for around two decades, and while it had certainly built some incredible bikes in that time, the boutique marque had typically depended on existing powertrains from other manufacturers. So Bimota brought on two-stroke specialist Aroldo Trivelli of TAU Motor to design a two-stroke V-Twin.
Originally, the Trivelli-designed power plant was to be housed in a frame similar to the Tesi with hub-center steering, though the idea was later scrapped. Instead, Bimota tasked its engineering chief Pierluigi Marconi with developing a more conventional chassis for the half-liter twin. Marconi delivered an incredibly light oval-tubed aluminum twin-beam frame that utilized the engine as a stressed member.
Around this same time, Bimota abandoned its prior plans for a GP racer and decided the new two-stroke V-Twin would be a road-legal production model. Obviously getting a two-stroke race engine to meet the necessary emissions standards to be released as a road-going production model was a wildly tall order, but Bimota felt the solution was in fuel injection.
Instead of simply swapping the carbs out for throttle bodies, Bimota designed a sophisticated direct electronic fuel injection system, allowing for an even lighter overall package. It was close and it surely wasn’t easy, but the Italian company managed to squeak by and get the green light for production. After eight years of development, Bimota finally unveiled the highly anticipated new model in 1996. Dubbed the “V-Due” — Italian for “V-Twin” — the bike was glorious. A half-liter two-stroke GP bikes for the street, brimming with race-grade hardware and amenities. After generating an enormous amount of hype, the V-Due entered production and dealerships the next year in 1997 as the first-ever production two-stroke motorcycle with electronically controlled direct fuel injection.
Powering the road-legal track weapon was a liquid-cooled, 499cc, two-stroke, 90-degree V-Twin good for 110 hp and 64 ft-lbs of torque. Bimota’s first engine produced in house, the Italian twin afforded the V-Due a 155 mph top speed and a 10.5-second standing quarter-mile time. Tipping the scales at only 320 lbs, the V-Due boasted a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio. The powertrain also got a dry clutch and racey six-speed cassette-style transmission.
Braking hardware was comprised of Brembo Goldline calipers and dual 320mm front discs with a single 230mm unit in the back. Suspension components consisted of fully adjustable 46mm Paioli fork with carbon fiber fork tubes and an Ohlins mono-shock. The wheels were lightweight alloy units from Antera, that came from the factory wrapped in Pirelli rubber.
Exotic and exclusive, the V-Due also featured a slew of swanky carbon fiber and billet parts. Elements like the rear-sets and triple clamps were all CNC’d, and the shock cover, license plate board, from covers, front and rear fenders, and exhaust hanger are all carbon pieces.
Even the V-Due’s bodywork — which was inspired by GP bikes of the era and designed by Sergio Robbiano, protege of the great Massimo Tamburini was made of carbon fiber. Other noteworthy aspects include Domino grips and throttle, a beautiful aluminum swing-arm stamped with the Bimota name, and a race-style dual carbon fiber two-stroke exhaust system.
Unfortunately for Bimota — which had invested untold amounts of money in the near-decade-long development of the V-Due — its new two-stroke didn’t pan out as it’d hoped. The direct fuel-injection system that was the model’s savior ended up being its demise. The first 150 units produced were seriously finicky. Customers regularly reported misfires, spark plug issues, oil leaks, seized pistons, and unpredictable power deliver (especially below 5,000 rpm). For an excellent recap of the V-Due’s history, check out this story on OddBike by Jason Cormier.
With such an exorbitant MSRP and all the mechanical problems, it wasn’t long before customers started returning their V-Dues. Bimota’s projections called for some 500 units to be built, though less than 200 of the original fuel-injected models ever left the factory.
Adam had the following to say about how it arrived at Iconic: “This bike has been with Iconic for quite some time and it’s finally time to move on!
We initially took the bike in as a trade from one of our larger clients on a 0 mile version. It came to us not running but he was assured it WAS RUNNING but clearly that is not correct. We have sold 3 of these so far and proud to say we proved all of them ran (a challenge in itself) but this is the first “Evolutione” model and it looks to have had a few people messing with it over the years.
Why was it with us so long? I personally ALWAYS WANTED TO RIDE ONE OF THESE so I just put it as a “wish list bike” and we could only spend time on it when there was a lapse in shop work…those lapses were few and far between as we grew so I’d commit a day here, a day there and so on…”
Per Adam: “The Evolutione model (as I understand it) is the FIX for a bike that put Bimota out of business. It entailed some changes to the ECU, the wiring, switching from fuel injection to carbs, the installation of massive carbon fiber air boxes on each side and an exhaust revision (there may of been more). In Bimotas infinite wisdom, they kept the stock wiring harness, capped the wires for the FI and such but left them all in place. Where it gets interesting is they melded in an additional wiring harness with ALL YELLOW wires so it’s incredibly difficult to track things down and this bike had many of the wires just hanging disconnected.
We had a zero mile example come in with a huge batch of SB8R’s for us to sell a long time ago, mixed in (by luck) were two side panels for an evolutione model in near perfect shape so we swapped those.
Steve spent countless hours tracking every single wire and got pretty much everything to work! BUT…..the neutral light would not go on, the bike would turn over but we were getting no power to the coils so we put it away again. We pulled the clutch basket, trying to bypass the neutral safety switch, went back and forth for a while. I read somewhere that this bike had major issues with the dash/ECU (it’s one unit) as well as the SB8 Santa Monica editions. We sent the dash to Bimota Classic Parts in early 2023 and for about $1000 they fixed it! The dash came back and she started!!!!
After some tuning, a full carb rebuild, new plugs (a couple times over), fluid flush, etc I took it for a quick jog down the road. The clutch was slipping quite bad and she stalled and stopped. It turns out that the water pump is failing and dumping water into the transmission. This was most certainly a NEW ISSUE because when we pulled off the water pump and such, there was no rust at all on the steel parts so we drained the transmission oil and cooling system to keep it clear.”
Iconic Members have access to what we call The Archive, where we keep hard-to-find manuals and documentation for special motorbikes. We have Bimota’s chassis manual, diagnostic manual, and electrical system manual for the V-Due in The Archive, and we’ll give digital copies to the new owner if they desire.
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Bimota is offered on an MSO. Have any V-Due stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!