Do You Think I Have A Bimota Problem? I Bought My Third, A SB8K Santa Monica.

2019 I bought my first Bimota, an SB6R, then this spring I bought an SB8R, and not I just bought an SB8K. This might be getting a bit out of hand.

2w ago


I find myself endlessly looking for rare and interesting vehicles. Often things I would never actually own, either because they are wildly expensive, or just something that would be a poor fit for my lifestyle. I just absolutely love the hunt. Many times I am hunting for something a friend wants. Other times it is something that caught my eye and I wanted to learn more. The down side to all of this is that I stumble across stuff I lust after and just can not be without.

As some of you know that follow me here, I have a single car garage that I am actively filling with motorcycles. Been a fun journey. Right now the garage contains a Ducati 1000SS, Ducati Monster S4, Honda CL125, Honda CB550 (period built chopper), Bimota SB6R and Bimota SB8R. While I very much love the hunt, I equally enjoy wrenching. The two Bimota and the Ducati 1000SS came to me not running after sitting for many years. I have found that the process of getting these bikes back on the road forces me to spend more time in the garage, and less time searching the corners of the inter-webs for new bikes.

The SB8R project was not even fully wrapped up and a I had already struck a deal on another bike. For me that was a big deal. I like the zen of only having one project at a time.

The bike in question is a 2005 Bimota SB8K, often called the Santa Monica. I know I have tossed out a lot of random numbers and letters at you so far. Most people are not very familiar with Bimota as a brand, much less their naming convention. Almost all of their models are 4 characters long. First is a letter for the brand of engine. S for Suzuki, K for Kawasaki and so on. Second is B for Bimota. The third is a number. This represents the Nth bike Bimota has built with that manufactures engine, it does not refer to the size of the engine. So SB6R is the sixth bike that Bimota built with a Suzuki engine. In that case it was a GSXR1100 motor. The final character is a letter that refers to the edition. Most of the time it is an R, but for the bike I just bought, it was the letter K. I would be lying if I said I knew what it stood for.

Motor in the SB8K is a Suzuki TL1000R V Twin. Bimota fitted a crazy radial shower injector system in place of the OEM fuel injectors. It helped to boost horsepower to a reported 145. That was a big number in the mid 2000s for any bike, let along a V twin.

Aggressive use of carbon fiber and lightweight alloys means that the bike tips the scales under 390 pounds.

Ohlins suspension front and rear, OZ wheels, Brembo radial calipers as well as Brembo radial masters rounds out the impressive spec sheet.

I have been reading some conflicting numbers about production quantity. Most say there were around 50 SB8Ks made, with less then half being the Santa Monica versions. The others had slightly different bodywork and suspension. Suffice to say, the bike is uber rare. This particular example even more so as it has the full carbon fuel tank. For the US market the bikes were delivered with a plastic tank as carbon was outlawed.

Pictures are all from an old listing for the bike. It has been on display at a dealership since. Mileage is extremely low, but it has been run and ridden to keep things working. I am actually not expecting to have much to do on the bike. Strange for me.

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Comments (2)

  • You have excellent taste. Your “problem”, is one I would love to have. I remember the first Bimota I ever saw, cira 1980. Not sure of the model. It had a GS1000 motor. I was gobsmacked. Gasoline burning machines are the Art of the 20th and early 21st century. Bimotas are masterpieces. You will not regret.

      12 days ago