First ride with my Bimota SB8K Santa Monica.
Totally worth the wait! Bike performed amazing and I could not be more happy to have it in my garage.
For those of you that have followed me for a bit here on DriveTribe, you know that I have a passion for rare and exotic motorcycles. My main focus is on Bimota. There are currently three of of them in my garage. This most recent addition to the fleet is quickly becoming my favorite. It was well worth the wait.
Many have never heard of Bimota, and fewer still know the Santa Monica. Can not blame anyone for that. I have not really been able to get an accurate production number on these. Seems that there were somewhere between 9 and 20 made. Less with the full carbon bodywork and tank, like this one. The bike is powered by a Suzuki TL1000R motor. The engine frame cradle is carbon fiber, the suspension is Ohlins, wheels OZ, brakes Brembo. Top tier parts for a top tier bike. I saw some information that said the MSRP in 2005 was over $50,000.
The most interesting part of the bike to me is the bespoke shower injection system. This bike has a spec sheet that would make most modern machines weak at the knees. I can barley fathom what it must have been like in period.
Dash is a crazy array of LEDs to show all manor of information. There is a glare in the picture, but out on the road I did not have any issue seeing what I needed.
In the spring I bought my second Bimota, an SB8R. Same engine as this, but an older design. Right when I was closing that deal, this bike was already on my radar. Had some good conversations and back and forth with the owner, and a deal was struck over the summer. Bike was shipped and then paperwork was filed with the New York State Department Of Motor Vehicles, or the NYS DMV. As with all things in the world, Covid-19 had effected the DMV. No longer could you simply go to the office with your paperwork and leave with your plate. Now there was this shady feeling Drop Box. I had reservations of signing all of the paperwork in the world that says I own a motorcycle and just dropping it off. Went fine with the SB8R, I got plate in just under a week. With the SB8K the story was not the same. After holding my paperwork up for 5 weeks, NYS decided to return it all to me without issuing plates. Back to the end of the line again. I finally got plates this week.
Unlike my last two Bimota, this one seemed to need nothing. It was running and everything worked. The tires are old, but not so hard that they needed to be changed right away.
With winter fast approaching, I figured it best to put some miles on the bike this weekend and confirm everything is in working order. The bike did not disappoint. Ride is excellent, handling sublime, sound phenomenal, performance outstanding. I very egger bike, but not something that darts around.
Did about 50 miles. First I went out into the country for some twisty roads and nice scenery. Then the main highway back to downtown. I was happy to know the bike would be fun on some back roads, surprisingly good on the highway (we are not going to call it comfortable) and shockingly compliant in the city. I was really worried that the shower injection would only be good when wide opened.
Hope to have a few more nice days to get to know it better. Will be sure to share the experience. Anything you guys want to see or know about the bike? Or just ask me why I didnt buy a 999R instead?