As it turns out I am a fan of both DB7’s, the Aston Martin DB7 that James Bond never got to drive, which is simply unforgivable, but also the Bimota DB7.
The similarities between the two I guess is that they are both premium quality vehicles, after that they are two different beasts; one being distinctly British and a car, and the other exotically Italian and a motorcycle.
I shall of course be focusing on the two wheeled Bimota DB7 in this article.
The DB7 was equipped with the all new Ducati 1098 Testastretta Evoluzione Ducati engine and would remain in production until 2009 when it was taken over by the DB8 featuring the Ducati 1198 engine.
There isn’t much not to like about the Bimota DB7, so let’s take a look at why myself and so many others sing its praises.
Bimota DB7 Review
Designed by Enrico Borghesan, it is rumored that the Bimota DB7 only took one year from his initial sketches on paper to being fully built and ready for production.
Bimota Motorcycles had undertaken the new project for the DB7 as a means to drive sales forward and keep the small luxury company in business.
Teaming up with Ducati as they had done many times before for use of the 1098 power plant was a smart move and one they would not come to regret.
The Testastretta evoluzione Ducati 1098 engine complete with the MotoGP developed elliptical throttle bodies was completely standard. Bimota however, produced everything else for the bike including fitting it with their own fuel-injection system.
Bimota also fitted their own two-into-one exhaust system which featured a right-side fitted Titanium canister. Together with a Walbro ECU it was reported to produce 30% more torque at lower revs than the Ducati 1098.
At the time the 1098 engine was Ducati’s most powerful engine (and the world’s most powerful twin-cylinder production engine), until of course the 1098R and 1198 that took things even further.
What this means is that the Bimota DB7 is very fast, with 160 horsepower backing it up. It actually weighs less than a Ducati 1098 Biposto and just 1kg more than a 1098S.
Power delivery is linear which keeps you confident and in control, yet with every turn of the throttle you may find your heart jumping into your mouth. You can enter and exit bends with extreme faith that you have the power to get in and out safely and swiftly.
There is absolutely nothing negative to say about the Testastretta evoluzione engine as it is completely reliable, solid, efficient and one of the best that Ducati ever made and Bimota ever borrowed.
The Bimota DB7 featured a new frame from its predecessor; it is a hybrid, oval, tube trellis frame which uses machined plates in the design.
The plates are made from a light alloy and a structural carbon fiber rear subframe which continues the theme of the motorcycle being lightweight while at the same time delivering a rigidity that equates to predictable handling.
Carbon fiber is also employed for the fairing, self-supporting rear seat unit, mudguard, heel guards and hugger.
On the rear, Bimota developed a rear shock with Extreme Tech that would link to their own SPB progressive linkage system. The pairing led to a system that provides maximum control and traction when you need it most.
Marzocchi Corse forks more than do their job upfront with the Diamond Like Coating (DLC) treatment, smooth and predictable reactions to the road can be expected; feedback is efficient and will allow you to make the adjustments where necessary on your ride.
The bike wasn’t ready to go from the dealer straight away, you would need to spend some time dialling in the suspension to get it right for things like your weight, and riding circumstances.
Alloy wheels are used and at the time were considered some of the most torsionally rigid in the world. Brembo brakes provide the stopping power on both ends, and they are some of the best available.
The only issue some riders noted was that the tank is narrow, so under severe braking you can’t really grip the tank with your knees and so all the muscle for braking comes from your arms, this can be quite tiring as the brakes are just as powerful as the engine acceleration.
The Bimota DB7 handles extremely well once you have set it up and if you were to do a direct comparison between the DB7 and 1098 you would find the Bimota to be more agile and have faster steering.
Another really cool feature of the bike is that the chassis is adjustable for rider height, so rider comfort and control has been optimised by Bimota at every step of the build.
There are plenty of styling features that make the Bimota DB7 stand out such as the machined details like the rear frame plates, engine mounts, foot rests etc. The stacked headlights, lap timer, integrated indicators into the mirrors, and all of this is on top of the carbon fiber and exquisite angular design that makes the Bimota DB7 such a beautiful bike.
There were two variations to the base Bimota DB7 that would be produced. This includes the Oronero and Nerocarbonio and only 10 of the Oronero were made and 50 of the Nerocarbonio.
At the base of things the Oronero was the same as the DB7 but it was 8kg lighter and had a less restrictive exhaust unleashing an extra 2 horsepower.
The front section of the frame, central section of the swingarm, and all bodywork was produced from carbon fiber, which is what created the significant weight loss.
It was this model of the DB7 that truly captured Bimota’s philosophy of creating exotic motorcycles that are incomparable, combining performance parts with expensive materials.
The Nerocarbonio was produced to be part of an exhibition being held in Milan Design Week (2009) that highlighted how carbon can be used in all different innovative ways.
Bimota had always been applauded as a design innovator, almost as a fashion house such as Chanel and given the DB7 already featured Carbon Fiber as a key material in the build, it made sense they would be invited to take part.
The Nerocarbonio took the Oronero concept further with even more carbon fiber parts and a special finish applied to highlight the carbon itself, showing its strength and versatility.
Fundamentally the only issue with a Bimota DB7 is the lack of distributors that cover the UK and US, so owning one is an initial outlay but then should you require parts they would likely need to be shipped directly from Italy which of course can be costly.
With that said they are notoriously reliable and a Bimota is like a more extreme Ducati motorcycle, you don’t buy either thinking that they are affordable commuters. They are there to enjoy and relish, a motorcyclists version of diamonds, what a purse is to Coco Chanel.
Bimota DB7 Specifications
Engine and Transmission
- Testastretta Ducati 1098 Engine
- 90 Degree, V-Twin Cylinder, SOHC, Desmodromic, 4 Valves per Cylinder
- Bore x Stroke 104 x 64.7mm
- Compression 12.5:1
- Max Power – 160 horsepower at 9.750rpm
- Max Torque 123Nm at 8,000 rpm
- Clutch – Wet multi-plate, hydraulic
- Transmission – 6 Speed
- Final Drive – Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
- Front Suspension – 43mm Marzocchi Corse Fork with coated sliders, Fully Adjustable
- Rear Suspension – Extreme Tech Monoshock TTX, Fully Adjustable
- Front Brakes – 2 x 320mm Discs, Brembo monobloc 4 piston calipers
- Rear Brakes – Single 230mm Disc, 2 piston caliper
- Seat Height – 800mm
- Dry Weight – 172kg
- Fuel Capacity – 16 Litres
- 0-60mph – 3.6 seconds
Bimota DB7 Top speed
The top speed of the Bimota DB7 superbike is said to be somewhere between 170-175mph.
How much is a Bimota DB7 Worth?
You can expect to pay on average from £18,000 / $20,000 for a DB7. The only problem you will encounter is that they are not readily available and the best bet for those in the UK and US is to turn to Italy to find one. However, this will likely increase costs with import fees etc.
Raresportsbikesforsale listed a DB7 from eBay and the asking price was $21,000.
Smart Cycle Guide is showing two examples with vastly different prices with one asking for $22,500 and the other $11,000.
Judging by the engine size stated on the latter advert I would suggest they have their model names confused. If not, that is a bargain and anyone near Miami looking for a DB7 should snap their arm off.
In the UK, Motorcycles for Sale is showing one advert with a DB7 advertised at £16,500 which is again a pretty good price at the lower end of the spectrum.
There you have it, the Bimota DB7, a wonderfully brilliant, quality superbike that doesn’t come cheap, but it is unlikely you will see another at your local bike meet anytime soon.
Who wants the latest Ducati Superbike, when you can have one of these rare gems instead?
Plenty of real world power, stand out styling and easily one of the best slightly older sport bikes that you can lay your hands on.
I would love to see the Bimota DB7 in action on the race track, but maybe in the hands of a professional rider so there is less risk of it being dropped and receiving any damage, I don’t think my heart could take that.