Like all Bimota motorcycles the Tesi 3D is special, I would suggest the most special of them all.
An Italian work of art and an innovative design like no other before.
Tesi means thesis in Italian and Pierluigi Marconi was a Bimota engineer whose engineering thesis at University is linked directly with the Tesi’s design. Marconi later moved on to take the CEO role at Benelli.
If the Bimota Tesi 3D is the end result of an engineering thesis then quite frankly the designers and engineers behind the bike all deserve Doctorates.
The Tesi motorcycles were produced in conjunction with Vyrus, a small exclusive Italian manufacturer based out of Coriano. Vyrus later split from Bimota with their own version of a Tesi later released.
In 1991 the Tesi 1D was released 7 years after the original design was unveiled in Milan, with hydraulically operated steering.
Production ceased after 200 units by 1996 and the Tesi 2D which was a naked version of the 1D was later released in the 2000’s with few units actually produced.
The Tesi 2D was built to show the beauty hidden by the bodywork under the Tesi 1D.
It was in 2006 at the Milan Motorcycle Show that Bimota unveiled the Tesi 3D, the ultimate iteration of a naked sportsbike built with the utmost care and attention with exotic materials, and exotic tech.
Without further ado let’s explore the Bimota Tesi 3D.
Bimota Tesi 3D Review
Bimota has been plagued with financial woes throughout the years but Italian businessman Roberto Comini was leading up the Bimota charge and the best way to put the company back on the map was with the public’s favourite, a new Tesi model.
Andrea Acquaviva was the lead designer on the project, he had previously worked under Macroni and was up to the challenge. With the redesign he addressed the 2D’s shortcomings such as the harsh suspension.
What you first notice when looking at the Tesi 3D is the front swingarm.
Yes, you heard me right, a swingarm on the front as well as the rear.
The prior motorcycles also featured a similar setup but the 3D’s hub-steering was the most advanced.
As CycleWorld explains it “An Extreme Tech-built, dual-chamber, pull-piston front shock is tucked neatly out of the way under the right engine case. The new front swingarm uses fewer links with more precise joints. Steering links now reside completely on the left side and no longer pass through the frame, greatly simplifying the system.”
The chassis too experienced a complete overhaul. An aluminium, omega shaped frame forms the bulk of the chassis with the swingarm being derived from the DB6 model.
Extreme Tech fully adjustable shocks provided the rear suspension.
Brembo brakes provide stopping power with 320mm floating rotors, and radial-mount, four-piston calipers.
As with all Bimota motorcycles, the motor was outsourced for the 3D and the engine used was the DS1100 L-Twin from Ducati capable of 95 horsepower.
The bike feels more streetfighter than sportsbike with a small windshield and tall bars, prompting a more comfortable upright position.
So what does all this equate to and how does the bike feel to ride?
Strange is the best way to describe it, different from every other motorcycle and with a powerful torquey motor that feeling can be quite disconcerting until you get used to the ride.
Unlike with a bike that has a front fork there is a huge space at the front and it is more of a psychological idea that you need to get over in order to understand that despite the lack of fork there is still significant feedback for steering through the bars.
“the beautifully crafted headstock looks like one that would only support a 125cc motorcycle, but that’s all that’s needed. All the headstock is doing on the 3D is supporting the rider’s weight and providing a place to mount the controls.” Motorcycle
The bike feels mechanical to ride, with the suspension, brakes and steering all separate components and each doing their part.
Any bumps in the road are taken care of, while the steering remains as precise as ever, and if there is hard braking before a corner that can be accomplished at the same time as the bike’s line remaining accurate.
Many riders would come off the motorcycle and prefer the handling and feedback to that of bikes with conventional forks.
It is completely stable and competent on bendy roads and the track, with the responsiveness of the best premium sports machines.
The Tesi 3D is also pretty lightweight at around 168kg dry, so the lightweight chassis paired with the 1078cc Desmo engine made for an awesome ride.
Ducati only provided the engine. The airbox, exhaust system, ECU and all electrics etc were all Bimotas own and the fuel injection was regarded as perfect, providing exactly what the motor needed when it needed it.
Roll on the throttle and power is there throughout the gears all the way to the top and the mid-range is where the bike thrives, with a lively top end to match.
Bimota cut no costs with the Tesi 3D with many components made of carbon fibre, a fuel tank was initially meant to be produced from carbon fibre, but it couldn’t get homologated for US regulations so that is an after-market accessory available.
It screams premium luxury, but is far more than just a rich man’s toy, it is a hell of a great motorcycle for those that get the chance to ride one.
Bimota Tesi 3D Spec’s
Engine and Transmission
- Engine – Ducati, four-stroke, 90 degree, L-twin, DOHC, desmodromic, 4 valve per cylinder
- Capacity – 1098cc
- Bore x Stroke – 98 x 71.5mm
- Compression Ratio – 10.0:1
- Cooling System – Air-Cooled
- Induction – Fuel Injection, Magneti Marelli
- Electric Start
- Max Power – 95 horsepower at 7,750rpm
- Max Torque – 102Nm
- Final Drive – Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame – Tubular Steel Trellis
- Front Suspension – Extreme Tech monoshock
- Rear Suspension – Extreme Tech monoshock
- Front Brakes – 2 x 320mm Discs, 4 piston calipers
- Rear Brakes – Single 220mm disc, 2 piston caliper
- Seat Height – 800mm
- Dry Weight – 168kg
- Fuel Capacity – 16 Litres
Bimota Tesi 3D Top speed
Around 140mph was the top speed.
Bimota Tesi 3D For Sale
$30,000 or £35,000 is the average that you can expect to pay in the US or UK today.
The trouble is finding one as they are extremely rare and exclusive. One went on Iconic Motorbike Auctions for $31,619.
Just over 40 Edizione Finale models were produced and 3 of these came up for sale in Norwich, UK for £31,995 at the start of the year. They are zero mile bikes with 2 year warranties. You can check out the ad on Car and Classic.
The limited edition final series featured upgraded Ohlins shocks; one was advertised for $37,900 in the US on Bimota Spirit.
There is currently a 2008 Tesi 3D for sale priced at $21,099 in California, US on 2040 Moto that is well worth a look.
The Bimota Tesi 3D is fundamentally a technical piece of art that motorcycle museums the world over should fight over to have in their collection.
It is a wonderfully brilliant motorcycle and is the culmination of Bimota’s dream to pursue true beauty with a two-wheeled machine, something Massimo Tamburini once did with Ducati.
I actually have a Bimota Tesi 3D photo on my wall, being an artist I may actually one day get around to painting one, after all that is likely the closest I will get to owning one.