Back in the mid 2000’s Bimota were working on two motorcycle designs around the same time. The track orientated DB5 and the naked bike that derived from that ultralight chassis, the Bimota DB6 Delirio.
It was always intended for the DB5 to be released prior.
However, it was in fact the Bimota DB6 Delirio that hit the streets first, then both models ran concurrently offering two different styles of motorcycle for two perhaps different audiences (arguably Bimota’s audience would be intrigued by both models).
The DB6 Delirio was first unveiled in 2005 and would run up until 2011 in its various iterations until being replaced with the Bimota DB7.
Was it worth the hype that it caused? I think so and I still think it should be applauded today, so let’s take a look at the Bimota DB6.
Bimota DB6 Delirio Review
While working on the all new supersport DB5, the chassis was a natural contender to be used for the construction of a naked bike.
Sergio Robbiano was the designer behind the Delirio project with the assistance of Aberto Strada working on the technical computer based design and Enrico Borghesan doing the physical engineering.
Bimota’s aim with the DB6 was to continue a legacy of beautiful motorcycles, with exquisite craftsmanship.
The idea was that the DB6 would challenge convention of what was expected out of a motorcycle, it would be a bike for the future and one that would draw on a rich heritage of stunning creations while offering something completely new to the mix.
No pressure there then.
The fact that we are still talking about the Bimota DB6 Delirio, 15 plus years later suggests they succeeded, and looking back at the model, I really believe the DB6 was ahead of its time; as it is a bike that won’t look out of place against many of today’s lineups.
It was the amalgamation of traditional pen and paper methods combined with modern CAD software that gave birth to the DB6.
“”We used a computer first,” explains Robbiano, “but our dream was to have a swing arm which gave alternative ride-height, or wheelbase, with the simple replacement of a few pieces. No matter what the computer says, you have to ride the bike, to try all the combinations, analyse the results and assess the feeling the bike gives you in motion.” Visordown
I love this sentiment, working as an illustrator, I will always do my sketches in ink before considering using a graphics tablet; it is a much more organic method.
As Robbiano says, so important when designing a motorcycle, so many things rely on how the bike feeds back to the rider.
This design process gives credence to just how meticulous Bimota were with the bikes they produced and how it kept them a step above any competition and secured them as premium motorcycle manufacturers.
Initially for the first models the DB6 used the 992cc Desmodue DS motor from Ducati. However, for 2007 onwards the engine was swapped out to the bigger 1078cc version and later the Desmodue Evoluzione for the 2011 DB6 Delirio E and Delirio RE models.
The standard engine gives you around 92 horsepower which is enough for this machine, given the trellis frame is super light. The fuel injection ensures the power delivery is smooth and acceleration is a whole lot of fun.
If owners at the time wanted to squeeze a bit more out of it, taking the bike to a Ducati or Bimota dealer where they would be able to do some ECU downloads and another 5-7 horsepower would be unleashed.
The power-weight ratio is exceptional, and the engine pushes out enough power and torque for you to battle keeping the front wheel down; the DB6 has the ability to be ‘Wheelie King’.
This increased further when Bimota shifted to the bigger Ducati engine.
The exhaust system is a very special component of the model, it was designed for the twin pipes to be positioned under the seat, with special silencers fitted.
Anyone who has ridden a DB6 will tell you the sound of the exhaust coming from right under the rider is pretty special.
There is no denying that the DB6 is an aggressive design and that is exactly what it was intended to be.
Anything that was a functioning component was hidden from view such as cables etc. and attention was therefore diverted to the more key areas of the motorcycle, such as the angular tank and swingarm.
Robbiano intended for the DB6 to be a minimalist design, with each element on show to be striking, capturing your attention.
Brembo brakes and Marzocchi forks nodded to the idea that Bimota were prepared to spend money on quality components for a bike that needed to ride as good as it looked.
So how does the DB6 handle?
Most agree that the model is a pleasure to ride, with the seating position and combined ergonomics putting the rider into a position of complete control over the bike.
You are put into a mostly upright position with the seat cradling your lower back so you feel seated into the bike as opposed to on top of it.
A note here is that the DB6 is definitely on the smaller side of the scale and you can see that Italian/European sizings of riders was used as a template for the ergonomics.
Some riders may find the bike a bit cramped with the seat a little tight and footpegs a little small, but on the flip side, the size of the machine mated to the Ducati engine creates a very fun, flickable ride.
It is safe to say that at the time the DB6 Delirio was the most practical of the Bimota motorcycles and the one with the lowest asking price.
The DB6 faded out in 2011 after multiple iterations, which we will take a look at a little later on.
Engine and Transmission
- Engine – Air cooled four stroke, 90 degree, L twin cylinder, SOHC, Desmodromic
- Capacity – 992cc
- Bore x Stroke – 98 x 71.5mm
- Compression Ratio – 10.0:1
- Starting – Electric
- Transmission – 6 Speed
- Final Drive – Chain
- Dry Clutch – Multi-plate with hydraulic control
- Max Power – 91.2 horsepower at 7,750rpm
- Max Torque – 87.5Nm at 5,750rpm
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame – Chrome-molybdenum, steel trellis frame with aluminium machined plates
- Front Suspension – 50mm Marzocchi upside-down forks with TiN treatment
- Rear Suspension – Straight connection with fully adjustable monoshock
- Front Brakes – 2 x 320mm discs, 4 piston calipers
- Rear Brakes – Single 220mm disc, 2 piston caliper
- Rake – 24 degrees
- Trail – 100mm
- Seat Height – 830mm
- Dry Weight – 170kg
- Wet Weight – 176.9kg
- Wheel base – 1425mm
- Height – 1230mm
- Length – 2045mm
- Width – 750mm
- Fuel Capacity – 16L
Bimota DB6 Delirio
This was the 2005/6 base model.
Bimota DB6 Delirio Azzurro
Only 23 of DB6 Delirio Azzurro’s were made to celebrate Italy’s 2006 Football World Cup Victory.
12 of those produced went to players of the winning football team.
The model featured a blue paint scheme with an Italian flag running from the front headlight fairing right down the middle of the tank, through to the rear of the bike.
In 2021 one of these came up for sale and at the time of posting RideApart stated the bids had only hit $5,000. Honestly, this would have been a bargain for whoever placed the winning bid.
The DB6R was released in 2007 and was equipped with the bigger 1078 Desmodue DS engine as used in the Ducati Hypermotard and M1000 Monster. It was also 7kg lighter than the base model.
The even lighter weight paired to a slightly bigger engine meant the bike pushed out a few more horsepower and was even more of a hooligan machine.
It was served hot with lashings of carbon fibre and billet aluminium, along with all new lightweight Marvic wheels.
Bimota DB6 Borsalino
The DB6 Borsalino was a celebration of Italian hat maker Borsalino, most noted for fedora hats.
The chassis was painted green, and the bodywork painted a beige/cappuccino colour with matching seat.
I am not sure how many of these were actually produced or if it was just a one off, but Bimota did also produce a DB5S Borsalino to celebrate their 150th Anniversary.
Bimota DB6 Superlight
The DB6 Superlight set out to destroy in every way possible what was at the time the king of the naked bikes, the Ducati Monster 1100.
Bimota took it even further with the Superlight using carbon fibre for the frame, forks, swingarm and body panels.
The Superlight is really a stunning work of art while simultaneously being ready for MotoGP.
Bimota DB6 Delirio E
In 2011 Bimota switched the engine again, this time to the 1078 Desmodue Evoluzione.
The Delirio E was the base DB6 with the ‘E’ being a nod to the new Evoluzione engine.
Bimota DB6 Delirio RE
The RE replaced the prior ‘R’ model and differed from the new base model with more carbon fibre, radial pumps for the brake and a dry clutch.
Bimota DB6 Delirio Top Speed
The DB6 Delirio had an estimated top speed of 133mph
How much is a Bimota DB6 worth today?
There are not that many DB6 models around, as you would guess Europe is the best place to look with the Parking Motorcycle having several bikes advertised, most of which are in Italy. Prices start from £7,000 and go up to £20,000.
Iconic Motorbike Auctions sold the Delirio E shown below for $11,000.
In the US it may be worth looking at Smart Cycle Guide where there are a few adverts for DB6R’s, Azzurro’s, and standard DB6’s.
Prices start from around $11,000 and go up to $26,000.
Regular readers will know I have a habit of talking myself into mentally adding bikes I research into my collection. The DB6 Delirio is well up there on my list.
Who needs a modern day MT-09 or a Street Triple when you can have a living and breathing work of handcrafted art that is just as much fun to ride.
I probably couldn’t bring myself to shoot for a Delirio Azzurro model, especially when we have a solid England team at the moment, but needless to say I would be very tempted indeed.