December 1, 2022



Remembering The 1997 Bimota 500 V-Due

The Italians have talented the sector with many world-class boulevard motorcycles – assume the Ducati 999R. Each every so often, on the other hand, a unencumber will cross sideways and go away patrons all over mortified. That is the tale of the 1997 Bimota 500 V-Due, which retailed at $20,275 however drove Bimota to chapter. After twenty years in trade, Bimota introduced and debuted a 500cc V-twin, direct-injected two-stroke powered boulevard motorbike that was once meant to revolutionize the trade. It killed the corporate as a substitute. Let’s glance again on the 1997 Bimota 500 V-Due and what went fallacious.

A Transient Historical past of Bimota

Even though the V-Due mission best got here to the limelight in 1996, its again tale is going again a number of years. Bimota had made a reputation for itself within the nationwide and world racing worlds with its bespoke frames and bought-in engines. It made up our minds to discover GP racing within the past due Nineteen Eighties. Round this time, 4 strokes ruled 500cc global championships, however automakers had been toying with the theory of twins. The consensus was once that the decrease minimal weight restrict – 105kg – would make the motorcycles extra aggressive. In different phrases, Bimota’s concept was once in keeping with different firms on the time, although it was once extremely formidable. Bimota was once a small corporate, however its ability at generating frames was once famend. The automaker now wanted an engine to energy its GP racing motorbike. In the beginning, the corporate used a Tesi-style chassis with hub-center steerage and advertised the motorbike as Tesi 500. On the other hand, the motorbike was once best in a position to go into the 1993 Italian Championship, despite the fact that it was once intended for grand pix. This ended in the suspension of the GP racing mission, and Bimota centered its efforts on making a two-stroke the usage of the Tesi 500 engine as a foundation.

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Free up of the V-Due

The V-Due – Italian for V-two – was once first unveiled on the 1996 Cologne Motor Display and amazed enthusiasts and critics alike. The thrill across the motorbike raged on as Nick Ienatsch, and Alan Cathcart gave it just right critiques after driving it in Italy. The latter even declared that the corporate had reinvented the game motorbike. As construction persisted and the excitement across the V-Due grew, Bimota promised to unencumber the motorcycles in 1998, selling it because the “2d coming of the two-stroke.” The motorbike was once going to be light-weight with the load and gear of a GP motorbike however the skill to satisfy the present emission regulations. In the long run, the primary Bimota 500 V-Dues hit dealerships in 1998.

Issues of the Motorbike

Unfortunately, the discharge was once like not anything Bimota had expected. The corporate had claimed that its gasoline injection device would beat emission limits and revamp the two-stroke trade. On the other hand, it didn’t paintings as supposed, and the motorcycles had been unrideable. Even if they did paintings, consumers complained that they had been unreliable and an utter sadness. Preliminary critiques from moto-journalists had been certain, more than likely as a result of they were given to check the V-Dues in Italy, the place the manufacturing crew was once to hand to unravel any coming up problems. When the motorcycles had been dropped at the USA, however, the comments grew extra destructive. A document within the March 1998 Motorcyclist factor claimed that the V-Due “…stumbled and coughed between suits of explosive acceleration.” Consistent with Bimota, the issue was once led to through deficient manufacturing tolerances on the engine manufacturing facility. The corporate was once pressured to recall all of the motorcycles.

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Substitute and Chapter

Order books had to start with instructed that the automaker could be generating 500 V-Due devices a 12 months, which was once an formidable quantity for the small corporate, however Bimota best produced 185. The corporate was once then pressured to forestall manufacturing, withdraw the V-Due from sale and recall all offered devices. Consumers had been introduced alternative fashions from the Bimota line. Bimota tried to mend the issue and produced a carbureted, 91kW ‘Trofeo’ type of the V-Due – 26 devices in general – as a part of a one-make sequence. On the other hand, there have been additional issues and no hope of discovering an answer quickly. Bimota confronted remarkable losses making an attempt to shop for again the offered devices. The automaker filed for chapter in 2001 and went below, resurfacing below new possession in 2003.


The preliminary prototype of the five hundred V-Due used the hub-center steerage Tesi body configuration, however Bimota then shifted to extra standard aluminum frames. The engine maker Marconi produced a wired member within the type of a light-weight aluminum trellis. Moreover, the unit was once wrapped the usage of carbon-fiber bodywork. Duration checks said that the load of the V-Due could be as little as 145kg. On the other hand, legit tech paperwork positioned it at 164kg (dry) and 184 with the whole lot integrated.


Weight apart, the largest drawback dealing with the Bimota 500 V-Due was once the engine. Bimota had promised to satisfy engine emissions limits, and their resolution was once generating an injected two-strokes unit. Even though this idea was once no longer new, Bimota’s concept had no longer been attempted or examined earlier than. Different firms had merely used throttle-body injection as a substitute of carbs, however Bimota settled on direct gasoline injection. A number of firms had dipped their feet in direct-injected two-stroke devices within the early 90s. Those engines had been regarded as extra environmentally-friendly and environment friendly than their four-stroke opposite numbers. On the other hand, emission limits required injected devices so as to add gasoline to the combination best till the very remaining second after the final of the exhaust port. This gave the gasoline little or no time to atomize and mix with air within the combustion chamber. By means of Bimota’s calculations, the gasoline would have sufficient time to atomize and burn if it was once fired from the injector and bounced off the piston earlier than the spark plug ignited. Unfortunately, this proved to be each dear and impossible. Consumers quickly came upon that, along with no longer operating, the V-Due motorcycles would oil their plugs, misfire, take hold of, or randomly drop onto one cylinder.

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