EICMA 2021 Modern Classic – The Bimota KB4 & KB4 RC
It’s been 2 years since Bimota released sketches of their Kawasaki powered retro sports bike concept. At this year’s EICMA those sketches have finally been revealed as 2022 production models. The new model will be available in 2 variants, the fully-faired Bimota KB4 and the naked, cafe racer inspired KB4 RC.
Bimota’s use of a Kawasaki powerplant comes as no surprise since the Japanese manufacturer now owns a 49% stake in the company, but rest assured their influence ends there. The KB4 has been designed and built using Bimota’s tried and tested formula of taking performance engines from production models and building a better performing motorcycle around them.
The engine Bimota opted to use here is that of the Ninja 1000 SX – a 1043cc inline-four that puts out a respectable 142bhp. Bimota has however moved well away from Kawasaki’s sports touring approach with their design to create the better handling, lighter weight and higher-spec KB4.
All up the KB4 weighs 42 kilograms less than the Ninja at 187kg (dry). Much of this can be attributed to the ample use of billet aluminium and carbon fibre. The KB4 also has a smaller overall footprint than the Ninja. In order to keep proportions as tight as possible Bimota relocated the engines radiator and cooling fan assembly to the tail which also contributes to the KB4’s enhanced handling characteristics. To top it all off the KB4 uses top of the range suspension from Öhlins, high spec brakes from Brembo and sticky Pirelli Supercorsa rubber. The riding experience of the KB4 also benefits from the latest in Kawasaki electronic gadgetry including lean-sensitive and cornering technology.
Bimota states that the KB4 was designed using a “vintage spirit”. This translates to a design that celebrates the brand’s heritage and a spattering of hand-finished touches like an all leather upholstered seat and handpainted details on the bodywork.
These 2 new models are the start of a new era for the Bimota brand so no corners have been cut creating them. According to Bimota GM, Pierluigi Marconi, “No other manufacturer has a motorcycle like KB4 and KB4RC. No one has this much fun and function in one package.”