Hands up – We didn’t expect this. But given Bimota have based their new retro on their most contemporary, exclusive model we don’t think anyone did. Their wild Tesi 3D is an engineering masterclass. Hub centre steering and a front swingarm separate suspension, steering and braking forces – so suspension functions while braking, bumps don’t affect steering, and so on. It’s a modern vision of hewn aluminium and hand-finished parts. And so Bimota think this Bimota Tesi 3D Race Cafe makes it perfect for some retro action.
For the Race Cafe the Bimota Tesi 3D’s angular body is swapped for a traditional profile and tiny seat unit with the essential brown perch, and there’s the same headlight as on Ariel’s Ace. The 1078cc Ducati V twin is swapped for the 803cc Scrambler unit, with a curvy new pipe. Swingarms are un retro carbon. Stare long enough and, from some angles, the Race Cafe almost works… but not quite. For us, a Tesi should be all about sharp, cutting edge design.
Other Bimota news is more pleasing. The new Bimota Impeto uses the Diavel’s bulging 1198cc Testastretta engine, an optional blower taking peak power past 200bhp. You can specify a carbon frame, too. Best of all, Bimota are going back to their roots and offering frame kits. Their BB3 can be supplied as a rolling chassis to take the motor from a salvaged BMW S1000RR.
Just like the good old days. Let’s hope the kit option extends to more models – we’d love to build our own Tesi (no brown seat).