One of the fastest motorcycles ever to hit production, Bimota’s YB6 EXUP is still to this day one of the most powerful motorcycles ever produced. However, despite the success of the YB6 EXUP, Bimota’s history is more checkers than flags.
A Hit-or-Miss History
Bimota is a small, Italian manufacturer, meaning it has to compete internationally with much larger firms as well as closer to home against Ducati and Moto Guzzi while having significantly smaller production capacities.
For these reasons, the company had to rely on sheer quality and performance of its motorcycles, since it did not enjoy the safety net of being a massively popular international corporation.
If Ducati makes a bad bike, they lose some money but can recoup. If Bimota makes a bad bike, they go bankrupt like they did in the 90s.
A Racer’s Design
Fortunately for Bimota, the story of its YB6 EXUP was anything but that of a failure. In fact, from 1989 to 1990, the YB6 EXUP enjoyed its status as the fastest production motorcycle in the world.
This was in part due to its hefty, well-supported, ribbed, aluminum frame with swingarm as well as the incredibly powerful engine used in the design. In the late 80s and early 90s motorcycles, superbikes, or scooters capable of maintaining speeds upward of 160 miles per hour were nonexistent.
No Changes Before Bankruptcy
Unfortunately, only one generation of YB6 EXUPs would ever hit the market. As Bimota was not immune to the struggles of the financial crisis in Italy during the 1990s, production of all models abruptly ceased in 1990.
- Bimota YB6 EXUP (1989-1990)
Fixing the tires firmly to the frame of the Bimota YB6 EXUP was a series of Marzocchi forks and shocks, with connected anti-drive systems running through the forks into the legs of the frame, as well as detailed hydraulics with adjustable compression and rebound damping.
The engine took the form of a four-stroke, transverse four-cylinder, DOHC unit with a whopping five valves per cylinder and a 1002cc displacement. What really helped clinch the title of fastest production motorcycle was the 145 horsepower at 10,500rpm.
More Bad News for Bimota
Despite rebounding from bankruptcy once in the past, Bimota seems to be heading back down that path. In 2017, Bimota had to shut down its primary factory in Rimini region of Italy.
Despite being a massively successful motorcycle for Bimota, the YB6 EXUP never made its way onto the sets of any prominent TV shows or films. However, other motorcycles from the YB-series did manage to earn a couple credits here and there.
With Bimota struggling to maintain profitability, social groups are becoming harder and harder to find as the company slowly sinks back into bankruptcy. Bimota just doesn’t seem to be enjoying the consumer following that it once held.
Bimota YB6 EXUP – A Lost Design
Unfortunately, nothing that Bimota does seems to be helping to save it from failure. However, if the company does go down, the engineers and designers will always be able to rest easy knowing that the YB6 EXUP is continuing to make their legacy last.