When Bimota began anew in 2003 they developed a line of motorcycles around the Ducati family of engines – the DB5 Supersport, the DB7 Superbike, the Tesi 3D, and the DB6. The DB6 with its upright seating position and traditional handlebar was an all-rounder, and when compared to the Ducati lineup at the time, was more aggressive than the Monsters and less extreme than the Hypermotards. I rode a DB6 back to back with a Hypermotard one day and the DB6 could flick into corners precisely, as could the Hyper, but mid-corner, the DB6 seemed very settled and stable and the Hyper felt much more nervous – another example of that Bimota “chassis magic.”
Fast-forward to 2011 and Bimota needed to update their model lineup. Rather than just refresh the DB6, they decided to push the envelope and get more aggressive – so they developed their own Hypermotard or BiMotard – the DB10. The DB10 is a stripped-down, monoposto, back road burner – smaller and lighter than the DB6 with a slightly larger, torquier engine. With the DB10, Bimota now had Supersport, Superbike, Gentleman’s exotic (Tesi), All-rounder, and Motard covered – what next? Adventure bike? A real adventure bike! Something much more focused on dirt riding than traditional adventure bikes like BMW R1200GSs or KTM 1290 SuperAdventures – push the concept hard and you get to an Enduro with serious road-going capability.
Bimota started with the DB10 chassis and engine, and the engineers added proper Enduro components as Bimota always does – Ohlins TTX off-road forks and TTX rear shock, Excel rims laced onto CNCed-from-billet hubs – 21” in the front and 17” or 18” in the rear, Brembo monoblocs front and rear and Pirelli enduro or dual-sport tires. Would all of this work together? Racing is always the best way to test a vehicle and there is no tougher off-road race in the world than the Erzberg Rodeo. Bimota hired Stefano Sacchini, a top Italian enduro rider, gave him a DBX, some spares and a technician, and sent him racing. The results exceeded all expectations – especially for such a new, undeveloped machine – 4th overall in the twin-cylinder class and a top 300 overall finish out of 1,500 starters!!!! What did Stefano think of the Bimota DBX?
“I’ve tried in my job all off-road motorcycles that are commercially available and even many prototypes. I ran for many years with different brands, I had the honor and good fortune to run with the DBX! There is no adjective to define it, if not 'amazing!' Fast in the dirt roads, adrenalinic on mountain passes, fast and accurate in the ‘hard enduro.'”
Stefano Sacchini, Bimota rider at Erzberg
The Bimota DBX combines the power delivery of one of the finest engines built in a generation with a superb lightweight chassis – the total machine weighing 385 pounds – 143 and 153 pounds lighter than the big KTMs and BMWs respectively (it makes 6 bhp more and weighs 87 pounds less than the BMW F800GS!), to produce a dual-purpose machine that just might be the ultimate go-anywhere motorcycle.
Photographs taken by Ron Smith - rfoto