Bimota's new Kawasaki Ninja 1000 powered KB4 has arrived in Australia. We head to Sydney Motorsport Park to test the gorgeous, exotic beast, available for $55,000... Photography: Half Light

The stunning retro styled Bimota KB4 was released back in 2022 to many lucky riders globally, but only now can us Aussie’s, well those with enough cash, finally get hold of one of these exotic street sportsbikes. Tony ‘Pommie’ Wilding got lucky at SMSP…

At 35kg lighter than the Ninja 1000SX, and with 600 SuperSport dimensions, the fourth KB series machine is something special indeed...

At 35kg lighter than the Ninja 1000SX, and with 600 SuperSport dimensions, the fourth KB machine is special indeed…

I was standing in the pits trying to decide if I like the look of the KB4 over the TESI H2, both bikes are the pinnacle of handmade component building and quality of finish, but I guess the TESI has the edge in wow factor. After riding the insane supercharged TESI H2, it was almost calming and therapeutic to ride the KB4, not that the KB4 is not incredibly fast too, it just felt more familiar.



Sitting on the KB4 it feels more like a traditional bike and a lot more roomy and less extreme in the ride position than the TESI. I still get the feeling that I’m sitting on something really special though. It’s definitely got that retro front-end look that I love, but then the stunning carbon-fibre bodywork wraps all the way down the side into a more modern, sharper design of the tail piece – the photos really don’t do it justice, particularly viewed in sunlight, it really looks nice.

"Heading into the first set of tight corners the KB4 turns fast and precise and feels more like a 600 sportsbike"...

“Heading into the first set of tight corners the KB4 turns fast and precise and feels more like a 600 sportsbike”…

The KB4 engine is taken from the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX, its inline-four 1043cc motor puts out a sensible and usable 104.5kW[142hp]@10,000rpm and 111Nm@8000rpm, but the KB4 is just 194kg wet, versus the Ninja 1000s 235kg wet.



As I head out of the pits I’m instantly happy on the KB4, the power delivery is super smooth and the engine produces a good amount of torque and is in no way intimidating. The ride position is also not too racy, but lent over enough to get you out of the wind. There is a surprising amount of room with the bike ergonomics and the seat even feels comfy, although I was not on the bike long enough to know that for sure, but I’ve been doing this long enough to get an idea and the KB4 feels pretty comfy.

"Bimota haven’t skimped on quality, at the front you get Ohlins NIX30 forks and at the rear a TTX36 shock"...

“Bimota haven’t skimped on quality, at the front you get Ohlins NIX30 forks and at the rear a TTX36 shock”…

Heading into the first set of tight corners the KB4 turns fast and precise and feels more like a 600 sportsbike in comparison to the TESI H2 I’d previously been on. This is no doubt due to the short wheelbase of only 1390mm, (that’s 10mm shorter than a ZX-6R for comparison), plus the sharp 24º steering angle. A conventional suspension setup is used and Bimota haven’t skimped on quality, at the front you get Ohlins NIX30 forks and at the rear a TTX36 shock.


“Over the hill and down into the hairpin, the KB4 Brembo Stylema brakes were excellent with amazing stopping power and feel”…



Like the TESI the KB4 had only just been assembled and certainly not set up for track work, so with a bit of fettling it would be even better, not that it wasn’t good already. Over the hill and down into the hairpin, the KB4 Brembo Stylema brakes were excellent with amazing stopping power and feel and Kawasaki’s cornering ABS system was not intruding into my riding at all.

"The KB4 Brembo Stylema brakes were excellent with amazing stopping power and feel"...

“The KB4 Brembo Stylema brakes were excellent with amazing stopping power and feel”…

The KB4 feels super agile and flickable and instead of needing to thrash the bike high in the rev-range to get the most out of it, the motor just rides the wave of torque and is happy short-shifting to the next gear, super smooth and without fuss through the up and down quick-shifter.



“I can’t help feeling that the partnership between Bimota and Kawasaki is going to produce even more amazing bikes in the future”…


I would have loved to have ridden the KB4 on the road, I think the excellent suspension, just plush enough for the street but too soft for the track, with the torque from the motor and the roomy cockpit with adjustable height footpegs, would all lean toward a great sportsbike for the road.

"A combination of Kawasaki’s reliability and engine design along with Bimota’s amazing creativity and quality can only be a good thing"...

“A combination of Kawasaki’s reliability and engine design along with Bimota’s amazing creativity and quality can only be a good thing”…

Kawasaki bought a 49.9 per cent share in Bimota in 2019, after rumour has it that the factory in Rimini had closed in 2017. I can’t help feeling that the partnership between Bimota and Kawasaki is going to produce even more amazing bikes in the future. A combination of Kawasaki’s reliability and engine design along with Bimota’s amazing creativity and quality can only be a good thing, especially if you have the money to own one…

2024 Bimota KB4 TECH TALK

With the KB4, Bimota wanted the lightest weight possible along with superb handling. To achieve this goal, a lightweight Chromium Molybdenum steel trellis frame bolts directly to the engine as does the CNC machined rear swingarm. The rear swingarm is made in a three-piece construction.

All the pieces are machined from Anticorodal, which is a 6000 series heat treated aluminium alloy and magnesium blend, they are then welded together to form a swingarm unit designed for optimum torsional rigidity.



Bimota engineers wanted 53.6 per cent of the weight at the front and 46.4 at the rear. This was accomplished by moving the engine forward for correct weight distribution, but this also meant moving the radiator to underneath the back seat. To keep the radiator cool, carbon-fibre ducting runs from the front of the bike down the sides and is integrated into the bodywork – a very clever design…



To complement the chassis design Bimota have used fully adjustable Ohlins NIX30 forks at the front and at the rear a fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 shock. An adjustable Ohlins steering damper is fitted, giving the cockpit a more sporty appearance and adding an extra level of stability to the steering.

The KB4’s ride height can also easily be adjusted by the way of eccentric adjusters on the top left of the rear shock mount, simply by rotating the adjuster lifts the bikes height up or down. The footpegs also have a similar system for ease of adjustment. Helping with the light weight and handling of the KB4 are a set of OZ forged wheels that reduce unsprung weight and improve change of direction. The tyres are Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa V3 SP.

The powerhouse engine is taken from the Kawasaki 1000 SX and has a displacement of 1043cc from its inline four. Maximum power of  104.5kW[142hp]@10,000rpm and 111Nm@8000rpm of torque, which makes for a fantastic road sportsbike. With the help of the excellent up and down quickshifter and fantastic gearbox you can ride this bike leisurely to your local cafe or take it to the track or backroad for some real fun.

Braking is taken care of with Brembo’s excellent Stylema calipers at the front that grip onto 320mm rotors, which are 20mm larger in diameter than the Kawasaki’s 1000SX, this combination, combined with Kawasaki’s cornering ABS system is a perfect match for the lightweight KB4.



Like the TESI the electronics are taken directly from Kawasaki and in this case it’s the 1000 SX, which means you get an easy to operate 4.3in TFT dash and even cruise control, along with all the usual rider aids and rider modes. Such as, IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), ABS, Power Modes, Dual-direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), Electronic Throttle Valves (ETV), Economical Riding Indicator…


The Bimota range is currently imported by parent company Kawasaki Motors, and sold exclusively through Procycles Sydney (Phone 02 9910 9528 or 02 9564 8015) or click the link in specifications.


SPECIFICATIONS: 2024 Bimota KB4

Procycles.com.au

Price: $55,000 + ORC
Warranty: TBC
Colours: TBC
Claimed power: 104.5kW[142hp]@10,000rpm
Claimed torque: 111Nm@8000rpm
Curb weight: 194kg
Fuel capacity: 19.5L
Fuel consumption: N/A
Range: N/A


Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke in-line four-cylinder, 1043cc, 77 x 56mm bore x stroke, 11.8:1 compression ratio, DOHC, 16 valves, four Keihin 38mm oval sub-throttles, RbW, four-into-one exhaust
Gearbox: Six-speed, KQS, 1st: 2.600, 2nd: 1.950, 3rd: 1.600, 4th: 1.389, 5th: 1.238, 6th: 1.107 Primary: 1.627, Final: 15/41 Clutch: Wet multi-disc, slipper


Chassis: Steel front frame trellis with alloy plates
Rake: 24º
Trail: 100.8mm
Suspension: Ohlins NIX30 43mm forks, 130mm travel, Billet alloy swimgarm with Ohlins TTX shock, 122mm travel.
Brakes: KIBS, Brembo Stylema calipers, 320mm rotors (f), Brembo caliper, 220mm rotor (r).
Wheels & Tyres: OZ forged alloy, 120/70 ZR 17 / 190/50 ZR 17 Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa V3 SP.


Dimensions:
Wheelbase: 1390mm
Seat height: 810mm +/- 8mm
Overall height: 1150mm
Overall width: 774mm
Overall length: 2050mm
Ground clearance: 140mm


Instruments & Electronics: 4.5in TFT display, KQS, KRTC, KCMS, Cruise, KIBS, Power, IMU



2024 Bimota KB4 Gallery



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