When Bimota teased the new, neo-retro KB4 sportbike in May 2020, it was clear the firm was keeping its cards close to the chest. In November 2020, the Rimini home felt secure enough to reveal the high-end components of the KB4 via social media while also setting a loose launch date for April 2021. Well, spring has come and we haven’t. still not seen the back-runner has hit the road.
While Bimota may have fallen behind, that doesn’t mean they didn’t work hard to test the new platform ahead of its long-awaited debut. Now, European homologation documents reveal even more specifications as the brand puts the finishing touches on the KB4. Before we dive into the details, however, we need to recognize Bimota’s history in building world-class chassis around engines made in Japan.
After a two-year hiatus, Kawasaki rescued Bimota when it acquired a stake in the Italian brand in 2019. This relationship was the perfect opportunity for Bimota to return to its bread and butter, developing a processing chassis sweets with reliable Team Green grinders in tow.
This is exactly what Bimota is doing with the KB4 project. Taking advantage of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX’s liquid-cooled 16-valve 1,043cc inline-four, the future neo-retro will produce 140 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 82 lb-ft of torque at 8,000 rpm . Despite the powertrain, the KB4 will share virtually nothing with its sport touring parent.
With a curb weight of 428 pounds, the Bimota sportbike will weigh 90 pounds less than the Ninja 1000SX. In addition to the mower size, the KB4 will reduce both its length and width by two inches to 80.7 inches and 30.5 inches, respectively. The biggest difference, however, will be the reduced wheelbase, with the retro-racer dropping to 54.7 inches (compared to the Ninja’s 56.7-inch wheelbase).
Bimota didn’t reach that number with a shorter swingarm, instead it brought the front wheel closer to the frame. Unfortunately, this change left no room for a front-mounted radiator, with many speculating that the unit might be tucked away under the seat. As always, we’ll have to wait for Bimota’s official unveiling before seeing all the details behind the neo-café racer, but with the arrival of EICMA 2021, hopefully we won’t have to wait long.