10. Bimota HB1


It may not be the prettiest motorcycle (although I think it’s pretty good looking), but the Bimota HB1 is historically important as it’s the first Bimota. After crashing his Honda CB750, Tamburini realized that the marvelous engines in Japanese motorcycles of the time were enveloped by terrible frames that flexed and twisted. While waiting for three of his ribs to heal after the CB750 crash, he had the idea to transition the Bimota name from making air conditioning ducts to one that would produce high performance frames for existing motorcycle engines.

Tamburini’s crashed CB750 would be the first test mule. After constructing a new frame to house the Honda engine, he went on to essentially build a racebike around it. Thus the HB1 (Honda-Bimota-1) was born. Only 10 examples were ever made, making their value extraordinary. In fact, Bonhams will be auctioning off one of these rare examples, and it is estimated to be worth as much as $108,000!

  • Matt Maddalena

    I was all set to argue the placing of the Brutale, F4, and the Bimota HB1, but then I realized you wrote an article about the most “Significant” designs, not the most beautiful. In that case your listing makes perfect sense, but I still rate those 3 above even the 916 for aesthetics. Good article, a fitting tribute to a man’s who’s impact will be FOREVER felt… Ciao, Mr Tamburini. Until we can ride together in Heaven.

  • JMDonald

    Genius in design shows itself as true art and can only be developed over time. Tamburini’s influence will be felt for many years no doubt.

  • Great story Troy! Really good reading.

  • Billy Jack

    Adrian Morton designed the MV Agusta F3, not Tamburini. To not even mention Morton’s name – and to call the F3 a “fitting send-off for the legendary designer (Tamburini)” – is way, WAY off base. In interviews I’ve read with Morton, he actually had to defend his design against the input of both Tamburini and Castiglioni, both of whom desired that it look more like the F4. Whatever minimal (and largely unknown) influence he may have had on the F3, by way of critique, it certainly doesn’t belong on a list of “…Motorcycles Designed by Massimo Tamburini”.