Heading into EICMA, we were expecting Bimota to announce a new motorcycle based off an existing Kawasaki model. After all, that has been the pattern since Kawasaki acquired a stake in the Italian brand in 2019. Last year, we saw the debut of the Ninja 1000SX-based Bimota KB4 and KB4RC in Milan, and so this year, we expected another new mode.
What we didn’t expect was for the new model to be an enduro competition bike based on Kawasaki’s KX450 models, or more specifically, the KX450X, with its 18-inch rear wheel. Yes, Bimota debuted its first ever dirt bike at EICMA, called the BX450. The two bikes are very similar, with the same engine and frame. The engine casings, in fact, still say Kawasaki, so there’s no mistaking the BX450’s lineage. Even the bodywork is similar, with Kawasaki green swapped with Bimota graphics and the Italian Tricolore.
The Bimota BX450 gains a headlight, handguards, and a 2.8 gallon fuel tank – 1.2 gallons larger than the KX450X’s tank. The suspension and the brakes look to be the same as on the Kawasaki, but instead of Dunlop Geomaxes, the BX450 sports Metzeler 6 Days Extreme tires. Bimota also equipped the BX450 with a carbon-tipped Arrow exhaust and a ridged seat.
The BX450’s dimensions are similar to the KX450X, but the Bimota tips the scales at a claimed weight of 243 pounds with oil and coolant, but no fuel. That’s about 8 pounds heavier than the Kawasaki, but you would expect some added weight with the light and larger tank.
It’s not as dramatic a transformation, like how Bimota turned the Ninja 1000SX into the KB4RC café racer, but given the brand’s limited history with dirt bikes, we’ll give them a pass.
Like most Bimota models, the BX450 will likely have a small production run, and we wonder if we’ll see one competing in ISDE. It also leaves us guessing what Bimota’s next Kawasaki-based project will be. We’ll have to find out at next year’s EICMA show.
|2023 Bimota BX450 Specifications|
|Engine Type||4-stroke, DOHC, single cylinder, liquid-cooled|
|Bore x Stroke||96.0 x 62.1 mm|
|Fuel system||FI (Fuel Injection)|
|Ignition System||Digital DC-CDI|
|Lubrication System||Forced Lubrication (semi-dry sump)|
|Spark Plug||NGK CPR8EB-9|
|Transmission||5-Speed, constant mesh, return shift|
|Clutch type||Wet, Multi disc|
|Driving System||Chain Drive|
|Final reduction ratio||3.642 (51/14)|
|Frame||Tubular, semi-double cradle|
|Steering Angle||42° to either side|
|Front Tire||90/100-21 57M Metzeler Six days MST Super soft|
|Rear Tire||140/80-18 70M Metzeler Six Days M+S Medium|
|Front Wheel||21 x 1.60“|
|Rear Wheel||18 x 2.15“|
|Front Suspension||49 mm inverted fork; 12.0 inches of travel|
|Rear Suspension||New Uni-trak swingarm; 12.1 inches of travel|
|Front Brake||Single disc|
|Rear Brake||Single disc|
|Battery||12.8 V 2.0 Ah (10 HR), Lithium-ion battery|
|Road Clearance||13.2 inches|
|Curb Mass||242.9 pounds (claimed, without fuel)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||2.8 gallons|
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