2017-04-03 22:48:46+0000 - Los Angeles, California, United States

A look back: Bimota's underpraised supercharged Naked

In 2015 Italian company Bimota released a supercharged Naked powered by a liquid cooled Ducati engine. Just how did this awesome machine go unnoticed and what exactly did Bimota build?

Bimota is a unique Italian motorcycle manufacturer famous for tuning existing power plants and dropping them into cutting edge frames. Another claim-to-fame has been offering kit versions of their bikes, allowing mechanically inclined riders to build their own machines.

Ducati was the last company to see one of their engines incorporated into a Bimota build, which is not surprising considering that the two companies share a long history. Bimota built countless bikes powered by Ducati engines.

In 2015 there was a lot of buzz surrounding Kawasaki's supercharged H2 and H2R machines. The supercharged Kawi stole the limelight, and the motorcycle world appears to have somehow overlooked one of the coolest bikes to grace motorcycle shows in the past couple years.

Not only was Bimota's Impeto under appreciated, but it would appear few are even aware of its existence.

The SuperCharged Bimota Impeto

Like Bimota's DB8, the Impeto borrows its power plant from the Ducati Diavel. The 162HP liquid cooled Testastretta 11° engine has been retuned and fitted with a turbocharger which brings the ponies up to 190. The engine is wrapped in a sophisticated chromoly steel chassis further kept in check via top shelf Brembo and Ohlin brake and suspension components. A high end steering damper completes the bike's ability to absorb the road. Sitting on OZ racing wheels that wear Michelin Power SuperSport tires makes this beast-of-a-motorcycle's intentions abundantly clear. As pretty as it is this isn't a bike that was built to be admired, the thing was engineered to f*****g go.

Bimota's naked 190HP isn't without the trick LED and LCD components we've grown to expect on high-end machines. The Impeto's full color high-def LCD display is gorgeous and was an excellent touch. The bike's seemingly ubiquitously styled headlight clearly isn't particularly unique but it doesn't take away from the bike's overall appearance, though an interesting headlight design would have been cool to see.

This motorcycle's primary selling point is the fact it's supercharged but the Impeto's supercharger is significantly cooler than you'd at first think. (Though superchargers in general are inarguably pretty awesome). Bimota developed this supercharger in-house. (When the rest of the engine is already designed figuring out a supercharger is seemingly far less taxing.) Not only does this supercharger give the Impeto's power a serious boost, but it can also be fitted to any existing liquid cooled Ducati engine. This supercharger also brings the bike's torque up to 110/115 ft-lbs. Yeah, I know.

The bike's style is a major factor that makes it standout. With an aggressive stance and equally aggressive sharp lines, the Impeto really is a thing of beauty. The shape of the rear section gives the bike an attractive profile and it's unique exhaust system made by Zard beautifully follows the same swooping lines found on the tail section.

There are several different ways to go about owning your own Impeto. You can buy a fully built, ready-to-ride (really fast) model, as well as a DIY kit, one with and one without the Ducati engine. You can buy it with or without the supercharger kit, but really who's gonna do that? A version sporting a carbon fiber frame is supposedly in the works right now as well.

Bimota is calling this bike a "Hyper-naked" and though I'm not personally a big fan of every subsection of motorcycles having their own name, in the case of the Impeto I'm more than happy to let it slide. I went back to see what other "groundbreaking" bikes were debuted at EICMA 2015, when the Impeto was launched in order to get a sense of how this ridiculously cool machine got so widely overlooked. My research however left me with more questions than answers.

Ultimately it doesn't matter how the Impeto wasn't noticed. What does matter is that we see the Impeto now and we recognize how awesome it is, as well as the fact that we may see a carbon version any day now.

Can you think of any other seriously cool designs that failed to get the recognition you felt they deserved?

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