1999 Bimota Mantra, Yellow, Displacement: 904.00 C
1999 Bimota Mantra, PENDING TITLE, No Key, yellow, Displacement: 904.00 ccm (55.16 cubic inches), Engine type:V2, four-stroke, Power:80.00 HP (58.4 kW)) @ 7000 RPMTorque:86.00 Nm (8.8 kgf-m or 63.4 ft.lbs) @ 5700 RPM, Top speed:204.0 km/h (126.8 mph) 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph):3.900 seconds 60-140 km/h (37-87 mph), highest gear:12.200, secondsCompression:9.2:1Bore x stroke:92.0 x 68.0 mm (3.6 x 2.7 inches)Valves per cylinder:2Cooling system:Oil & airGearbox:6-speed, Transmission type, final drive: Chain, Fuel consumption:5.90 litres/100 km (16.9 km/l or 39.87 mpg)Greenhouse gases:136.9 CO2 g/km. (CO2 - Carbon dioxide emission) The Mantra represents an attempt to open up new areas for bimota , as opposed to the traditional niche of super sports bikes . The so called niche was that of the naked bike . The styling which was quite daring and uncompromising , as one would guess from this Rimini based manufacturer , was the work of French designer Sacha Lakic . Mantra means in Sanskrit "tool of thought" . Upon its presentation everyone thought it was only a project , given its futuristic appearance . It came as a suprise when it was marketed normally . The mantra was marketed in two series the first in Cologne in 1994 and the second in Milan in 1997 . However this change was only with minor cosmetic details such as screen , headlight , handlebars and rear mudguard . All of which will fit onto earlier bikes if required . That was the typical reaction to the Bimota Mantra, one of the craziest bikes ever made in Italy, which is quite an achievement.Featuring an engine lifted from Ducati's mid 1990s 900SS model, with Sacha Lakic's weird chassis and bodywork wrapped around it, the Mantra was an exercise in designer chic which somehow never quite got off the ground. Bit like a gold plated Versace sandwich toaster really, interesting idea, but difficult to market.The surprising thing was how good this four pipe; walnut-dashed weird mobile was to actually ride on the road. It went, braked and handled OK and weighed as little as the average sporty 600. Good fun, but at an initial asking price hovering around £13,000 back in 1996, it was no surprise that Bimota struggled to sell many Mantras in the UK.Bimota riders are used to turning heads, but nothing the Italian firm has previously produced matches the impact of the outrageously styled Mantra. During a day on the roads around Bimota's base in Rimini, motorists stopped to stare, pedestrians stood open-mouthed and one scooter rider chased me through the resort town's traffic for a closer look.And it's not just its controversial styling that makes the Mantra special. More importantly, this is the first visible result of Bimota's recent policy to broaden its range. Traditional super sports bikes will continue to dominate, but Bimota also aims to move into new sectors of the market, to allow an increase in production. This year's total is scheduled to reach a highest ever 1400 bikes, 300 of them Mantras, with the planned limit of 1500 due to be built next year.Shaped by Frenchman Sacha Lakic and powered the sohc, two-valves-per-cylinder V-twin motor from Ducati's 900SS and Monster, the Mantra is intended to be more at home in town and on country roads than on a racetrack. But with an oval-section alloy frame and a collection of classy cycle parts, it has been created to maintain Bimota's reputation for demon handling too.There's not much doubt that Bimota's first aim, to produce a futuristic roadster with a high-tech image and a strong identity, has been achieved. The bike is unmistakable all the way from its headlamp surround - inspired by an old-style racing Ferrari's grille - to its pair of low-level mufflers on either side.No bike as boldly styled as the Mantra will be every rider's cup of vino rosso, and I'll admit to doubts when it was launched last year. But the Mantra definitely grows on you - and the opinion of those in Rimini was overwhelmingly positive.