First unveiled in 1994 at the Cologne Motorcycle Show, the Bimota BB1 Supermono marked two firsts for the boutique Italian marque: their first BMW-powered model and their first bike to feature a single-cylinder engine. Though best known for its use in BMW’s F650 “Funduro”, the liquid-cooled, 652cc, four-stroke single in the BB1 (or Bimota BMW 1) was actually produced by Rotax. The Austrian engine was fed via a 33mm Mikuni BST carb, and produced 48 hp at 6,500rpm and 42.7 ft-lbs of torque at 6,000rpm.
Like all bikes born out of the Rimini factory, what really made the BB1 shine was its trick chassis and top-shelf running gear. The Supermono got an oval-section aluminum alloy tube frame and matching aluminum swing-arm, a Paioli 43mm fork and monoshock, Marchesini wheels, and a single 320mm disc clamped by a four-pot Brembo caliper — though Bimota offered an optional second disc and caliper for an additional £300. And with a sub-400 lb dry-weight, Bimota’s super single could reach speeds of around 110 mph — a bit faster than the F650.
The BB1 also got its own unique bodywork with a few tricks up its sleeve. The gas tank was actually located in the belly pan beneath the engine in a bid to ensure a low center of gravity, while the faux tank that sat atop the frame boasted a nifty little glove compartment. The bike also featured carbon fiber instrument housing and fenders fore and aft, and indicators housed in the back of the mirrors — commonplace today, but not so much in the mid-’90s. There was also a GP-style under-tail dual exhaust.
From 1995 through 1997, only 524 units were produced: 376 BB1 Supermonos, and another 148 BB1 Supermono Bipostos. Upon its release, the regular BB1 sold for €8,780 ($6,585), while the two-up version went for €11,026 ($8,270). For another €10,000, Bimota offered a supplementary race kit for the super single that included upgraded suspension, fuel injection, magnesium wheels, and other track-oriented bits. Bimota also built a few modified BB1 factory race bikes that competed in the Italian Supermono Championship alongside Ducati’s legendary Supermono. The race-spec BB1’s featured a 725cc single capable of 75 hp at 10,000rpm, though it supposedly only ever won a single race in the series.
This particular BB1 Supermono example — which is number 009 of 376 — has been thoroughly customized, though it still retains much of what makes the BB1 special in the first place. With the bodywork removed, the trick frame, Italian componentry, and Rotax engine are now on full display. Highlights of the build include lightweight Marvic magnesium rims, Paioli suspension with carbon fiber fork tubes, LED lighting, one-off radiator covers, aftermarket clip-ons, rear-sets, and levers, one-off subframe and sidecovers, a custom seat, and handmade alloy tank, tail, and front fender. So is this an interesting simplification of the original, or a bastardization of a rare thumper sportbike?
You can find this custom 1995 Bimota BB1 Supermono cafe racer for sale here on TheBikeShed in Morden, England with a price of £6,750 (or $8,225).