So…I went a little crazy last week.
I’ve wanted to ride a Tesi for years, and I got to check that box off my list a few months back with the Tesi H2 we have at Iconic. But the new Kawasaki-powered Bimotas don’t have the same appeal to me as the older ones do – I don’t need the excessive power (our Tesi H2 puts down 260 hp at the rear wheel), I’d rather have half that and a bike that weighs as little as possible. Well, there’s a Tesi 3D that’s been sitting in front of my office for months as it’s been waiting for a client of ours to export it to India. He decided that he didn’t want it any more…and now it’s part of my personal stable.
Here’s a quick video of one of my commutes on the H2 – I had to record it just to share the absurd sounds of the blow off valve:
Back to my bike – there were two big draws to the 3D for me:
1. I love oddball stuff, and the 3D’s front end definitely qualifies. The H2 also has a hub-center front end, but the 3D’s trellis swingarm is much more visually interesting to me.
This bike is a “Final Edition”, which reflects that it’s the last model that Bimota made with a Ducati engine before Kawasaki bought roughly half of the company.
The Tesi 3D debuted back in 2008, and the original models differed from my Final Edition in a few ways:
– the original bike had low clip-ons, mine has upright bars which make it much more suitable for my desired usage of a daily commuter.
– the original was a single seater, mine is a two seater. I asked Vy to hop on the back once to go out for lunch and she absolutely hated it, so I likely won’t bother her with it again. I think the single-seat setup looks better and would love to steal it, but the exhaust is different (and the right side passenger peg mount doubles as an exhaust hanger). There’s obviously ways to get around that but I don’t want to deal with it just yet. Here’s what the old one looked like:
– as you can see from the above picture, the original bike has a different paint job and gold wheels, both of which I prefer. It also has a different (cleaner) front end setup as the shock was mounted alongside/under the engine. Apparently there were some issues with the performance so I’m glad that it changed for my bike and I’d rather have my setup, but I do think the old one looks nicer:
2. The other big reason is the weight. I’ve had great times with heavy bikes powered by monster engines, but at the end of the day I have the most fun with light bikes that have more than adequate power. Well, the Tesi 3D makes 95 horsepower (sure, I’d love 20 more) and it weighs 368 pounds dry. 95 horsepower isn’t a crazy number, but it’s plenty and I really enjoy how the Ducati 1,098cc two-valve twin delivers power (and sounds). On paper, this was shaping up to be a lovely ride. But this specific example had never been ridden, so I wouldn’t be able to test ride it and see if it was for me.
I ended up calling an awesome client of ours who owns a couple of hub-center steering bikes – an original Tesi 3D as well as an adorable mini-moto Vyrus 50C32T. He filled me in on a lot of the differences between models and when I asked him if I was crazy for thinking about commuting on a Final Edition, his reassurance helped put me over the edge and commit to buying the bike. He’s actually shipping us his Tesi 3D in a couple of weeks to sell on our auction site and offered me the chance to test ride his before I bought mine, but my bike was going to be sent back to the east coast before that opportunity so I had to decide if I was going to buy it quickly and without any riding experience on it.
Said client once created a great explainer video on how hub-center steering works – this is the Tesi 3D that will be going up for sale, so let me know if you’re interested!
If you’ll humor me for a moment, there’s actually a third reason but it requires me to explain how I’m much more vain than I ever thought. Back when I had my Honda RC30, I was absolutely blown away by how many people would approach me when I parked at an event. Riders would comment on how long it had been since they had seen a RC30, how stunned they were to see one actually being ridden, and wonder how they could find one for themselves, which was always an easy way to introduce Iconic Motorbikes. Before the RC30, I never once considered what other people would think when I bought a bike for myself, but that bike became a rolling business card for myself and Iconic.
The RC30 ended up leaving my garage as part of a trade deal, but I replaced it with a wonderful BMW HP2 Megamoto. I absolutely adore that bike (I still have it, don’t worry) and it’s been excellent. I was generally using it as a daily with the occasional trip mixed in – I recently rode it up to Monterey and back for the Quail, for example. With that said, it doesn’t get attention like the RC30 did except from my kind of people, die hard BMW nerds.
Well, the Tesi 3D sure gets its fair share of attention, and I have to admit that I enjoy it. It definitely passes the “does it make me feel special” test and I enjoy answering questions about the front end.
We’ll see what the future holds, but this is the start of the saga. Want to know anything about it? Let me know in the comments! This is actually the first motorcycle I’ve ever bought with zero miles, so I have to be nice and break in the motor before I start enjoying it properly. Time to ride…