Late last year
it was announced that Bimota had been purchased by new owners Marco
Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni, who told the world they planned to rejuvenate the 40-year-old brand starting with its newest model, a
BMW-powered streetbike dubbed the BB3.
Earlier this month, Bimota and Alstare announced they had
entered a long-term partnership that included, among many things, plans to go
racing as Bimota Alstare Racing team with Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon riding
the new BB3 in the new EVO class of the 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship.
But that press release included a note that the Bimota BB3 was still subject to
homologation approval by FIM.
This last announcement combined with the known homologation
requirements for the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship led to questions on
whether Bimota, always a low-volume manufacturer of high-end exotic sportbikes,
would be able to produce enough BB3 streetbikes to meet minimum homologation
According to the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship
rulebook, section 1.2.1. “Homologation for Superbike, Supersport and
A manufacturer must have produced at least a quantity of 125
motorcycles prior to the homologation inspection. The minimum quantity of 500
units must be reached by the 30th June of the current year. The
minimum quantity of 1000 units must be reached by the 31st of
December of the current year. The minimum quantity of 2000 units must be
reached by the 31st of December of the following year.
And there are further regulations to be met regarding the
timing of requesting a homologation inspection, providing proof and
documentation before the homologation inspection, how soon the new model can
race after it passes homologation inspection and more.
A 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship rulebook has not yet
been published on the FIM website, however.
With the season-opening race of the 2014 Superbike World
Championship scheduled February 21-23 at Phillip Island, in Australia, five
weeks from today, it would seem Bimota has a nearly impossible task ahead of it.
But today, the Dorna WSBK Organization, the rights holders
of the FIM Superbike World Championship, issued a statement "about the possible Bimota homologation." The statement indicates
minimum production numbers to homologate a new model for racing may change
prior to the start of the 2014 season, indirectly giving Bimota a glimmer of hope of racing at Phillip Island.
That statement reads: “The FIM
welcomes new motorcycle manufacturers wishing to participate in one or more FIM
World Championships. With reference to the FIM Superbike World Championship,
there are rules and requirements which have to be observed and fulfilled. As a
result, the required minimum quantity of produced units necessary to obtain
homologation are reviewed periodically to run parallel to the motorcycle
“As an illustration, the FIM and the Superbike Commission have in the past
adjusted the minimum quantities of motorcycles to be produced to participate
due to the worldwide economic market situation. Such a change was adopted in
2009. Another change was made due to the market situation in 2012 when the
market situation for motorcycles in the sport section was of great concern. We
have started discussions within the Superbike Commission to modify these
“An official announcement will be made by the end of January.”
With all of
the talk about Bimota’s status in terms of homologation, where does Erik Buell
Racing (EBR) stand in terms of producing and homologating its new 1190RX
streetbike, the basis of its World Superbike racing effort?
track. We’ll be fine,” EBR Founder Erik Buell told Roadracingworld.com January
17. “They [FIM homologation inspectors] are scheduled to be here next week. We’re
ready for the inspection, holding the bikes for them so we have them all lined