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1998 Bimota 500 Vdue

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800

How could you not love Bimota's 500 Vdue. Launched in 1998 at a cost of £14,500 it didn't so much come with a list of optional extras, more a lottery list of factory-spec problems, longer than the accessories list on a 1200GS.

To me, it sums up Bimota perfectly: ambitious, exotic, problematic and almost impossible to justify and because of this: addictive and alluring.

The fuel-injected 500 fouled its plugs in a matter of miles and that was if you were one of the lucky few owners who got one that ran at all. After a barrage of complaints, Bimota recalled the 500, which was one of the larger nails in their bankruptcy coffin.

Despite all the issues, Piero Caronni, the engineer behind the 500 Vdue bought the spares and rights to the bike off the failed company and set about addressing the issue. Some bikes were hastily converted to carbs and although they ran, this didn't solve the problem of weak and poorly designed engine internals. The real gems were fully sorted fuel-injected bikes with revised engine internals. When I say gem, I mean a bike that runs but still fouls the plugs, causing the peaky two-stroke delivery to become even peakier and slightly more strokier.

A few years back we panned the Vdue in this piece (I hasten to add I didn't write it): To the crusher: Bimota V-Due but now, perhaps with rose-tinted specs in place, I look at the Vdue and see the most desirable Bimota of the last decade. It's like asking that really fit girl on a date, knowing she's likely to laugh off your advances or worse, actually take you up on it and lead you on a wild, highly strung head-wrecking relationship before leaving you just as you start to see a future with her.

I've seen them sell recently for as little as £7,000 and as much as £12,000.

If you had a Vdue, would you go for carbs or injection, would you ride it or wrap it up?

By Ben Cope

See also: EICMA 2012: Bimota BB2 Concept Revealed with BMW S1000RR Engine, A real Monster of a bike, Ruben Xaus and Bimota Target WSBK Entry in 2013.