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Nonton MotoGP Sepang Malaysia 02 - 04 Nop 2018

MILLION-DOLLAR TAMBURINI T12 MEGABIKE ON SHOW

Low-rent car boot sale in Monaco sees launch of limited run of S1000RR-based ultrabike

We wrote about the T12 Tamburini here a couple of years ago, and it looks like the megabucks hyperbike is finally going on sale. Unveiled in 2016, the T12 Tamburini was initially pitched as a one-off S1000RR-based special, with carbon bodywork, Brembo brakes and Öhlins suspension. It was very nice of course, but we've all seen a few bikes like this over the years, right?

The big difference here is this bike was designed by Massimo Tamburini. Yes, thatMassimo Tamburini, the man who penned the Ducati 916/748, who is the 'ta' in Bimota, who came up with the MV Agusta F4. Tamburini died four years ago this month, but his family have carried on with this project, which he began, to make the ultimate trackday bike, without any limitations from racing regs.

Tamburini left MV Agusta in 2008, and had an agreement not to work for any other bike firm for three years. But he began working on this bike privately, before bringing in an old friend, who also worked at Ferrari as a project engineer. The plan was simple – make a bike he wanted to make, without any rules from EU technocrats, company beancounters, production engineers, or race committee blazers. It was to be as light as possible for its displacement class, yet also incorporate extensive innovation throughout the design.

And here it is. The bike that Tamburini created all on his own, helped only by friends and a couple of young apprentice engineers. The T12 Massimo. It's a track-only bike, with no road version planned "at the moment'. At the heart is a very non-Italian engine: the BMW S1000RR motor, in a full WSBK 230bhp tune. That mighty four-cylinder unit was chosen as "the most refined four cylinder engine in production today", and is bolted into a completely bespoke chassis. The running gear is sublime: MotoGP spec Öhlins FGR gas forks up front, with a matching GP rear shock. MotoGP Brembo four-pot monoblocs. Forged magnesium MFR/Robert Marchesini wheels wearing Pirelli SBK slicks. And a composite frame, made from mil-spec steel tube trellis, mated to cast magnesium swingarm plates and steering head. Of course, there's a single-sided rear swingarm, again cast in lightweight magnesium alloy.

Even more intriguingly, while we can't see it, and no-one has explained it properly, there's some sort of patented system to alter the rigidity of the frame, without changing parts. Whether it involves some sort of movable stiffening members, or an electro-hydraulic system, or something else, remains to be seen. There are variable rigidity systems in some high-end car engine mounts, where the hydraulic mount is made very soft and flexible at low power outputs, to reduce vibrations transmitted to the chassis. Then, when you floor it, electric solenoids lock the mount up solidly, so the engine doesn't waste power or damage stuff while thrashing itself about the engine bay. All speculation of course, until we get someone to tell us more about this variable rigidity setup…

The result of all this, together with the self-supporting carbon fibre bodywork, electronic dash, CNC-machined rearsets, titanium Arrow 4-into-1 exhaust and Motec engine management, is a heady 154.5kg dry mass. Add that to the 230bhp motor, and you have a tiny, wildly light superbike that makes even factory race bikes look pretty ordinary in comparison.

The story moves on this week though, with the first of a short production run of 12 bikes being shown at the Top Marques luxury car show at Monaco. Massimo's son Andrea said: “To showcase my father’s last work, in which he has put all of his life’s experiences, in an extremely prestigious context like Top Marques, is for me the absolute best way to honour him as a designer and as a person. The T12 Massimo is for all intents and purposes a work of art projecting the future, at the same time representing his way of being, without compromises and always seeking excellence.”

You'd certainly hope for excellence, considering the price: around a million US dollars – or £700k, give or take a few grand. So, not the sort of thing that we’ll be using for the A3 commute this autumn, sadly. For that cash you’d get a brace of Honda RC213V S GP replicas, plus a Ducati 1299 Superleggera and a BMW HP4 Race, depending how the exchange rate is looking out of your hedge fund account…

More info here: www.massimotamburini.com or http://www.topmarquesmonaco.com

Source: http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news-new-bikes/million-dollar-tamburini-t12-megabike-show

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