1998 Bimota SB6 R

Aluminum alloy and carbon fiber joined forces to trim weight from the Bimota SB6 R. See more motorcycle pictures.

Before the 1998 Bimota SB6 R motorcycle came along, one of the Italian manufacturer's strongest sellers was the SB6, powered by a Suzuki GSXR1100 four-cylinder engine. (In Bimota-speak, the first letter of the model designation is the first initial of the engine supplier.)

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But as the decade drew to a close, the venerable SB6 evolved into the even higher-tech Bimota SB6 R. Introduced in 1998, the bike shown above is the first SB6 R off the production line.

"Straight Connection Technology" is Bimota's term for the massive aluminum-alloy structure that connects the front forks and rear swingarm pivot. Fully adjustable Paioli upside-down forks hold a pair of floating rotors squeezed by Brembo calipers. Power is still supplied by a 1074-cc Suzuki four.

Joining the exotic aluminum frame in the battle against unwanted weight are numerous carbon-fiber components, including the fenders and several pieces of non-structural bodywork.

Still, the Bimota only weighs about 20-30 pounds less than a comparable Suzuki -- and costs well over twice as much. But exclusivity doesn't come without cost.

To see more pictures of the 1992 Bimota SB6 R motorcycle, go to the next page.

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