Remembering the 1995 Bimota mantra

1995 Bimota mantra

Bimota is an interesting company that consistently produces some of the most outrageously-styled motorbikes of any contemporary manufacturer. Only a few marques can match Bimota’s motorcycles’ elegance and desirability. The DB3, famous as the Mantra, was Bimota’s first attempt at a ‘naked bike.’ Why did this motorcycle brand trend in the 90s? Is it famous for its negative or positive qualities and features? This article highlights important aspects that will help you learn or remember the 1995 Bimota mantra.

Controversial styling

The company; Bimota, was founded by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri and Massimo Tamburini. The company started building motorcycles in 1972 and is known for manufacturing some of the most delectable two-wheeled machines. The first version of the DB3 Mantra was developed in 1995. Frenchman Sacha Lakic styles the Bimota Mantra, while Tamburini applied his engineering skills to create its current design. Following Lakic’s successful work at MBK-Yamaha, the executives at Bimota sought his services to help in the upcoming DB3 project. He was asked to design something “spectacular” to make the Mantra a real head-turner. According to Odd Bike, Lakic was limited to the styling and bodywork was supposed to use a chassis designed by Luigi Marconi. The 1995 Bimota Mantra was intended to help Bimota create a unique bike and stand out from the stiff competition that had emerged at the time. He intended to produce a frame and swingarm that could deal with the Honda’s horsepower. The Mantra is one of the most usable street bikes manufactured by the company, but this fact is often lost in the unending negative commentary that has dogged this brand since it was unveiled in 1994.

Light Weight

Bimota chopped a staggering 40 kilos off the Kawasaki, improving the Mantra’s performance and boosting its top speed by over ten mph. The superbike was first featured in the Cologne show in October 1995 and attracted numerous comments from fans around the world. According to Misfit Made, many people compared it to the Ducati 900ss, but the 1995 Bimota Mantra is a unique sporty bike, more agile, and quicker to steer. The DB3 has an unusually organic shape featuring a low profile that narrows into a bezel-enclosed square headlight. The Ferrari Daytona’s nose inspired its shape. The bodywork flows from the headlight straight back into the seat, covering the steering head and forming a straight line that gave the motorcycle unusual proportions. The small forward wheel allows more weight in the front, allowing the rider to quickly get through the corners and giving the bike superior ground clearance.

Key features and performance

The Bimota Mantra is a high-performance bike with a stiff trellis frame and Paioli suspensions and has a firm mono-shock at the back. It has excellent brakes, and the 24 degrees form provides outstanding agility you can feel when riding on twisty roads or in town. The DB3 Mantra is a classy motorcycle with a V-twin, four-stroke engine to boot its 904cc. The company made itself renowned by producing tubular steel spaceframes and later shifting to twin-spar beam alloys. However, the Mantra used a distinct frame design whose architecture is similar to the BMW Rotax, powered BBI Supermono. It comprised an oval section of aluminum tubing, welded into a trellis and cradling the engine semi-stressed. The crankcases of the Ducati engine supported the swingarm pivot of the DB3. This air-cooled engine appeared in the first-generation Monster 900 bikes, making it a mainstay of the Italian bike industry during the first half of the 1990s. The Mantra’s frame weighed 11lbs, with sufficient rigidity. Its swingarm was a combination of square and round alloy sections, joined up to a straight rate mono-shock and offset to the right side, leaving the 90-degree twin’s rear cylinder head open. Chassis geometry was similar to the steel trellis-framed DB2, with 24 degrees of rake, 54-inch wheelbase, and 3.6 inches of trail.

The selected engine for the Mantra was an unmodified 904cc SOHC Ducati twin, which was air-cooled and capable of powering the contemporary 900SS. The 92x68mm was linked to a pair of 38mm Mikuni carburetors with a proprietary airbox design. Mantras configuration produced 86 hp and 67 ft-lb of torque. Its 17-inch Marchesini alloy rims were the same as those of the Ducati 900SS. The 1995 Bimota Mantra’s brakes comprise four-piston P4 calipers clenching onto 320mm cast full iron floating discs, a caliper with twin-piston, and a 230mm rear rotor. According to Motorcycle News, this bike has a body weight of 172.0 kgs and a fuel tank capacity of 16 liters and 120 miles in tank range. Also, this bike model has twin disc front brakes, allowing instant breaking, a seat height of 780mm, and a 125-mph top speed. The 1995 Bimota Mantra features a half-fairing with a windscreen, an analog and digital instrumentation panel, a telescopic fork (43mm), as well as an adaptable mono-shock as a rear suspension. It has a single headlight and features an under-belly dual exhaust system, dual mufflers, and a dual seat. The size of its rear tire is 180/55 x 17 inches, while the front is 120/70 x 17 inches.

An expensive bike that attracted negative criticism

However, the 1995 Bimota Mantra represents one of the company’s missteps and an attempt to venture into a broader market that failed to win many enthusiasts. It was an expensive motorcycle brand featuring some of the controversial styling ever done in motorcycle production. The Mantra had a design flaw with its engine, forcing the company to abandon this unique fuel injection system and re-design the entire engine. Bimota eventually recalled the production of the DB3 and made an improved version in 1997.


Apart from a few mishaps on engine flaws and design criticism, the 1995 Bimota Mantra was a high-performance bike that has proved durable and was a real head-turner. It is comfortable to ride with a sensibly-high seat and lifted high clippers, allowing the rider to adopt a natural seating position. It was neither a roadster nor a streetfighter but a combination of both. Those who compared it to the Ducati Monster agreed that the 1995 Bimota Mantra offers superior comfort and handling.

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