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Remembering The 1998 Bimota Vdue 500

1998 Bimota Vdue 500

The Bimota Vdue was a 500cc twin-cylinder sportbike introduced in 1997. It was expected to be a revolution in the biking industry because it introduced the fuel injection system. However, it was also one of the most controversial and short-lived motorcycles ever made. The Vdue was plagued with problems from the very beginning. The engine was notoriously unreliable, and the bike was difficult to ride and maintain. Bimota made several changes to the design to improve reliability, but ultimately the bike was a commercial failure and was discontinued in 1999. Despite its many problems, the Vdue remains an exciting piece of motorcycle history. It was a radical design that pushed the limits of what was possible at the time, and its story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of rushing a new product to market before it is ready. The company wanted to release an absolute world-beater but ended up with an utter garbage bike. According to, the Vdue brought about the financial problems that killed Bimota. But behind all the problems, there was still an incredible theory. Here is how we remember the 1998 Bimota Vdue 500.


The Vdue was developed in the mid-1990s by Bimota, an Italian company known for building high-performance motorcycles. At the time, Bimota was struggling financially and desperate for a new product to revive its fortunes. The Vdue was conceived to capitalize on the growing popularity of sportbikes. It was designed to be the most powerful production motorcycle globally, with a 500cc engine that could produce over 100 horsepower. The bike was supposed to introduce the 2-stroke engines, which revolutionized the motorcycle industry. Anticipation and expectation were high, with most experts predicting the 500cc two-stroke engine would make 1000cc four-strokes obsolete. The Bimota Vdue was one of the most eagerly awaited motorcycles of the late 1990s. The Vdue was finally launched in 1997, but it was plagued with problems from the start. The biggest issue was the fuel injection system, which was unreliable and often produced more smoke than power. This made the bike difficult to ride, and it quickly developed a reputation for being temperamental and unpredictable.

In 1998, Bimota started accepting returns and sold the Evoluzione modification, which replaced the failed fuel injection system with 39mm Dellorto carburetors. The Evoluzione did improve the bike's performance, but it was a case of too little too late. Bimota went bankrupt in 1999 after producing just 340 Vdues of the proposed 500-unit run. When Vdue went bankrupt, Piero Caronni, a member of the Vdue development team, purchased the remaining bikes and spare parts. He then began modifying and addressing the problems, culminating in the Evoluzione 03 and 04 and the Edizione Finale which he introduced in 2003 and 2004. All these bikes used carburetors and modified engines that were much more reliable. The power was also increased to 120 hp for the 03 and 130hp for the 04 and Finale. Today, these bikes are trendy, with passionate riders who readily dismiss the negative reputation surrounding them. There are still a few "new in crate" Vdues that have never been ridden and some that have been modified to improve their performance. These bikes represent the pinnacle of 2-stroke technology and remain an essential part of motorcycling history.

What Makes 1998 Bimota Vdue a 'Special Bike'

The most significant selling point of the Vdue was its 500cc two-stroke engine, which was the most powerful production motorcycle engine in the world at the time. The Vdue was also one of the first motorcycles to feature fuel injection, which would make it the only two-stroke motorcycle in production with that feature. The bike's design was also very cutting edge, with a carbon fiber body and swingarm. The Vdue was an incredibly light motorcycle, weighing in at only 320lbs. The power to weight ratio of the Vdue was also awe-inspiring. The first Vdue, an in-house model from Bimota, was the 500cc two-stroke. According to, the engine was a liquid-cooled 90-degree V-Twin and it produced an impressive 110hp. A dry clutch and a six-speed cassette-style gearbox were also included. The wheels were made of a lightweight alloy from Antera and wrapped in Pirelli rubber. Another thing, the suspension was made up of a Paioli 46mm fork that used carbon fiber fork tubes and an Ohlins mono-shock.

The Vdue also featured billet parts and carbon fiber, including the rear seats, triple clamps, shock cover, license plate board, and front and rear fenders. The speed and acceleration of the Vdue were astounding. The bike could reach a top speed of 155mph, and it could go from 0 to 60 in just 3.8 seconds. The Vdue was also very agile, thanks to its lightweight and powerful engine. The Bimota Vdue was an incredible motorcycle that was ahead of its time. The Vdue was also unique in its styling, with an angular body unlike anything else on the market. This, combined with its performance and lightweight, made the Vdue a desirable motorcycle for many riders. Despite its many problems, the Vdue remains an integral part of motorcycling history. It was one of the first motorcycles to feature fuel injection and a 500cc two-stroke engine. These technologies would go on to revolutionize the motorcycle industry. The Vdue is also a reminder of the potential of 2-stroke engines, which are now largely forgotten in the motorcycle world. These bikes remain popular with collectors and riders who appreciate their unique place in motorcycling history.


The 1998 Bimota Vdue was a motorcycle that was ahead of its time. The bike introduced fuel injection and a 500cc two-stroke engine to the motorcycle world. The Vdue was also one of the first motorcycles to feature a carbon-fiber body. Thanks to its lightweight design and powerful engine, the Vdue was a high-speed and agile motorcycle. Despite the high expectations, the Vdue was plagued with reliability problems. It was eventually discontinued bringing down the curtain on one of the most innovative motorcycles of its time and the company that made it. We remember the Vdue as a one-of-a-kind motorcycle that revolutionized the industry and is still an important part of motorcycling.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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