The Bimota YB5 was tagged as the fastest, maddest, most expensive hyperbike on the planet when it was rolled out in 1987. With 130-horsepower from the amazing FJ1200 engine, the YB5 was what the Hayabusa is now, only with the flair and exclusivity that comes with a bike that is hand built and one from a run of only 208 units.
The original YB5 was very trick for the era, with a chro-moly steel cradle frame running machined billet alloy sideplates. It ran a high-end Marzocchi 42mm fork, Brembo brakes and retailed for a then-stratospheric $11,000 USD. It was one of the most amazing, expensive, out of this world and radical motorcycles on the planet.
It was fast – real fast – and it handled almost like a 250 despite housing a massive lump of an engine from a Yamaha FJ1200. By 1988, the production run was over and lucky collectors had a true piece of history.
Almost 30 years later, the YB5 legend remains, but it’s almost impossible to find one today. It took T-Rex Racing’s Rex Wolfenden an eternity to find himself an immaculate low-mileage example. He got hold of one and landed it on the bench in his immaculate Melbourne, Australia, workshop that is famous Down Under for building championship-winning motorcycles, particularly specializing in Honda 750 Fours of the classic Forgotten Era class.
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