Visordown day out at the Kent circuit with a batch of gorgeous Italian motorcycles
Hello from Brands Hatch. We’re here to ride the range of Bimotas and meet the new UK importer.
Just got off the new Tesi and I have to admit that it felt nothing like I expected it to. It steers and behaves pretty much like a conventional sports bike, with unassuming stability over the bumps exiting clearways.
I was going to jump on the 1098 powered and absolutely drop-dead gorgeous DB7 but another journalist appears to have got all excited and broken it.
As I type this, sat on the cool pit garage floor, the mechanics are furiously trying to fix this beautiful and now damaged piece of machinery.
Look out for more as the day progresses.
...finally got the chance to get some hot laps in on the DB7. The problem was sourced to what they think was a faulty ECU but as they changed the side-stand cut-out switch as well, it's kind of hard to tell.
The DB7's had a tought time today. With 30 degree ambient temps and a track temperature hot enough to cook an entire trucker's breakfast on - never mind just the eggs.
By the time my turn came the rear tyre was so rooted that it would spin up out of every corner, the front brake lever was coming back to the bars and one, if not both, front brake rotors were warped. Not great.
But what a blast to ride. The Ducati 1098 motor has more than enough power to really shrink a lap of Brands Indy circuit. Compared to the air-cooled two valve motor in the Tesi which felt wheezy and taxed, the Testastretta 1098 engine makes you recalibrate your brain to cope with the increased velocity as you approach heart in the mouth corners like the top of Paddock and the dead-stop Druids.
The wide handlebar layout on the DB7 feels odd at first and really makes the rider hunch over the tank. But once you get used to it, this front-heavy riding position really works, even if you do run the risk of wacking your elbow on an apex kerb stone.
I suppose there was no question of whether the DB7 was going to be any good or not. I just needed to reassure myself. The key to the whole range's success is going to be how confident customers are in the brand after the marques troubled previous history in the UK. Importers AMV Motorcycles have lined up an impressive range of Nationwide dealers - now eleven strong and soon to be twelve. They're the sort of dealerships that already have vast experience with Italian brands and have technicians and workshop facilities to be be able to cope with exotica. Good call.
What price exclusivity, though? A big price, it would seem. There's no doubting the fussy, milled alloy appeal of the DB7 and the technological complexity of the Tesi but while neither are actually dynamically superior to the £12,995 1198 Ducati they're certainly saltier in the price tag department. Are you sitting comfortably? The Tesi is a whopping €23,800 plus delivery, plus on the road charges, plus VAT. The DB7? €22,800 plus all the above.
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