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A Final Fling

This is the T12, Massimo Tamburini’s final fling. During his career Tamburini’s quest for the perfect superbike was always hemmed in by the need to productionise, have a reasonable price in the market place and ever tightening homologation rules. But he continued to design the ultimate superbike in his head. When he left MV Agusta in December 2008, he took with him these ideas – plus a three-year non-competition clause, meaning he had to work on this next and final project largely on his own and in comparative secrecy.

Tamburini’s goal was to make the best-handling, safest, lightest, and most compact motorcycle in the superbike class, without compromise. He had once told a Japanese engineer that his ultimate goal was a motorcycle the size of a 500 with the power of a 1000cc motor. The T12 Massimo was the ultimate expression of this belief.

Tamburini worked hard on the project for a couple of years with his son Andrea, before bringing in a couple of young engineers. He cut and welded the frame tubing as he had during his years at Bimota. Even late in life he was never afraid of the oily bits and pieces.

The T12 Massimo is about the size of the final generation of 500cc two-stroke GP racers, and incredibly light at 154kg (340lbs) dry. If you want – and can afford – one it’s 300,000 Euros, built to order after a suitable down payment is made. Given that Bimota no longer exists in a meaningful form – and because I’m an incurable old romantic - it would be fantastic if the owners of the name would allow Andrea Tamburini to use it and offer him the facilities necessary to build the T12. Then the wounds that Massimo suffered when he left Bimota – and a circle of life - would be closed.

The full story of Massimo Tamburini, from his childhood to the T12, via the 916 and MV, is in The Road available via the shop

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