2022 Bimota TESI H2 - Review


Price: £60,000 | Power: 228bhp | Weight: 207kg (dry) | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5


Let me bring you up to speed. Kawasaki now owns 49.9% of Bimota, which is brilliant news for the small Italian firm. Since its creation in the '70s, Bimota has historically bought engines from Kawasaki or Yamaha or Suzuki or Ducati, and then produced a bespoke chassis to wrap around those power units. However, developing their fuelling and exhaust systems, and then getting the new bike to meet increasingly tough emissions regulations was extremely difficult and costly.

But now, thanks to Kawasaki, Bimota has a colossal amount of engine technology to borrow from their Japanese partners. And this, the TESI H2, is the first bike to come out of this unique and intriguing relationship. Two versions differing only by finish are available: ‘Carbon’ or this one, ‘Tricolore’. Both come with the same price tag and both are limited to 250 units worldwide.

Essentially, Bimota has taken one of the world’s most powerful engines, the supercharged H2, plus its fuelling and exhaust, instruments, switchgear, lights and electronic rider aids and then added their own chassis and design. Without any fuelling or electronic development costs or Euro4 compliancy to worry about, their focus has been centred on what they do best: chassis and design.

Bimota has opted to use its Difazio-type hub-centre-steering TESI front end which was designed by Pierluigi Marconi in the 1980s before reaching production in 1991.The new billet aluminium rear swing -arm and carbon/aluminium front arms bolt directly to the supercharged Kawasaki motor. Two Öhlins shocks at the rear control the front and rear wheel independently. The conventional trellis Kawasaki frame has been removed.

But it’s not just about the frame and suspension either. The aerodynamic bodywork, with wings that create high-speed downforce (11kg), plus the fuel tank are all carbon fibre. Oh, and this 228bhp motorcycle tops the scales at 207kg (dry).

We flew out to Italy to test the TESI H2 on track. £60,000, 228bhp supercharged engine and unique TESI front end... Bimota certainly knows how to make a statement.


Pros & Cons
  • Unique design and exclusivity
  • Light and nimble compared to H2
  • Stability and stopping power
  • Expensive and limited
  • Only Euro 4
  • Harsh ride at slow speeds
Combining Kawasaki’s supercharged H2 motor with the Italian design and flair from Bimota and you’re left with this £60k, limited-edition looker. Chad went to Italy to ride it on track.


Bimota TESI H2 - Price

How much is the Bimota TESI H2? £60,000. Yes, £60,000 is a lot of money, but let me try to justify that.

Kawasaki no longer sells the standard H2, but if you search around there are a few pre-registered bikes with low mileages going for around £40,000.

Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s still-current, much more powerful but not road-legal H2R, on which the Bimota is heavily based, is priced at £50,000 – which means a TESI H2 buyer is only paying £10,000 to £20,000 more than they would for a Kawasaki H2 or H2R...

Okay, I tried. That is still a lot of money. But you can see where the money has been spent; what makes the Italian so special. Lashings of carbon and trick Öhlins suspension, for starters, plus the exquisite build and finish of the Bimota chassis must be worth £10k or even £20k more than the Kawasaki.

Competition-wise, if 228bhp and 207kg are not enough for you, then Ducati has the race-ready but road-legal Panigale V4R. All new for 2023 and armed to the teeth with 237bhp while weighing just 172kg in race set up, it is considerably cheaper at £38,999. If money isn’t an issue, Ducati’s limited edition Superleggera V4 produces 234hp and tops the scales at just 152.2kg with race kit and is over 50kg lighter than the carbon Bimota. To you, £90,000.



Bimota TESI H2 Power and torque

This is the intriguing aspect of the new partnership between Kawasaki and Bimota. Kawasaki spent a fortune developing the supercharged 998cc inline-four; perfecting the devilishly complicated fuelling, making sure the technology would be reliable and rideable and making sure it passed tightening homologation regs for noise and emissions. Then Bimota stepped in and scampered off to Italy with all that knowledge and hard work.

But this does mean that Bimota can’t change any aspect of the engine, including the fuelling and exhaust, because they would then have to start that whole costly process again, including further homologation tests. So the TESI H2 shares exactly the same supercharged engine as the H2, exactly the same gearbox, fuelling, injectors and exhaust. It is all identical.

Bimota traditionalists may baulk, but this is obviously advantageous for Bimota as a huge cost and time-saving exercise, plus they have a proven 228bhp supercharged reliable motor to deploy as they wish. The disadvantage is that the current H2 motor is only Euro4, and the gearbox ratios re fixed, while that muffler is a little on the bulky side. I’m sure the stylish Italians would have given that a tweak if it were possible.



Engine, gearbox, and exhaust

I first rode the legendary H2 and H2R on its world press launch in Qatar and was blown away by the supercharged performance. It was a revelation. I can remember coming in after the first session almost speechless.

Kawasaki has tweaked the motor since 2015 to comply with Euro4 regulations and this is what powers the Bimota today – but it’s still as fierce as ever.  

My first session at Moderna, a fun but tight track in northern Italy, was a little damp, which meant opting for reduced power and increasing the lean-sensitive traction control. The TESI ran on Bridgestone RS11 rubber and no tyre warmers but within a few laps it was obvious the grip it was generating was far better than expected. The Bimota runs the same Bosch 6-axis IMU as the Kawasaki, and it was reassuring to hear the TC working overtime, even with the power reduced.

After a quick pit stop to change to a dark visor, it was back to normal power and reduced rider aids – a something-in-the-middle setting. Now the H2 – sorry, the Bimota – came alive. The supercharged motor has several personalities. The mid-range whoosh is phenomenal, and it requires a mental recalibration to get used to the supercharged delivery. The sheer avalanche of horsepower asks serious questions of the mechanical grip and makes the traction and anti-wheelie work overtime. So, while many bikes make Moderna feel tight in places, the Bimota's Kawasaki power made it feel like a Lidl car park. 

The only place to really let the TESI H2 loose was down the main straight and, again, the power was almost too much, the acceleration fierce enough to punch the air from your lungs. The kick it delivers is addictive, like nothing else on the road, and acoustically backed up by the chirp of the supercharger.

The rider aids are the same as the H2's but have been recalibrated to compensate for the Italian’s comparative lack of weight, which is apparent in everything the bike does. After all, while quoted power is the same as the H2, the Bimota is considerably lighter (19kg), and therefore accelerates even faster. And if you have ever been lucky enough to sample an H2 off the lead, then you may find that hard to believe.

The TESI H2 is far better suited to big circuits like Silverstone or Mugello but the Moderna did highlight the Bimota’s downside (which is the same as the H2) – the fuelling low down is sharp. Yes, you can play with this, changing the engine modes and increasing TC and anti-wheelie helps, but there’s no hiding the fact that it's a little aggressive when you open the throttle at low rpm.

From 20% to 40% throttle, it’s just about acceptable but from 0% to 20 or 30%, it’s snappy. The twisty track exacerbated this weakness, meaning you need those excellent rider aids as a safety net as it’s hard to dial in the power smoothly and slowly in a low gear. In fact, it's sometimes easier to short shift on the standard quickshifter into a taller gear for a better ride.

I guess nothing is perfect. Perhaps it's too much to expect market-leading mid-range drive, complete with the cheeky chirp of a supercharger, as well as easily manageable torque low down. But I have ridden the H2 and H2R on fast and flowing tracks, and the experience was literally breath-taking. Now I can’t wait to try the Bimota at a faster track.



Bimota TESI H2 Handling, suspension, and weight

This is where Bimota comes to the party, with its genius chassis design and new TESI front end and hub-centre-steering.

Conventional telescopic forks, especially on powerful bikes like an H2, require enormous strength to deal with the forces of braking, while also performing the more subtle tasks of steering and absorbing bumps. They attach to a huge (and high) steering head that's braced and stiffened to cope with all those forces passing to the frame. And, of course, they alter the chassis' wheelbase and steering geometry as they extend and compress.

The TESI's hub-centre-steering system, meanwhile, leaves the geometry unaffected by braking and acceleration. There isn’t any conventional dive, and the feeling at the bars is constant whether the bike is slowing or accelerating or turning.

That's because the functions of braking, suspension and steering are separated. The steering, for example, isn’t affected by the suspension, while the suspension is unaffected by braking forces. Each is free of the inherent engineering compromises necessary with teles.

The front suspension is more like a conventional rear swing-arm with a single shock, which on the Bimota is located at the rear. Steering is via a series of links and joints, with the front wheel pivoting on a hub (and most of the HCS architecture hidden by dramatic carbon bodywork). In fact, in basic terms the TESI H2 comprises of a swing-arm on the front, an engine in the middle, swing-arm on the rear; there is no conventional frame as everything is bolted to Kawasaki's supercharged motor.

Yes, there is added weight with the additional mechanisms and linkages of HCS but that is offset by the absence of a conventional frame and lack of need for a massive headstock. Each arm is made from relatively light billet aluminium with the centre bridge manufactured in carbon fibre on the front arm.

Rolling out of the pitlane, the initial feeling was a little odd. When I opened and close the throttle the bike was implacable and dive-free. Below 10mph it weaved very gently as I counter steered, trying to get used to the unusual sensation of hub steering. The initial feeling was vague.

As mentioned, the first session was a little damp as well as cold, so the first few laps were ridden with £60,000-worth of circumspection. Soon, though, I started to connect to the different feeling and learnt to trust the front-end grip rather than feel for it as I would with teles. Within a few laps, the TESI started to feel natural and I started to feel at home, dragging my knee on the Ferrari test track with confidence.

By session two, with heat in the Bridgestone rubber and more track familiarity, we properly clicked, in part because of the relative lightness of the Bimota. The quoted kerb wight of the TESI H2 is 219kg (207kg dry) while Kawasaki quotes a wet weight of 238kg for the standard H2, which means a significant 19kg saving with a demonstrably lower centre of gravity too.

Add to this the fact that the (theoretical) head angle is far steeper on the TESI – 21.3° with 117mm of trail and 24.5° and 103mm on the Kawasaki. The TESI system allows a much steeper head angle (if Kawasaki were to run such a steep head angle it would almost buckle the forks) which quickens the steering and makes the TESI even more responsive to rider inputs. There's a sense of lightness engineered into the bike.  

In pictures it may look like a big bike, especially with me on board..., and it is indeed on the large side with a taller seat height than the Kawasaki – but it feels much lighter than its Kawasaki donor bike. Considering its brutal power output, the TESI made relatively light work of the Moderna's twistiest sections. After a 20-minute session, I didn’t feel like I’d been in a fight with a heavyweight. Fast direction changes were surprisingly easy, while it flowed accurately and calmly through the faster sections. While it's true that we didn’t have a standard H2 on the test, I’m sure the difference between the two bikes would be significant. I can’t remember the standard H2 feeling this fluid.

Braking is very different from a conventional bike, despite the TESI sharing the same Brembo Stylema calipers as the Kawasaki H2. No matter how hard and late you brake, the TESI stays flat. The front does not dive, you don’t run out of fork travel, and the rear does not lift. You can brake exceptionally late yet absolute stability remains – in fact nothing appears upset the handling. Corning ABS comes as standard, but its parameters have been changed to match the 'funny' front end as well as the bike's relative lightness and reduced stopping distance.

Arguably there are disadvantages to this system. Without fork dive, the rake stays constant; when you brake heavily it’s not easier to turn as it is on a conventional bike. I’d also argue the feeling isn’t as one-to-one. I didn’t have the confidence to brake deep into the apex, compressing the front tyre, feeling the sidewall squish and build grip. But this isn’t a race bike on race tyres, and I doubt very much that I’d brake deep to the apex on a standard Kawasaki H2 whilet dragging my knee to the apex.

The more laps I threw in, the more I got used to the feel of the front. I never had an issue with lack of grip or understeer, it worked perfectly and predictably. But I had to build up confidence, and in the last 10% I didn’t quite know how much to push. But I guess that will build as confidence increases and more set-up time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to play with the setup. Clever construction of the suspension support means ride height can be adjusted by 20mm without altering the bike’s geometry; instead, you’re essentially moving the bike’s centre of gravity. But initial impressions are of a lighter, more flickable machine that can brake later with more stability.



Bimota TESI H2 Comfort and economy

I don’t think the design team had much of a conversation about comfort and fuel economy. However, the Bimota is road legal, and the light handling I felt on track should transfer to the road. The seat height is higher than the H2's but can be changed by altering the ride height, and the pegs are also multi-adjustable.

The suspension is fully adjustable, with both remote pre-load adjusters located at the rear of the bike. The TESI front end should, in theory, be well-suited for the road, as braking does not compress the suspension, meaning braking over bumps should feel smoother and plusher.

As noted, the Bimota shares the same fuelling as the H2, and even the same 17-litre fuel tank. Range and mpg should be similar, if not slightly better on the Bimota as it's lighter and possibly more aerodynamic. But, like the H2, the Bimota will be thirsty, returning 35-40mpg at best, and considerably less on track. All said, if you are buying a £60,000 exotic superbike and thinking about running costs and comfort, you probably need to head to your nearest BMW dealership



Braking is controlled by twin 330mm discs, with four-piston Brembo Stylema  calipers, which are located at the top of the disc, inside the billet aluminium front swing-arm. These are taken directly from Kawasaki. Traditionally, Bimota would locate the calipers on the low side of the disc, at six o’clock, but now they are at 12 o’clock, which according to Bimota improves their efficiency.

Braking power is immense, the rear does not lift or come around, and the front does not pitch forward. Stability is total; the chassis feels solid. Bimota claims the TESI H2 stops in a shorter distance than the standard Kawasaki H2, so much so the cornering ABS system and parameters had to be recalibrated. However, some of this might be down to the lightness of the Bimota, and some would argue that on track the TESI front end doesn’t give the feedback of a conventional front end.

Kawasaki’s Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIS) ABS is present and correct and is linked to the IMU for lean sensitivity. Kawasaki’s engine brake control is also carried over to the Bimota. ABS intervention can be changed but cannot be fully deactivated. On track on standard rubber, the ABS was evident but not too intrusive.



Rider aids, extra equipment, and accessories

As you’re probably able to predict, rider aids lifted straight from Kawasaki's H2 but recalibrated to match the lighter Bimota. These are linked to a six-axis IMU. This means the TESI H2 comes with proven technology comprising: Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM), Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), ABS and Dual-direction Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS). Bimota has even retained the economical riding indicator. The instruments are again from Kawasaki, and their latest light-sensitive TFT displays.   

Bimota offers a full race exhaust, which looks stunning and shaves off 14kg, and add five more BHP.


Bimota TESI H2 Rivals

Ducati Superlegerra | Price: £90,000

Power/Torque: 224bhp / 85.6 lb-ft | Weight: 159kg


Honda RC213V-S | Price: £180,000

Power/Torque: 212bhp / 118 lb-ft | Weight: 160kg


Crighton CR700W | Price: £95,000

Power/Torque: 220bhp / 105 lb-ft | Weight: 130kg


2022 Bimota Tesi H2 Review Price Spec_02


Bimota TESI H2 Verdict

The Bimota TESI H2 is a very difficult bike to judge and to give a categoric verdict because it’s so different from anything on the market. Judged by social media alone, some already hate the looks and ‘funny’ front end based on styling alone...

For me, Bimota has taken one of the world’s best engines, Kawasaki’s supercharged H2, and housed it in a unique chassis, which feels lighter and more agile than the all-Japanese bike. The Italians have then added their own flair, style and design – and I love the fact it looks like no other bike on the planet. Yes, it’s expensive, but numbers are going to be limited to 250 and is in line to become a future classic.

But the TESI H2 isn’t for everyone. Some won’t click with the hub-centre steering and the differences it brings and the fuelling is aggressive at low speeds, which on the road will be far from ideal. And if you have £60,000 there are cheaper bikes that are faster around a race track.

I applaud what Bimota has done. It's wonderful that there are designers who are still out there pushing the boundaries and producing something that not only works but looks fantastic.

If your favourite colour is grey and you get excited about golf, the TESI isn’t for you. If you want big power, a bold statement, and don’t care about mpg or the fact there are bikes that are more capable on track – then the TESI is for you. I can’t think of any other bike which shouts ‘look at me!’ any louder. It’s a bold, brilliant Kawasaki H2 smothered in Italian style and engineering brilliance. Who wants normal!


2022 Bimota TESI H2 Specification

New price




Bore x Stroke

76 x 55mm

Engine layout

Inline 4-cylidner

Engine details

Water-cooled, 4v per cylinder, four-stroke, supercharged


170 kW/ 228bhp @ 11,500rpm


141.7Nm /104.5 ft lbs @ 11,000rpm

Top speed

186mph (est)


6-speed, up/down quick shifter

Average fuel consumption

Claimed: tbc

Tank size

17 litres

Rider aids

3 engine maps, 9 levels of lean-sensitive traction control including wheelie and slide control, lean-sensitive ABS, up and down quick-shifter, launch control, and engine brake control.


Billet machined aluminium plates onto the engine

Front suspension

Billet aluminium alloy, 100mm travel

Front suspension adjustment

Öhlins TTX 36 Fully adjustable

Rear suspension

Billet aluminium alloy 130mm travel

Rear suspension adjustment

Öhlins TTX36 Fully adjustable

Front brake

2x330mm discs, Brembo 4-pot calipers, Cornering ABS

Rear brake

220mm disc, Brembo 2-pot caliper, Cornering ABS

Front wheel / tyre

120/70 X 17 Bridgestone RS11

Rear wheel / tyre

200/55 X 17 Bridgestone RS11



Seat height

840 mm (+/-10mm ride height)


207kg (dry) 219kg (kerb)


24 months

MCIA Secured rating

Not yet included


1000km then every 12,000km




Looking for motorbike insurance? Get a quote for this bike with Bennetts motorcycle insurance


2022 Bimota Tesi H2 Review Price Spec_09


What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible. 

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.