Massimo Tamburini is to motorcycles, what Michelangelo was to the Sistine Chapel. A grand old man of sorts, and perhaps one of the greatest motorcycle designers to have ever lived. His work has given teenage boys something to hang on their bedroom walls, bikes like the Ducati 916 and the MV Agusta F4. What is interesting though is the fact, that despite his immense expertise, Tamburini was always working to someone else’s preset guidelines. A factor that he would see as a restriction. Things changed when Tamburini was diagnosed with cancer, a man with a vision and nothing to lose is a force to be reckoned with. The result, is a motorcycle that is unrestricted in every way, the T12 Massimo that is splashed across this page.
Following Tamburini’s death, his son Andrea took over the T12 project and unveiled a prototype back in 2016. Now, the motorcycle is complete and ready to hit production. That is as much production as will be required to produce 12 bespoke motorcycles, each of which has been priced at 1 million USD, or Rs 6.6 crore in India. Thus making the T-12 one of the most expensive motorcycles ever built. To the true-blue enthusiast, however, the T12 is a celebration of Tamburini’s life work, akin to the Mona Lisa, and in that sense, the 6.6 crore price tag (sans duties) seems more than justified.
Look closely and you’ll see hints of the MV Agusta F4 even in the T12, the sharp lines and edgy tailpiece, remind you that Tamburini’s blessed both motorcycles. The headstock and the single-sided swingarm are made out of magnesium. The carbon fibre and a titanium exhaust from Arrow help the bike weigh just 150kg (dry). To put that in perspective a KTM Duke weighs 165 kgs.
The T12 Massimo is built around the BMW S1000RR’s engine, which has been tuned to WSBK-spec. The results are stratospheric, as was expected, making a claimed 232 hp! The T12 is built on a patented bespoke trellis chassis that helps maintain the structural rigidity of the frame, as well as top-of-the-line components such as the MotoGP-spec Ohlins suspensions on the front and back, and top-shelf Brembo radial-mount callipers, rotors and master cylinders with quick-release lines by Staubli.
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