Selling out the first batch of 20 Oroneros at the steep price of €39,900 (over $50,000 US)-compared to "just" €27,400 (approximately $34,800 US) for the steel-framed standard DB7- was quite an achievement. After production began in June this year, 11 of the bikes had been delivered to customers, alongside the 200-plus examples of the DB7 normale that Bimota had constructed so far in 2009. To be given the keys of the world's most expensive volume production streetbike for a day-spent riding it at the same Magione circuit in central Italy, where 18 months earlier I'd been the first to ride the stock DB7-was a pretty eye-opening experience...once I managed to tenuously forget how much it'd cost to repair such a bike if I managed to crash it.
ExtremeTech 2v4 shock with...
ExtremeTech 2v4 shock with titanium spring has both high- and low-speed compression damping adjustment, as well as spring preload and rebound damping, plus ride height over a 20mm range via a beautifully-made eccentric upper shock mount.
The heavily oversquare 104 x 64.7 mm desmo V-twin 1099cc engine is completely unmodified in its Oronero application from use in the stock Ducati 1098, but the freer-flowing yet still Euro 3-compliant Zard exhaust gives the Oronero owner an extra two horsepower on top, taking power to a claimed 164 horsepower at 10,200 rpm. Bimota's Walbro ECU is matched to 12-hole Magneti Marelli shower-type injectors, one per cylinder. Coupled with the 2-into-1 exhaust using 52mm diameter stainless steel headers and a single dual-exit carbon-edged titanium silencer, this delivers an altered power delivery and flatter torque curve compared to the stock Ducati. And thankfully that performance is delivered via Bimota's own ramp-style slipper clutch, something that should come stock on all comparable Ducati models.
You immediately feel that improved power delivery on the Oronero once you take to the track, with an extra eight horsepower and a corresponding increase in torque between 6,000-8,000 rpm. Working with the smooth throttle response makes the DB7's engine even nicer to use than the Ducati 1098. The 1098 will go on building power to the 11,000 rpm mark, says Acquaviva, but on the Oronero you can feel it peak out at 10,200 rpm, and the revlimiter kicks in 300 rpm later, although by then the power has already tailed off. What you have here is a piece of exotica meant to be ridden as a real-world motorcycle.
No, those aren't carbon fiber...
No, those aren't carbon fiber fork tubes-the 43mm Marzocchi fork sports nitride-coated tubes for less stiction. Brembo racing billet monobloc calipers bite on 320mm Braking petal discs for serious stopping power.
The Oronero rockets out of a second-gear turns as if you'd just lit the afterburners-and then holds that extra performance a gear higher, all without the lack of any traction control becoming apparent. It just makes second and third gear powerwheelies a fact of life exiting any medium-speed turns hard on the gas, and you'll be glad the ExtremeTech steering damper soon irons out the inevitable shakes you'll get when you touch down the front wheel crossed up. The power delivery of the Ducati engine is clean, linear and progressive as you drive hard from 2500 rpm upwards towards the red 9500-rpm shifter lights running across the top of the GET dash, which among the plethora of data available, also clearly shows the gear selected. But, like the Digitek dash on a Ducati, the numbers on the tachometer readout are too small to read easily, though the digital speedo in the top left corner is easy to see.