Tamburini T12 Massimo (8)

When Italian designer Massimo Tamburini passed on two years ago on April 6, 2014, he left behind a design legacy in the world of motorcycles that will never be surpassed. Tamburini’s motorcycles designs were iconic, and being one of the founders of Bimota – the name combining the first two letters of the surnames of Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini – gave the world the Bimota Tesi, a hub-centre steered motorcycle that had no frame, but used the engine as a stressed member.

It was Tamburini’s time with Cagiva and Ducati that he rose to prominence as the world’s foremost motorcycle designer, first with the Ducati Paso, then with the greatest motorcycle of the 20th century, the Ducati 916. Leaving Ducati to join MV Agusta, Tamburini then brought to life the MV Agusta F4, using his preferred engine design, an inline-four.

Retiring from MV Agusta in 2008 after completing the F3 675, and subject to a three-year non-compete clause with Agusta, Tamburini went to work on his dream of the ultimate superbike. Working together with son Andrea, Tamburini brought to life the T12 Massimo – ‘T’ for Tamburini, ’12’ being his lucky number and ‘Massimo’ being both Tamburini’s first name and “maximum” in Italian.

Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013, Tamburini handed over development of the T12 Massimo to Andrea, before succumbing to his ailment. Taking over the reins of development, Andrea produced two prototypes of the T12 Massimo, which were unveiled recently.

Working with members of the Tamburini family and external investors, Andrea’s efforts in carrying on his father’s dream has resulted in what might be Tamburini’s final vision of the perfect super bike – a dream that began with Bimota almost four decades ago. Carrying the SBK version of BMW Motorrad’s S1000RR inline-four engine, the T12 Massimo is a combination of lightweight and exotic materials, combined with precision manufacturing.

The result is a 230 hp track-only motorcycle that weighs a shade above 150 kg, with the physical dimensions of a GP bike. Carbon-fibre is used throughout the entire machine, from the sleek slab-sided fairing, through to the air-box and intake runners, up to the self-supporting fuel tank and tail-piece. The 999 cc S1000RR engine is used as a stressed member, a Tamburini design signature. Carried in a minimal steel trellis frame, massive machined billet aluminium side-plates anchor the swing-arm.

Magnesium is used for the head-stock, swing-arm and wheels, and the very best racing-quality components are included, such as Ohlins suspension for the front and rear. Braking is done by Brembo, using racing-use only components with Staubli fittings, and the T12 Massimo’s electronics are by Motec.

Available only on order, the T12 Massimo is expected to cost in the region of 300,000 euro (RM1.38 million), and a substantial down-payment is expected when the customer’s order is placed. What do you think? A supreme example of motorcycle art or over-priced rich man’s toy? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.