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RideFast Dec 2019

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  • Abraham
  • Rear
  • Honda
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  • Panigale
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  • December
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Bimota’s famous

Bimota’s famous hub-center steering takes center stage Two shocks are better than one - Double Ohlins semi-active suspension controlling the front and rear. that has begun to sprout strange, fungal growths at either end. Move in closer, though, and the Tesi H2 begins revealing its continental charms. The bodywork is all very nice, with carbon accents aplenty and a simple, sexy cockpit. Every component is either pulled off the top shelf or lovingly machined. The two fully-adjustable shocks in front of the rear wheel will raise eyebrows, and they should. Each mounted on its own eccentric adjuster, they can be used to adjust the ride height of the front and rear of the bike independently, and while one shock takes care of suspension action at the rear wheel, the other appears to handle the front swingarm via a long linkage down the lower left hand side of the bike. As for the steering system, well, we do love a funny front end here at New Atlas. The Tesi H2 appears to run a fairly standard hub-center steering arrangement, with the handlebars connected back deep into the bike to rods that push and pull a lever connected to the front swingarm. This lever steers the front wheel around a static axle. The advantages of such a system are you get yourself a braking system that pushes braking force very efficiently back into the frame of the bike rather than putting a bending force on a pair of forks; you gain the ability to tune brake dive in or out, or even set it up such that the front end rises under braking; and braking, suspension and steering forces are nicely separated, giving riders the ability to brake later and deeper into corners without upsetting the bike’s ability to deal with bumps. The disadvantages are equally well known; a centerhub steered bike doesn’t offer much steering lock, so u-turns are a pain; the steering systems are complex, operating through a series of linkages that can remove feel from the steering, occasionally resulting in some slop at the bars when components start to wear; and from the looks of the Tesi H2, the front suspension has to go through a fair few complex linkages itself, which might cause suspension action to suffer similarly. Still, we’re delighted to see Bimota back in the game, with one of the world’s great engines to play with. This is a weird bike, and for our money there aren’t enough weird bikes on the road these days. Say what you will about the Tesi H2, it’ll be the center of attention at any bike night, and every rider that sees one, myself included, will be utterly fascinated to know what it’s like to ride. Few will find out, because the price will be astronomical, and that’s probably the way it should be. The front swingarm is suspended via a long linkage back to a rear-mounted shock “Word is that the Tesi H2 will be a very limited edition bike, and we probably won’t see one here in the Colonies unless it shows up in, like, Jay Leno’s garage or something.” 74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019