The Bimota Mantra is a very special motorcycle. I even did use mine one year (including winter) to ride to work and home again.
I took it to the Bimota factory in Rimini, to the Eifel and to the Harz.
In the end, I almost always preferred one of my other bikes to ride on: I like bumpy roads with a bad surface, and those are definitely not Mantra-roads. Because I think it's a shame when a motorbike stands still, I sold it to someone who was very glad with it.
Here are some photographs of the time it was mine.
The Pink Panther was bought as a replacement for my first BMW R1100GS, but somehow, this bike and I didn't relate.
One day, I saw a Bimota Mantra at a dealer. From the first time I had seen a picture of it in a motorcycle magazine, I had fallen in love with it.
The dealer suggested taking it for a ride.
It felt completely different from the GS: very light, much less secure on bumpy roads, great fun at all speeds, a great great great sound, and I would have to learn a lot (steering this one is totally different from what I am used to). So you can guess the result...
I had to decide to use this bike for everything (vacations, commuting, etc), so it was a tough decision, but I took the plunge.
The exhaust (Termigioni's) and the engine (Ducati 906cc) together are responsible for by far the most beautiful motorcycle sound that I know of...
The back side of the Bimota Mantra is beautiful as well.
From above it's obvious that the designer of the Mantra, Sacha Lakic , took ispiration from wasps.
And the gauges are housed in real plastic walnut ;-)
About its name, Bonobo: a Bonobo is a life-enjoying chimpansee, and therefore a nickname of Ernst. And because the Mantra and Ernst share the same life-enjoying capacaties (and the same bad character...), the name of the Mantra is Bonobo. The real Bonobo's have their own site.
Here, you see the Bonobo and the R3B together. A Bimota Mantra is a very strange bike when you are used to R11GSses!
The bike is much less forgiving, and you have to steer more with your bodyweight as opposed to the handlebars. To go around a corner at the same speed, you have to lean over the Mantra more than the GS (because of the broader tyres).
I used it for traveling, and, though thw possibilities for luggage are minimal, it's a very nive traveling bike: the seat and the engine bith ensure that you can ride on, for as long as you wish.
We even took it to the Bimota factory in Rimini, and the distance was very easily covered, on the Bimota.
I used the Mantra for commuting as well, even during winter. It let me down only once, a problem of the electrics (well, yes, it's an Italian bike!).
However, for a couple of reasons I bought a second hand R1100GS as my "main bike":
I miss being able to take unpaved roads, while on vacation, and somehow, in the Netherlands, it was obvious that I encountered far more often
aggressive car drivers, than when I an on a R1100GS. Hostile car drivers even made me decide never to ride alone anymore, on the Mantra.
Very strange: in other countries (espcially Italy of course), the behaviour of car drivers is the opposite: people like seeing the Mantra.
And yes, I know that I look ridiculous, but I don't care. The Mantra deserves a special suit ;-)
I took it to the Harz, traveling in a group of motorcycle riders.
Some roads were very difficult, but there were real Mantra roads too.
Here, the road obviously is a Mantra-road!
Here, the BMW R1100GS of Ernst and my Mantra are waiting patiently for us to return.