Often referred to as the “Michelangelo of motorcycles”, Massimo Tamburini’s influence on motorcycle design is hard to overstate. As the creative force behind iconic models such as the Ducati 916, MV Agusta F4 (and F3 and Brutale), it’s easy to comprehend just how extraordinary Tamburini's work truly was. While he did managed to deliver some truly breathtaking motorcycle designs in his time, Tamburini always had to work within restrictive guidelines dictated by government regulations and inspections. Towards the very end of his life, Tamburini said to hell with all those pesky government restrictions and created a concept for a truly elite motorcycle with no concern for production costs or road-legal regulations. The result was the breathtaking T12 Massimo.
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"To showcase my father’s last work, in which he has put all of his life’s experiences, in an extremely prestigious context like Top Marques, is for me the absolute best way to honor him as a designer and as a person. The T12 Massimo is for all intents and purposes a work of art projecting the future, at the same time representing his way of being, without compromises and always seeking excellence,” stated Andrea Tamburini, Massimo’s son who was at the helm for the T12 project.
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Though Tamburini sadly passed away in April of 2014 prior to seeing his T12 concepts come to life, the legendary designer’s son took the reins and brought the motorcycle to fruition. The T12 was first unveiled as a prototype way back in 2016. Two years later and the first dozen units are now scheduled to roll out of the factory, and damn, are these some elite motorcycles. The track-only two-wheelers are built around BMW’s potent S1000RR mill which have reportedly been tuned to WSBK-spec—now putting down a cool (claimed) 230 horsepower. The BMW engine is wrapped in proprietary chassis—a steel tube trellis unit married to cast magnesium swing-arm plates and steering head with a sexy lightweight cast magnesium alloy single-sided swing-arm.
Another major highlight on the T12 is its hardware, which consists of all top-of-the-line components; MotoGP-spec Brembo four-pot monoblocks, MotoGP-spec Öhlins suspension fore and aft, forged magnesium MFR/Robert Marchesini rims wrapped in Pirelli racing slicks, CNC machined rear-sets, race-spec instrumentation, Motec engine management, an underslung (a la Panigale) titanium Arrow four-into-one exhaust created specially for the T12, and all of this is wrapped in gorgeous lightweight carbon fiber bodywork which helps to keep the prestigious track weapon’s dry weight down to a svelte (claimed) 340 pound (dry) weight.
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The first dozen examples to roll off the boutique assembly line make their public debut at Monaco’s fancy shmancy Top Marques luxury car show. The downside to this equation is that for the vast majority of motorcyclists, seeing a T12 at an auto show will almost certainly be the closest most of us will come to the bonkers racer. Pricing is just shy of $1,000,000 (technically $980K or £700k). So, while few of us will ever have the privilege of piloting one of these things, it still makes for some damn good bike porn if you ask me.
For more info you can click here to check out the T12's website.
Photos courtesy of Tamburini S.r.I