Hailed by the press as the best Twin ever produced, the new 999 has proved to its riders its power to win on tracks around the world. The innovative and cool design immediately draws attention to this dynamic machine. The Ducati 999 seems to be in motion even when at rest.
Our goal was to create a Ducati Superbike of stunning design that improves rider ergonomics, makes maintenance easier, reduces complexity of the motorcycle and offers performance second to none. The aerodynamics, mechanical and electronic components, chassis and running gear were developed first and styling followed.
And a look under its fairing confirms the 999’s state-of-the art technology.
Customise your new Superbike with Ducati accessories. Working closely with R&D and the Corse race team, Ducati builds motorcycle accessories that let owners create their own Dream Bikes. With a passion for design innovation and new materials, Ducati itself has become the industry reference point for the finest, custom Ducati accessories available.
2005 has been an exceptional year for Ducati Superbikes, the range having been completely revolutionised with a series of stylistic and functional refinements and, above all, with a general upward shift in terms of power ratings and performance in both engine displacements and all versions. The 749 and 999 machines have been made more aggressive, edging closer to the dividing line between the street bikes and the official machine used on the world's racetracks.
For the Superbikes manufactured in Borgo Panigale, 2006 will be dedicated to digesting the generational shift, which has taken place just two years from the launch of the new series, with the numerous innovations and refinements introduced in 2005.
The decision to revolutionise the machines was driven by the return of Ducati to the North American AMA Superbike Championship, which has more stringent rules than European championships with regard to modifications to mechanical parts and chassis: the new model is a result of the efforts aimed at creating a machine that would be race-ready straight off the production line, with a large number of adjustments for attitude and riding position, while also being suitable for use on the road. The result is a superbly contemporary range that is highly sophisticated and able to meet the most demanding sports rider with the basic equipment of the 749 and 999, and gradually approaching the S and R versions in a series of evolutionary steps. This brings us to the current state of the art, with the top of the range position occupied by a 999R packing a massive 150 HP, proposed for 2006 also in a Xerox replica version, sporting the colours of the "official" SBK ridden by James Toseland and Regis Laconi.
The Ducati sports machines share aesthetics based on the concept of racing aerodynamics, with fairings that are highly effective also at extreme speeds. That's the thinking behind the development of a new upper fairing, designed to protect the rider's head and shoulders and eliminate air turbulence. The fairing, which is higher and wider than its predecessor to increase the level of protection, joining a tapered lower section of the body, equipped with a pair of sweeping wrap-around and highly effective deflectors. Protection of the rider is one of the key concepts of the latest generation of Ducati machines: the absence of air turbulence makes the cockpit more comfortable - an important factor when riding in traffic and offering significant benefits on the racetrack because stress and fatigue levels are reduced, allowing riders to achieve consistently fast lap times for longer. The unforgiving stopwatch has amply proved this theory.
The styling and aerodynamic strategies adopted are just two of the factors used to achieve the close relationship between competition and series production machines. The box-section swingarm - very light and with very high torsional strength - comes from the world championship experience in the Superbike class and is the most evolved solution for road riding and for the racetrack, apart from adding to the already mean appearance of the 749 and 999. Style and function are also reflected in the exhaust silencer, which is integrated into the rear fairing and protected by a black anodised aluminium cover, and also in the ergonomics of the machine and the multiple possibilities for adjusting rider position. Since their introduction in 2002, the current Ducati Superbikes have been characterised by the ability to modify the positions of the handlebar levers and footrests, and also the facility to adjust steering head rake to two positions, a feature that is unavailable on any other sports machine on the market.
There's also one final detail worthy of note: fore-aft adjustment of the seat-tank unit on single-seater versions of the machines. These unique features make the 749 and 999 the production machines that, of all the bikes currently on the market, are the closest to the thoroughbred race versions.
The sports personality of these machines are also reflected in the engines, with the impressive twin cylinder engine bringing sheer performance prowess to all equipment versions. These results have been achieved while keeping a close watch on environmental concerns: all the twin cylinder engines, including the 150 HP mounted on the 999R, comply in full with stringent Euro2 regulations.
The basis of the current Superbike family, the incredible balance of this machine never fails to impress. The styling is nothing short of iconic and the 140 HP engine is at ease with any type of riding style or road conditions. This bike offers an incredibly attractive mix of features, designed to appeal to riders of all types, even those who are approaching the racetrack for the first time, offering the ability to achieve truly excellent lap times.
All aesthetic developments start from this package, which is what happened 12 months ago with the launch of the current edition, identifiable because of the revised proportions of the upper fairing and windscreen, which are now more protective, and the elimination of the vertical air intakes that distinguished the first 999s. The current model is aesthetically very similar to the official Testastretta bikes in terms of bodywork and technical details, such as the striking box-section aluminium swingarm.
Among the most appealing elements on the machine, the box-section swingarm combined with the tubular trellis frame is one of the key features of the 999 chassis because it combines ultra lightweight with remarkable resistance to twisting and flex. Consequently, road handling is extremely precise in all riding conditions, which cover a very wide range of situations for the 999, from the racetrack to the motorway, or winding mountain roads, with a solo rider or with a passenger. The "standard" 999 features numerous ergonomic solutions, which are also found on the more sports-oriented versions. This machine features adjustments to alter the distance of levers from the handlebars, footrests with five position adjustments and a variable rake steering head, complete with a steering damper equipped with eccentric attachment system to adapt rapidly to fork angle adjustments. The sophisticated chassis of the 999 is completed by Showa suspension front and rear, with full adjustment for preload and hydraulic damping. The front fork even includes TiN slider coating for racing performance and superb handling.
The Testastretta engine of the 999 twin packs an impressive punch.
The performance is that of a thoroughbred race engine, with 140 HP at 9,750 rpm and 11.1 kgm of available torque at 8,000 rpm. Among the many advantages of this engine is its deep sump, resembling that of the official race machines, that allows very generous lean angles for high speed cornering.
Frame: Tubular steel trellis
Wheelbase: 1420 mm / 55.9 in
Rake: 23.5° - 24.5°
Front Suspension: Showa 43 mm upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment
Front Wheel Travel: 125 mm / 4.9 in
Front Brake: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad caliper
Front Wheel: Y-shaped 5-spoke light alloy 3.50 x 17
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Showa monoshock
Rear Wheel Travel: 128 mm / 5 in
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear Wheel: Y-shaped 5-spoke light alloy 5.50 x 17
Rear Tire: 190/50 ZR 17
Fuel Capacity: 15.5 L / 4.1 US gal (includes 3 L / 0.8 US gal reserve)
Weight * : 186 kg / 410 lbs
Seat Height: 780 mm / 30.7 in
Instruments: Speedometer, rev counter, high beam indicator, turn signals, oil pressure warning light, low fuel warning light, neutral light, water temperature, immobilizer system
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Tank and Fairing Colours: Red, Yellow, Glossy black (for two-seat only)
Frame and Wheel Colours: Red w/black wheels, Metallic Grey w/Metallic Grey wheels, Black w/Black wheels
Versions: One or Two Seats
*=* = The weight excludes battery, lubricants and, where applicable, cooling liquid.
Type: L twin cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder Testastretta Desmodromic; liquid cooled
Displacement: 998 cc
Bore and stroke: 100 x 63.5 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.4:1
Power: 103 kw - 140 hp @ 9750 rpm
Torque: 11.1 kgm - 80 ft-lbs @ 8000 rpm
Fuel system: Marelli electronic fuel injection, 54 mm throttle body
Exhaust: Single steel muffler with catalytic converter
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratio: 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 28/20, 4th 26/22, 5th 24/23, 6th 23/24
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; ratio 1.84
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 36
Clutch: Dry multiplate with hydraulic control