Ducati was ready for a fresh approach to styling after the 916/996/998 successes, and while they got their wish in Pierre Terblanche's 999, the new look was always controversial. Though the WSBK team had a great many wins and three championships, after four years the factory returned to a more reminiscent design for the 1098. The 999 look was a short interlude in Ducati design but the performance of the bikes, especially the -R editions, cannot be denied.
Peculiar to the 999R's, the seriously oversquare 999 cc engine ( 104mm bore x 58.8mm stroke ) rates 146 hp, thanks in part to titanium valve gear and forged pistons. The bike tested at a 10.6 second quarter-mile and damn near 175 mph. The two-into-one exhaust has an angular canister muffler under the seat. Fully adjustable Ohlins are at both ends. Brakes are Brembo 320mm front ( 4-piston with radial mounting ) and 240mm rear.
Stacking the headlights allowed the fairing a little more height, and a mid-size rider can tuck into the bike and escape some the wind. In the case of the 999R, the full fairings are carbon fiber, as are the number-plated seat fairing and fender. Typical adjustments to the handlebars and footpegs are augmented by the ability to move the seat / tank console to accommodate the rider.
As ready as the 999R came for the track, this particular bike has had more preparation. Upgrades to the engine, exhaust, suspension, clutch and brakes have all been completed, and a full set of track-day bodywork is available. From the eBay auction:
Like other R models, the 999 comes with a more powerful modified engine design that includes numerous upgrades including titanium valves, conrods, lightened crank and forged pistons. The frame was modified to meet homologation requirements for World Superbike. It comes from the factory with a stock exhaust canister and an off-road canister for track use. The R model also includes fully adjustable Ohlin shock and forks, forged aluminum Marchesini wheels and a complete OEM carbon fiber body in red.Upgrades included with the sale of this bike: a full titanium Termignoni exhaust kit (lighter, large diameter header) including air filter and ECU, upgraded Ohlins factory valves for shock and forks, Surflex slipper clutch, Ducati Performance rear-sets, and Braketech floating rotors.Great cosmetic and mechanical condition. The bike shows minor wear typical of age and mileage. The stock body was removed and put in storage and the bike wore the gunmetal race body for most of the mileage. Dunlop Sportmax Q3 tires are near new with less than 500 miles. Major service including valve adjustment and belt replacement was performed ahead of schedule. Chain, sprockets, battery all recently replaced.
Ludicrously speedy for the road, this machine would seem to demand a track club membership or maybe a dry summer at Bonneville. Not unused with 9,000 miles, it looks well cared for. Hard to say what the bidders will say since the 999 doesn't always produce reverent Ducatisti, but this is a quite rare machine well prepared for some very high performance endeavors...