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Live from Hollywood – 2005 Ducati 999R

Long ago when V-twin Superbikes made do with a mere liter, Ducati made a smashing revision to the 916 series.  Like some other revolutions, it was voted down - but the monoposto 999R is the apex of the short-lived Tamburini design.

2005 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay


Ducati produced just 200 of the R-spec for homologation purposes, and while not quite race-prepared, they had the equipment that the WSBK team wanted to be able to use.  For the 999R, that meant a slightly different engine with revised heads and a lot of titanium, resulting in 150 hp at a low 9,750 rpm, and a flat torque curve.  Headstock angle is adjustable, as is the seat console position.  Öhlins are found front and rear, fully adjustable with revised valving and nitride-treated fork legs.  Clutches were "free" or unconstrained by the rule book, so the factory was not compelled to add a slipper clutch, though the big twin calls for one.


Looking very stock and showing just under 10,000 miles, this 999R is apparently in the care of a specialty dealer in Florida.  Maybe not subject to the endless polishing and re-farkeling it would get at home, but very good shape with only one scrape, though how it got there without a lot of collateral damage is a mystery.  From the eBay auction:

This motorcycle is in excellent condition, and has been cared for properly since day one. Starts runs and drives perfectly. 2005 was the first year of the deep sump 999R 150HP motor, and big swing arm. The previous year came with a weaker motor, and less robust swing arm. It also has the full carbon bodywork.
There are a few tiny scratches, and a small bit of road rash on the underside of the belly fairing, but overall it is in amazing condition.


The base 999 has a lot of awe-inspiring details, and the -R has them as well, but executed in carbon or forged alloy, and often adjustable.  But turning some of these knobs requires some expert knowledge, besides open track time and a mechanic or two.  Like winning the lottery, it would be fun to give it a go.  Not sure if there is a "starter" 999R, but this might be it - ready for a valve adjustment, new rubber, a little paint work, and maybe a personalizing update or two.  The Make Offer button beckons...



  • I had a lower spec 999 in black, I think the “locomotive” design looks a lot better in a darker color. Uncomfortable as hell but makes all the right noises and absolutely rips. I had to sell it because it was too hard to not go 100mph everywhere. Something about that bike just begged to be ridden fast, even compared to other sport bikes.

  • Didn’t Terblanche design these without Tamburini’s input? I don’t think Tamburini had anything to do with the 999/749 but I stand to be corrected.

  • The 999/749 was a Terblanche design. I think it’s a typo in the post. I always thought these were cool bikes. I’ve been seeing the 999R’s selling for 20k+, hopefully this pushes the value of my 749R up. 🙂

  • It’s funny…I never loved the 999 look but I recently picked up a 999R Fila and it’s gorgeous in person! The carbon fiber work is spectacular, the magnesium headlight bucket (I think it’s mag anyway) showing through the numberplate, the cool…two color wheels. I’m now a fan! Came with a dead battery so yet to take her for a spin but can’t wait for that also. Not sure she will stay in the “permanent collection” as I bought it a while ago (just now delivered) and I went a little overboard on some other bikes I bought since then so may need the capital back…we will see, may be hard to let go!

  • Readers are correct, brain fart on my part, a Pierre Terblanche design. The listing expired just now, apparently without success…

  • LOL – you had to haul ass to keep some wind on your chest to hold you up! I remember thinking these bikes were ugly back then but I love them now. Newer bikes have all these sharp edges and so many have a bunch of engine bits exposed. I’m in my middle 40’s and like the old days, I like curves and FULL fairings. These posts/newsletters sure make me wish I had a lot more disposable income. FWIW, I just bought a pristine 2000 ZX-9R with 6,000 miles and about 170 hp at the wheel for $5,200 and I love her. And it’s in the old school lime green. I love her to death.

  • Congrats on the new purchase…I love Kawi’s and ZX9’s were awesome machines. You’re going to love it!


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