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Take Two: 2005 Ducati 999R

Spring has sprung in a magical way here at RSBFS. Not only did we find three low-mileage Ducati 851 examples in the past two weeks, we now have our second super-clean Ducati 999R in a single week (see the first one here). If you are in the market for something to collect, now is definitely the season; the market is rife with the rare and exotic.

2005 Ducati 999R for sale on eBay

For Ducati fans, there are a few things to know about the 999 series. Firstly, it was designed by Pierre Terblanche, whose credits include the unicorn Supermono racer and the MH900e. Secondly, note that pictures do not do these bikes justice. In person the 999/749 series actually work well, standing out visually without being overbearing. Thirdly, this next-generation Ducati superbike is fast – faster than the 996/998 series it replaced. And finally, it is multi-configurable from an ergonomic perspective, and can be made to be relatively comfortable (try that on a 916).

From the seller:
I have owned this bike for the past 4 years and truly enjoyed it. I am switching to only track racing and I do not ride on the road anymore.In 2018 oil, belts and spark plugs (very expensive) have been replaced. I have receipt.New tires also – Bridgestone in 2018.Engine oil was also replaced in 2019 although very little mileage was put on the bike since (500 miles maybe).The 999R comes with one key, the key card, OEM manual.Some tasty options:Full Titanium “race only” exhaustAdjustable LeversClutch CoverShorty leversQuick remove gas capThe bike is a joy to ride, the sound of the titanium Termignoni is intoxicating.

The 999R is a bit of a “love it or hate it” design. But there are so many intricate elements to the bike that one really needs to spend some time on the details to fully appreciate what it brings to the table. Check out the peek-a-boo “999R” logo on the fairing, with the carbon fiber showing through the paintwork. How about the skeletonized triple trees with the fully adjustable front suspension components? The analog / digital dash which keeps the important items (i.e. tach) front and center? How about the way the rear cylinder head just peeks through the bodywork on the side view, hinting at the mechanical violence underneath? It’s easy to get lost in the 999 design once you look beyond the stacked headlights.

The 999 series is also on the rise from a monetary perspective. Like always, the higher spec R bikes will lead the way, as these are the most rare and the most potent. But with Ducati quick to revert back to the 916/996/998 design language for the subsequent 1098, the 999R becomes a bit of a unicorn in the R bike world. These are magnificent motorcycles that have real (and growing) collector value. This particular example looks great, is well photographed, and is currently in the value basement at $12,500. There are several days to go and more than a few watchers, so I would expect it to follow the price path of the 999R posted on these pages earlier (that one is at $15k and still climbing). Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

7 Comments

  • No comments on this or the previous 999R, so I guess I’d better. Mike, all the visual gimmicks you list don’t add up to a good looking motorcycle, and you repeat the faint praise that these look better in person. Sure they’re great to drive, but what R spec Ducati isn’t? I often wonder how many readers here at RSBFS care about collector value – $15,000 isn’t much in that world. These are rare because they didn’t sell that well and were quickly replaced with a better looking machine.
    I’ve been a reader here for years and will continue – really appreciate what you do.
    Thanks
    Alan

  • Hi guys, every 999R I’ve seen had the little numbered plague on the top clamp. This one’s missing or did some US delivered examples miss out?
    Cheers Moz

  • Hi Alan – thanks for the comments. Faint praise might well be the correct phrase here, given that I’ve Tamburini designs in my garage, but nothing by Terblanche. That being said, these bikes are certainly, er, “distinctive.” 🙂

    Having seen far too many comments over the years at RSBFS about other “non collector” bikes that could be had for just $1,500 just a few years ago (insert bike and absurdly low price of your choice here) but now all trade for $15k or $20k +, there will certainly come a day when the ugly duckling makes it into that category. We’re seeing slow movement in that direction already.

    – Mike

  • Hello Moz – good question. Only 999R model years 2003 and 2004 have the special number plate – 2005 and 2006 models don’t. The exception is the 2005 and 2006 Xerox livery R bikes. You can tell an earlier bike by the gray frame; red was introduced in ’05. The final verdict should be the VIN – and in this case it checks out as an official R bike.

    -Mike

  • The 999R and 749R are truly beautiful to my eyes. The early 916, especially the SPS versions, are gorgeous, but by the time the 998 arrived, the design looked long in the tooth and the sleek 998R, all 700 of them, look bland. The 03 999R has the same engine as the 998R and, for some reason, that first 999 design did not look coherent. In 2004,came the red frame, in 2005 the more powerful engine and a small redesign ; that is the beautiful one. The USA 999Rs for 05/06 did not have a numbered plaque on the triple clamp but should have a larger plaque in a red case. The “rest of the world” 999Rs had both the triple clamp plaque and the one in a box. These bikes are very distinctive and beautiful and rare. Their racing brothers won many WSBK titles and races and, for me , the 04 749R, is the most desirable.

  • Someone bid on this one. I won the other one and can’t afford 2!

  • Looks like the right side fairing is a replacement? I don’t see carbon fiber under the 999r. Can anyone confirm?

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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