The 999 needs little introduction: in a short time, it has become a modern classic both on the track and on the road. Every detail is unique and purposeful, from the rear view mirrors with integrated indicators that are easily removed for track riding, to the multi-purpose instrument panel that is able to display vast amounts of data from engine condition to lap times. In addition to the 999's forward-thinking design and advanced ergonomics, all the key components are unique and of the highest quality, from the Y-spoke wheels to the compact and efficient exhaust silencer. Chassis
The tubular trellis frame of the 999 has been designed specifically to work in perfect harmony with the Testastretta engine. Like all Ducati frames, it is exceptionally light and rigid and delivers superior handling and road holding no matter the conditions. The 999 also includes many features normally found on only the most exotic race bikes. Fork angle is adjustable via an eccentric in the headstock that allows it to be set to 23.5 for quick turning or 24.5 for high stability. It is also fitted with a steering damper, specifically designed by the Ducati engineers to improve stability and ease of adjustment. High quality suspension components complete the 999's performance package. A Showa 43mm upside fork features TiN coated stanchions and rear suspension is handled by a premium Showa rear shock absorber. Both front and rear suspension is adjustable for compression and rebound damping as well as spring preload ensuring racing performance whether on the road or track.
The 998cc L-Twin Testastretta is a milestone in the latest generation of Ducati Superbike engines. Its unbeatable performance has been achieved by the application of Testastretta "compact head" technology, giving the 999 engine potent and linear power from idle to redline. Reliability has also been enhanced with improved engine lubrication, by way of increased oil pressure
This bike has the same forward-thinking design as the other versions, and is available in Ducati red or Ducati yellow colour schemes. Both colours feature five-spoke wheels and dark metallic grey painted chassis. The tail section on the single seat version has a white race number area applied, immediately identifying this model as a high performance "S" version.
In addition to the numerous possible adjustments to the chassis set-up, riding position and weight distribution, all available from the 749S upwards, the 999S has unusual suspension for a standard production model. In this case, the shock absorber and forks are by hlins, featuring specification and settings directly derived from Ducati racing experience.
The rear single shock absorber, like the upside down stanchion fork, can be adjusted for pre-load as well as compression and rebound damping, to guarantee the ideal set up for any road or riding style. The fork has titanium-nitride (TiN) coated stanchions, a special process usually reserved for factory race bikes that delivers a smoother ride and improved road holding. The attention to detail is highlighted by the use of an hlins steering damper that is also adjustable and fitted with an eccentric to adapt it to either angle adjustment option of the headstock.
All of the recent racing developments have been transferred directly to the 999S L-Twin Testastretta engine. Producing 136 Hp at 9,750 RPM, and an impressive torque output of 10.8 kgm at 8,000 revs, every twist of the throttle means excitement. These results have been made possible by the fine tuning of every detail, including increasing the diameter of the valves, as well as the creation of straighter more volumetric efficient cylinder head ports.
This model has the same design as the 999, but all the bodywork parts are formed from exotic carbon fibre, including the heat dissipation partition, which in the previous R series model was made from aluminium alloy. The choice of carbon fibre is part of the specific effort to reduce weight, which also led to the adoption of magnesium for several components, including the front headlight support. To finish off the exclusive design of the 999 R there is a limited edition numbered plate, affixed to the fork yoke.
Like all the 999 models, the R offers the rider the ability to adapt the ergonomics to individual needs. Compared to the five foot peg positions offered by the other Ducati Superbikes, the R only allows two. This choice was determined by the World Superbike Championship rules that do not allow the removal of standard fixed chassis parts in the production of race bikes. Since the exhaust pipes of the racing version are notably larger in diameter, the size of the foot peg mounting plates has been reduced to allow clearance as they pass through.
As a bike that is track ready, the 999R is fitted with only the best possible components, in terms of performance and weight. The Brembo Marchesini wheels are made from an aluminium alloy that is forged in a process that is the same as used for the production of racing wheels, creating a wheel of higher torsional rigidity and lower weight. The wheels on the 999R 2004 weigh 3.2 kilos less than those of the 999 and 999S, and one kilo less than the previous R series model. This means a marked reduction in the unsprung weight and the moment of inertia, all improving the handling, while maintaining the same strength, which is enhanced by the five Y-spokes with their double anchoring points on the inside of the wheel.
Like the wheels, the brake and suspension systems are top-of-the-line race quality products. The brake system consists of discs mounted more outward for better cooling, radial mounted brake callipers, with four pistons and four pads, and brake master cylinders with an integrated reservoir. The rear shock absorber and fork are by hlins, adjustable for pre-load, plus rebound and compression damping. The 43 millimetre diameter fork stanchions have undergone a titanium-nitride treatment for improved suspension response and the special front fork lowers allow the mounting of the radial callipers. hlins also supplies the steering damper, fully adjustable and fitted with an eccentric that allows quick and easy adjustment to the two possible headstock angles: 23.5 and 24.4 degrees.
The Testastretta engine fitted in the 999R chassis is especially designed for track use. On a bike like this, you can leave behind the compromises of road riding. On the track, one thing is paramount, excellent acceleration, and the L-twin cylinder has been developed to guarantee just this.
Its cylinder bore has gone from the original 100mm to 104mm and the stroke from 63.5mm to 58mm. At the same time, the compression ratio has been increased, from the 11.4:1 of the 999 and 999S to 12.3:1. The result of these alterations is a power output of 139 Hp at 10,000 RPM with 11 kgm of torque at 8,000 RPM. These results have been achieved while still utilizing a catalytic exhaust system in accordance with the Euro2 standard. The 999R is delivered to the customer complete with a kit for track use only. It includes a Termignoni 102 Db exhaust, with horizontal rear half-manifold without catalytic converter and a dedicated electronic control unit. The 102 Db system reduces weight by three kilos (6.6 lbs.) while also improving performance. The kit also includes a rear stand and a personalised bike cover.