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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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First Ride 999R

2005 Ducati 999R Motorcycle First Ride
Bologna's latest homologation special isn't just the horniest Ducati motorcycle in history, it just might be the best V-twin sportbike ever built.

By Mitch Boehm

You've probably heard the phrase, "Race on Sunday, sell on Monday." It's shorthand for racetrack-to-showroom trickledown, and the practice has helped fuel sportbike sales for decades.But nobody does the deed quite like Ducati.

The 2005-spec Ducati 999R I got a chance to ride at Laguna Seca for a whole day prior to the AMA/SBK weekend is a perfect example. The new R-model not only bristles with track-spec hardware, it's also highly exclusive. Ducati will build just 300 units to satisfy Superbike rules. At nearly 30 grand, it's a hugely expensive piece, but I don't feel shy telling you this is the fastest, best-performing, most grin-producing V-twin sportbike I've ever ridden.


Except for a new upper cowl (which removes some of the old 999's jack-o'-lantern look), the new R doesn't look much different from the 749R we featured in our July issue: blood-red body and frame, black wheels and swingarm, radial brakes and that sharp-edged look. What you don't see are the many engine and chassis upgrades that make this a better foundation for a factory Superbike—or one helluva serious streetbike.

On the track, the new-gen R is a nearly magical device, if a little softly sprung for riders on the high side of 200 pounds. With more preload and damping dialed in at both ends, the R charged around Laguna's roller-coaster-like asphalt as if it were on rails, the engine howling like a racer's, the radial Brembo brakes hauling the bike down from speed predictably (though with more lever effort than we'd like) and the Öhlins suspension sucking up the bumps, ripples and fore-and-aft pitching without complaint. Contact-patch feedback at the bars, pegs and seat was terrific—better than any street-legal sportbike I've ridden.


Ten years ago I got a chance to ride Scott Gray's factory Ducati Superbike at Laguna. That was a long time ago, but I'd bet this new R-model 999 is every bit as fast and composed at Big Speed as Gray's works racer. And all this from a streetbike. Amazing.


Specifications
2005 Ducati 999R
Price: $29,999
Engine type: l-c 90-deg. V-twin
Valve arrangement: dohc, 8v
Displacement: 999cc
Transmission: 6-speed
Weight: 399 lb. (claimed dry)
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal. (20L)
Wheelbase: 55.9 in. (1420mm)
Seat height: 30.7 in.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 04:54 PM
 
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Bike sounds sweet and all but I can not see my self paying that price just for a 1000cc bike. And where are the pics. You know we need pics as well to go with posts.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 04:57 PM
 
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Here we go. I found some. And one of the exhaust as well.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 05:35 PM
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30k!! I think I'll stick with my 'hawk!

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 06:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXR750DJ
Here we go. I found some. And one of the exhaust as well.

See if you can get a better pic of the exhaust system on that Blonde!!!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bumblebee
See if you can get a better pic of the exhaust system on that Blonde!!!

LOL you trying to get me into trouble with the women at home.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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sweet looking bike but I'll stay in the 10K range and be just as happy and won't feel nearly as bad if I dump a 10k versus a 30k bike. That's insane to charge that much.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chev
sweet looking bike but I'll stay in the 10K range and be just as happy and won't feel nearly as bad if I dump a 10k versus a 30k bike. That's insane to charge that much.
Yeah, Chev has his head on right! He's got his eye on the 10R! Smart Man!!




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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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its a duc thing, they say once you go duc, u never go back.. but if they all come with that exhaust I think im gonna convert!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 10:24 AM
 
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I find it funny how different writers hate and love the 999r. I just read the article in roadracing world about the 999r and he credited it a lot. He said in short words that is was not worth the money, bikes like GSXR and ZX-10 will have no problems dispatching this bike on the track. Also performance bike said that motor felt weak and flat.

Give me the Aprilia...and lets go duc hunting.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twisty
I find it funny how different writers hate and love the 999r. I just read the article in roadracing world about the 999r and he credited it a lot. He said in short words that is was not worth the money, bikes like GSXR and ZX-10 will have no problems dispatching this bike on the track. Also performance bike said that motor felt weak and flat.

Give me the Aprilia...and lets go duc hunting.

duc hunting..I love it!! yeah I'd pay to see you up against that duc on ur aprilia.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twisty
I find it funny how different writers hate and love the 999r. I just read the article in roadracing world about the 999r and he credited it a lot. He said in short words that is was not worth the money, bikes like GSXR and ZX-10 will have no problems dispatching this bike on the track. Also performance bike said that motor felt weak and flat.

Give me the Aprilia...and lets go duc hunting.
*****, give me a GSXR or a 10R and I'll never find a duc. They'll all be in hiding!!!!




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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man
*****, give me a GSXR or a 10R and I'll never find a duc. They'll all be in hiding!!!!
I don't know about the hiding part but, the championship's have to count for something.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 05:53 AM
 
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HA! When is last time DUC won a championship besides in WSB?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 09:17 AM
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Thanks Twisty! ! I hope you noticed I said GSXR or 10R!!!! Got to give props where props are deserved!!!!




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Was: 2002 Kaw ZX-9R
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