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Ducati 999 Sports Motorbike Review

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Ducati 999 (2003-2006)



Detail Value
Used price range View Ducati 999 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 998 cc
Power 124 bhp
Top speed 165 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 3

Although arguably a better bike, the Ducati 999 has never really stepped out of the shadows of the preceding, iconic Ducati 916 series of motorcycles. It lacks the grunty, fluid finesse of its V-twin rival motorcycles, the comfort of Japanese superbikes and has typical Ducati failings; of poor riding position, useless mirrors and quirky electrics. On the right racetrack, the Ducati 999 feels sublime, but stuck in traffic on a wet M5, it can be a different story.

 

Watch the Ducati 999 take on Ducati's 1098S

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

There's an addictive lunge about the Ducati 999 motor, which sounds awesome with Termignoni pipes. In many ways the booming 90 degree V-twin defines the motorcycle brand, but it’s no match for a Suzuki GSX-R1000 or Yamaha R1 on track, especially coming out of tighter corners, where the sheer grunt of the Ducati 999 can make it harder to get on the gas whilst keeping traction.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

If you spend time and money setting up the Ducati 999 to suit your weight, riding style, the track etc. it can make you feel like you've just qualified on the front row for Misano World Superbikes. But on ordinary, ill maintained UK roads the Ducati 999 can sometimes feel harsh, a bit raw and unforgiving. Occasionally, all that power can simply overhwhelm the old school trellis chassis.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4

The dashboard has a race motorcycle-like simplicity, but has been known to light up like a Vegas slot machine if water gets into its electronic brains. There's a lap timer, oil/temp warnings, air temp monitor and a fuel consumption display. An immobiliser is standard on the Ducati 999 range too. Seat comfort is minimal and the pillion pad on the Ducati 999 Biposto is basically for a short trip back to pitlane.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The 2005 onwards Ducati 999 is not only faster, but likely to be more reliable, with a tweak to aid cam belt cooling on the engine, plus the deep sump motor standard across the range. Servicing is crucial on the Ducati 999 - every two years it requires a 14 hour workshop check and replacement of cambelts, fork oil, fluids etc. Neglected Ducati 999 models will break down - sooner rather than later. The overall build quality on the post 2005 motorcycles is a tad higher somehow, as if Ducati were really trying to make people fall in love with the Ducati 999 model.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

At £20K on the road, the Ducati 999R isn't good value. You could build your own Ducati 916 special for half that and make people openly drool in the street. Best value in the range has to be the Ducati 999S from 2005 onwards, with plenty of poke, good chassis kit and Termis as standard. The Ducati 999 Biposto tends to go for the least money secondhand, so an early 2002 motorcycle is the cheapest entry ticket to the world of Ducati 999 motorcycles. Find a Ducati 999 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2003: Ducati 999 Biposto launched, alongside Ducati 999S and Ducati 999R variants.
2004: Limited edition Monstermob Ducati 999 BSB replica available, basically Ducati 999S with race paint/graphics.
2007: 999 replaced by new 1098.

Other Versions

Ducati 999S: Has another claimed 10bhp, Ohlins suspension and steering damper.
Ducati 999R: Claimed 150bhp from 2005 onwards, classy Ohlins kit, radial brakes, Termis etc. About as close as a pukka World Superbike race motorcycle as you can get.

Specifications

Top speed 165 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Max power 124 bhp
Max torque 66 ft-lb
Weight 199 kg
Seat height 780 mm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17 in

See all Ducati 999 motorcycles for sale

Ducati
999

13500 miles

£3,999

Ducati
999

383 miles

£14,499

Ducati
999

4797 miles

£11,999

Ducati
999

11600 miles

£5,995

Ducati
999

5233 miles

£12,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(7 reviews)

  • Commuter & Winter hack...?

    Gavin Davies

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    My early 999 Bip (Oct '02) arrived August bank holiday, with 18k on the clocks and a full history. That's less than 2k per year. In the 6 weeks since then it has covered 4k, and will carry on at about 2k per month for the foreseable future. So, what's it like riding a Duke for nearly 4 hours a day? Ride is very good, with compliant suspension (probably due to age though!) and smooth and stable steering. Can't fault it really. Equipment is excellent for a bike of this vintage, the only missing feature is a fuel gauge, yet you get a mpg monitor and a lap timer! Quality? Well, the overall feeling is one of excellent build quality and refinement, but there have been some niggles. These were traced to a corroded earth for the ecu, but considering this bike spent 10 years in Bangor by the sea, I'm amazed it not worse off. Since two trips to duke dealer to sort this, it has been fine, so I think it was more a case of fixing old issues, rather than new ones arising. It has now done 2 years worth of typical duke mileage in a few weeks, so you can't consider it that bad! Value? £3,700 for a dealer bike with one owner? Brilliant! Engine? Excellent, but not faultless. There is low down torque in abundance, and it maintains it while it revs to 10k. But there is alot of vibe below 4k, which is where I spend alot of time on my commute, where wing mirrors bounce alarmingly! But that said, it average 45mpg with a 90ish crusing speed cross country, so I can't really complain! Oh, and it really REALLY needs a new pipe, this one is so quiet, I get embarassed by mopeds! So, overall? Comfort isn't brilliant at low speeds - i'm short, with short arms, so I'm nearly laid flat to reach the bars (a long way off!), and the seat is quite high, but no worse than most. Once moving at speed the comfort is excellent - it makes a surprisingly good grand tourer it seems - if you ignore the 140 mile tank range! (still, the same as a vfr1200!) In conclusion, buy a duke once, while you're flexible enough to manage it (I'm 25, and on a classic policy with Footman James I have two sorned '96 kwaks and this fully comp for a total cost of... £200! the duke cost just £15 to add on!) Any questions about long term heavy use of a duke, just pm me! Gavin

    11 October 2012

  • Road tester needs to stop being a idiot

    bassraymond

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Hi I have been a biker for 48 years now and I have tested more bikes than this amature MCN road tester. I have had Japanese motorcycles most of my life and they are great but the 2006 Ducati 999S is a different ball game way way better, for your tester to rate it so low confirms to me that he is a Ducati hater or useless at his job, My 999S is fantastic at road holding and the L motor has great useable power, as to his comments on cramped rideing posistion I have five way ajustments on my foot controls as standard and also about 4 inchs seat adjustment ether way did he not see this? I suggest that he ether finds a different job or just let him test small bikes and scooters. Raymond

    21 August 2012

  • Love It - 999s

    snapple

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had an 04 R1 before this, (review on here) which I really enjoyed, however this is a different animal altogether. Handling is in a different league, the R1 was excellent but this just somehow feels better, I'm faster everywhere on this and it is deceptively quick (be careful) thankfully the brakes are also top drawer. Its looks are often debated but it's been my dream since I started riding and it really does look stunning in the flesh! put together beautifully and is easy to work on.... Oh and it sounds fcking ace with aftermarket pipes :-) Downsides being.... it doesn't like the cold, she gets very irritable in traffic as she heats up rather quickly (as do your inner thighs) and slow riding around town is a little wristy and is lumpy ands a jerky below 3k... (but maybe that's just me or mine!). Had it w months and very pleased.. can't stop admiring it in the garage and have even been doing my 160 mile commute on it a few times in low single fgured temps and never felt a buzz like it :-) I know it's an older (2004) Ducati and things will go wrong (and already have) but it is just a brilliant bike and more than makes up its non starts and leaking forks!

    16 March 2012

  • ducati 999 biposto

    midnight999

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I just traded my hayabusa for a 999 bip, I do a lot of 2 up riding with my wife, we both find the bike more comfortable than the busa, the habdling is fantastic, as is the engine the sound etc etc, could go on forever,needless to say I love the duke,it attracts alot of attention and is amazing to ride, a true classic in its own rite

    21 March 2008

  • Ducati 999s

    Doug45

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I had an "s" model when they came out, part-exing my ST4s. To ride, these are simply superb (drop the gearing by one tooth at the front though) with good handling, and fast for a twin. Although I didn't suffer any break-downs, the finish was terrible! Thin paint, rotten fasteners, seizing brakes... all rubbish on a £13,500 bike. Would I have another one? No, not at that price.

    11 March 2008

  • Yellow peril

    notsospeedy

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought new in 2004, worried about reliability and proved right. Just out of warranty & electrics give up the ghost. But what a bike and can forgive the grief, superb handling and brakes. Just love the way it fires out of corners. Only way is up so I've bought a new 999R. Strengths: Looks, handling, brakes and engine. Weaknesses:
    Electrics and cost of servicing.

    26 September 2006

  • Love it!

    gilmil

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought new, in Jan 05 it was sent in for its first service, where it was found that the oil pump had failed, which Ducati knew about, apparently there was a bad batch. After waiting an age for new parts (new barrels rings pistons etc.), it was fixed under warranty. Since then I have put on 3000 miles and it has been very reliable, an awsome ride even at standard. Everyone drools over it from women and kids to OAP's and hardened bikers! Strengths: Superb fuelling and handling, beautiful yes! BEAUTIFUL looks. Weaknesses: Just done a five hour ride my wrists are sore.

    12 May 2006

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scotmoto

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scotmotosays

Bag of spanners

I bought an 05 one in 2007 low miles, and it has to be the worst bike i have owned for reliability the clocks steamed up within days of picking it up, also water was getting into the fuel some how so the fuel tank had to be removed almost weekly to drain it (even after replacing the fuel cap and seals) quickly followed by the ignition not recognising the keys so the imob' had to be put in manually...not good when your stuck in ireland without the keycard. 2500 miles later the clutch started slipping more than what its supposed to and the steering bearings had all but gone, thats not due to me riding harshly...there were a few other faults so i soon traded the thing in...ill never go back.

21 February 2010 13:00

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