Weird yet wonderful: not every Bologna-built bike was an instant beauty...

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A company known for beautifully-styled bikes, Ducati’s models have often crossed the boundary between art and transport.

But every now and then designers go a bit rogue and the results are bikes that challenge our expectations.

Machines that on initial inspection left us cold yet, further down the line, have matured into modern classics.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you still don’t like the look of these slightly leftfield models, maybe you need to give them a few more years…

Designer Terblanche flew in the face of convention

2003-2006 Ducati 999


  • Power 124bhp
  • Engine capacity 998cc
  • Seat height 780mm
  • Kerb weight 199kg

Designed by Pierre Terblanche, the Ducati 999 replaced the 998 and was a total disaster for Ducati. Despite dominating on track, its new looks proved so controversial the factory were forced to abandon it and in 2007 the 1098 was released, bringing with it a modern take on the 916 silhouette. A great bike to ride, the 999 is now rightly viewed as very special. Sadly, this means its used price has shot up. The 749 is a cheaper alternative and some say more fun to ride.

Ducati 999 used buying advice

  • As well as uprated suspension, the S model (both generations) has a more powerful engine than the stock bike, so is worth buying.
  • The fuel pump and ignition relays hang off the battery box, which is located behind the left hand fairing – and can get covered in water and grime. Inspect this area carefully as the wiring can rot and the relays fail, leaving you stranded.
  • If the lights flicker, assume the headlight relays (located in the nose binnacle) are about to fail. Swapping them is a fiddle but when (not if…) they fail the bike won’t start, so be warned.

Our Ducati 999 owners’ reviews highlight some poor quality paint and finishing, and one owner complains of electrical faults, but there doesn’t seem to be any serious problems to be wary of.

Ducati Diavel (2011 – 2017) – £6,000 – £17,000

More of a bruiser than a cruiser from this mean looker

Diavel 2011-2017


  • Power 160bhp
  • Engine capacity 1198cc
  • Seat height 770mm
  • Kerb weight 210kg

Ducati’s performance cruiser caused a stir when it arrived in 2011. With outlandish styling and a gigantic 240-section rear tyre, the Diavel looked like nothing else on the road – and its performance also challenged preconceptions. With inverted forks, 160bhp and a full array of modern electronics, the Diavel rides like a sports bike yet looks like a cruiser. If you dare to be different, the Diavel is brilliant fun to ride and certainly turns heads.

Diavel used buying advice

  • The pricey (£800-ish) ‘desmo service’ is every 15,000 miles, so be very wary of bikes approaching this.
  • Check the keyless ignition is working properly. Start and stop the bike more than just the once to be sure before you buy.
  • Ensure all the warranty work has been completed on an early bike – there were a few issues that Ducati moved swiftly to resolve.

In our Ducati Diavel owners’ reviews there are tales of electrical problems and faulty gauges. It’s worth having a read through so you can spot anything problematic.

Ducati Multistrada 1000 (2004-2009) – £2,500 – £6,500

Ducati’s do-it-all oddball that went on to dominate

Multistrada 1000


  • Power 85bhp
  • Engine capacity 992cc
  • Seat height 820mm
  • Kerb weight 196kg

Designed by Pierre Terblanche (who also penned the 999) the Multistrada was an incredibly forward-thinking bike. With 17in wheels, quality suspension and a tall, upright, riding position this quirky air-cooled hybrid is a genuinely excellent do-it-all. The air-cooled V-twin is a beauty (especially the updated 1100), it is comfortable to ride and handles the bends remarkably well. Shame it looks like an upright hoover.

Multistrada 1000 used buying advice

  • The S model arrived in 2005 and features Öhlins suspension front and back as well as a carbon mudguard and cam belt covers.
  • The immobiliser is known to fail, so check it is working properly. A few bikes suffer from broken earth cables and shorts where the wiring loom rubs as it passes between the head and tank. A misfire is usually down to the front stick coil failing.

The Ducati Multistrada 1000 owners’ reviews on our site highlight a bit of corrosion, but nothing major from a reliability perspective.

Ducati Hypermotard 1100 (2007 – 2012) – £5,000 – £9,000

Practical? No. Massive fun? Most definitely

Hypermotard 1100


  • Power 95bhp
  • Engine capacity 1078cc
  • Seat height 845mm
  • Kerb weight 192kg

Designed by Pierre Terblanche (spot the theme developing), the original Hypermotard arrived like a bolt from the blue. Powered by Ducati’s air-cooled V-twin, this crazy-looking big supermoto is all about fun with very little thought for practicality. Firm on its suspension, cursed with a horribly hard seat, exposed to the elements and with an 11.5-litre fuel tank, it is hysterical to ride but horrifically impractical. Superb, if you are feeling a bit loopy.

Hypermotard 1100 used buying advice

  • The air-cooled engine requires its cam belts swapping every two years and a ‘desmo service’ (valve clearances) every 7500 miles, which will set you back about £500.
  • Check for flaking paint around the clutch slave cylinder, they like to weep. Ideally, swap it for a quality aftermarket item as they are generally more reliable.

A few of our Ducati Hypermotard 1100 owners’ reviews show issues with paintwork not being particularly resilient, and one owner cautions “do not ride it in salty road conditions”.

Ducati 900SS (1998-2006) – £2,500 – £5,500

Beauty or a beast? Well, it’s a bit of both – and sounds glorious

Ducati 900SS


  • Power 80bhp
  • Engine capacity 904cc
  • Seat height 800mm
  • Kerb weight 197kg

Sold in full-faired or half-faired versions, the 900SS lost its slabsided look and in 1998 emerged with swoopy new styling, which was the result of a new designer at Ducati called Pierre. The SS is powered by an air-cooled V-twin and is a joy to ride with bags of mid-range punch and a lovely lazy V-twin attitude. Used prices are climbing for the SS and its fairly basic nature makes it reliable.

Ducati 900SS used buying advice

  • The positive feed into the starter motor is connected by a nut. This rusts up and stops the starter working. Be careful undoing it, if it starts to spin you have broken the plastic insulator and then you need a new starter. The starter solenoid is also a weak spot.
  • A build-up of green gunk on the throttle position sensor that sits upside down on the injector is known to cause misfires.

There are quite a few tales of woe in our Ducati 900SS owners’ reviews, with people complaining specifically about the carbs and electrical problems. Take a good read through…