Ducati 999 Best Used Motorcycle Review

Styling was love it or hate it, but the performance was undeniable

ducati 999 studio side view
Ducati 999Courtesy of Ducati

YEARS SOLD: 2003–2006

MSRP NEW: $17,695 ('03) to $17,995 ('06)

BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $5595 ('03) to $7520 ('06)

BASIC SPECS: Cradled inside the traditional trellis frame is Ducati's redesigned (for 2003) liquid-cooled 90-degree 998cc V-twin with fuel injection, six-speed gearbox, dry clutch, and the obligatory desmodromic valve system. Suspension on the base model is a fully adjustable Sachs fork and Showa shock, while the up-spec S and R models got Öhlins front and rear with an adjustable steering damper. Radial-mounted Brembo front calipers and master cylinder with 320mm front discs help bring it to a stop.

WHY IT'S DESIRABLE: Following the adored 916/998 left the 999 with big shoes to fill. Styling was love it or hate it, but the performance was undeniable. At 122 hp with 70 pound-feet of torque it wasn't the most powerful of its time, but linear power with loads of low-end torque made it a favorite among racers and journalists alike. Handling is superb with very good chassis feedback, and while the suspension proved stiff for the street, it works great when ridden aggressively. One key design point of the 999 is adjustable ergonomics with fore-aft adjustment of seat position along with adjustable stock rearsets. Say what you may about styling, but the 999's silhouette is iconic and recognizable at nearly any viewing angle. There's no mistaking a 999.

THE COMPETITION: The competition from 2003–2006 was steep with the Aprilia RSV 1000, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Yamaha YZF-R1, and arrival of the Honda CBR1000RR and Kawasaki's ZX-10R replacing the CBR954RR and ZX-9R models, respectively.

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