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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

The performance of the 999 will improve dramatically when fitted with the Terminigioni pipes and computer. Open the airbox, change the sprockets - like the 999R. Italian machines need to breathe to be fully alive.

Apparently the styling elements Terblanche lifted from his old boss's latest work were not all good... the trick mirrors on the Agusta F4S are also worthless if you want to see what is behind you.

The heat issue is something Ducati needs to address. I got rid of one bike due to a similar problem.
 

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Passionless

Nice review guys. Love the video and wallpaper. Still the bike doesn't get me going. I think the 998, MV and Benelli are better in the passion dept. But this is a Ducati and it will be hyped by the excellent Ducati marketing. Like I said before Ducati is the Harley of sport bikes. Overpriced and overrated. .
 

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Re: Passionless

Ironically, at 17K, Ducati and a Harley cost about the same, with many in the HD lineup costing more.

At least the Ducati rider is getting something unique that offers performance. It is comical here in LA. Everyone rides a Harley. They are such expressions of individuality. Why I feel positively ruggedly individualistic on my TL1000...
 

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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

How come the title of the story is "Ducati 999S track test", and then upon reading the story, it seems as though you only tested the regular 999. Am I missing something? If I remember correctly the difference between the standard and S models is about 10-15 hp, ohlins vs showa suspension, and about $5k. Not that it's a huge deal, but I've already read a bunch of reviews of the standard model, and was looking forward to a review of the S, and your title is a little misleading.
 

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Re: Passionless

As MOs resident spearcatcher KPaul-san ladels up more chum in the waters for devotees of H-D and Ducati, I pause, flamethrower in hand, look out the window and notice it's another 80 degree day in San Diego.

I think I'll fire up my overhyped, overrated Ducati ST4 and ride about 300 miles today.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

You've been spared this time KPaul-san.
 

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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

Did I read correctly? The 999 was *3 seconds* off the pace of the RC51 and the Mille R? Frankly, that SUCKS.

I know you guys hate it, but when you're talking like a 70% premium over the RC51, you have to think price/performance. And don't give me anything about the history or whatever, the RC51 has a more storied racing history than any brand new model. If you just need 'Italianess' and the Honda doesn't do it for you, then why not go Mille R (if you insist on spending the extra dosh)?

If all you are is a fashion victim and the Honda or Aprilia are both too pedestrian for you. Go Benelli or Augusta or something. I think we can all agree that those bikes are both more exclusive and MUCH better looking than the 999.

I'm not trying to start a flame war, but I just can't understand the sales pitch...

Why own this thing?
 

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916/996/998 vs 999 Debate...

To me, comparing the 916 series bikes with new 999 series is very similar to comparing the 355 series Ferrari to the new 360 series...

In my eyes, both older series (916 and 355) have both passion and performance, the styling is both artful and aerodynamic, and there is just something *RIGHT* about both designs.

The newer 999 and 360 series are improvements in nearly every category as compared to the predecessors - lighter, more powerful, more aerodynamic, etc. But to me, both updated designs lack something design-wise as compared to the older iterations. To me, they've lost the passion.

Anyone else notice this similarity?
 

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Re: Passionless

Well said KPaul. Ducati's marketing mavens have been hard at work slapping their firm's name onto anything that has even a remote possibility of attracting some idiot who bought his duck as a fashionable accessory, possibly to match his Ducati Corse paddock jacket. If someone thinks I'm full of it, take a half-hour and peruse through some of these owners on the ducati website. All those who find it disturbing that some middle-aged lawyer with zero riding experience takes his bonus and buys a top line Harley to become nothing other than a rolling liability will find the same from the ducati camp.

I know I appear hypocritical owning a 916 myself (bought from a wrecker for its price alone). However, I don't base my existence around what bike I own and I won't waste time trying to convince anyone why its better than anything else because all opinions are subjective.

BTW, I find hysterical that the same people who relentlessly rag on Sturgis-goers are the same ones are the same ones making the holy pilgrimage to Italy for WDW. What a crock!!!
 

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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

Ahh, I believe the Honda of which you compare would be this one?

"until our friend Bruce Kusada bought a new RC51 and proceeded directly to Dan Kyle Racing, checkbook in hand -- later emerging with Ohlins fork and shock, Sato ti exhausts and rearsets, Power Commander ignition, and even a very natty pair of BlackStone Tek carbon-fiber wheels (which is fair enough since the "R" Mille comes with lighweight OZ wheels). I think we can safely say Bruce has blown right past the Mille R's $17,695 sticker and right up the slip road with his Honda."

I'm guessing with pipes and a decent FI map the Duc will be right there with the other two. All for roughly the same cash outlay.
 

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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

>>*3 seconds* off the pace of the RC51 and the Mille R? .... you're talking like a 70% premium over the RC51<<

I also am disappointed with the apparent performance deficit -- however in fairness, the RC51 was highly tweaked and its cost (which was not specified) was likely well beyond that of the 999.
 

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Re: Passionless

That really is a fantastic complement to Ducati Motor Holdings, Inc. As a business, you want the ability to charge more for your product even though you don't really spend that much more developing and building it. If the Ducati brand allows that, good for them as a business.

But I'd still rather have a Benelli!
 

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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

I agree comparison to the RC51, but as the price of the 999 is already close to that of the Mille R, I fail to see how the 999 will compete without blowing well past the R's cash outlay.

Based on KPaul's infamous "price/performance" ratio the 999 doesn't quite match up to the Mille R. If it looked as good as the 916-series, I might make allowences, or it it came equipped with Bree as a pillion accessory.....

The 999 styling is growing on me, and it does look better in person, but next to the old style, it still comes up 2nd best. Since the Mille R beats it in performance, and (at least in Solid Color) looks as good, I think that is where I would spend my $$ if I were in the market for an $18k sportbike.
 

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Re: Passionless

Have to agree with you there Kpaul-san, Ducatisti seem to be separating into two camps, the one's who love Ducati as a bike and ride 'em, and the regalia-clad comando's trying to look eye-tye. I don't see how MO can say this one is 3 seconds slower than the rc51 or aprilia, when they were both chipped and canned, and this is supposedly stock, Personnaly I'd get a 900 monster anyway if I got Duc-fever so it's a moot point for me. I've heard the Ducati-as-Harley-of-europe analogy before, seems to be close too it. I hate to see the trendy crowd move into sportbike territory, after what they did for Harley prices.
 

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Re: Ducati 999S Track Test

I agree with you on the heat issue. Why is it that when Mercedes or BMW (or just about any other high-end car manufacturer) discovers flaws on their prototypes (such as wind noise, tire noise, torque steer, et al), they generally refuse to bring it to market until the gremlins are exorcised?

Motorcycle manufacturers either don't care or are collectively suffering from Cranial Calcification when buttoning up the details on their new machines. To wit:

1. the engine heat discussed herein which can seriously detract from the enjoyment of a ride on a sunny day (Ducati 999S, Triumph 955i, etc),

2. excessive vibration which is equally grating (CBR600F4i, M-G 1100 Sport, etc),

3. windscreens that create deafening and irritating noise and turbulence right at the rider's helmet level (BMW R1150RS, V-Strom, etc)

4. service intervals that are so short that it discourages casual rides beyond around the neighborhood (any Ducati, ZR-7S, etc),

Besides these maladies, several bikes are afflicted with ailments such as insufficient fuel ranges, seats that could be used to crush diamonds, short amount of legroom totally out of proportion with long handlebar reach, useless mirrors, useless horns, useless passenger accomodations (understandable on hard-core sportbikes, but not so on everything else), and the like.

It's so bad that choosing a new bike is sometimes based on which machine has the fewest fatal foibles instead of which bike is best designed for the buyer's needs.

Why don't motorcycle manufacturers hire away some of the more meticulous engineers from the car world to help them sort out their bikes?
 
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