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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The look is growing on me, but will it be as memorable as the 916/996/998? Probably not.

I recently read, and agree with, a man who said that 50 years down the road when people look back at examples of classic mechanical designs, the Ducati 916/996/998 will be on the list. I'm not sure about this one...
 

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Wow...this is the first time in a while where anything Italian has evolved into something less attractive. While I'm sure it is technically a much better bike, it is much less attractive than the 916 generation it replaces. Damm shame really. On the other hand, maybe prices of the previous generation bikes will be more affordable now. Hmmmm...
 

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Great Bike regardless of appearance

The changes all make functional sense, especially for aerodynamics. In this class of bike that trumps traditional appearance for me.

Personally, I find it gorgeous.
 

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I just said the same thing to a friend of mine that onwns a yellow 748. I was commenting on how the new 999 compares to the 916/996/998 and if the new 999 looks better. My response was that in a way, the 999 looks nicer in certain areas...



But, it will not be marked up as a milestione bike like the 916 did and you're right on spot about 50 years later, the 916 will be mentioned as a revolutionary leap forward in terms of design and technical merits of that time. I can't see the 999 in that category...
 

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Not like the GP Prototype.

Have to agree with MuzzyMatt and FloridaSteve . The over/under headlight treatment seems a little gimicky. Side by side might have been better. It doesn't seem to be as clean as the 998 from the side. But it's gutsy. I guess I was expecting it to look more like the GP Prototype which I liked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Not like the GP Prototype.

The stacked headlight arrangement could work if it was more like the Benelli Tornado or MV Augusta. Those bikes' headlights give them an agressive, almost evil look that I find extremely appealing. I'd like to think Ducati could redesign the bike in future model years with a more attractive front-end.
 

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Although I can't quote it, didn't Ducati just recently espouse the merit of the SSS (single-sided swingarm) and its importance in Ducati designs?



Sadly, it seems to take more design cues from the uninspiring multistrada than its predecessor. That said, I am a fan of the 999 shape, specifically the spartan nature of the new tailsection-exhaust.
 

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But what about the exhaust? Looks kind of ugly (I guess I see the similarity to the MotoGP bike) and, as we all know, stock Ducati's don't sound particularly sexy. Looks like it could be tough and very expensive to find a decent looking and sounding exhaust.



Probably a better bike in terms of comfort and reliability, but definitely not the prettiest bike in the world. Essentially a Benelli Tornado rip-off with some styling cues from the MH900e and the new GP bike.
 

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While I'm at it, I never realized Ducati has such habit of ripping off styling. Like I said, this new bike is maybe a little too similiar to the Benelli, but it is nothing compared to the job they pulled with the 916:



1992: Honda releases the NR750, complete with wedge-styling, fox-eye headlights, single-sided swingarm, and underseat exhausts.



1994: Ducati releases the 916, complete with wedge-styling, fox-eye headlights, single-sided swingarm, and underseat exhausts.



Hmmm . . . Coincidence? I think not. Don't believe me? Check them out for yourself.



Now I still think the 916 was (and is) a stunning motorcycle, probably the most beautiful sportbike in history. I also understand that there are very few "new" ideas in terms of motorcycle design, but come on Ducati. Try to develop your own look instead of borrowing styles from every other manufacturer. I mean, the Multistrada may be hideous, but at least it's your own.
 

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WHAT DID THEY DO! From the most gorgeous bike ever to a bad nightmare. No single sided swingarm? Some things you just dont mess with. Curse that Pierre!!! Dr. Frankenstein!! See what happens when you cross a KTM Duke and a Ninja ( nothing against the Duke and Ninja).
 

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Terblanche should be given a fair trial, then hung for crimes against nature. He let a Multistrada screw a VFR, and the end result is the new 999...



All one has to do is look at the older Supersports, Monsters, and "superbikes" (851-998) and see the design heritage that has been lost under his tenure at Ducati. He has:



- Turned the Supersport into an ugly torture rack.



- Designed the Multistrada, the world's ugliest "trailie".



- Penned the 999...



I predict 999 sales will not reach the levels of the current 916/996/998 design. Just as Supersport sales fell in general comparrison to the previous model's production run, this bad little piece of bastardized Honda styling is headed for a problem in the showroom.



Let's all hope there'll be another new model based on the the GP bike. One of the reasons (and grantedly, there are several) people buy Ducatis is style. I've owned a few over the years, and it'll be a cold day in hell before I put a 999 in my garage.
 

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When talk of the 916-998 replacement started up a few years ago, I quickly resigned myself to the acceptance that the new one wasn't going to have the visual magic and drama of the current model; still, it's a little disappointing. The change to the double-sided swingarm is a genuine surprise, though.



Does anyone know anything of production schedules? Is this a proper, fall-2002 rollout, model-year-2003 bike? Has the 998 already ended production? What's to become of the 748? I'd like to think that (financial windfall pending) I might still get a chance on a dealer-new 748 before it's too late....
 

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I think that it's important to note some of the "first impressions" from the MCN report (sorry guys!):

" I've only been out for ten minutes, the session has been red flagged, but already I've learned a lot, " he said at 9.45am UK time.

" The riding position is fully adjustable, but even on standard settings it's loads more roomy than the old bike.

" The wheelbase is longer, but it turns faster, much quicker. It's considerably easier to ride, and is less radical , particularly in the riding position.

" The motor is essentially the Testastretta of the 998, making 126bhp. There are some tweaks. It picks up faster and is stronger in the midrange.

" Brakes are essentially the same but it has a new master cylinder. They were good before. Now they are very very good… and it's much more stable under braking. The old bike didn't like to turn under braking. The new one can… it's quite nice! "

" As far as the looks are concerned, the acid test for me is when you line the 916, 998 and the 999 up (which they have here at Misano) and you ask yourself which one you most want to ride… and it's the 999.

" It looks awesome, fantastic in the flesh and really is a leap forward from the old bike. "

So, when the bikes are lined up, the one that is most attractive is, supposedly, the 999.

It's also interesting that he claims that it handles better than the old bike.

As a previous 916 owner, I can attest to the fact that it wasn't the most nimble thing around; this new bike changes that.

Best handling bke ever? We'll see.
 
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