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Which is your favorite Ducati?

  • The 916

    Votes: 69 26.4%
  • The 999

    Votes: 159 60.9%
  • The 1098 & 1198

    Votes: 34 13.0%
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Over the past few years I have sat on the sidelines of one of the greatest debates in Ducati history, the acceptance of the 999.

It was in 1999 I came across Ducati for the first time and it came in the form of the 998. Obviously as a decedent of the legendary 916 I immediately fell in love with it. I was only 12 years old but as we all know a bike like the 998 makes quite an impression. A few years later I stumbled over an ad for the 999 and once again those feelings of Italian passion came over me. (Just like I can imagine those feelings came over you too, absolute desire.) 4 years ago in 2005 my dad and I started riding and in the spring of 2006 I became the proud new owner of a red 999. It was at that moment I became Ducatisti, and I have never looked back. "My heart bleeds with the stain of Ducati red."

Its now a few years later and we have the 1098 and 1198. As happy as I am to see these bikes I cant help but notice some things. First of all I would like to say that I hope my opinion does not offend anyone. It is my own which I hope you will soon share.

The 916 was brilliant, I don't think there was a single soul who would argue this. The way that bike was styled was way before its time and the mechanics of it were equally brilliant. It was and will forever be a motorcycle icon expressing everything anyone would want..The 916 was fast, beautiful, and had the sexiness of a greek goddess.

However I think people forget one thing. Ducati is first and foremost a racing company. They build road going bikes to fund their passion to race. I think this is the thing i'm most proud of about Ducati. It is one of the smallest companies in the world of motorcycle racing but is regarded as one of the largest racing powerhouses. This is what I think of when I see a new superbike for the first time. Ducati pushes their limits with every bike they produce and when it comes to their superbikes they take it to an entirely different level. The passion of Ducati at least to me stretches from the old bikes all the way up to the 1198 and Desmosedici. It never skips a generation.

Enter the 999. When Ducati introduced the 999 there obviously were alot of feelings of disappointment, and disgust amongst fans and i'm sure even within the factory walls there was a sense of sadness to see the 998 go. The last decedent of the 916 was officially discontinued. However with as much sadness as there was i'm sure there was equal happiness because Ducati had a new bike, something powerful, exciting, and undeniably Italian. The 999.

There is no doubt that the 999 was before its time. It was everything the world should have been expecting from Ducati. A bike which was unsurpassed in every way. It was fast, very fast, perfectly balanced, and beautiful. It paved the way for future innovations from Ducati Corse and brought home more wins than any other superbike in history. The 999 was the perfect transition from the 916 family. It did not only challenge Ducati itself but it challenged the fans and the loyal Ducatisti. It was essential that Ducati reinvent itself and what better way than to combine old world Ducati, a place where Italian fire and brimstone power could collide with the new world technological demands. Everything was reinvented, the engine, the chassis, the instruments, and the rider-bike ergonomics. It was exactly the type of thing that Ducati was going after and in my honest and very pure opinion they succeeded. The 999 became the best twin motorcycle the world had ever seen.

I never entirely understood peoples problem with the looks. The 999 in its final form (2006) is in my opinion the most beautiful motorcycle ever produced by any company. It is just like Ferrari and Pininfarina. The beauty is not always found in each car but the transition from car to car. Look at the 360 Spider for example. The car was undeniably pretty. It was curvy and the lines seemed to be set as if God himself placed them. Then came the F430. The lines became edgy and the cars soon became "sharp" as if they were cut and chiseled into perfection rather than shaped by carful hands. Its this way with the 999 and 1098. If you see the lines on the 999 they seem to follow that of the 360 Spider and it follows with the F430 and 1098. This is in my opinion the progression of Italian design.

Now we have the 1098 and 1198. The new rockstars of the motorcycle world. These bikes are incredible and although I have a deep personal connection to my 999 I see the evolution of the brand in these machines. The only thing I wish is that the design of the bikes reflected the need for progression in Ducati. I really wanted to see the company shock the world once again with something truely wonderful, and original. It just seems to me that the decision to form the new superbike as they have did not come from inside the company but from the fanbase. You can see that in the details. The 1098 and 1198 seem to be trying to throwback to the 916 but Ducati Corse stepped in and edged everything up. Almost creating a hybrid. Its not a 916 but its not a progression from the 999 either. I think this is why for many of us it looks like the 999 is still a more futuristic bike. It just looks like they put their heart and soul into the 999 and then just took the 1098 and wondered how to make the fans happy yet have a new superbike to be competitive with.

Now I know what people have said, "If it aint broke, don't fix it!" This is a very reasonable argument however there is one brand in history that seems to prescribe to this idea almost religiously. Harley Davidson. Harley has been in business for over 100 years but 60 years ago they developed a few bikes which you can still see on the road today. If Ducati modeled every bike for the next 60 years to be no more than an evolved 916 where would we be? What would make the 916 and every bike since it special? Like I said I believe the beauty in these bikes not only rests in each individual bike but in the transition from bike to bike. Without the 999 how could we come to appreciate the 916 and its evolution to the 998? We couldn't. The 999 is drop dead gorgeous and although it is not the 916 it never intended to be. It was designed with two things in mind, win races, and ignite the feeling of passion and excitement only a Ducati can. It is the bridge between old school Ducati and the new Ducati we know today.


DucatiBen
 

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Ohh, this thread is gonna get shut down soon. LOL :rolleyes: Might as well add my own juice.

What did I say a while ago? The 999 was a brilliant bike mechanically, it's what the Germans would have made if they were told to build an Italian looking bike. The 916 style was a brilliant bike physically, it was made by Italians to be adorned by everyone. The 848/1098 is a combo of the two... German quality engineering, mixed with the lines of a subdued Italian machine.

The 999 series was a departure from the typical Ducati thinking. Revolutionary design in every way from the adjustability to the double sided swing arm which was not only lighter but had better tuning characteristics. Its a different bike, not a better/worse then the other's before or after. In race trim, its no better or worse then its new brothers and I can speak from experience having owned and tracked all three generations.

Anyhow...

The 848/1098/1198/1098R whatever you wanna call it... The new machine is far superior in stock form then anything else Ducati has ever made, its sickening. Guys are buying 1198S bikes, putting slicks on them and winning races without changing a thing. Thats the sorta thing you read about in the Japanese bike world, but something unheard of in the Ducati realm for years, since the 916!

In my opinion, Ducati is back to the way they were 6 years ago with the 998, only its MUCH better!



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Very Nice

Not bat at all for your first thread great write up, I could not have agreed with you more.
I went to So-Cal Ducati in Brea, CA last Saturday and they have a 999r fully loaded (mint) and a 1098R Troy Bayliss side by side, I must say the 999R hands down IMHO was a prettier bike (maybe not better) but the smalls details in it design counts and the 999R have plenty from it's kick stands to rear view mirrors, side wing lets to the upper fairing with carbon fiber faring/mirrors towers,tail section, etc..

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Sorry mate, the 999 is ugly.

The upside is that one day it'll no doubt be quite rare, unlike the 1098/1198's which are selling in bucketloads.

The 1098/1198 is technically far superior to the 916, so assigning a favourite is tough... If you put them side by side, the 1198 would come out on top.. However, if you consider them in their historical context - the 916 is by far the 'better' bike. It was absolutely stunning for its time and it's dated very very well compared to other bikes from that era.

I'd love a pristine 916 in the garage alongside the 1198S - but I'll respectfully pass on the 999. I know it's a polarising subject, but for me it's just about the ugliest bike in the last 20 years.

You asked for opinions.....!
 

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Sorry mate, the 999 is ugly.
The 1098/1198 is technically far superior to the 916, so assigning a favourite is tough... If you put them side by side, the 1198 would come out on top.. However, if you consider them in their historical context - the 916 is by far the 'better' bike. It was absolutely stunning for its time and it's dated very very well compared to other bikes from that era.



The 916 it was not that far ahead of the competition and it was not a iconic bike for Ducati. Historically speaking the 851 has more of a Superbike value than any other Ducati superbike, that's is the bike that brought ducati back to the race track and built the Ducati name to what it is nowadays!
As an example how can you say the 916 was it's a better bike then the Honda RC30 or the first generation GSXR with it's aluminum frame and oil cooled engine, Yamaha FZ750 4IL5V?
1098 is selling well just because it became more affordable, that's it.

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Point is where does Ducati go from here. I would seem that the 999 would be the next design after the 1098/1198. I had a very interesting conversation about this very same subject w/ Randall from BellissiMoto the other day. What if the 999 would have came out w/ a SSSA? not the DSSA like Ducati Corse demanded. Of course the advances in engineering, casting and CAD helps develop a lighter, stronger SSSA of today. This wouldn't of been possible then. I would take a 999R over most anything in the Ducati line up. Great looks, stinky fast and fine handling.
Problem is the Japs have any of these bikes covered for nearly half the price......still!
 

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the 999 is the most beautiful ducati ive seen, in the details.

from 10 feet away the 916 and 1098 series are absolutely stunning

obviously the 1098 has more power then the 999 its a newer motor, and ducati finally paid attention to what non race bike components weigh making a light bike.

The two bikes feel very different, the 1098 feels more like my 06 r1, it was way done up, then my 999.

on the track obviously in most places and in most peoples hands the 1098 is gonna win 90 of 100 races maybe even 95 of 100

on the street i really like the feel of my 999 and in a few months ill get to test it on the track, i cant wait


they are all great imo, just for different reasons
 

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Point is where does Ducati go from here.
THAT is a very good question..

I can't see the basic design changing much, so it'll likely stay in the same guise for some time yet - the same way the 916 became the 998 and the 851 the 888 etc etc - relatively long life span..

The 999 didn't do so well as presumably they pulled it due to lack of sales?..

Sure the 999R is a track weapon, and still very capable.

Personally I'd have a 998 over a 999 (or even a mint 916, truth be told). I just love that classic design, it's just beautiful.

For it's time it's probably the most beautiful bike ever built (but I do stress, for it's time).

Ahh if only I had a huge garage and a wife that would let me get away with collecting bikes..... There'd be a 916 in there for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The 999 didn't do so well as presumably they pulled it due to lack of sales?..
Hey Kryten I think that your right that we wont see much change in the Superbike range for a while. The 1098 and now the 1198 are doing excellent right now on the track and in sales and I think there many improvements and enhancements that we will see come to that bike, obviously more power (like it needs it) and maybe some other stuff. Other than that I think the 1198 has great longevity.

I don't agree with why you think the 999 went out of production. Obviously the biggest change between the 999 and 1098 was the looks, second would be engine. In WSB they went to 4 cylinder engines. Obviously the 1098 engine was needed for this purpose. Thats why the 999 was replaced when it was.

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It was in 1999 I came across Ducati for the first time and it came in the form of the 998.
That explains it. I got my first streetbike when the 851 was new and that's my idea of a Ducati superbike. The 916 a departure from the norm, a lot like the unobtaniuim NR750 with so much hype, low supply levels and a real fever going on and then a return to roots with the 999! I remember there were six to nine month waiting lists for the 916 for the first couple of years and that got whittled down until you could buy one off the floor. That waiting list just added to the fever for the 916 - people who had bought the early models were usually able to resell them for what they purchased them for or sometimes even more until ducati sorted out their production. More easily attainable credit made the bikes more of a commodity too and I used to see 996's absolutely everywhere. I rarely saw any 851's or 888's at all in the early nineties and I reckon I saw barely a handful of other 900SS's like I rode at the time

My next Ducati will be an 851 or 888 and I'll go a Desmosedici before anything like a 1098. I think the 916 is just okay and the 1098 a bit of a generic thing. Obviously each succeding model is "better" than the last.

Similarly there's all the guys who love the old round case 750SS, others love the later MHR and the 750F1 and say that nothing recent comes close to the icon Ducati's of when they first got into bikes. It's like your brain gets stamped - whatever the current superbike was at the time is the one you'll always idolize.
 

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The 999 went out of production because it was not selling. Period. End of conversation. Hasn't this been discussed at every Ducati dealer meeting and by every Ducati president ( Minoli in particular ) since it debuted ?

Put your passions aside and do some research and all will be revealed.



Hey Kryten I think that your right that we wont see much change in the Superbike range for a while. The 1098 and now the 1198 are doing excellent right now on the track and in sales and I think there many improvements and enhancements that we will see come to that bike, obviously more power (like it needs it) and maybe some other stuff. Other than that I think the 1198 has great longevity.

I don't agree with why you think the 999 went out of production. Obviously the biggest change between the 999 and 1098 was the looks, second would be engine. In WSB they went to 4 cylinder engines. Obviously the 1098 engine was needed for this purpose. Thats why the 999 was replaced when it was.

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Thanks for the great post rodericb. Lots of wisdom in that. But your statement about return to roots with the 999 is not clear to me.

That explains it. I got my first streetbike when the 851 was new and that's my idea of a Ducati superbike. The 916 a departure from the norm, a lot like the unobtaniuim NR750 with so much hype, low supply levels and a real fever going on and then a return to roots with the 999! I remember there were six to nine month waiting lists for the 916 for the first couple of years and that got whittled down until you could buy one off the floor. That waiting list just added to the fever for the 916 - people who had bought the early models were usually able to resell them for what they purchased them for or sometimes even more until ducati sorted out their production. More easily attainable credit made the bikes more of a commodity too and I used to see 996's absolutely everywhere. I rarely saw any 851's or 888's at all in the early nineties and I reckon I saw barely a handful of other 900SS's like I rode at the time

My next Ducati will be an 851 or 888 and I'll go a Desmosedici before anything like a 1098. I think the 916 is just okay and the 1098 a bit of a generic thing. Obviously each succeding model is "better" than the last.

Similarly there's all the guys who love the old round case 750SS, others love the later MHR and the 750F1 and say that nothing recent comes close to the icon Ducati's of when they first got into bikes. It's like your brain gets stamped - whatever the current superbike was at the time is the one you'll always idolize.
 

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So what is it - specifically - about the appearance of the 999 that people don't like? Is it the headlight? Is it the swingarm? I've been reading this post for years and I don't think I've really ever known the answer to this question.

Let's not forget that the 999 was winning SBK races big time and it didn't need 200 extra cc's of a displacement advantage. It also has 150 fewer parts than the 998 series. Heck, the testastretta engine was a huge improvement over the desmoquattro in terms of maintenance and design.

L
 

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So what is it - specifically - about the appearance of the 999 that people don't like? Is it the headlight? Is it the swingarm? I've been reading this post for years and I don't think I've really ever known the answer to this question.

Let's not forget that the 999 was winning SBK races big time and it didn't need 200 extra cc's of a displacement advantage. It also has 150 fewer parts than the 998 series. Heck, the testastretta engine was a huge improvement over the desmoquattro in terms of maintenance and design.

L
The whole front half of the bike is a total clusterf*ck, but yeah the headlights particularly so.

Not only that, but coming off the 916-998, which was absolutely stunning in the looks department, they had some big shoes to fill.

They look OK with a racing fairing on I guess. The ugliness is only skin deep.
 

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Imho the 749/999 is one of the most beautiful recent motorcycle designs.
Still remember the first time I saw it, and immediately knew one day I had to have one.
Bimota DB7 has similar style, and is gorgeous as well...
Try reading the book on the 999 by Alan Cathcart, and you'll appreciate the effort that was put into styling it.
The 848/1098/1198 are beautiful bikes as well, but in a more generic way...
 

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The whole front half of the bike is a total clusterf*ck, but yeah the headlights particularly so.

Not only that, but coming off the 916-998, which was absolutely stunning in the looks department, they had some big shoes to fill.

They look OK with a racing fairing on I guess. The ugliness is only skin deep.
I have to disagree. I bought a 999 as they are just so unique and have really grown on me. I think the 1098 is still a gorgeous bike but they are like a**holes, everyone has one.

I also own a 996 and absolutely love it.

Look at my 999 and tell me it is not a sexy machine.
 

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Sorry mate, no offense, I just can't get past that front end..

+1 for the 996 though. Compared in their respective timeframes to other dukes, I reckon the 916-998 was one of the most beautiful bikes ever created. It's so distinctive you can spot one a mile away. Call me mad, but I even really like the 748s in yellow.... nice.

And +1 for that tank protector and seat on your 999.... What is that, a comfort+ seat or something?.... Looks fairly well padded.
 

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Sorry mate, no offense, I just can't get past that front end..

+1 for the 996 though. Compared in their respective timeframes to other dukes, I reckon the 916-998 was one of the most beautiful bikes ever created. It's so distinctive you can spot one a mile away. Call me mad, but I even really like the 748s in yellow.... nice.

And +1 for that tank protector and seat on your 999.... What is that, a comfort+ seat or something?.... Looks fairly well padded.
Remember this day. One day the 999 will grow on you. It happened to me. I didn't think much of them especially after the 1098 came out. It grew and grew on me to the point where I now prefer the look. That's why I bought one - not for price.

The seat is a Sargent seat. Much more comfortable than the standard.
 

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Remember this day. One day the 999 will grow on you. It happened to me. I didn't think much of them especially after the 1098 came out. It grew and grew on me to the point where I now prefer the look. That's why I bought one - not for price.

The seat is a Sargent seat. Much more comfortable than the standard.
Mmmm maybe, only time will tell I guess... I doubt it though, it's flanked by two gorgeous bikes.

I might have to look into one of those seats.... Nice.... I presume they make em for 1198's too eh? Man it's a harsh beast to ride.
 
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