The New 2005 Ducati 999R
An evolution of power, aerodynamics and style
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An evolution of power, aerodynamics and style, for a dream Ducati which is even more competitive and powerful
Based on the motorcycle which is representing Ducati in this year’s American Superbike Championship (AMA), the 999R has been significantly upgraded for the American market and, from 2005 onwards, also for the rest of the world. A new front fairing, new rear swing arm and suspension, a major upgrade to 150 horsepower for the engine are all intended to reinforce the bike’s placement as a Superbike.
AMA technical regulations allow fewer modifications to the engine than the international Superbike regulations so Ducati, which returned to the AMA championship this year, has produced an engine with technical characteristics that are much closer to those of the racing version. It has redesigned the 999R to meet these very special requirements, and upgraded its flagship model to make it even more powerful, effective and competitive.
The new 999R is yet another step in Ducati tradition, which has always been characterised by the manufacture of series production bikes similar to their race versions not only in styling, but also in technical features.
The basic dimensions of the Testastretta engine used on the new 999R remain the same as those of the previous version. The cylinder bore is thus still 104 mm and the stroke stays at 58.8 mm, for a total displacement of 999 cc. However, the maximum power and torque have been greatly increased. Compared to the previous model’s 102 kW (139 hp) at 10000 rpm, the new engine produces 110 kW (150 hp) at 9750 rpm. The torque itself has been increased from 108 Nm (11 kgm) at 8000 rpm, to 116.7 Nm (11.9 kgm) at 8000 rpm.
In order to fully understand what these figures mean for the new 999R, it is instructive to take a look at the variation in MEP (Mean Effective Pressure). This value is an important parameter in rating the engine, and measures the work the engine is capable of doing throughout a complete cycle (i.e. through all four phases). The Testastretta engine of the 999R ’04 has a MEP at maximum torque of 13.6 bar. The new model, on the other hand, exceeds 14 bar, a limit which no series production Ducati engine has ever reached before. At maximum power, the MEP value for the 999R model year 2004 Testastretta engine is 12.3 bar, while on the MY ’05, at the same power output, the value increases to 13.5 bar. It is clear that in the two cases under consideration, the volumetric and thermodynamic performance of the new engine (in other words, its capacity to take in and burn the fuel/air mixture) are significantly improved, thanks to the substantial technical upgrades to the cylinder assemblies. In this context, it is worth noting that the air flow rate in the intake ducts (permeability) has been increased by 22.8%, while the exhaust duct flow rate has increased by 5.8%. The overall optimisation of the engine is confirmed by the fact that the improved maximum power value is now achieved at an engine speed which is lower by 250 rpm than the corresponding speed of the Testastretta engine mounted on the previous 999R model.
The engine speed limiter is set to 11000 rpm.