2006 Ducati Superbike 999R
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– 2006 Ducati Superbike 999R
2006 Ducati Superbike 999R
With the arrival of the 2005 model, the differences between the 999R and Ducati’s competition bikes have almost disappeared. The R features the latest, most advanced Testastretta engine, radically redesigned from the cases up. The result is an engine that delivers 150 HP, the most power of any Ducati production engine and a safe bet for anybody who wants a bike that leaves the competition standing.
The race-ready 999R confirms Ducati’s determination to bring their production Superbikes closer to their official racing machines.
In terms of power, efficiency and weight, the 999R is equipped with the best components currently in production.
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MSRP $29,995 USD
2005 has been an exceptional year for Ducati Superbikes, the range having been completely revolutionised with a series of stylistic and functional refinements and, above all, with a general upward shift in terms of power ratings and performance in both engine displacements and all versions. The 749 and 999 machines have been made more aggressive, edging closer to the dividing line between the street bikes and the official machine used on the world’s racetracks.
For the Superbikes manufactured in Borgo Panigale, 2006 will be dedicated to digesting the generational shift, which has taken place just two years from the launch of the new series, with the numerous innovations and refinements introduced in 2005.
The decision to revolutionise the machines was driven by the return of Ducati to the North American AMA Superbike Championship, which has more stringent rules than European championships with regard to modifications to mechanical parts and chassis: the new model is a result of the efforts aimed at creating a machine that would be race-ready straight off the production line, with a large number of adjustments for attitude and riding position, while also being suitable for use on the road. The result is a superbly contemporary range that is highly sophisticated and able to meet the most demanding sports rider with the basic equipment of the 749 and 999, and gradually approaching the S and R versions in a series of evolutionary steps. This brings us to the current state of the art, with the top of the range position occupied by a 999R packing a massive 150 HP, proposed for 2006 also in a Xerox replica version, sporting the colours of the “official” SBK ridden by James Toseland and Regis Laconi.
The Ducati sports machines share aesthetics based on the concept of racing aerodynamics, with fairings that are highly effective also at extreme speeds. That’s the thinking behind the development of a new upper fairing, designed to protect the rider’s head and shoulders and eliminate air turbulence. The fairing, which is higher and wider than its predecessor to increase the level of protection, joining a tapered lower section of the body, equipped with a pair of sweeping wrap-around and highly effective deflectors. Protection of the rider is one of the key concepts of the latest generation of Ducati machines: the absence of air turbulence makes the cockpit more comfortable – an important factor when riding in traffic and offering significant benefits on the racetrack because stress and fatigue levels are reduced, allowing riders to achieve consistently fast lap times for longer. The unforgiving stopwatch has amply proved this theory.
The styling and aerodynamic strategies adopted are just two of the factors used to achieve the close relationship between competition and series production machines. The box-section swingarm – very light and with very high torsional strength – comes from the world championship experience in the Superbike class and is the most evolved solution for road riding and for the racetrack, apart from adding to the already mean appearance of the 749 and 999. Style and function are also reflected in the exhaust silencer, which is integrated into the rear fairing and protected by a black anodised aluminium cover, and also in the ergonomics of the machine and the multiple possibilities for adjusting rider position. Since their introduction in 2002, the current Ducati Superbikes have been characterised by the ability to modify the positions of the handlebar levers and footrests, and also the facility to adjust steering head rake to two positions, a feature that is unavailable on any other sports machine on the market.
There’s also one final detail worthy of note: fore-aft adjustment of the seat-tank unit on single-seater versions of the machines. These unique features make the 749 and 999 the production machines that, of all the bikes currently on the market, are the closest to the thoroughbred race versions.
The sports personality of these machines are also reflected in the engines, with the impressive twin cylinder engine bringing sheer performance prowess to all equipment versions. These results have been achieved while keeping a close watch on environmental concerns: all the twin cylinder engines, including the 150 HP mounted on the 999R, comply in full with stringent Euro2 regulations.
Under a carbon fibre body, which is identical in appearance to that of the other Superbikes, this model mounts the Testastretta powerplant, which is the closest production engine in all aspects to the engine mounted on the official 999 machines. These are all details that make a difference, right from the 150 HP power rating (the most powerful Ducati production machine available), and combine to ensure rapid and direct access to the race world.
The 999R shares its style with the 749 and 999, although on this more race-oriented R version the difference is in several key parts in carbon fibre. On this version carbon fibre has been used for the upper fairing, all the bodywork, and other parts designed to trim overall weight down to record levels. Like the 749R, the 999R is personalised by a numbered silver plaque on the top fork crown.
Everything on the 999R is fully adjustable to allow riders to find the most comfortable posture and achieve the idea setup for the road or track conditions. The only limitation with respect to the other Ducati Superbikes is the reduced number of footrest positions: two on this version instead of five. This reduction is dictated by the regulations of the World Superbike championship, and by the larger size of the exhaust system. The use of smaller footpeg brackets allows riders to choose between two different positions – a unique solution for machines in this class. In contrast, the handlebar levers, the position of seat and tank, the steering head and steering damper, and front and rear suspension systems all feature full adjustment abilities. For suspension Ducati chose Ã–hlins units of the very latest technology. The upside-down forks feature the latest generation of internal components and TiN coated stanchions to achieve minimal sliding friction. Like the 999S, the rear shock is equipped with a check valve that controls the hydraulic fluid in the rebound stroke and ensures perfect separation between compression and rebound suspension parameters. The braking system utilizes front rotors installed in a wider stance position on the Brembo/Marchesini wheels made of forged and machined alloy. The rotors are combined with radial callipers with four pistons and four pads, in addition to radial brake master cylinders with integral reservoir. Another key feature is the choice of Y-spoke wheels, providing a weight reduction of 3.2 kilos with respect to a pair of the top quality wheels installed on the other Ducati Superbikes.
The 999R is also supplied with a racing kit, the Termignoni exhaust kit, consisting of a horizontal, cylindrical half-manifold, in place of the standard part of the exhaust system, which houses the catalytic converter, ‘open’ silencer and carbon cover specifically for the open silencer.
The engine of the R version is the most powerful engine installed on any series production Ducati machine. The superb “Testastretta” engine has allowed us to obtain 150 HP at 9,750 rpm, and, above all, a level of efficiency that is an absolute benchmark in the class, with a generous PME value of more than 14 bar. The 999R engine is a rather special desmodromic twin, with a dedicated cylinder head for the 104 mm cylinders and titanium valves with more slender stems. Several details, such as the semi-cone fixing system of the valve shims, are identical to the solutions found on the racing 999s, but also the con rods and crankshaft, which are stiffer and feature a lattice pattern, were designed specifically with the aim of creating a series production machine that would be as close as possible to the race version. A race-ready bike that is equipped with a catalytic exhaust system that ensures emission levels within Euro2 standards. Furthermore, for track use the superb performance levels of the 999R can be increased by replacing the homologated exhaust system.
Frame: Tubular steel trellis
Wheelbase: 1420 mm / 55.9 in
Rake: 23.5° – 24.5°
Front Suspension: Ã–hlins 43 mm upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment, for radial calipers
Front Wheel Travel: 120 mm / 4.7 in
Front Brake: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad radial caliper
Front Wheel: Y-shaped 5-spoke light alloy forged 3.50 x 17
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ã–hlins monoshock
Rear Wheel Travel: 128 mm / 5 in
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear Wheel: Y-shaped 5-spoke light alloy forged 5.50 x 17
Rear Tire: 190/50 ZR 17
Fuel Capacity: 15.5 L / 4.1 US gal (includes 3 L / 0.8 US gal reserve)
Weight * : 181 kg / 399 lbs
Seat Height: 780 mm / 30.7 in
Instruments: Speedometer, rev counter, high beam indicator, turn signals, oil pressure warning light, low fuel warning light, neutral light, water temperature, immobilizer system
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Tank and Fairing Colours: Red
Frame and Wheel Colours: Red w/Black wheels
Versions: One Seat
*=* = The weight excludes battery, lubricants and, where applicable, cooling liquid.
Type: L twin cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder Testastretta Desmodromic; liquid cooled
Displacement: 999 cc
Bore and stroke: 104 x 58.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Power: 110 kw – 150 hp @ 9750 rpm
Torque: 11.9 kgm – 86 ft-lbs @ 8000 rpm
Fuel system: Marelli electronic fuel injection, 54 mm throttle body
Exhaust: Single steel muffler with catalytic converter
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratio: 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 28/20, 4th 26/22, 5th 24/23, 6th 23/24
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; ratio 1.84
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 36
Clutch: Dry multiplate with hydraulic control