Fast Bikes - - FEATURE -


UN­USUAL TECH Fab­u­lous qual­ity

NOS­TAL­GIA Could be­come very high

It’s hard to over­es­ti­mate the shock we all got when Ducati un­veiled the re­place­ment for the beau­ti­ful 916/996/998 fam­ily. Pierre Terblanche was their styling guru and he was feted by the luvvies of the de­sign world – but most rid­ers in the prover­bial Box Hill car park thought his bikes ugly in com­par­i­son.

That shock fades over time though, and since Ducati went back to the fa­mil­iar 916-ish pat­tern with the 1098 and Panigale lines, the clunky stack-head­lighted 999 and 749 line has come back into vogue a lit­tle. After all, un­der the looks was a fan­tas­tic bike, good enough to win WSB three times in four years, and a BSB ti­tle. And the 999R was a truly stun­ning ma­chine to ride fast, with a sledge­ham­mer-blow of grunt, blind­ing top end, and the very finest in chas­sis gear. Not a cheap op­tion, and rare (there’s 40 on the road and 120-odd SORNED ac­cord­ing to DVLA), but could be a very smart buy…

Love ’em or hate ’em, 999s are go­ing up in value.

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