Ducati Superbikes - 2005 Range
749 | 749S
| 749R | 999
| 999R | 999s
Two years after the "red-volution", all the models in Ducati's Superbike family, in both engine sizes, have been dramatically improved. Updates have involved not just restyling but a series of major improvements to chassis and engine aimed at bringing the 749 and 999 closer still to Ducati's ultimate sports motorcycle concept, making them meaner, faster and more competitive than ever. But even though Ducati's SBK range now looks almost identical to the bikes that dominate the world's championships, they are still just as comfortable as ever.
Because comfort is not just something you need on long road rides. Comfort is also essential if you want to maintain high speeds for any length of time on the track. And stylistic improvements are only part of the story. Performance has got substantially better too. The basic 999 is more powerful, the 999 S more exclusive than ever, and the 999R now delivers an incredible 150 HP. Supersport motorcycles, from which Supersport and Superbike machines are derived, represent a segment of the market that has exploded in recent years. Supersports have now reached a level of performance totally unimaginable only a few years ago. That is why, just two years from the launch of the 999, Ducati's most high-tech twins, the Superbike family has been completely renewed. All 999's and 749's (the basic models, the S and the R), have been substantially improved The objective is clear, to confirm Ducati's supremacy in terms of racing and street performance, and to bring the specifications of these latest models closer to the bikes ridden by the official Ducati racing team. The inspiration behind these changes is Ducati's return to AMA racing, the North American Superbike Championship that sets far stricter limits on modifications than the World Superbike Championship.
Involvement in the AMA championship has inspired Ducati's engineering team at Borgo Panigale to develop a new range of bikes capable of performing as excellent racing mounts in every model and engine size. Ducati's 2005 Superbike models are dramatically better as a result, starting with their looks. Fairings have been redesigned in size, level of protection and volume, and the new fairing is radically different in appearance. All 999's and 749's now feature a higher and wider cockpit fairing with a higher screen but without the two upper side air ducts. This provides a far higher level of protection and is more aerodynamic than its predecessor at high speeds. The air ducts on the previous cockpit fairing were extreme styling solutions adopted to deviate the air flow away from the rider's body.
The cockpit fairing and screen on the latest bikes protect the rider's head and shoulders and prevent annoying vortices from forming at high speed. The new cockpit fairing is the most evident stylistic change but far from the only one. The new streamlined lower fairings with their more protective spoilers, like those previously used only on the exclusive and sophisticated R models, are other eye-catching innovations. Other developments, derived from Ducati's last two highly successful racing seasons, include the new box section swing arm designed to reduce weight and increase torsional strength. This race-developed swing arm is a major contributor to the great appearance of Ducati's 2005 Superbikes, and makes them look more than ever like the factory racing machines.
Then there is the rear of the bike. This is still characterised by an under-the-tail exhaust system, but for 2005 a protective heat shield in black anodised aluminium has been added. These modifications have made the already incredible lines and performance of the 999 and 749 better than ever. The new bikes provide a range of opportunities for personalising ergonomics and setup that goes well beyond conventional suspension adjustments. The latest Superbikes allow owners to adjust footrest and handlebar lever position and steering head angle (something no other bike of this type offers). On the single seat versions, even the fore and aft position of the seat-tank assembly can be adjusted. As you can imagine, these adjustments allow you to set your bike up just as you want it for any type of road, track or riding style.
Ducati therefore has no qualms about stating categorically that the 999 and the 749 are the most race-oriented production bikes on the market. But don't assume that sports performance means low levels of comfort. Over the last two years Ducati has shown that rider comfort is just as important for sports bikes as it is for road going machines. Good wind protection and ergonomics help you explore the limits of your motorcycle and above all else enable you to maintain at-the-limit speeds for extended periods without fatigue. Major improvements have also been made to the engines of Ducati's 2005 Superbike range. While the 749 models have kept all the updates made early in 2004, the 999's have seen a real engine revolution.
The basic 999 has received a tremendous injection of power with the adoption of the twin cylinder engine previously reserved for the S model. The S itself has maintained a power margin of 3 HP thanks to more sophisticated internal components and can deliver even more power still with the addition of the racing kit supplied with the bike. The R, the model specifically designed for track racing, holds an even bigger surprise. In addition to its absolutely top of the range components and technology, the R now boasts the most powerful Testastretta engine of all production bikes with an incredible 150 HP. These increases in power have not diminished the 999 and 749's respect for the environment. All Ducati's Superbikes, even the race-oriented R, still comply with rigorous Euro2 emission control standards.
These incredible results have been achieved by using the latest, most advanced technical solutions, including highly sophisticated electronics. In fact, their advanced electronics remains one of the strong point of Ducati's Superbikes, which were the first motorcycles ever to use CAN line engine management technology. CAN line technology use only two wires to manage all main and accessory functions has led to a dramatic reduction in weight, and has enabled the use of multi-functional instruments capable of providing riders with a great deal of essential information
Identical in looks to the rest of the 749 models, for many riders the basic 749 provides easy access to the wonderful world of Ducati Superbikes.
The new 749 boasts impressive performance for both the track and road use. The Dark model offers an even better price to performance ratio.
More powerful than the basic 749, the S also stands out for top level chassis components that turn it into a race-ready machine capable of excellent lap times from the word go.
This uncompromising sports machine is only available in the single seat version and is the perfect bike for all those who want to own a real middleweight racer. The Testastretta engine is more highly developed than ever before to maximise performance and minimise weight. Chassis components have obviously been selected for maximum competitiveness on the track, and special materials like magnesium, carbon fibre, and titanium abound to make the 749R unbeatably light and mean.
Two years ago the 999 was the production bike from which Ducati's winning Superbike adventure began. Now, everything that has been learned from competition has been implemented on the production models. Like the S and R versions, even the basic 999 has been updated in looks and technology, making it meaner than ever on the track, while maintaining its ability to make newcomers to competitive riding feel perfectly confident. The 999 has been given a major increase in power.
The 999 S delivers a higher level of performance and this can be increased even further by installing the racing kit supplied with the bike. The 999S represents the logical link between the basic 999 and the pure competition model. The S is equipped with the best sports chassis available, but is nevertheless homologated for normal road use. This splendid style icon is also a sophisticated track racer, capable of satisfying even the most demanding sports rider.
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.