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Ducati Test Rides 999/749/1000SS

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Dazza, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. I had the pleasure of taking a 2005, 999 and a 749 and a 2004 1000SS for a spin on the weekend for about an hour and a half each (excluding the 1000SS) :shock: :grin: ...damn life is tough sometimes.

    OK, first off was the 999

    The bike was warmed up and was readied for myself. The salesman ran through the usual stuff and said have fun. So with that, off I went.

    The first thing I noticed was the comfort. Well that’s not quite true. Once in a forward motion you get the unmistakable feeling this baby is meant to go fast. You are crunched into a position that makes you want to crank the bajeezus out of the throttle, but I digress.

    Yes the comfort. I have read over the years Ducati’s are very heavy on your wrists and after 90 minutes on top of this beastie I did not find it to be a problem. I ride a sports bike and admittedly it is no where near as an aggressive riding position, but maybe I am accustomed to leaning forward. The lean forward is noticeable and when getting back onto my ride I felt I was riding a cruiser for a few minutes. Sitting in the bike (notice not on) you get a very positive feeling about the bike. Sort of a zen feeling. The ergonomics are awesome. Within a few minutes I felt very comfortable and at one with the bikes. There has not been many bikes over the years that gives you rider feedback like this, that quickly.

    The mirrors work just OK. You can see the outer 50% of the mirror, which is no different to my current bike and many new jappers on the market. The 999/749 models prior to the 05 might as well have not had rear vision mirrors because you could not see anything at all. The 05 has had a larger fairing implemented and this has given a wider berth. So the outcome is they work now.

    With the new fairing it has also seen a taller screen. At speeds of 100km/h plus and at lower speeds the screen works a treat. I must admit at first I had my doubts. Wind buffeting on the body or helmet was very negligible.

    Another thing that struck me as I was settling in was the width of the bike or lack of really. When you look at the bike it looks narrow, stride it whilst it is a motionless pussy cat it is narrow, but once mobile damn its bloody narrow.

    Looking down towards the cluster panel and the front of the fairing from the missile cockpit, it looks……well extended somewhat. I think it has something to do with the light configuration. The inside of the fairing looks unfinished and raw. Not clean like a japper. The cluster panel looks cool and modern and has all the info you need except for a fuel gauge which I thought was a bit poor.

    The gearbox is positive but not as strong as my Kawi. The Kawi always required a firm changing of the gears. The torque in low and mid range is sublime. The motor effortlessly propels you up too 100km/h with seamless ease. Where as the inline motors you know you are pushing it towards the 100 mark. With the torque comes laziness and this puppy has oodles of torque so the need to change gears like a four was noticed. The top end is just adrenalin rush material. It does not wind on and on like a ZX12R by any means but then the 999 is not that sort of trip machine. The stock gearing of this bike is well suited to the roads but it would be interesting to drop a tooth at the front or a add some at the rear for a little bit more fun. Low revs and the bike does not bog down and the motor is responsive throughout the rev range.

    Once the novelty and grin had started to wear of my face I then started to take in a little bit more of the bike and what was going on around me. I must admit I knew the suspension was good (it must be there’s several grand of it on the bike) but I thought I would not be able to pick it. Boy was I way off the mark. The factory setting was great but with some fine tuning it would bloody rock. I noticed when traversing over lumps and bumps on the road the suspension seemed to smooth them out. It was akin to Goldilocks and the 3 bears. Not to soft and spongy and not to hard that you felt all the pebbles on the road, but just right. Feedback to the rider was spot on. Tipping the bike into corners, be it fast sweepers or slow bends was much easier than my current 03 bike. Very little effort was needed. The Red Beast held its line and at times was begging to be tipped in deeper. Line adjustment was easy to achieve and the bike was responsive to the inputs.

    Oh crap oncoming traffic………breaaaaak. Well this was one area I was curious to have a little play with. All I can say is DAMN, dem stoppers stop ya. The Brembo brakes are super stoppers without pushing you forward and jamming ya tackle box into the front of the tank. They give a very good and positive feeling so dialing in required strength was a breeze.

    Argh the mouse pad seat. Two things I was eagerly wanting to find out was the seat and the heat that comes from around the seat. Test day for the 999 was on Friday (a hot 30 plus day). The bike temp sat around 80c and peaked at 100c. There was a noticeable heat welling on the inner right thigh when in slower traffic and was less noticeable when in forward motion. At times it became quite hot and well not painful you certainly could feel the heat building up on the leg. I was wearing jeans and being outfitted in leathers this would not be a problem or riding out on the open roads also would not let the flesh start to become medium rare. The seat is basically a pad. It allows you to move side to side easily and even though at the end of my session I did not have a numb bum I would guess at the end of the day I think it might.

    At the end of my solo session, I threw Mrs Dazza on board to see how she liked it for comfort and it got the thumbs up. She said the ride position for her was similar to my current bike but she did say the seat was not as comfortable as the 12 and she felt some heat at times from the under tail exhaust. Also she received more wind buffeting as well.

    Breakout the 749

    The 749 is very similar to the 999. Basically it’s the same frame with a smaller motor. The suspension is not the same. The major differences between these two models is the motor. The 749 does not have the same low and mid range torque and responsiveness. It still gets up and hums and winds out beautifully without much effort. It just does not have the same poke as its bigger brother. But it does make up for it in other areas. The 749 seemed to tip into corners easier and seemed to be a little quicker in change of direction. Through the sweepers this thing was on rails and gave great feedback in the seat.

    Another thing that I noticed with the 749 was when I was leisurely strolling around on the bike the temp got up too a maximum of 105c and my inner thighs were not roasting. I put this down to more airflow around the pipes.

    The bike needs to have the pipe system replaced with a slip on Termi kit. This will gut the catalytic converter and allow better breathing in the can under the seat and one would guess less seat/thigh cooking heat. Another option would be too wrap the pipe with tape. But the main reason to put on the Termi can, is the bike sounds like an absolute horn bag with this kit.

    1000SS – Well the bike I took for a quick spin had the Termi pipes fitted and what can I say………..Woo Hoo. Nothing sounds as sweet as a 2v Ducati purring out its note. The 1000 was taken for a quick 5-10 minute run and immediate thoughts were that it feels comfortable to ride. The riding position is not aggressive as the SBK’s. The power of the 1000 is LESS than the 749 and was noticeable from the get go. The handling and breaks were great. I enjoyed my brief time on this bike and even though I think the front end is not overly pretty I would buy one. The riding position is set between a SBK and a tourer.

    When we got back too the dealer Mrs Dazza said “Your NOT getting that”. One thing we found out on this short ride is that the pillion rider sits on the rider. So if you are a bloke taking a male pillion and don’t mind having his jacks crackers poking you in the bum, then this bike is for you. We were both bitterly disappointed with this ride. I was always trying to push Mrs Dazza back so I had room and she had nowhere to go. This problem does not occur on the 749 nor the 999 bikes. I measured the seat pillion length and its about 100mm less than our current ride. I don’t know about the SBK’s but the seat arrangement is set at different heights.

    So there you have it folks a few fun days were had.

    Cheers :cool:
  2. Could have emailed me to come along for a second opinion ya bastid! :evil:
  3. Top report Dazza. I will be looking at a 749 in 6-12 months time, but I will not be able to afford the full 999 jobbie.

    I just hope thge 749 has enough power?

    I am a bit worried about the pillion seat on the 1000DS as I sometimes pillion my brother at the GP.

    We are close, but not that close....
  4. makes me wanna a duke now lol
    mate if u were a sales man i would of taken one there and then
  5. How much are they?
  6. That's good reading Daz, you lucky lucky fooker.

    How did you wrangle that?
  7. Yeah yeah... Prcies Dazza... I have a chubby about the 749 now and cant leave my desk you bastard...... How much are they going for? XOXOX LOL :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  8. The 749 has enough power. It really does get up and go. And it does not feel like you need to thrash the guts out of it, to get this thing moving swiftly. It simply just does do it as effortly as a 999. A spin on one will soon have grinning ear to ear with regards to the power on tap.

    I would like to get my hands on another 1000. I would be interested to see if it was a year model situation. I have since spoken to other 1000 owners and they have advised that the pillion needs to park thier butt, waay bay back basically put in on the grabrail :shock: .

    Cheers :cool:
  9. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: I have been known to sell Snow too Eskimo's :shock: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    Cheers :cool:
  10. the 749 fetches around the $22,200 mark on road. But that is the asking price. And what they ask and what you end up paying is heaps diferent. At the moment if you buy a bike prior to the end of this month you recieve the first two services for free, $1500 worth of value

    Cheers :cool:
  11. Just to add about the differences in acceleration. At the race-track, even though the 999's may be down about 10-15rwhp on the I4's, down the straight you certainly would not come to that conclusion.

    The number of times I've come out of Turn 12 at PI following a 999, wind it on earlier only to have the 999 suddenly surge on its massive smooth torque curve and cut the fun. The 999's narrower profile means that even as my I4 really starts to sing, the 999 is using less effort to push through the air, and really the I4's rwhp advantage suddenly disappears in a pressure wave of wind-resistance, and the 999's hold their advantage down the straight just fine.

    I think sometimes that people get a little too wrapped up in the HP wars, and forget that there's more that's going on with a bike than just what the motor is doing. The whole package is a balance of effects, and the V2 motors suit that balance just as much as the brute-force I4's.
  12. Nice write-up Dazza. You should have also bagged a go on a Multi 1000 'S', great fun :)
  13. Clearly, aliens have taken over the body of Dazza.
    Not only is he praising a DUCATI... not only is he now a (GASP!) moderator (who was once among the most immoderate of netriders!)...
    but he is now writing coherently and cogently, with barely a spelling mistake to be found!
    Something's up, I tell ya.
    (Good report, BTW)

  14. Anybody know how much you should get be able to get one for? Realistically? :LOL:
  15. Dazza,

    Excluding the pillion problem, what did you think of the 1000
  16. I loved it, I really think its a fun bike and very underated. It felt more comfortable than the SBK's. The handling was great, the brakes were fantastic and the sound of the 2V motor simply is the best note Ducati puts out. The Duel Spark motor has heaps of grunt, as I have said previously it is a little down on the 749 but the 1000 has more torque.

    I think the problem with the pillion can be resolved however. With the removal of the grabrail and a Gearsack/Ventura rack put in its place would more than likely be the way to go and would allow more seat (rear room)

    Also I have heard that the incorporation of a Corbin seat also is a great option.

    Within the first 500 metres I thought "damn this bike is a pleasure to ride". It felt really comfortable. It deserves to be in between the SBK range and the ST range. Its a great allrounder. Its not quite a SBK and its not quite a ST. You could say its an imposter. It does both jobs quite well IMHO.

    I certainly would like to ride another one set up like I described. If it did work then this WOULD be the bike I would prefer to purchase.

    Cheers :cool:
  17. Hey in all the years I have been on this site :shock: not once have I EVER bagged a Duc :wink: how can someone bag perfection :wink: I have droppped into threads and defended them to the hilt :wink:

    Oh I am still immoderate :LOL: a leapold can't change its spots. Tis fun to step into threads and let go and spray and play :p :p :p and snag the odd catch with a nice shiny hook.

    I have never picked up on anyone for thier speeeling becuase I at times make the odd foopah, but I have had old fool twats who have had it done to them by others and those old fool twats have pointed out at times my inaccurate grammmoor (mainly from frustration and the factual inability to discredit me in what I say) and I have never responded back even though in thier next post the twats make monumental slip ups (argh, people living in glass houses).

    I thoughta/belieeveda ma gram ata most bits was okilly dokilly :cry:

    Cheers :cool:
  18. I see you've regained control - welcome back.
    (just watch out for them anal probes :LOL: )

    Fair enuff about the Duc's - maybe it was just the RIDERS I thought I remembered you bagging?