The Ducati 916, produced from 1994 to 1998, sports a masterful body style, and the 999, introduced to the market in 2003, departs sharply from the previous footprint. The 999 is more aerodynamic than its predecessor, but the design was created from scratch and didn’t resemble the much-loved 916. Aesthetics alone can speak to much of the rejection this new model experienced.
In terms of performance, the 999 models opted for a high-speed V-Twin engine, reaching a top speed of 168 miles per hour and weighing just 438 pounds. The 999S variant utilized a new engine build, dubbed the Testasetretta, with a displacement measuring 998cc and producing 136 horsepower alongside a six-speed transmission. The torque rating for the 999 (in a 2005 model, specifically) was 106 Nm and boosted to 111.8 Nm with the racing kit.
These bikes feature a narrower engine than previous models, meaning the bike is slim and minimally profiled by design. Tom Cruise even owns one (a 999R), which has given the model some notoriety. The 999 performance redesign improved on an iconic Ducati, but the 916 continued overshadowing this new addition to the lineup.