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Old 08-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #1
Shredder
GS1200's Avatar
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Joined: Sep 2009
From: Zillah WA, The Dalles OR

I Ride: 2010 BMW 1200GS, 2010 Ducati Monster 1100S, 2011 Yamaha WR250R, 1985 Beta TR32.
A touch of evil, Ducati 999
I found this well written piece on the Motorcyclist cafe web site. http://www.motorcyclistcafe.com/foru...-touch-of-evil

A touch of evil.
Ducati’s 999, a hyper-fast race bike for the street, has designs on your soul.


If you enjoy the wide-open freedom of a motorcycle, the wind in your face, the carefree, horizon-chasing moment, then by all means avoid the Ducati 999. This thing is misery on two wheels, a wickedly disposed and temperamental exercise of sheer mechanical narcissism upon which you assume a posture like it’s flashlight inspection day in prison. Its 140-hp L-twin motor runs on damned souls and is lubricated with the fat of unbaptized children. All this bike wants to do, all it dreams about at night, is catapulting you over the handlebars or pitching you backward onto the streaming concrete so you make one of those slo-mo, Evel-Knievel-at-Ceasars-Palace death rolls in your fancy Italian riding leathers.

So plan your day accordingly: After riding this bike, you will need some time to unwind. Go for a Polynesian fire walk, perhaps. Play some Russian roulette. Or, if so equipped, have a vasectomy.

The 999 is one of a mutant species of vehicles built to meet the production-based rules of a racing series, a process called homologation. The American Superbike Championship requires that competing bikes must be largely based on series-production motorcycles. In order to make the Ducatis more competitive, the company has built the 999, which is, in fact, a pitifully disguised racing superbike with just enough street-legal spit on it to pass DMV inspection.

Made of steel, titanium, aluminum and sadism, the 999 is almost as close as you are going to get to a grand prix motorcycle, and unless you are a fantastic rider with years of experience, you don’t want to get that close. This bike will beat you down like you said something bad about its mother.

My license should have lasted about a week with this bike, maybe less. However, it persists. The fundamental ratio of performance machines is power to weight, usually expressed as pounds per horsepower. A Ferrari F430 with driver weighs about 3,300 pounds, a burden shared by its 490 horsepower, which the abacus tells us is about 6.7 pounds per horsepower. The Ducati 999 (dry weight of 410 pounds) weighs about 590 pounds with me on board, which means each of its 140 horsepower must move only about 4.2 pounds. Holy gateway to hell Batman!

It’s hard for those who have not saddled a superbike to appreciate the sick, perverted violence of this equation. If you rev the 999′s engine to about 6,000 rpm, shift as much of your weight as possible over the front wheel, and gingerly slip the clutch for a couple hundred feet – and if you can hang onto it – the bike will accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 3 seconds. Your wits might take a bit longer to catch up.

Oh, and what’s that smell? Why it’s my roasting thighs. It’s hot as brass hinges in hell is what it is. There are times that I’ve thought my pants were on fire. This is caused by the heart of the 999 (that is, if it had a heart), a 998-cc displacement, liquid-cooled, L-twin engine. This motor has to be the most highly stressed engine in any street vehicle, producing 140 hp out of less than one liter displacement.

The 999 is a very naughty motorcycle. But, pound for ornery pound, this has got to be the most dynamically perfect motorcycle in the world. Yes, once you master the brakes, the stuttering dry-plate clutch, the splenetic throttle, the aching-back riding position and its overall hell hound demeanor, the 999 can still be a traumatic life event. I mean, come on, it’s a racing bike! It is to normal street bikes what crystal meth is to your morning coffee.

I have never been so relieved to park any vehicle unscathed in my garage.

by collective

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Last edited by GS1200; 08-08-2012 at 08:51 AM.. Reason: added link
 

Old 08-08-2012, 08:08 AM   #2
Endorsed
 
Joined: Apr 2012
From: Portland, Oregon

I Ride: DRZ 400 S
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by GS1200 View Post
<snip>
I have never been so relieved to park any vehicle unscathed in my garage.

by collective
I will let him park it in my garage.

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Old 08-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
Chicken Strips
 
Joined: Jan 2007
From: Kennewick WA

I Ride: The one with gas in it.....
Aaaaa.......Ducati.....why I love em....mi bella dama

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Old 08-08-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
Chicken Strips
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Joined: Jul 2012
From: Klickitat, WA

I Ride: SV650 K6
999 is 666 upside down.

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
Pit Crew
st.mats's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2008
From: YooGene, OR

I Ride: Anything I can get my hands on.
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Dodger View Post
999 is 666 upside down.
Does that mean it's the opposite of evil, or just evil upside down?

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
Pit Crew
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Joined: Feb 2008
From: YooGene, OR

I Ride: Anything I can get my hands on.
"Its 140-hp L-twin motor runs on damned souls and is lubricated with the fat of unbaptized children."

I think I want one.

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
Moderator
Are_Six's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
From: Seattle

I Ride: A badelynge of Duc's
That's how a liter bike should treat you. Screw all this traction control and anti-lock brake crap. I'd rather highside than have some computer tell me how much throttle the rear tire can take!

“ Quote:
All this bike wants to do, all it dreams about at night, is catapulting you over the handlebars or pitching you backward onto the streaming concrete so you make one of those slo-mo, Evel-Knievel-at-Ceasars-Palace death rolls in your fancy Italian riding leathers.

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Joined: Oct 2005
From: Renton

I Ride: Something new every 1k miles.
"Its 205-hp L-twin motor runs on damned souls and is lubricated with the fat of unbaptized children."

Pretty sure this applies to the 1199 as well. And it is also hellfire hot.

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
Licensed
 
Joined: Apr 2012
From: Vancouver, WA

I Ride: Triumph
Pass. :p

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
Peg Dragger
xrdotimcr's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
From: San Diego, CA

I Ride: a motorbike or two.
When I ride my 848, I feel like I'm one with the bike. I feel like it wants to be ridden, like it wants me to point in the right direction. It needs some love, some smoothness, some caress. My 999 on the other hand, wants my ass thrown to the ground. Wrestling is a more accurate description than riding. I love it.

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #11
Shredder
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Joined: Aug 2008
From: Grass Pants, OR
Blog Entries: 1

I Ride: 06 CBR600RR (mine) / 88 CBR600F (hers)
Reminds me of Hunter S Thompson on the Ducati 900

“ Quote:
Song of the Sausage Creature
by Hunter S. Thompson

There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed 900cc cafe racer is one of them - but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.

Everybody has fast motorcycles these days. Some people go 150 miles an hour on two-lane blacktop roads, but not often. There are too many oncoming trucks and too many radar cops and too many stupid animals in the way. You have to be a little crazy to ride these super-torque high-speed crotch rockets anywhere except a racetrack - and even there, they will scare the whimpering shit out of you… There is, after all, not a pig’s eye worth of difference between going head-on into a Peterbilt or sideways into the bleachers. On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.

When Cycle World called me to ask if I would road-test the new Harley Road King, I got uppity and said I’d rather have a Ducati superbike. It seemed like a chic decision at the time, and my friends on the superbike circuit got very excited. “Hot damn,” they said. “We will take it to the track and blow the bastards away.”

“Balls,” I said. “Never mind the track. The track is for punks. We are Road People. We are Cafe Racers.”

The Cafe Racer is a different breed, and we have our own situations. Pure speed in sixth gear on a 5000-foot straightaway is one thing, but pure speed in third gear on a gravel-strewn downhill ess-turn is quite another.

But we like it. A thoroughbred Cafe Racer will ride all night through a fog storm in freeway traffic to put himself into what somebody told him was the ugliest and tightest decreasing-radius turn since Genghis Khan invented the corkscrew.

But we like it. A thoroughbred Cafe Racer will ride all night through a fog storm in freeway traffic to put himself into what somebody told him was the ugliest and tightest decreasing-radius turn since Genghis Khan invented the corkscrew.

Cafe Racing is mainly a matter of taste. It is an atavistic mentality, a peculiar mix of low style, high speed, pure dumbness, and overweening commitment to the Cafe Life and all its dangerous pleasures… I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions.

I am not without scars on my brain and my body, but I can live with them. I still feel a shudder in my spine every time I see a picture of a Vincent Black Shadow, or when I walk into a public restroom and hear crippled men whispering about the terrifying Kawasaki Triple… I have visions of compound femur-fractures and large black men in white hospital suits holding me down on a gurney while a nurse called “Bess” sews the flaps of my scalp together with a stitching drill.

Ho, ho. Thank God for these flashbacks. The brain is such a wonderful instrument (until God sinks his teeth into it). Some people hear Tiny Tim singing when they go under, and some others hear the song of the Sausage Creature.

When the Ducati turned up in my driveway, nobody knew what to do with it. I was in New York, covering a polo tournament, and people had threatened my life. My lawyer said I should give myself up and enroll in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Other people said it had something to do with the polo crowd.

The motorcycle business was the last straw. It had to be the work of my enemies, or people who wanted to hurt me. It was the vilest kind of bait, and they knew I would go for it.

Of course. You want to cripple the bastard? Send him a 130-mph cafe-racer. And include some license plates, he’ll think it’s a streetbike. He’s queer for anything fast.

Which is true. I have been a connoisseur of fast motorcycles all my life. I bought a brand-new 650 BSA Lightning when it was billed as “the fastest motorcycle ever tested by Hot Rod magazine.” I have ridden a 500-pound Vincent through traffic on the Ventura Freeway with burning oil on my legs and run the Kawa 750 Triple through Beverly Hills at night with a head full of acid… I have ridden with Sonny Barger and smoked weed in biker bars with Jack Nicholson, Grace Slick, Ron Zigler and my infamous old friend, Ken Kesey, a legendary Cafe Racer.

Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba….

So when I got back from New York and found a fiery red rocket-style bike in my garage, I realized I was back in the road-testing business.

The brand-new Ducati 900 Campione del Mundo Desmodue Supersport double-barreled magnum Cafe Racer filled me with feelings of lust every time I looked at it. Others felt the same way. My garage quickly became a magnet for drooling superbike groupies. They quarreled and bitched at each other about who would be the first to help me evaluate my new toy… And I did, of course, need a certain spectrum of opinions, besides my own, to properly judge this motorcycle. The Woody Creek Perverse Environmental Testing Facility is a long way from Daytona or even top-fuel challenge-sprints on the Pacific Coast Highway, where teams of big-bore Kawasakis and Yamahas are said to race head-on against each other in death-defying games of “chicken” at 100 miles an hour….

No. Not everybody who buys a high-dollar torque-brute yearns to go out in a ball of fire on a public street in L.A. Some of us are decent people who want to stay out of the emergency room, but still blast through neo-gridlock traffic in residential districts whenever we feel like it… For that we need Fine Machinery.

Which we had - no doubt about that. The Ducati people in New Jersey had opted, for some reasons of their own, to send me the 900ss-sp for testing - rather than their 916 crazy-fast, state-of-the-art superbike track-racer. It was far too fast, they said - and prohibitively expensive - to farm out for testing to a gang of half-mad Colorado cowboys who think they’re world-class Cafe Racers.

The Ducati 900 is a finely engineered machine. My neighbors called it beautiful and admired its racing lines. The nasty little bugger looked like it was going 90 miles an hour when it was standing still in my garage.

Taking it on the road, though, was a genuinely terrifying experience. I had no sense of speed until I was going 90 and coming up fast on a bunch of pickup trucks going into a wet curve along the river. I went for both brakes, but only the front one worked, and I almost went end over end. I was out of control staring at the tailpipe of a U.S. Mail truck, still stabbing frantically at my rear brake pedal, which I just couldn’t find… I am too tall for these new-age roadracers; they are not built for any rider taller than five-nine, and the rearset brake pedal was not where I thought it would be. Mid-size Italian pimps who like to race from one cafe to another on the boulevards of Rome in a flat-line prone position might like this, but I do not.

I was hunched over the tank like a person diving into a pool that got emptied yesterday. Whacko! Bashed on the concrete bottom, flesh ripped off, a Sausage Creature with no teeth, fucked-up for the rest of its life.

We all love Torque, and some of us have taken it straight over the high side from time to time - and there is always Pain in that… But there is also Fun, the deadly element, and Fun is what you get when you screw this monster on. BOOM! Instant take-off, no screeching or squawking around like a fool with your teeth clamping down on our tongue and your mind completely empty of everything but fear.

No. This bugger digs right in and shoots you straight down the pipe, for good or ill.

On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm….

And that’s when it got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

I never got to sixth gear, and I didn’t get deep into fifth. This is a shameful admission for a full-bore Cafe Racer, but let me tell you something, old sport: This motorcycle is simply too goddamn fast to ride at speed in any kind of normal road traffic unless you’re ready to go straight down the centerline with your nuts on fire and a silent scream in your throat.

When aimed in the right direction at high speed, though, it has unnatural capabilities. This I unwittingly discovered as I made my approach to a sharp turn across some railroad tracks, saw that I was going way too fast and that my only chance was to veer right and screw it on totally, in a desperate attempt to leapfrog the curve by going airborne.

It was a bold and reckless move, but it was necessary. And it worked: I felt like Evel Knievel as I soared across the tracks with the rain in my eyes and my jaws clamped together in fear. I tried to spit down on the tracks as I passed them, but my mouth was too dry… I landed hard on the edge of the road and lost my grip for a moment as the Ducati began fishtailing crazily into oncoming traffic. For two or three seconds I came face to face with the Sausage Creature….

But somehow the brute straightened out. I passed a schoolbus on the right and got the bike under control long enough to gear down and pull off into an abandoned gravel driveway where I stopped and turned off the engine. My hands had seized up like claws and the rest of my body was numb. I felt nauseous and I cried for my mama, but nobody heard, then I went into a trance for 30 or 40 seconds until I was finally able to light a cigarette and calm down enough to ride home. I was too hysterical to shift gears, so I went the whole way in first at 40 miles an hour.

Whoops! What am I saying? Tall stories, ho, ho… We are motorcycle people; we walk tall and we laugh at whatever’s funny. We shit on the chests of the Weird….

But when we ride very fast motorcycles, we ride with immaculate sanity. We might abuse a substance here and there, but only when it’s right. The final measure of any rider’s skill is the inverse ratio of his preferred Traveling Speed to the number of bad scars on his body. It is that simple: If you ride fast and crash, you are a bad rider. And if you are a bad rider, you should not ride motorcycles.

The emergence of the superbike has heightened this equation drastically. Motorcycle technology has made such a great leap forward. Take the Ducati. You want optimum cruising speed on this bugger? Try 90mph in fifth at 5500 rpm - and just then, you see a bull moose in the middle of the road. WHACKO. Meet the Sausage Creature.

Or maybe not: The Ducati 900 is so finely engineered and balanced and torqued that you *can* do 90 mph in fifth through a 35-mph zone and get away with it. The bike is not just fast - it is *extremely* quick and responsive, and it *will* do amazing things… It is like riding a Vincent Black Shadow, which would outrun an F-86 jet fighter on the take-off runway, but at the end, the F-86 would go airborne and the Vincent would not, and there was no point in trying to turn it. WHAMO! The Sausage Creature strikes again.

There is a fundamental difference, however, between the old Vincents and the new breed of superbikes. If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society. The Vincent was like a bullet that went straight; the Ducati is like the magic bullet in Dallas that went sideways and hit JFK and the Governor of Texas at the same time.

It was impossible. But so was my terrifying sideways leap across the railroad tracks on the 900sp. The bike did it easily with the grace of a fleeing tomcat. The landing was so easy I remember thinking, goddamnit, if I had screwed it on a little more I could have gone a lot farther.

Maybe this is the new Cafe Racer macho. My bike is so much faster than yours that I dare you to ride it, you lame little turd. Do you have the balls to ride this BOTTOMLESS PIT OF TORQUE?

That is the attitude of the new-age superbike freak, and I am one of them. On some days they are about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Vincent just killed you a lot faster than a superbike will. A fool couldn’t ride the Vincent Black Shadow more than once, but a fool can ride a Ducati 900 many times, and it will always be a bloodcurdling kind of fun. That is the Curse of Speed which has plagued me all my life. I am a slave to it. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #12
Permit
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Joined: Aug 2011
From: Portland, Oregon

I Ride: a skateboard
The article appeared first here: http://articles.latimes.com/2004/nov/03/autos/hy-neil3

And there's more of it there too.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
Banned Camp
 
Joined: Mar 2007
From: Seattle, WA
Blog Entries: 1

I Ride: BMW K1200GT, KTM 990 Adv, Ducati SF
I love good writing.

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #14
Chicken Strips
Rock Dodger's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2012
From: Klickitat, WA

I Ride: SV650 K6
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by st.mats View Post
Does that mean it's the opposite of evil, or just evil upside down?
It's evil disguised. But I recognize it because I know better!!

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Old 08-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #15
Newbie
Gene S's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: Tukwila Wa

I Ride: Ducati 749S S2R1000 & 996
Talking 999
Like the guy said, "I like good writing". It cant be that bad. I went from a DRZ400 to a liter Monster and it was an eye opener but riding the 749/999 bikes are like wiping your ass with silk as the Frenchman said.

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #16
Railer
Buckwheat's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
From: Pasco, WA

I Ride: '47 Indian Chief, '96 Triumph Speed Triple & '07.5 Aprilia Tuono
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintnFJ View Post
Pass. :p


Aprilia please!

Great article though.

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #17
Superbiker
davidk's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
From: Bainbridge Island, WA

I Ride: 2001 BLUE Ducati ST4
I LOVE my old .9 liter Monster - but the 999...

If I got one I think I might just drain the fluids and mount it to the wall in my living room with a couple of small spot lights on it - ART in its most basic sense!!
Of course it would have to be RED!!

Ride it... Maybe once - just to see!! My old Monster keeps me happy enough - then again, I am now older and less crazy now!!

DavidK

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #18
Mr. Lexus
liv4thekill's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
From: Woodinville,WA

I Ride: 2013 Panigale aRRRRRRRRRR!
Great thread - reminded me of a quote from a MCN shootout about my first literbike:

"a wild-eyed stallion, waiting to trample your daisies, rape your livestock, and, if you're lucky, land you in jail. If you're not lucky... well I don't even want to think about it."

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Old 08-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #19
Peg Dragger
Norainy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: Nehalem, Or

I Ride: cause I obey the voices in my head
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by liv4thekill View Post
"a wild-eyed stallion, waiting to trample your daisies, rape your livestock, and, if you're lucky, land you in jail. If you're not lucky... well I don't even want to think about it."
Gotta love Italian style

Americans are turning into the Japanese as of late. We can make something better, but we can't come up with anything.

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Old 08-09-2012, 07:26 PM   #20
Peg Dragger
Click's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
From: Burien, Wa

I Ride: I just keep it in the garage and make the neighbors think I ride
Or, if so equipped, have a vasectomy.

Well, since I've had the vasectomy, I guess that means I should go try a 999 out.

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