Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
Ducati Introduces Its Next Generation Superbike: The Ducati 999 TestastrettaA 'REDVOLUTION' in Advanced Motorcycle Performance and Striking Design
BOLOGNA, Italy, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (NYSE: DMH; Borsa ItalianaS.p.A: DMH), a leading manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, today announced that it isintroducing an all new, top-of-the-range Superbike, the Ducati 999 Testastretta.

The Ducati 999 is a revolutionary combination of the most advanced technology and cutting-edge design.It represents the latest evolution of the Ducati Superbike -- the Company's flagship motorcycle -- whichhas won more World Superbike Championships than all the competition combined, including the 2001 rider'sand manufacturer's titles with Australian rider Troy Bayliss.

The 999 makes major improvements over its predecessor in terms of performance. Rider ergonomics andhandling at high and low speed have been greatly enhanced. More power is generated from thechampionship-winning Testastretta engine thanks, in part, to an innovative and asymmetrical exhaustsystem. The 999 features cutting-edge technology, in particular in its advanced electronics systems andhighly sophisticated instrument panel.

In addition, the new 999 represents an important rationalization and simplification of Ducati'smanufacturing processes. The number of component parts has been reduced by 30% compared to the previous998 Superbike, significantly streamlining motorcycle assembly. Furthermore, key areas of the bike havebeen integrated into distinct and easily accessible sections, greatly simplifying maintenance.

"The 999 is the most advanced, high performance twin-cylinder motorcycle ever produced at the Ducatifactory in Bologna. It is faster, lighter and more aerodynamic than any of its predecessors," saidCarlo Di Biagio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. "At Ducati, it is our responsibility -- and heritage -- tochallenge existing benchmarks in the world of motorcycling and to be different, innovative andinspiring. The 999 symbolizes our commitment to build the most exciting sports motorcycles in theworld."

"Ducati's Design and R&D team were given a clear brief with the 999: to create the Ducati of the nextdecade," said Pierre Terblanche, Head of the Ducati Design Team. "Right from the beginning, thepriority was function over form. So first and foremost, the bike had to satisfy our objectives in termsof performance. Then, the challenge was to develop a striking design which complemented thoseobjectives." The development team took the proven Testastretta engine and added simpler and improvedmechanical and electronic components, new chassis, running gear and a more aerodynamic vehicle. Theresult is a completely new bike -- incredibly high performance, very user-friendly and great fun toride.

The Ducati 999 Superbike will be available from dealers in Europe by the end of July 2002, and in therest of the world from September or October 2002.

A Brief history of the Ducati Superbike:

The Ducati 999 Testastretta is the most advanced Superbike in Ducati history. The first DucatiSuperbike, the 851, was made famous by Marco Luchinelli's victory in the first-ever World SuperbikeChampionship race in Donington on April 3, 1988. Since then, the Ducati Superbike has evolved,continually gaining horse power. In 1994, the Company took a major step forward with the launch of theDucati 916 -- an iconic bike which immediately dominated racetracks around the world while capturing theimagination of fans, journalists, designers and museum curators as a landmark in modern motorcycledesign. The style remained essentially unchanged throughout the nineties, while the performance andcomponentry underwent continual improvement. From the 916, came the 996 and most recently, for modelyear 2002, the 998, the first model to be powered by a new, more potent engine, the Testatretta.

Key Innovations:

  • Innovative mid and lower air conveyors
  • Turbulence-reducing forward air vents
  • Rear silencer utilized as an active aerodynamic component

  • CAN (Controller Area Network) technology
  • Total electrical system weight significantly reduced
  • Direct ignition, spark plug mounted coils

  • Adjustable riding position, seat, tank, controls and levers

Assembly and Maintenance
  • 30% fewer components
  • Improved access for maintenance operations
  • Reduced time required for routine service

  • Increased horsepower
  • Improved power and torque curves
  • Simplified layout
  • Equipped with catalytic converter

  • Adjustable steering head angle
  • Rigid, double sided swing arm

Design and Form
  • Narrow, highly-aerodynamic fairing
  • Stacked polyellipsoidal headlamps
  • Turn signals integrated into mirrors

Methodologies and Design
  • Designed using 3D CAD technology
  • Comprehensive computer simulation of components and systems
  • Rapid prototyping

  • Models available single seated or double seated
  • Colors available in red or yellow

Founded in 1926, Ducati builds racing-inspired motorcycles characterized by unique engine features,innovative design, advanced engineering and overall technical excellence. Ducati has won ten of thelast twelve World Superbike Championship titles and more individual victories than the competition puttogether. The Company produces motorcycles in four market segments which vary in their technical anddesign features and intended customers: Superbike, Supersport, Monster and Sport Touring. The company'smotorcycles are sold in more than 40 countries worldwide, with a primary focus in the Western Europeanand North American markets. For more information about the Company, please visit our web site at

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