When the 2005 Ducati 999 arrived, the sport bike from Italian manufacturer Ducati was in its third model year. It would also prove to be its penultimate model year; Ducati ended production after the 2006 edition. However, by 2005 the 999 bike, nicknamed the ""Triple Nine,"" had already established a sterling reputation for its aggressive styling and high level of performance. The 2005 Ducati 999, in particular, would represent the nameplate's height of critical acclaim, with one of its variants crowned the best Maxisport bike at the 2005 edition of the annual Masterbike contest held in Spain.
Three models exist for the 2005 Ducati 999. There's the regular, original version, which is referred to as the Base. The other two models, the sporty 999S and racing-oriented 999R, were carryovers from the previous model year and represent the more powerful versions of the Triple Nine. The manufacturer's suggested retail prices are $17,995 for the Base, $22,995 for the 999S, and $29,995 for the 999R.
Each 2005 Ducati 999 is powered by a liquid-cooled L-twin (two-cylinder) Testastretta engine, with eight intake valves in total. It has a displacement of 998 cubic centimeters (cc) on the Base and 999S models and 999 cc on the 999R. The engine on the Base model produces 140 horsepower at 9,750 revolutions per minute (RPM) and 80 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque at 8,000 RPM. Ducati increases the horsepower to 143 and torque to 82 lb-ft on the 999S.
The 999R model of the 2005 Ducati 999 has the most powerful Testastretta engine. It pumps out 150 horsepower and 86 lb-ft of torque; and it has larger intake valves, longer bore and shorter stroke. Each engine on the 2005 Ducati 999 is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. Due to its racing orientation, it is lighter than the other two models: 11 lbs. lighter, to be more precise. Each 2005 Triple Nine has a fuel tank that can hold up to 4.1 gallons (15.5 liters) with a 0.8-gallon (3-liter) reserve. With the 999S or 999R variants, the 2005 999 can go from zero to 62 miles per hour (mph) in under 3 seconds, and it can achieve a top speed of over 170 mph.
Sporting a glossy black, red or yellow finish, the 2005 Ducati 999 is built with a lightweight yet sturdy aluminum frame and padded heavily with plastic to give it a prominent profile. A spoiler is attached to the back for increased aerodynamics, and each bike rides on 17-inch aluminum wheels sporting disc brakes for superior stopping power. The digital instrumentation on the bike consists of a clock, trip odometer, tachometer, lap timer, shift light, speedometer, service reminder indicator, and temperature and fuel level warning lights. Also included are a halogen headlight and a pair of side mirrors for increased visibility, a tinted windshield for protection against wind and flying debris, and engine immobilizer as a theft deterrent.
Although there are few changes made on the 2005 model year of the Ducati 999, it is a more powerful edition than the two iterations that came before it. Add great handling and aesthetic value, and the 2005 Ducati 999 is easily one of the best sport bikes of the 2000s.