Endurance test Ducati 999 (completion)
All’s well that ends well?
One thing cannot be said for sure: that it was boring with the fire-red 999. On the contrary: it was always good for a surprise.
We will never forget you! «No question, that would be the dedication, would have the red one D.ucati 999 with the police registration number BP97290 a poetry album instead of a boring logbook. “There should be love in all four corners”, however, probably nobody would have entered. Even if you take into account that with a Ducati, the emotional must not be neglected. Not even the most ardent lover tolerates such a number of quirks in the long run.
But first things first: It was August 14th, 2003, on which the self-confessed super athlete started the core work in the service of the editorial team with the Testastretta-V2. And it was less than two days before it was properly wiped off the first time. The colleague in question complained about the cumbersome chain tensioning device and the injection control light that lights up at high speeds. And hit the bull’s eye with the latter, because this mishap should run like a red thread through the endurance test.
However, the said lamp by no means fulfilled its intended task and pointed to possible irregularities in the mixture preparation. Rather, it reliably signaled that the electronics worm, which accompanied the 999 for over two thirds of its test balance, steadfastly crawled through the CANbus technology again after each repair attempt.
“The Duc and I have suffered serious damage,” the author noted after driving 1000 kilometers on the motorway with an odometer reading of 5500. “Me on the A … – the Duc everywhere.” In the following list, the light that flickered at high speed and the “zero.” Visibility «in the rear-view mirrors even the lesser evil. Bench as hard as a board, failing indicators, arbitrary speed display, lost spring for fastening the manifold to the rear cylinder – a long litany of suffering. With a conciliatory conclusion. “But the engine works really well.” The last sentence is representative of the complicated network of relationships that many people had with the 999. The defects, the constantly recurring mistakes, the “unfinished” of the red diva got on the nerves tremendously. The qualities of the engine and chassis, however, particularly impressed the sports drivers. A few laps in Hockenheim, the sprint over the home route – then the Duc was in its element, the V2 fascinated with its velvety responsiveness, the steady power delivery and its uninhibited revving.
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Endurance test Ducati 999 (completion)
All’s well that ends well?
Initial / final measurement 8956 km 48200 km
0 100 km / h sec 3.2 3.3
0 ?? 140 km / h sec 5.1 5.2
0 200 km / h sec 9.8 10.0
60 ?? 100 km / h sec 4.3 4.3
100 ?? 140 km / h sec 4.8 4.9
140 180 km / h sec 5.0 5.1
Average fuel consumption over 50,000 km
Fuel (normal) l / 100 km 6.4
Engine oil l / 1000 km < 0.05 l
Cost and Maintenance – Operating Costs
Operating costs over 50,000 km 17 liters of oil at EUR 10.36, EUR 176.12, 5 oil filters, EUR 8.69, EUR 43.45, 4 petrol filters, EUR 19.90, EUR 79.60, 6 spark plugs, EUR 14.15, EUR 84.90, 2 sets of front brake pads, 96 each , 50 Euro 193.00 Euro 1 set of rear brake pads à 26,
Front and rear tires renewed, Pirelli Diablo mileage 5839 Front and rear tires renewed, Bridgestone BT 012 SS 10049 Rear tires renewed, Bridgestone BT 012 SS 14333 Wiring harness, control unit and pillion seat renewed (guarantee) 15043 Injection relay renewed (guarantee) 16230 Front and rear tires renewed, Avon Azaro 18252 Front brake pads renewed 18578 Rear frame, rear fairing, pillion seat locking mechanism, pillion seat (guarantee) and chain set renewed 21282 Front and rear tires renewed, Michelin Pilot Sport 21698 Throttle valve sensor readjusted and synchronized 21776 Rear tires renewed, Michelin Pilot Sport 25650 Front and rear tires renewed SS rear right and front left renewed 29582 front brake light switch (warranty), rear brake pads and parking light bulb renewed 30077 control unit, cockpit, clutch lever switch and front brake pump replaced (warranty) 32189 front brake calipers and pads, oil sight glass, ignition coils and gear Windness sensor renewed (guarantee) 32733 Oil cooler renewed (guarantee) 32795 Speed sensor renewed (guarantee) 32947 Rear tires renewed, Bridgestone BT 012 SS 33844 Tires renewed front and rear, Michelin Pilot Sport 37845 Brake light switch (guarantee) and number plate lighting repaired, halogen light renewed (guarantee) Front brake discs and pads renewed (guarantee) 39651 40558 Front and rear tires renewed, Metzeler Sportec M-1 40858 license plate lighting repaired, swing arm, driver’s seat, footrest protection, rear brake cylinder (guarantee), chain set renewed 44497 Ignition lock and rear, cracked manifold replaced 47063
Ducati takes a stand…
…to the recurring electronic problems on the 999.
We don’t want to gloss over anything here. There were problems with the electronics that we could not have foreseen, especially with the first models. This is certainly also due to the fact that Ducati was the first manufacturer to use modern data bus technology for the 999. Maybe we should have left that to the others. Be that as it may, we had to go through a learning process in this regard that has long since been completed. This also applies to our dealers who work together
had to gain new experiences with us. Of course the defects were that
occurred in this regard, under the
Guarantee or fixed on goodwill.
…to the vibration cracks in the rear frame.
At the beginning of 2004 we changed the structure of the rear frame, damaged rear ends were replaced under guarantee. As of the modified rear frame, we are no longer aware of such problems.
…to the recurring problems with the ignition coils.
Here too we reacted at short notice. The problems that occurred were due to the fact that the connector was plugged directly into the
Ignition coils were positioned. That was
changed for model year 2004.
…to the frequently occurring starting difficulties.
First of all: Of course, we want to keep the battery size of a sports motorcycle manageable, and we have succeeded in doing so. However, there was a batch of batteries from a particular supplier,
where the voltage when starting in un-
favorable cases fell below 9.3 volts. From this value onwards, the engine management control unit cuts out and the motorcycle does not start.
Affected batteries were replaced, after which these problems did not recur.
…to the worn clutch.
The clear chatter marks are certainly a consequence of the fact that the clutch disks and springs are already far beyond their wear limit. They should have been exchanged for a long time anyway. Actually does
we are proud that a Ducati clutch lasts over 50,000 kilometers despite intensive use.
…to the worn valve seats.
On a high-performance motorcycle like
In our 999 this is certainly more than acceptable after a mileage of 50,000 kilometers. A revision would take place now
but recommend due to the already dismantled engine.
…for conical wear of the valve stems.
The same applies here: as part of the revision of the valve seats, a renewal of the valves would be an option.
…to the crack on the rear manifold.
We don’t know of any comparable case.
…to the worn connecting rod bearings.
That is also in view of the mileage
an acceptable wear pattern that we also
consider to be harmless.
Dear comrades in suffering, my long-term test experience must be
no further explanation, here the damage balance from April 8th to August 11th 2004 (no joke!).
The motorcycle no longer starts in the garage. The ignition coil is being replaced. The engine fails on a tour and can no longer be started. The motorcycle is towed, the wiring harness replaced (as not available, about ten weeks in the workshop).
On a tour, the motorcycle only rolls up for a few seconds
a cylinder and then fails completely. The motorcycle will
towed, speedometer and control unit are swapped.
The speedometer display of the motorcycle shows sudden deflections up and down as well as when at constant speed
high speed “—“. Speedometer is exchanged.
On a tour to Thuringia, I notice that the exhaust is loose. The cause is the broken attachment on the rear frame. Rear frame is exchanged.
I notice a drop in performance at around 5500 rpm for about 30 kilometers, later also in other speed ranges. A mechanical clang can be heard in the last few meters before the engine dies. The motorcycle is being towed away. Engine failure.
After the engine damage has been repaired, I pick up the motorcycle from the workshop and refuel after around 40 kilometers. At the
Right side of the engine is running down the oil. I finally have enough and sign off the machine.
Thank goodness it all happened during the warranty period. At the moment I have not registered the machine, I wanted to sell it.
However, this is not possible on acceptable terms. The show must go on…
I’ve been driving the 999 for two years and I’m still as excited as on the first day. The design loved me from the start
fallen, I would only have liked a nice single-sided swing arm. Since I never stopped on the way, I don’t mind that the exhaust pipe (vibration damage) on my Ducati, the
Oil cooler (recall), the fuel pump relay (oxidation of the
Contacts) were exchanged under warranty.
Since this is my first Ducati, I cannot say if the quality has improved. I can only recommend the 999 to anyone who is into two-cylinder, great sound and great chassis.
Here is my experience report on the 999, first registration
11/2002, mileage 24,000 kilometers. Previous defects: Total failure of the cockpit including the immobilizer, four weeks downtime due to delivery problems. Spark plug connector (upright) defective,
Pendant. Spark plug connector (lying) defective, trailer. Battery pole vibrated, trailer. Ignition line vibrated through to horizontal cylinder, trailer. Two batteries defective, two trailers. Inexplicable going out. Repeated analysis at two workshops. First workshop finds no mistake and the Ver-
keep normal. Second workshop finds total screw connection and two bent pins in the computer connector. Two followers. Lost back seat cushion. Of course, the injection lamp always lights up. Brake rattle. The workshop did not want to replace brakes under warranty, but rather grind the disks flat. Lasted around 500 kilometers.
At the moment it runs, albeit too rough from 8000 rpm. Oh and
the brakes rub again until I put new discs on them. At my expense, of course.
No matter what has been written about its design, I love it. No other is so slim, no one drives so precisely and ultra-stable. The brakes are the best I’ve ever ridden. The Testastretta pulls confidently and inspires with a great V2 feeling. There are now 15,800 kilometers on the clock, without mechanical defects or electronic failures. The Duc is an exciting motorcycle with a lot of character.
Condition – Ducati 999
Cylinder head: All valve seat widths at the wear limit and in some cases above, three exhaust valves are leaking. Very good running pattern of the camshafts and rocker arms. All outlet valve guides and two inlet valve guides are conically widened and in some cases above the wear limit.
Cylinder: Both cylinders show signs of running, the piston play is at the upper limit of the operating tolerance, the piston rings show hardly any wear, the running pattern of the pistons is very good.
Crank drive / motor housing: The connecting rod bearing shells clearly run-
traces and are worn out. A large area of the paint on the motor housing has flaked off.
Power transmission: The gearbox shows hardly any wear apart from slight tracks on the shift forks. The clutch basket is knocked out, the linings are worn.
Frame: The paintwork of the frame is neat, no rust and hardly any corrosion.
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