Proud New Owner of a Ducati 999 Superbike
It was the summer of 2002 in Pullman, Washington. I opened up the latest motorcycle magazine and saw the successor to one of the most beautiful and successful motorcycles in history, the Ducati 916/996/998… and there it was, Ducati had announced the all new 999 as its new production-based superbike model. And I didn’t like it at all.
At this point in my life, the most exotic motorcycles I’d seen outside of the Ducati lineup was the latest from MV Agusta and Benelli on display at the former Beaudry Motorsports dealership in Post Falls, Idaho. And while I loved the previous generation Ducati motorcycles, I wasn’t a fan of how the Ducati 999 looked in the various magazine publications.
Winter time was upon us in eastern Washington, and our motorcycles were parked in storage. We heard about the upcoming International Motorcycle Show in Seattle, and Jafar and I decided to make the journey across Snoqualmie Pass after class on Friday. We drove from Pullman to Bellingham in my old 1985 Toyota Pickup truck and arrived late in the evening hours.
On the morning of Saturday, December 14, 2002, we arrived at the International Motorcycle Show on a cold, rainy day in Seattle. Yes, we were excited to attend the show and see the various motorcycles, but walking into the Ducati booth changed my outlook on this new 999. And in that instance, forgetting everything I saw in the magazines, the new Ducati 999 looked absolutely beautiful in person! There was a floor model to sit on, and a display model with clear fairings showcasing the internals. And from this day onwards, this has been my dream motorcycle.
On the afternoon of Saturday, August 21, 2004, I met several college friends at the former Eastside MotoSports in Bellevue, Washington for a Dyno Day. As I was admiring the Ducati 999, one of the sales people offered me a 2003 Ducati 999 for a demo ride.
After taking the 999 out for about an hour of riding, I could only hope to own one of these superbikes at some point in the future. And every time I saw one on a motorcycle ride or meetup or future motorcycle show, I took the time to appreciate and enjoy how progressive and gorgeous this motorcycle was. I read about the challenges Ducati had with selling this motorcycle, and I understand why they went in a different direction with the 1098 replacement. I never knew if history would be kind to the 999, but I personally loved it. One day.
While I’ve always had a love affair with the Ducati 999, it’s been one reason or another throughout life that prevented me from owning one. And then a perfect storm of events occurred…
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, I was in Portland for a few days attending some local bike nights, and a friend offered me his 2006 Ducati 749 for the day.
The Ducati 749 was comfortable to ride, and I went home that evening and started pouring into everything about the 999, from the specific model research to what was happening in the secondary market. After all these years, I was pleasantly surprised to see an increase in demand. The 999 was the last hand built Ducati superbike in Italy, with a timeless design that has only appreciated over the years. And finding a well-maintained, clean example of certain trims/years had become highly desirable.
More than a week goes by, and the owner of the 749 informed me about a lead near Bend, Oregon. Admittedly, I wasn’t initially interested, but after doing some more research, I was willing to change my mindset and reached out to the seller. And with that, I woke up on a Thursday morning not knowing I was about to embark on a road trip to Oregon.
Thursday, February 11 turned out to be a very long day. Wake up, gym routine, and immediately spoke to the seller who was willing to meet me that evening while I coordinated transportation to Bend. I departed Seattle that morning, and met a friend in Portland to swap out my car for his truck, a 1996 GMC Sierra with over 250,000 miles on the odometer.
I departed Portland in the afternoon, crossed the pass at Mount Hood northbound towards Bend, and arrived at an unmarked airport hangar in Prineville, Oregon… and there she was. This was a 2004 Ducati 999S with 7,700 miles in pristine condition. This 999 was originally sold at MotoCorsa in Portland, Oregon, and at 7,100 miles, MotoCorsa performed a significant service this past November:
- Timing Belt Replacement
- Valve Inspection
- New Front and Rear Tires
- Changed Front Fork Oil
- Rear Shock Reservoir Rebuild
- Coolant Flush
- Brake Fluid Flush
- Clutch Fluid Flush
- Replaced Cylinder Head Gaskets
- Air Filter
- Changed Oil and Oil Filter
I took the 999 out for a test ride, went through the gears, and the ride was a dream.
And this was complete with the original owner’s manual, the black key, the red key, and the key code card.
This has been my dream motorcycle since I first saw it in person at the 2002 International Motorcycle Show, and now I’m the proud new owner of a beautiful 2004 Ducati 999 S Superbike…
And now the obligatory pictures…
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