"Rockin' Robin" takes a quick break for pictures while wringing out the R05 on twisty Stunt Road.

Exclusive First World Test!
Robin does the Ducati 999R05
with "Rockin' Robin" Cunningham
TV star, Miss Texas, Miss Hawaiian Tropic International, Miss Hooters
and Miss SBK World Superbike Fast Dates and Team Ducati Corse girl

August 1st - I had just gotten back from the Laguna Seca World Superbike Weekend 2004 with photographer Jim Gianatsis and the 2 other beautiful Fast Dates Calendar Angels Nicki and Andra. It was an incredible weekend in Monterey shooting for the next Calendar with all the top factory World Superbikes and riders, partying on Cannery Row on Saturday night with all the race fans, and then on Sunday serving as the official Ducati Corse umbrella girl for Ducati's Championship points leader Regis Laconi.

Standing on the start grid with all the bikes and riders on Sunday, I couldn't help but imagine what it might be like to be exploding down the front straight on Regis' factory 999F04 and tilting it over the blind crest of Turn One, grabbing the Brembos and blipping it down 3 gears as I dove into Turn Two with the rest of the pack on my ass. Awsome!

Click for the BIG Picture. Here i am on the starting grid at Laguna Seca World Superbike with Regis Laconi and Ducati Corse marketing manager Paolo Ciabatti.
I'm the one in the short skit with my butt hanging out!

A girl can dream, can't she? Well, 3 weeks later the dream almost came true as FastDates.com got its hands on one of the first production Ducati 999R 2005 Superbikes in America. This is the latest incarnation of the limited production run of 500 very special bikes to homologate (Barely Legal!) the factory 999F Superbikes for FIM sanctioned World and National Championship superbike racing. Out of the required 500 bike production run of the new 999R 05s this year, 300 of them are making the trip to America, giving us a a good indeciation of what percentage of Ducati's total production does go to America (60%) compared to the rest of the universe, and where their biggest market is. Ducati says it wants to keep its options open to build more than 500 of the 999R05 bikes if the demand is high enough, but with the required production lead times don't expect to see many more any time soon

The 05 designation after the 999R means this is a 2005 year model bike, even though for AMA racing purposes it homologates Eric Bostrom's factory 999F which was racing in the 2004 season. The bikes needed to be built by July 1st to be homologated, which they were, and we actually saw our 999R rolling off the production line back in May when we visited the Bologna factory during World Ducati Week.

It was during our incredible visit to the Ducati factory and World Ducati Week back in May and seeing the new 2005 model R rolling off the production line that we noticed its main visual changes from the previous year's 999R04 model. Those changes including the new Ohlins front forks with radial mounted Brembo brakes,and the stamped sheet aluminum rear swingarm which is 1-pound lighter, stronger, and a whole lot better looking than the stock cast aluminum arm found on the other 999 models. But these 2 new suspension components had been introduced 4 months earlier on the then new 749R04 model, so it was expected they'ld find their way on the next production run of 999Rs which we were now seeing.

What we also see here which is exclusive to the 999R05 is the slightly changed trellis frame now painted red to match the factory 999F04 works bikes. And the beautiful new front fairing which eliminates the 2 upper vent slots for "improve aerodynamics", which are still found on the other production Superbike models. If you remember our own FastDates.com 999S Project Bike from last year we had our vented front fairing with a non vented carbon race fairing that looked just like this. We'd like to think Ducati of Italy saw how great it looked on our Project bike and decided to makes the production change as a result. The new front fairing's windscreen is slighty taller as well for improved rider protection and aerodynamics.

And just in case you're looking to update your 999 vented front fairing with the new 999R05 carbon fiber front fairing and windscreen, don't bother, because it won't fit. The new fairing is slightly wider as well, uses a different screw mount pattern for the new windscreen, and employs slightly wider carbon fiber upper support arms. We know because we tried to install the carbon fibre front fairing from our 999S Project Bike and it wouldn't line up easily and need would some redrilling.

We also noticed the single layer carbon fiber fabric in our race front fairing was significanly lighter than the higher quality double layer and heavier carbon fiber cloth which is used on the 999R05. For comparison, our race front fairing weighed just 10 ounces, while the 999R05's weighed in a full one pound heavier at 1lb. 10 ozs. And while somewhat too heavy for real race bodywork, the R's production carbon fibre bodywork with its molded-in Red color is beautiful and flawless, stone chip imprevious, and much more durable for street use.

The 999R05 abounds with additional bolt-on carbon fibre parts like the front fender, engine cam belt covers, sprocket and chain guard, and airbox tunnels. As well as as some tasty gold anodized magnesium parts like the
headlight and front fairing mount module, and the engine valve covers. Together with the rear swinarm, the 999R05 tips the scales at a factory claimed 399lbs / 181kgs, which is some 40lbs / 18kgs lighter than its more pedestrain 999 / 999S sisters.

What we couldn't know about on the new 999R05's we saw at the Ducati factory back in May were the changes inside the limited production sand cast engine, and our pretty young tour guide wasn't about to tell us before the World Press Launch in July (nor did she probably know). The R model retains its special short stroke 999cc homologation motor at bore / stroke of 104 x 58.9mm compared to 100 x 63.5 mm on the 999/999S models, allowing it to turn more RPMs and make more power in race tune.

But last year's 999R04 model only made an advertised 3hp more at peak than the current 999S, 139hp at 10,000rpm vs. 136hp at 9750rpm. And if you remember on our 999S Project Bike we bolted on the $3200 Ducai Performance 54mm Termignoni full race exhaust system with CPU remap module which Ducati claims provides an 8% additional power increase on the 999S up to 147hp, all within a lower rpm range. So effectily, we had a hotter performing bike for about $26,200 (the 999S retails for $23,000), which is almost $6,000 less that last year's $32,000 priced 999R04.

Well, the boys back at Bologna must have been reading all of our Project Bike Story, because they made a major redesign to the 999R's engine to give it the real performance boost it needed to justify its lowered but still pricy $30,000 entry fee. The changes start at the crankshaft which is redesigned to be stronger and lighter, than moves upstairs by way of the normal titanium connecting rods, to higher compression pistons, 12./45:1 up from 12.3:1. Those pistons are under an all new head assembly with bigger valves, now titanium with narrower stems, for a significant drop in recipriating valve train weight. Those Ti valves are now controled by revised rocker arms for increased lift, and hotter cams. And they're feed by a redesigned Magneti Marelli Corse fuel injector nozzles with 12 spray holes for improved atomization and better mixture burn. The result is an incredible jump in power / torque on the new 999R05 up to 150hpat 9750rpm / 116.7 Nm at 8,000. It's significant jump in power and torue at a slightler lower rpm, making the new R model even more tractable and easier to ride.

The only downside to this new jump in performance by 11hp and decrease in price by $2,000 is the new 999R05 is now delivered with the 999S model's stock street legal Euro 2 compliant asymmetrical exhaust system featuring different length and diameter header pipes from each cylinder, feeding into a massive 25lb. steel bodied catalytic converter / muffler assembly. It is extradorniary that Ducati can make the bike produce e so much power and feel so light with such smaller front header pipes and that 25lb boat anchor muffler hanging off the back!


Exclusive FastDates.com Screensavers - Because We Love You!

Robin & 999R05 Screen Saver -Stunt Road
Robin & 999R05 Screen Saver – Scott's Road
Ducati 999R05 Screen Saver - Front
Ducati 999r05 Screen Saver - Rear

Go to: Ducati 999R05 Information Page 1Test Page 2Test Page 3 • 999R05

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Inside the new 2005
Ducati 999R

An evolution of power, aerodynamics and style, for a dream Ducati which is more competitive and powerful than ever. Based on the motorcycle representing Ducati in this year's American Superbike Championship (AMA), the 999R has been significantly upgraded for the American market.
A new front fairing, new rear swing arm and suspension, a major upgrade to 150 horsepower for the engine are all intended to reinforce the bike's Superbike status.

AMA technical regulations allow fewer modifications to the engine than the international Superbike regulations so Ducati, which returned to the AMA championship this year, has produced an engine with technical characteristics that are much closer to those of the racing version. The new 999R is yet another step forward in Ducati tradition, which has always been characterised by the manufacture of series production bikes similar to their race versions not only in styling, but also in technical features.

Previous editions of the R model Ducati Suberbikes were produced in limited 500 bike production runs each season to homologate them for Superbike racing. Ducati has not announced any limited production numbers for the revised 2005 model 999R, so we assume demand is now high enough for the $30,000 racer that it will now be included on the regular production line at the Bologna factory.

The Engine
The basic dimensions of the Testastretta engine used on the new 999R remain the same as those of the previous version. The cylinder bore is thus still 104 mm and the stroke stays at 58.8 mm, for a total displacement of 999 cc. However, the maximum power and torque have been greatly increased. Compared to the previous model's 102 kW (139 hp) at 10000 rpm, the new engine produces 110 kW (150 hp) at 9750 rpm. The torque itself has been increased from 108 Nm (11 kgm) at 8000 rpm, to 116.7 Nm (11.9 kgm) at 8000 rpm.

In order to fully understand what these figures mean for the new 999R, it is instructive to take a look at the variation in MEP (Mean Effective Pressure). This value is an important parameter in rating the engine, and measures the work the engine is capable of doing throughout a complete cycle (i.e. through all four phases). The Testastretta engine of the 999R ë04 has a MEP at maximum torque of 13.6 bar. The new model, on the other hand, exceeds 14 bar, a limit which no series production Ducati engine has ever reached before. At maximum power, the MEP value for the 999R model year 2004 Testastretta engine is 12.3 bar, while on the MY '05, at the same power output, the value increases to 13.5 bar. It is clear that in the two cases under consideration, the volumetric and thermodynamic performance of the new engine (in other words, its capacity to take in and burn the fuel/air mixture) are significantly improved, thanks to the substantial technical upgrades to the cylinder assemblies. In this context, it is worth noting that the air flow rate in the intake ducts (permeability) has been increased by 22.8%, while the exhaust duct flow rate has increased by 5.8%. The overall optimisation of the engine is confirmed by the fact that the improved maximum power value is now achieved at an engine speed which is lower by 250 rpm than the corresponding speed of the Testastretta engine mounted on the previous 999R model. The engine speed limiter is set to 11000 rpm.

New Cylinder Head Assemblies
In order to improve performance, the cylinder heads and pistons have been completely redesigned and should really be regarded as completely new components, designed specifically for racing. The pistons are forged and constructed from an aluminium alloy with high mechanical specifications to ensure outstanding geometrical stability during the wide thermal excursions to which they are subject. The variation of the geometrical specification, as well as the new shape of the combustion cavity in the head, has resulted in a compression ratio of 12.45 +/- 0.5 :1 (slightly greater than that of the previous R version of the Testastretta engine, which was rated at 12.3:1).

The valve seats are deeper due to the increased valve lifts. The heads have undergone a radical fluid-dynamics redesign. In order to make it possible to use larger diameter valves, their centre distances have been increased which means that the routing and dimensions of the intake and exhaust ducts have also had to be modified.
Still in comparison to the previous 999R Testastretta, the squish surfaces have been increased to improve the turbulent flow in the combustion chamber, resulting in significantly increased combustion efficiency. To summarise, the improvements to the new 999R engineís cylinders have greatly increased the engine's ability to "breathe" as well as its combustion output. The result of these modifications is evident from the significant improvements in overall performance of the road version, which means with absolutely standard exhaust system, silencer and intake system. The engine also meets established emissions standards. It should be noted that metal gaskets are not used between the head and cylinder of each assembly, but rather special seal rings (called Wills seals) around the perimeter of the combustion chamber. The large cylinder bore makes this necessary if a perfect seal is to be achieved. The overall redesign of the cylinder head has also made it necessary to respecify the cooling ducts. The valve covers are now in magnesium for lower weight.Timing belts
To limit the temperature of the timing belts and not only to keep down the overall weight of the vehicle, Ducati's competition bikes have never been fitted with protective timing belt covers. However these units are necessary to protect the belts when the bike runs onto the gravel at the side of the track, and this year the Ducati R&D department has installed timing belt covers with dynamic cooling on the 999R, as already done on the 749R. The horizontal cylinder timing belt cover has an intake with a small sponge filter which attaches to the front fairing. The air is taken in at this point, circulates in the timing belt housing and exits via a NACA opening in the top of the vertical cylinder timing system cover.The engine speed and phase timing wheel
A new element is the timing wheel on the timing drive shaft gear which, along with an magnetic induction sensor, generates the signal used by the ECU to detect the engine speed and operational phase. The timing gear teeth are not used, as on previous Testastretta engines, but instead the system uses a timing wheel with bumps machined onto the outer circumference of the gear face itself. This results in a cleaner electrical signal from the induction sensor. Engine casings and low sump

The engine casings are sand-cast, to highlight the exclusivity of the product. The dimensions of the units are no different from those used on the previous 999R Testastretta engine. The studbolts which mount the cylinder assemblies are located in such a way as to make it possible to mount such large bore cylinders (104 mm). The lubrication circuit retains the "low sump", a fundamental feature of race engines, as this allows the oil pump to always draw the lubricant in all vehicle positions (e.g. bike cranked over, under harsh acceleration or with the front wheel in the air).Crankshaft

The components in the engine casing of the Testastretta mounted on the new model 999R have not undergone significant modification compared to those used in the previous version, with the exception of the crankshaft. This component now has a new configuration. It is almost completely machined, to optimise its form. It has thus been possible to obtain a weight reduction while maintaining a perfectly balanced crank layout. The lubrication ducts inside the crank pin are also completely new: they no longer run horizontally, but diagonally while directly communicating with the duct along the two main journals. In this way it has been possible to reduce (from three to one) the number of plugs required to close off the surface borings necessary for machining the ducts themselves. The conrod manufactured by Pankl is in titanium to reduce the weight of the crank linkages.

Continued next page....

Fast Dates gone wild!
Our official Team Ducati Corse
FastDates.com World Superbike Trophy Girls are waiting for you in Member's Corner!

Ducati's World
Championship Racers

An inside look at the World Cha,pionship Ducati bikes and riders.

520 Chain / Sprocket Kit
Optional sprockets are needed to regear the 999 which comes geared extreamely tall. Chain and gearing kits are avaiilable from both Ducati Performance and MotoWheels which carries the race quality AFAM sprockets. These are higher quality hardened and anodized sprockets which we recommend.

Other companies like Sporcket Specialites offer lower quality unhardened sprockets which we really don't recommed for their reduced strength and wear, particular if your are changing to a narrow 520 sprocket setup to reduce weight.

. We opted for a narrower 520 from stock 525 chain and sprocket kit which reduced weight 1.5 pounds .
For our Ducati superbikes we normally go down 1-tooth on the front countershaft sprocket form 16T to 15T, but now the new 999R does come with a 15T stock which makes a complete 520 chain and sprocket swith a little harder to justify. On on the less powerful 999 and 999S they still need to gear down further and wesuggest going one tooth taller in back from 46T to 47T. But the new 999R05 has more than enough midrange power that it isn't as necessary.

Now for the really good stuff....
Click and go to Paddock Garage for big 1224 Screensavers of the 999F05 and
sexy pictorials of all the FastDates.com Calendar Angels

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