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The New Ducati 999

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June 4, 2004

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It's the first all-new Ducati for a decade, and given that the last one has won six of the eight World Superbike titles since it's release (and is certain to make it seven of nine this year), it has a lot to live up to.

Ducati has always been a forward thinking company. It has used the internet to release special models and has allowed customers to order their bikes over the net. Now it has extensively used 3D CAD and computer simulation to develop the new 999. Not just that, but computers have been used in developing all components and systems on the new bike, for rapid prototyping and rapid production tooling development. The bike appears to be a triumph of rationalisation and has approximately 30% fewer individual parts compared to its predecessor and requires less routine maintenance time. The priority of the design of the 999 Testastretta privileged function over form. The company's stated goal was to "improve rider ergonomics, make maintenance easier, reduce machine complexity, and of course, offer performance second to none." The aerodynamics, mechanical and electronic components, chassis and running gear were developed first and styling followed. Interestingly, the new bike combines a lower frontal area and more aerodynamic shape with what is apparently a more comfortable and fully adjustable riding position - the footrests, controls and levers and even the position of the seat/tank unit are all adjustable.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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