Ducatis often inspire two conflicting impulses: one to ride the wheels off them; the other to put them in glass cases to show them off. The 999 largely failed to inspire either riders or collectors. Some blame the Pierre Terblanche-penned styling, which looked oddly rounded and old-school alongside the visually arresting 916. Others point to the adjustable ergonomics as the reason the bike was spurned by hardcore sport riders, who preferred their bikes to dictate the riding position rather than vice-versa.
Whatever the reason, the 999 fell through the cracks when it was introduced. Now, however, it’s a great introduction to the Ducati legend; one that doesn’t ask for more than you’re willing to give, yet gives you more than you might have expected in return.