999 ’05 Model - Written Feb ‘05

The ’05 model 999 gets lots of new stuff, most of it cosmetic. Red frame, black wheels, black R spec swingarm, redesigned front and the hotter S model cams. They look pretty cool (not sure if I like the front yet though), far more like the race bikes. It’s amazing what a change of colour scheme can do – it’s a real cosmetic hot up. And there’s little things too like the plastic vented belt covers styled from the ones we saw on the 749/999R in carbon. Stuff like that that really separates it from the old model. Which overall is something they haven’t really done in the past 10  years that I’ve been involved with them (apart from the S4R I guess).

The cams though are the only real engine performance change. The light crank and Ti rods the S engine had aren’t fitted, so the rotating assembly is still fairly heavy. This may work against it to some extent – the lighter bits helped the S engine ‘feel’ better at lower RPM than it really was. The graph below shows our demo ’05 model in red compared to our ’03 model demo in green and a ’03 model 999S in blue. All are as delivered – std exhaust, etc.

As you can see, the curves for the ’03 999S and the ’05 999 are almost identical, as you’d expect for two engines with identical tune. The acceleration on the dyno is from a roller speed of 75km/h to 200km/h is 5.07 seconds for the ’03 999, 5.27 for the ’03 999S and 5.34 for the ’05 999. Not much in it, but the combination of bigger cams and heavier rotating assembly hinder the ’05 model through most of the RPM range compared to the previous model. It is a nice thing to ride on the road – smooth and very linear in its power delivery, and in isolation (ie, owning one) you wouldn’t have a comparison to the previous model anyway.

Fitted with an appropriate exhaust system is should make similar power to the S model, and we’ve had them make 133 with 57mm exhaust and cam timing changes. Although the only 2-1-2 system available at this point it appears is the 57mm system, and these don’t make as much power (on the dyno at least) as the 54mm systems.

But, this is what they’re building now so that’s what we’ll get.

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