For a custom builder, it’s quite unusual to be commissioned to turn a race bike into a street one. But Stefano Venier told me he was very excited at the idea of re-working a Ducati 999S Testastreeta to make it what may be the fastest custom bike you can see on the road.
The Ducati 999 (say triple nine or nine-nine-nine) was designed by Pierre Terblanche, and produced from 2003 to 2006. It is known as an extremely high performance, race oriented motorcycle with the finest handling of that time.
0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) under three seconds; and a top speed of over 170 mph (270 km/h)…
As you can imagine, Ducati’s mechanical, running gear and electronic components were best left alone. The 999S is already equipped with the best of the best like an STM EVO clutch, a DISCACCIATI front brake, a RAPID BIKE electronic speed and powertrain control unit. Even the gas tank was spared after Venier and his client, photographer Riccardo Vimercati, realized that it would me impossible to noticeably improve its great design. First task was to remove the race fairing and to rebuild the tail with a new hand-fabricated support frame, removable seat pan and leather seat. The factory alloy wheels were replaced by a set of spoked ones from the Ducati GT 1000, a job that Venier says to be very difficult to do right to accommodate a race bike that has so much power.
Without altering the Ducati spirit and legendary stance, all the removable was removed and attention was turned to detailing the tiniest parts of the bike, especially those not visible when the Ducati 999 Testastreeto was still under its race dress. Most noticeable on these pictures are the new front fender, the mesh side panels and a cool recessed taillight. A new exhaust system was fabricated, using Termignoni Corse headers and Zard mufflers. Paint job is very sober dark grey. Venier Customs is currently working 2 Moto Guzzi, a V7 Stone and a California 1400. Can’t wait to see them. At least none of you is going to pretend that this custom is not made to ride, extremely fast, way too fast? (photography @ Riccardo Vimercati)