Arete Americana’s Ducati 999 CF

07/03/2013 @ 12:24 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS


It might not have been the sales disaster that many make it out to have been, but Pierre Terblanche’s Ducati 999  remains one of the most controversial machines ever to come out of Borgo Panigale. However, the more we look at the 999’s staked-headlight and double-sided swingarm design, two of the biggest design elements that Ducatisti took umbrage with at the bike’s launch, the more we think that the Ducati 999 Superbike will become a collector’s classic, and stand as a unique time in the Italian brand’s history.

So, it warms out hearts to see that there are people out there still building off of Terblanche’s work, and one of them is Bryan Petersen at Arete Americana and his Ducati 999 CF. Sporting a tail and tank from Radical Ducati (Arete Americana is the North American distributor for the Spanish firm), along with a singe-sided swingarm conversion from an 848, the Ducati 999 CF is our kind of custom: subtle, yet to the point, and Arete Americana has ensured that all the right go-fast bits were included in the build.

Helping give the bike its name, the Arete Americana Ducati 999 CF has carbon fiber fairings from Ducati Performance, while the RAD solo-seat is self-supporting and is too made from carbon fiber. Titanium bits abound, including a titanium steering stem nut. Petersen also built a custom one-off exhaust for their Ducati 999 CF build, which sneaks out underneath the lower fairing, and features individual tubes for each cylinder.

Arete Americana Ducati 999 CF Technical Specifications:

  • Ducati Superbike 999R frame
  • Brembo RCS masters
  • HP race rotors
  • 32/36 billet machined monoblock radical calipers
  • 34mm billet machined endurance rear caliper w/custom mount
  • TOBY steering damper
  • Ohlins FGRT210 30mm Front end
  • Ohlins 1098s rear shock w/DP adjuster
  • Forged Aluminum Marchesini wheels
  • One-off 57mm stainless exhaust w/SLR style outlet
  • 848 Swingarm
  • Yoyodyne slipper clutch
  • Rizoma clutch and sprocket cover color matched to the machined case covers
  • One-off Carbon fairings
  • Custom Radical Ducati carbon tank
  • Self-supporting Carbon solo tail (weighing 2lbs)
  • Custom carbon seat pan with leather and suede double-stitched seat held down by 8 custom made, color-matched grommets
  • Ti everything















Source: Arete Americana (Facebook) via il Ducatista

  • Shawn

    I always thought that the 999 was an unfortunately maligned bike. Pictures really didn’t do it justice – it was one of those bikes that truly looked better up close and in person. I think you’re prediction may become true; that the 999 will eventually become a collectible.

    As for this custom, I’m not sure what I think. From certain angles, the rear end looks too truncated for me. But I appreciate that someone had the grapes to take one of the red-headed step-children of the Ducati lineup and try to do something special with it. Personally, I think ALL Ducati flagship superbikes should be built with single-sided swingarms. It really should be some sort of Italian law.

  • Aj

    If the bike had shipped like that, it would have changed everything. It’s beautiful.

  • jet057

    A true mind blower,just awesome.I want one.

  • Norm G.

    the mkI bikes (like the yellow in the background) were the uglies. the mkII bikes had a lot of the stying deficiencies sorted. the front fender, the slits in the upper, the kit swingarm, blackedout subframe, red mainframe etc. there was really nothing wrong with the tank/tail combo. ducatisti know what i’m talkin’ bout.

  • Nice to see that Pepo got so much mileage from that fuel tank. Still the nicest one I did.

  • hipsabad

    Single-sided swingarms increase unsprung weight in the rear merely for visual fashion; not the kind of suspension engineering i want to pay for.

  • shabazz

    Uhlarik, tell us all about the other fantastic things you’ve done! You’re the Kanye West of motorcycling.

  • JoeD

    @hipsabad-Thank You Sir! Anchor that wheel/drive assembly properly with the double arm. Even better if steel and braced ala Benelli.(I’m partial with a Café Racer in the flock). What is in use for MotoGP? I have admired the 999 since Day 1 and they are gorgeous in person. Black is especially sinister and appealing.

  • Adam

    My first and only bike is a black 06 749. Loved the bike the first time I saw it. Only problem was the muffler but that can be changed with a spark exhaust. The only one that resembles and is as clean as the termi race kit. As with most bikes people either love them or hate them, personally I think the current R1 is the most hideous thing out there at the moment. Stacked headlights… I guess we forget a few model years of gsxr’s also had stacked headlights. Interesting take on this model, looks good but the tail is a bit small to me, makes the bike look front heavy.

  • trojanhorse

    @hipsabad not true. Several advantages including ease of rear-wheel removal, no alignment necessary, ease of chain slack adjustment. All of which are quite nice to have on a streetbike, having had one (and not caring very much about the visuals) I much prefer them.

  • Westward

    Absolutely brilliant, I want one in a 749, and that tail light and turn signals are perfect. I love it, also, I always liked the Pierre Terblanche’s Ducati superbike design.

  • alexsss

    nice, a tail which actually causes drag and makes you so slower so you can look like some kind of design challenged stunter + paint that’s never seen a hard days ride

    It looks nice tho

  • paulus

    It looks great at every angle EXCEPT any that show the stacked lights.
    I don’t have a problem with stacked lights (Busa’s and GSXR’s look fine) but these just always looked like after thoughts…

    Nice special, lots of work put into it. Big respect for that.

  • TexusTim

    single sided swingarm came about as a way to give room to route the exaust, it gives little to no advantage to weight or tracktability, yes I guess it’s easier to remove the rear wheel but thats not why they did it……is that what they say at the dealership ? isnt a swingarm sprung weight ? and it’s def not rotating mass so not a huge help here and in certain areas of force may actully hurt not help the handling..if it twist in the rear even a minor faction it will transfer that to the front end…sound familiar ?

  • trojanhorse

    TexusTim I don’t need to rely on a dealership; I work in the industry, and you’re wrong. Spend 5 minutes googling “Honda Elf endurance” and you’ll learn that the SSSA was developed for ease of rear-wheel removal during endurance race pit stops. Also, that a swingarm is unsprung weight.

    It’s generally a good idea, when telling others they’re wrong in a belittling way, to actually know what you’re talking about.

  • onespeedpaul

    @trojanhorse having owned a few I would disagree on your points for these reasons: The rear wheel is no easier to remove or install when you factor in the special brace that sometimes still doesen’t work to hold the wheel still while trying to apply the required amount of torque to hold that single nut. Chain slack is a bigger difficulty factoring in the special spanner required to turn the eccentric and more importantly that your ride height and suspension adjustments should also change when the eccentric is moved from it’s previously set position.

    Single sided rear arms (the arm as well as the eccentric and wheel all together) will never have a strength to weight ratio as good as a dual sided setup. And if it did, it would still suffer from the issue of having to readjust the ride height/suspension settings any time it is moved.

  • trojanhorse

    @onespeedpaul, you make a good point, the rear nut does require a lot of torque and a very large socket/wrench.

    However I’ve never needed a special brace, but always just activated the rear brake to hold the wheel. And for my bike, the eccentric adjustment tool was included in its toolkit, and could be substituted with a simple drift or even a flathead screwdriver – the eccentric was just a notched ring like the one on a shock that adjusts spring preload.

    Readjusting ride height is inconvenient but infrequent, only necessary when chain slack is adjusted. Much more inconvenient (for me) is aligning the rear wheel every time it’s removed on a double-sider, because swingarm alignment marks are very inaccurate and to get a true alignment you need something better like a jig, which is a pain in the ass to use.

    I agree with you that the strength to weight ratio of double-siders is always better. But like anything in engineering there is a tradeoff. Personally I am willing to accept a slightly heavier swingarm for the advantages (to me) of a single-sider. You obviously have a different point of view, which is fine.

  • Grimey Benson


    Apparently you can just wind tunnel that bike in your mind?

    Seriously though, bike looks amazing and I never understood why the 99 got so much hate. It is one of my personal favorite Ducs.

  • Mitch

    I wonder how well that exhaust works as 1. there is no can at all and 2. the piping is now much shorter which has negative effects.

    Love the look though, even as stated that the tail would create more drag.

    SSSA will always introduce a little compromise that a dual sided arm won’t have to deal with.

  • Mike Nailwood

    Yeah, lets pick apart the single sided swingarm some more, because nobody cares about what a Ducati looks like right?

    Sheesh, we all know that it’s all about functional utility with Italian bikes right? I mean, why did they even bother?

    Maybe it has something to do with the bike looking about 200% better with it, or the fact that the bikes performance probably doesn’t suffer one whit as a result of having it, you think?

  • Norm G.

    re: “But like anything in engineering there is a tradeoff.”

    same as life… no free lunch. natural law this.

    re: “I don’t have a problem with stacked lights (Busa’s and GSXR’s look fine)”

    busa’s and gsxrs aren’t simple stacked projector beams that look like something somebody building a streetfighter in their shed would do with a set of PIAA’s. the design was a cop out.

  • Doug

    Norm…one of the very few times I disagree with your comments.

    The stacked headlights were inspired by old freight trains. To their own, but the stacked headlight is very cool, especially in person.

    A black frame with a black fairing is still one of the finest stock Ducati’s made in the last decade. Aftermarket pipes are necessary as that box is awful.