Back in the Saddle: Ducati 999 Café Racer

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

Moto Adonis helps a one-legged rider achieve his dream… 

When the Ducati 999 appeared in 2003, it was one of the most controversial motorcycles ever to roll out of the Italian factory. Designed by Pierre Terblanche, the 999 was created to replace the beloved Ducati 916 / 996 / 998 series — some of the most beautiful, most iconic superbikes ever created. It was a tall order for any bike and designer…

Ducati 916: Big shoes to fill…

Terblanche eschewed the fluid lines and feline grace of the Massimo Tamburini-designed 916, producing a machine wholly his own with sharply-creased angles, double-stacked headlights, and a conventional double-sided swingarm.

Ducati 999 in stock trim

The 999 was loved or hated by the world’s Ducatisti…often the latter.  However, it quickly proved itself on the circuit, winning three World Superbike Championships beneath riders Neil Hodgson (2003), James Toseland (2004), and Troy Bayliss (2006). Fast forward 20 years, and the 999 has developed something of a cult following, becoming a fairly hot item on the used market.

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

This particular Ducati 999 comes with quite the story. The owner is a man from Twello, a small town in eastern Holland, where he’d lost the lower part of his left leg in a traumatic accident.

“Since then, he learned how to use a prosthetic leg and moved on with his life. This man had a vivid dream. He dreamt that one day he would be able to ride a sports bike. Not any sports bike, but a Ducati 999 nonetheless. He was so focused on achieving his dream, that he purchased a 999, bought a retro styled fairing kit, and tried to build the bike he had dreamt of. There was one major issue though: his leg.” –Bike Brewers

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

So he sought out our friends Arthur Renkema and Job Leussink of Moto Adonis to help him come up with a solution. They installed a pneumatic manual shifter that allows the rider to shift gears with the push of two buttons on the left handlebar, and also fabricated a custom footboard to give his prosthetic leg a place to rest.


What’s more, they customized the fairings, modified the tank to flow better with the rest of the design, and rebuilt the subframe to house the battery.

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

Miller Kustom Upholstery created the custom saddle, and the 7-inch round LED headlight comes courtesy of Yamaha’s XSR700. The bike is now sporting Öhlins suspension and SC Project silencers, and altogether has more of a 70s race / cafe bike look we love.

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

But wait, there’s more. In order for the owner to be able to sit properly on the bike, his prosthetic leg needed to be modified, but there were two problems. First, he only had one prosthesis, and a second one would cost a king’s ransom. Secondly, none of the prosthetic builders he asked were willing to modify his leg for motorcycle riding.

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

The boys from Moto Adonis, however, were ready and willing to do the modification, as long as an appropriate donor leg could be sourced.

“When word got around, another motorcycle rider with a modified motorcycle and a prosthetic leg offered a spare prosthesis. They are now riding buddies and have become close friends.” –Bike Brewers

Ducati 999 Cafe Racer

If that story doesn’t get at the heart of what makes motorcycles great, nothing does. We wish years of safe, great riding to these two friends, and thanks to the boys from Moto Adonis for making it happen.

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One Comment

  1. Kevin Raw

    What a wonderful story! It is all about having a dream and then pursuing that dream till it becomes a reality. Nice job all round. It was a crazy idea… but then again, crazy is a good thing.

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