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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, and welcome to curious visitors from Chromeheads also ;)

Thought I'd share my restoration work on the 999s. Once hailed as the 'ugly duckling', many buyers are now waking up to its timeless design. I was one of them, receiving this 2003 model with 987km in June 2020. I had little to no information to go on other than photos and the seller's word, and unfortunately the bike turned out to be a lemon, though not entirely the seller's fault - he probably just didn't know any better. I had hoped it was in good condition on the basis of the very low mileage, but that wasn't the case. Was a lot of back and forth on that sale.. Anyway, long story short, I eventually stuck with it and got a partial amount of my money back, allowing me to move forward.

Here's how she looked online -
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Day of loading up for her journey -
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And arrived 3 days later -
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Bike was known to not start. While I wasn't looking to mod or enhance it in any way, it did need a lot of my attention. Here were the early stages of me diving in, slowly opening up the can of worms. End of diagnostics concluded -

  • dead battery
  • rusted spark plugs
  • rusted vertical cylinder spark plug tunnel
  • rusted horizontal cylinder intake valve + seat
  • badly rusted fuel tank
  • ruined fuel pump
  • clogged injectors
  • worn + rusted clutch disks, basked chewed, fractured spider spring
  • evidence of crash on left side
  • spoiled oil cooler
  • degraded sound dampening material
  • leaking fork seals
  • expired stator unit
  • aged upholstery + worn rubber components
  • scratched/broken bodywork and carbon fibre components
  • bent rear brake lever bolt
  • once engine was running, coolant was found to be mixing into the oil - bad vertical head gasket

Other areas to address -

  • air filters
  • oil + coolant change
  • timing belts
  • brake + clutch bleed
  • chain + sprocket set
  • brake pads
  • tyres
  • valve adjustment
  • upgraded earth + starter wiring
  • exhaust manifold ceramic coat

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Oil drain plug magnet, not too bad -
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
State of the fuel which I drained out into a pot. I cannot express to you how much this stuff stank. My entire house reeked for about 4 days -
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Fuel tank interior -
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Degraded oil cooler -
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Juicy spark plugs. They look amazing -
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Glorious fuel pump -
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Slowly working my way through the first phase teardown (the one needed to just get the engine running) -
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Sad state of the sound dampening material -
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Tank soaked in vinegar for 3 days. Then drained and air dried. This is the rust that came out afterwards... -
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Then, in with a scrubbing brush and water. Over and over until only clean water ran out -
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Fuel pump also vinegar soaked -
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Looks a lot better but the pump was still dead -
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Back to the fuel pump for a complete repair this time -
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DIY injector clean -
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New plugs arrived -
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And oil + coolant change. Hoping for an engine start -
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Lithium attached for maximum cranking power, but dang, no luck... -
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At this point I came across the rusted valve. Not much I could do about it yet, it would have to be addressed during the engine teardown -
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With a bit of further reading, I isolate and address the wiring issues -
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And she fired up strong!! Damn what a sound. What an absolutely sensational sound. I took her for a quick lap around the neighbourhood to feel for any other issues -
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At this point I noticed the coolant-to-oil breach and poor clutch. Clutch inspection came out as follows -
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
At least the first phase I was happy with. She ran. She did have some of the cutting out issues that needed to be addressed with the TPS reset, idle adjustment and TB balance in conjunction with the exhaust gases, but I'll do that after the second phase - which is the total teardown and restoration. So, diving back in -
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Ohlins goodies off for complete overhaul -
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The bike came with stock and race fairings. I took the stock fairings to a vehicle centre for paint and am selling the race fairings. Scratches like this were prominent throughout -
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Guys helping me fight the good fight. I fed them one or two parts at a time until we ran through everything -
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A thousand times better -
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They had a go at some other components as well, like the swingarm -
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And the carbon fibre accessories were refreshed with lacquers from a place that makes kayaks -
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Getting deep into it now -
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is a familiar sight in my kitchen. Engine on the counter... -
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Stator definitely needs replacing -
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Engine cleaned, valves, pistons, gaskets etc. -
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One happy engine. Still needs new timing belts and valve adjustment - waiting on parts to arrive -
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And on to reassembly -
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Most definitely a two-man job. No doubt -
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Some more parts coming on - swingarm, airbox and muffler. All torqued to spec with new stainless steel bolts and copper anti-seize -
BB6965BF-66FF-4AAB-920A-6A1EB34FFAE0.JPG


I had a go at painting some odd parts here and there myself, like the rear wheel adjusters and sprocket carrier -
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Parts cleaned, restored, and waiting -
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Wheels cleaned, new rotor bolts, bearings inspected ok. Tyres fitted and balanced - Diablo Rosso 3's, 120/70/17 front, 190/50/17 rear -
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Rear fitted and happy. DID 525 ZVMX with 98 links, JT Sprockets 15/38 -
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New pads arrived -
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And her very own lithium that fits -
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Seat back from upholstery -
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She's looking good! People often ask how I suspend my bikes - I hang them off my roof trusses :LOL:
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ohlins goodies arrived back, so with that, I was able to sit her back down -
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New stator arrived and installed. Will have to see how it co-operates with the Lithium -
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So that's where I'm currently at. Any new work will come up in future posts. Still a bunch of stuff to address but it's coming along nicely!

All thoughts, comments and suggestions welcome :):)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks mate, it's just my house hey. It's still pretty much in the exact same state - just waiting on parts at this point. Really long international shipping times!!
 

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Great photos. And some excellent work! Wife would kill me in 2 seconds flat if she saw that in the living room.. ;-) I look forward to seeing more photos and reading of your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great photos. And some excellent work! Wife would kill me in 2 seconds flat if she saw that in the living room.. ;-) I look forward to seeing more photos and reading of your progress.
Haha. Thank you! Assert your dominance in the house. Caveman style.

I expect parts to start arriving soon so hopefully we can get back into progress with this fine girl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi all,


Small update here as some parts have trickled in. I got these Flennor belts which turns out have a bit of a bad reputation... Will see how they get on. These will be fitted in conjunction with the valve adjustment once I get the shim kit -
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Some other small items -
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Bike's current state. She's very patient with me...
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Catch up again in the next one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
POR 15 tank sealer done -
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That is a freaking work of art! -
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Exhaust manifold sent off for ceramic coat -
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New oil cooler arrived -
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Pads in, callipers cleaned and system bled -
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This is going to feel like a new bike again. Congrats. I wish I had the skills to dig in like that. I admire those of you on here who can work on these bikes like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you! Man I literally have no idea what I'm doing :LOL: This is only the second bike I've ever worked on. But I guess I do have good hands, I got that from my dad. I enjoyed taking it apart, especially the engine. It's like a feeling of exploration. Most important thing is to just read extensively and watch others do it. You gotta make the service manual your bible.
 

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This is an insane amount of work on such a low mileage bike that looked pristine from the photos. All I have to say is congratulations on what you accomplished so far and amazing job documenting everything in this thread. This is why I have internet! Thank you Sir and keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Hi all,


Things have been ticking along and parts are rolling in slowly but surely.

A big milestone covered was the completion of the Cerakote on the exhaust. The previous tub I bought was incorrect so had to re-order. End result as follows -
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With that, I could then finally get the new oil cooler on -
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Valve shim kit arrived from the States -
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But shortly after getting into the valve adjust, I found a fractured half-ring... :( Very strange how that happened.. When I had the engine apart in the kitchen, all half-rings were fine and intact. The engine wasn't run or anything since then and now, except the odd hand turn here and there. Oh well.. I've ordered replacements, plus a few other ancillaries.
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The long-awaited clutch also arrived. Installed all good. The unit is now an amalgamation of Sigma Performance and Ducabike components -
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Keep the comments and suggestions coming folks! It helps me keep going.
 
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