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Enter the Matrix and ride like Trinity with a cheap Ducati 996 – MotorBiscuit

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They may be exotic, but used Ducatis aren’t as expensive as you might think. But we’re not just talking about the Italian brand’s entry-level motorcycles like the Monsters and Scramblers. The Ducati 999, for example, lacks the tech of its modern counterparts, but it’s still an authentic and truly affordable superbike. And the 999 is arguably not even the most surprising superbike affair. For a relatively low price, you too can find out what Trinity felt in The Matrix Reloaded and drive a Ducati 996.

The Ducati 996 1999-2002 is the real one Matrix Reloaded motorcycle star, not 998

2003 Ducati 998 at the premiere of Matrix Reloaded | Stéphanie Allespach / WireImage via Getty Images

Actor Keanu Reeves isn’t just a part-owner of a motorcycle company – he’s an experienced rider and bike collector. One of the motorcycles he deals with is a dark green Ducati 998, one of many special editions made to suit The Matrix Reloaded. At one point in this film, Trinity, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, must escape the agents and the ghostly henchman of the Merovingians, the Twins, while protecting the Keymaker program. And she does it by stealing a dark green Ducati on top of a semi-truck.

As awesome as that streak is, the bike Trinity rides in The Matrix Reloaded is not a Ducati 998. It couldn’t be, because at the time the film was being made the 998 had not yet been released. The bike that is actually in the movie is a specially painted Ducati 996, the predecessor of the 998.

So why did Ducati release a Matrix Reloaded edition of the 998 if the 996 was Trinity’s bike? In short, logistics, DriversMag Explain. By the time the film was released, the 996 was already no longer in production. But because Ducati wanted to cash in one way or another, he released a 998 that superficially resembled the 996 on screen. The 998 Special Edition even used the font from the outgoing 996 to spell its model name.

Anyway, the presence of the Ducati 996 in The Matrix Reloaded sparked a connection as the next Resurrections the film is reconstituted. However, the 996 isn’t just a silver screen symbol – it’s a superbike.

Evolved from the 916, the Ducati 996 has much more than star power

2000 Ducati 996 Biposto | RM auctions

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The Ducati 996 was released in 1999 as a successor to the 916, a motorcycle that still commands respect from bikers. As a successor, the 996 has a similar styling and a trellis chassis. But the 996 improved upon the 916 in several areas.

Like the 916, the Ducati 996 uses the brand’s 90 ° V-twin (L-twin) with desmodromic valves. This 996 cc injection engine develops 122 hp, RM Sotheby’s reports. And even the base version, the 996 Biposto, has a Showa monoshock and fully adjustable inverted fork as well as Brembo brakes. The 996S, on the other hand, replaces the Showa shock absorber with an Ohlins unit. Additionally, the 996 has a stiffer frame and lighter wheels and brakes than the 916.

Sadly, US customers have never had the more extreme 996SPS. This model got 10 more horsepower, lighter wheels, several carbon fiber and titanium components, and in 2000, an Ohlins inverted fork, Bonhams said. And in addition to a stiffer chassis, it also has an adjustable hitch head, which means you can freely change the geometry of its front suspension. Then, in 2001, Ducati replaced the 996SPS with the even sleeker, lighter and more powerful 996R.

But some parts of the SPS have arrived in the United States, Iconic motorcycle auctions reports. In 2000, Ducati improved the front fork of the 996 to reduce grip and gave the superbike Marchesini magnesium wheels. And in 2001, the 996S received the Ohlins suspension from the SPS, the steering damper and some of its carbon fiber parts. In the same year, the 996 Biposto also received the Ohlins rear shock absorber as standard equipment.

But you don’t need the S or SPS stuff to have fun on a Ducati 996, says MCN. Even by modern standards, this classic superbike feels exotic, as well as compact and taut. It’s also a very analog bike: no ABS, no electric throttle system, or even a fuel gauge. And like the 916, the 996 won the Superbike World Championship, winning four brand titles.

Go up to Trinity Matrix the ride does not require a Hollywood blockbuster budget

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Despite the success and its Matrix presence, the Ducati 996 is surprisingly affordable, with the exception of the 1-of-500 996R. As of this writing, there is an example from 1999 listed on Bring a trailer for $ 4150. The 996S bikes on the US market rarely cost more than $ 10,000 to $ 12,000, while SPS examples imported to European standards typically cost over $ 20,000. This is the brand new Ducati Panigale V2 territory.

Since the 996 is essentially a vintage Ducati, its potential maintenance needs can seem daunting. Certainly the desmodromic valves of the 996 require special attention. And because its L-twin is an interference engine, the timing belt needs to be changed on time. However, you can do the maintenance work yourself, and the parts themselves are inexpensive, Jalopnik said.

So even if you can’t dodge bullets like a Matrix star without expensive special effects, driving one of their Ducatis won’t cost a fortune.

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