Humanity, it has to be said, is prone to lying. This does not have to be a bad thing, in the case of emergency lies it is even inevitable. And don't we all like to hear "I love you" or "A moment please, the colleague is coming"? Our test object is a little different. She never lies: The Ducati Streetfighter V4S is just that: a street fighter. At every traffic light, in every bend, just everywhere lurks the enemy. The design supports this character in the most accurate way. The front V-shaped lamp strip alone. It can be set in two light levels, but in each of them looks like a burning iron that wants to burn a V into your flank. Or the air inlet behind the front wheel. At first glance, one thinks that it serves the air supply to the superimposed coolers. In fact, however, it is a ripped-up gullet that wants to soak up others.
And this even though we haven't driven a metre yet. The gaze wanders reverently over the technology. Unlike the technical donor, the fully clothed Panigale V4, the splendor and glory is obvious. Cleanly laid hoses and lines lead vital things to or from the V4 engine. The whole thing underlines the mechanical character of the Streetfighter, as we will learn in a while.
The engine produces 208 hp. Sure, this might be a bit too little in some situations (which one?), so Ducati still has the titanium sports exhaust, which pushes the power to 220 hp (and costs 4,831.40 euros extra).
Our test bike didn't have this, it costs as an S-variant with the Öhlins suspension list price already 22,990 instead of 19,990 euros for the normal version, but you can't be petty with Ducati. Despite the monster engine with 199 kilos, the S-variant remains just below the sound barrier of 200 kilos, which even a voluminous passenger cannot change. In our configuration it is not provided, a plastic part closes the bench, footrests are also missing.
For this, we notice something positive that we had not necessarily counted among The Core Competence of Ducati: the operation. First of all, the Duc starts the complete safety package. Whether curve ABS, stoppie and wheelie preventer or a slingshot protection with traction control – the Duc has everything. And everything can be adjusted in different stages, there must be a total of thousands of variations. If you think of the overloaded controls of some bikes with shudders, you can relax. Ducati has managed to regulate this quickly and catchy with just two buttons. One wonders: why don't everyone do this?
Before we become sensible, let's start.
Do you have neighbours and actually have a very good relationship with them? Forget it, that was yesterday. Okay, our Duc is only Euro 4 certified, but one still wonders how the Italians got the approval for this part. Not only the sheer volume surprises with stand gas, but also the lurking, always somewhat rotten, aggressive sound. A feast for Ducatisti, everyone else calls the police. Before it shows up, let's jet off. No one is surprised that she sounds even more aggressive on the road, rather than how this is going. Apart from what he says, this is an engine that obviously has the finest manners. Among 2,000 tours? Feasible. In the fourth through the city? Clear. The first gear reaches over 100 km/h, but nevertheless you do not have to juggle with gas and clutch when starting up. By the way: As with the Monster 1200 S, the Quickshifter convinces with serene, clean reactions.
Now we have turned off the mandatory program and come to what the Ducati Streetfighter V4S is actually built for. The world is not enough for this bike, a tester put it. And that's true: whatever you can see, it comes at warp speed. Impossible that a motorcycle can be so fast? But, it must be, even if it is hard to imagine. The pure acceleration to 100 is done in a good three seconds. It is not.
What baffling you here is the overall concept. Even if the Duc convinces in everyday life (see above), she still puts at least three on it in combat mode. Under infernal, angry noise, she fights down everything that comes close to her. No matter what speed, the V4 pulls the nearly 200 kilos forward. The whole thing happens without a second of remembrance, all, really all the senses are immediately on attack.
The chassis does an unobtrusive job, which is the best compliment you can do to it. This and the engine are still dwarfed. By whom or what? The Brembo system (Stylema M4.30), which brakes this monster safely, controlled and with all its power at all times. The fact that the system can be perfectly dosed and operated with two fingers certainly does not make things any worse.
What remains? Those who use the Ducati Streetfighter V4S will be left speechless. It seems impossible to get used to this primal force (on the other hand, it is also impossible to keep your driving licence while trying out). There are a number of power-naked bikes, like the KTM Super Dukes,that have impressed us hard. But, let's be clear: the Ducati is three more numbers sharper. Not purely in terms of driving performance, but in terms of the overall concept. Suddenly, everything you've driven so far seems to be under-powered.
If you are looking for this tiny tip in a pointed target group, you are right here. Ducati has put the ultimate aggro bike on two wheels. Everyone else should not be blinded by the suitability for everyday use: it is no shame not to like the Duc.
Hm. It wouldn't be a shame, but it's a shame ;)
The test bike was provided to us by Ducati Hamburg.