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Head to head: Kawasaki Z H2 vs Ducati Streetfighter V4

We take a hypothetical look at what would happen if the latest metal from Ducati and Kawasaki had a dust-up

WITH the official arrival of two of the most highly anticipated super-nakeds for the last ten years, punters, journos and the entire motorcycle fraternity are desperately trying to figure out which will come out on top.

Until we get to ride each machine ourselves – and believe me, we will! – it’s very hard to say. What we can do though is take a deep dive into the data and the specs, to try and work out who’ll come out on top when they do go toe-to-toe.

Seconds out - Round one: Price

Before a bike can tug at your heartstrings, it has to be on your radar. There’s no point pining for a bike if its price is double what you can reasonably afford. For this round, we are only going to take into account the starting of each model in the range, which for Ducati, with the Streetfighter and Streetfighter S means a price tag of £17,595 for the lower spec machine. The Kawasaki Z H2 is a single bike range (for now) and although no official price has been announced, a source close to the factory has confirmed it’ll be in dealers in February and priced under £16,000.

Looks like round one goes to Team Green.

Round two: Power

Both versions of the new Ducati Streetfighter V4 make exactly the same power, 208hp as claimed by the factory. Whether or not that turns out to be accurate once the bike reaches us, we’ll have to wait and see. The Kawasaki, on the other hand, is claimed to make 197hp from its 998cc supercharged engine. Now, we can’t say if that is inclusive of ram-air effect or without, again, we’ll probably have to wait until we can get one on the dyno before we can say for sure.

It’s worth noting that the Ducati is capable of up to 220hp (claimed) if the opts to fit the race kit Akrapovic exhaust system – price TBC.

The Ducati levels the fight at a round each.

Round three: Weight

This is a tricky one to choose, the Ducati on the spec sheet is listed as 178kg, although we assume that is based upon Ducati’s dry weight – ie without fuel or any other engine fluids included. We’d expect the genuine number to be somewhere nearer to the all-up weight of the Panigale V4 – circa 195kg.

The Kawasaki, on the other hand, isn’t such a featherweight machine, with a kerb weight – ie ready to ride with fuel and fluids – of 239kg

And the Ducati claws back a one-round lead.

Round four: tech

Both these new machines boast a massive array of rider assistance systems, with IMU controlled ABS and traction control being standard fit on both machines. Likewise, each comes with a host of riding modes, allowing the user to tailor the experience to their own liking. The Ducati in its Street Fighter S guise does boast the Öhlins semi-active EC suspension system, although that’s only available on the higher-spec and more expensive version, it’s like a middle-weight taking on a heavyweight.

We’re calling that round a draw.

Round five: torque

Looking at the specs of each machine, it’s clear that neither is going to be a slouch coming out of the slow corners. With the Kawasaki boasting a very healthy 137Nm @ 8,500rpm, against the Ducati’s 122Nm at 11,500rpm. So not only does the Kawasaki have more torque, it peaks earlier in the rev-range which to most would make the extra oomph seem more usable.

The Kawasaki take the lead in the final round to win the fight 3 rounds to 2.

Obviously, this is all totally hypothetical, for the true outcome, we’ll have wait until we get to swing a leg over the bikes at the press riding launch. We’re thinking that it should be in the new year for both machines.

Comments

I guess you guys aren't too good at counting to five?

So basically, the ridiculously heavy 239kg compressor-bike with less power wins because it's cheaper and has more torque?
I guess if there was a Harley in this comparo, that would have won then :)

I don't think people are even cross-shopping these two bikes, the streetfighter V4s is competeing with the Augusta Brutale 1000 and the Tuono 1100 V4, not with heavy cruiser bikes.

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