First Ride

Ducati Ducati Streetfighter V4 S (2020) REVIEW

We managed to spin some laps on the new Ducati Streetfighter V4 S just before the Coronavirus prevented any further leisure riding!

Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 19795
Overall
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

WITH the UK looking more and more like it was about to head into a period of semi-enforced hibernation, it was clear the first ride and review of the new Ducati Streetfighter V4 would not be an ordinary one.

With the global press event for the bike canned, Ducati UK managed to get its hands on the only Streetfighter V4 in the UK to not be sat in a Ducati dealer, and we were one of the first publications to lay hands on it.

With the above-mentioned conditions in mind, please note that the review had to be undertaken by just one person to maintain social distancing and to prevent potentially aiding the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For that reason, some of the photography in this review is not to the standard that Visordown would normally produce, we included it simply to show we had ridden the bike.

Ducati Panigale V4S - 2019 Review

Ducati Streetfighter V4 and V4 S pricing and colours

There are two versions of the new Streetfighter available, the standard V4 and the V4 S. Both are currently only available in one colour (which is obviously red) and the standard Streetfighter V4 comes in at £17,595, while the tricked out Streetfighter V4 S is £19,795.

Compared to the competition, the Ducati is the priciest of the current crop of super-nakeds and comes it at £7,050 more than the Honda CB1000R +.

Streetfighter V4 S PCP example

Price

Deposit

Monthly

Final payment

APR

£19,941

£4,844.76

£195

£11,004

7.5%

Ducati Streetfighter V4 S vs the competition

Bike

Price

Power

Weight

Ducati Streetfighter V4 S

£19,795

208bhp

199kg

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100

£17,199

175bhp

209kg

Honda CB1000R +

£12,749

143bhp

213kg

Yamaha MT-10 SP

£14,745

160bhp

210kg

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

£15,699

180bhp

210kg

What’s the difference between the Streetfighter V4 and the Streetfighter V4 S?

The two versions of the Streetfighter V4 vary mainly in the suspension department. The stock Streetfighter gets Showa BPFs and a Sachs rear shock while the S variant gets the Öhlins EC 2.0 electronic system as per the Panigale V4 S.

Other changes across the models include the steering damper; the V4 gets a Sachs item while the S has an Öhlins electronic one, and the wheels, with the Streetfighter V4 S wearing lightweight forged Marchesini 3-spoke wheels.

Ducati Streetfighter V4 & V4 S differences

Streetfighter V4

Streetfighter V4 S

Electronic suspension

No

Yes

Forks

Ø 43 mm Showa BPF fork

Ø 43 mm Öhlins NIX30 event-based fork

Rear shock

Sachs shock

Öhlins TTX36 event-based shock

Steering damper

Sachs

Öhlins event-based

Wheels

Aluminum alloy casted

Marchesini Aluminum forged

Dry weight

180 kg (397 lb)

178 (392 lb)

Kerb weight

201 kg (443 lb)

199 kg (439 lb)

Ducati Streetfighter V4 engine and transmission

The heart of the Streetfighter – and any Ducati for that matter – is of course that MotoGP derived Desmosedici Stradale, 1103cc engine. The tuning for the unit has been subtly tweaked for the Streetfighter, losing out just 6bhp to the Panigale sportsbike and peaking at 208hp. Peak torque is also changed over the Panigale, with the Streetfighter only losing 1lb-ft to its faired sibling. A strange quirk of the engine means that peak torque figure actually arrives at a higher RPM than the Panigale, with the Streetfighter needing another 1500rpm to reach its maximum. It’s counter-intuitive for a machine that is a sportbike making its way in the blue-collar world of the super naked. You’d have thought they’d have gone the other way and fattened up the bottom end more.

Given the unusual nature of this review and the short amount of time I had the bike for, I had to work pretty quickly to get my head around the changes made to the machine and how they manifest themselves in the new naked.

It became clear after the ride that the Streetfighter’s tweaks are, on the road at least, extremely subtle, almost impossible to distinguish in fact. The motor still pulls exceptionally hard throughout the rev range, but really goes crazy at about 8,000rpm, surging towards the 14,500 redline. With the fun zone starting at 8k, hitting this in any of the first three gears and you’re already well into the licence losing zone.

One hardware change for the Streetfighter over the donor bike is the final drive, which has been changed from a 16/41 to 15/42 final drive ratio. The lower gearing makes the bike feel ballistically fast off the line and makes overtakes at pretty much any speed and in any gear almost too easy. Hitting the redline as you shift up a through the first three gears almost teleports you to the end of roads that you normally seem to spend 30 or 40 seconds navigating.

While we’re on the subject of the drivetrain; both versions of the Streetfighter are kitted out with the Ducati EVO 2 quickshifter which works pretty well at any speed and matches the revs on downshifts well for a sportsbike. I noticed that the gear change on the bike we rode wasn’t the most positive I’d encountered, feeling slightly vague, without the distinct snick that lets you know you're in the next gear. I also once managed to end up in neutral when coming down the ‘box, you could, of course, put that down to it being a brand new bike with only a few hundred miles on the clock.

Suspension, brakes and handling

The suspension on the Streetfighter V4 is, in my opinion, some of the best suspension ever to grace a motorcycle. The Öhlins EC 2.0 electronically controlled system is supremely good kit and allows you to tweak and twiddle till your hearts content, all without even taking off your gloves or picking up a C-spanner.

The user interface works in such a way that you really don’t need much expertise in bike setup to get the machine working how you want. A series of graphic interpretations allow you to tailor the suspension system to your liking by asking for more braking support, cornering support and so on.

For my ride on the Streetfighter, I kept the bike on Sport mode, where the electronics were giving me a mixture of safety and performance in the corners. Even in the road-biased setup, the Streetfighter still felt hard-edged and scalpel-sharp. It’s a bike that needs to be thrown at the road ahead and feels like it really comes alive when you do that. Riding the thing at anything other than brain-out, bonkers speeds kind of feels like you’re missing the point of it!

If you’ve ridden any of the V4-era Panigales, you’ll already understand how brutally fast they are on the road. Removing the fairing and adding high bars hasn’t dulled any of that sensation of speed. If anything, the wider bars extenuate any little movements from the front end under acceleration and braking making the bike feel lively on the bumpy British B-roads. And that's with the electronically controlled steering damper doing everything it can to keep you pointing the right way... From hanging on in acceleration to bracing yourself under braking, riding the Streetfighter fast on a twisty road is an act of physical and mental exertion.

The wide bars do make counter steering into faster turns easier though, with what seems like the lightest of pressure on the inside bar making the bike fall onto its ear with almost the lightening ferocity of its sportsbike stablemate.

Another difference for this bike over its faired cousin is the inclusion of Pirelli Diablo Rossi Corse II tyres. They're a harder compound that is more heavily treaded and they don’t have the same extreme profile as the custom-built Supercorsa SPs of the Panigale. The different tyres do make themselves felt on the road, changing the cornering dynamics of the bike and slowing its turn in slightly. They also take more time to heat up and don’t offer the same levels of grip as the super-sticky SPs do.

They are a good tyre and I totally get that the Streetfighter is a ‘road bike’ and not a race-bred thoroughbred, even though it actually is beneath the skin. But sticking anything other than top-spec hoops on bike that has over 200bhp on tap is a bit like doing the tango in wellies. You can do it, but better footwear is available.

Braking is taken care of by Ducati’s best mates Brembo and sees the bike wearing a set of Stylema calipers and 330mm discs up front with a single Brembo item at the rear. Compared with the Panigale, the brakes felt less snatchy and more progressive, with less of that instant deceleration you get in the first millimetres of pulling the lever.

As our test of the bike was all on road, I didn’t play with the bikes slide control or rear wheel lift detection – we’ll save that for a day when we can ride on track!

Equipment

Aside from the electronic suspension (DES Evo) we’ve already spoken about, the bike is kitted out with the same high-level electronic suite as the Panigale sportsbike. All the menus are accessed through the left-hand switchcube and changing modes can be done on the fly.

The electronics package on the Streetfighter, governed by the six-axis IMU, includes cornering ABS, the Evo 2 version of its traction control system (DTC Evo), Ducati Slide Control (DSC), wheelie control (DWC), launch control, engine braking control and three riding modes – Street, Sport and Race.

Each riding mode pumps out the full 208bhp, while mixing up the electronic intervention of the wheelie control, slide control, traction control, ABS and ride-by-wire throttle (RBW) in the process.

Power

DTC Evo

DWC Evo

DSC

ABS

EBC

DES Evo

Race

High – RBW direct

Level 3 (of 8)

Level 3 (of 8)

Level 2 (of 2)

Level 2 (no lift detection)

Level 1 (of 3)

Dynamic

Sport

Medium – RBW sporty

Level 4 (of 8)

Level 4 (of 8)

Level 2 (of 2)

Level 3 (high rear wheel lift detection)

Level 1 (of 3)

Dynamic

Street

Medium – RBW sporty

Level 6 (of 8)

Level 6 (of 8)

Level 2 (of 2)

Level 1 (of 3)

Dynamic

Custom options

Low power – 115hp – RBW smooth

Off

Off

Off

Level 1 – (for track only)

 

Fixed damping – no electronic intervention

We like:

  • Engine – MotoGP engine note is sublime
  • The speed of the Panigale seems condensed by the naked Streetfighter
  • Öhlins EC suspension is still the best in the business

We don’t like:

  • I really wanted it to feel less like a Panigale and more like a naked
  • Rosso IIs seem like a B-spec tyre
  • The fun doesn’t start until you get into licence losing territory

Ducati Streetfighter V4 S verdict

The Ducati Streetfighter V4 and its sporty S sibling were always going to be a bad to the bone, in-your-face type of bike thanks to its biplane wings, minimalist looking front end and all-engine side profile. Riding the new 2020 machine is everything you’d expect from the bike and more.

It possesses cornering speed that’ll embarrass many of the current crop of sportsbikes, power that can reconfigure your internal organs and acceleration to melt your face. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 is a true assault on your senses.

If anything, I did want it to feel just a little more different to the Panigale. I know they have tweaked and fettled the machine inside and out, but many of these changes are fairly subtle and for most riders, the Ducati will feel just like a Panigale devoid of fairing and clip-ons. I was almost hoping for a machine that would come out to play at any speed and on any road. While the Streetfighter can indeed play on any road, to do that you’re going to have to seriously get a shuffle on for it to come into its own.

So, if you want the speed of a Ducati Panigale, with almost the same race bike dynamics and delivery, and a bit more comfort; you’re in luck. The new Streetfighter delivers that on almost every front. But if that’s the case and the bike still only really comes alive at the kind of speeds that would see you standing in front of a magistrate, why not get the base Panigale or any other 200hp sportsbike? It’ll be just as quick and, in my mind at least, a bit better looking.

Ducati Streetfighter V4 S specs

Engine

Desmosedici Stradale 90° V4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled

Displacement

1103 cc

Bore X stroke

81 x 53.5 mm

Compression ratio

14.0:1

Power

153 kW (208 hp) @ 12,750 rpm

Torque

123 Nm (90.4 lb-ft) @ 11,500 rpm

Fuel injection

Twin injectors per cylinder. Full rideby-wire elliptical throttle bodies.

Exhaust

4-2-1-2 system, with 2 catalytic converters and 2 lambda probes

Gearbox

6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2

Primary drive

Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.80:1

Ratio

1=38/14 2=36/17 3=33/19 4=32/21 5=30/22 6=30/24

Final drive

Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 42

Clutch

Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch 

CHASSIS

Frame

Aluminum alloy “Front Frame”

Front suspension

Öhlins NIX30 43 mm fully adjustable fork with TiN treatment. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based mode

Front wheel

3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 3.50″ x 17″

Front tyre

Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 120/70 ZR17

Rear Suspension

Fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based mode. Aluminium single-sided swingarm

Rear Wheel

3-spokes forged aluminum alloy 6.00″ x 17″

Rear tyre

Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 200/60 ZR17

Wheel travel (F/R)

120 mm (4.7 in) – 130 mm (5.1 in)

Front brake

2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema (M4.30) 4-piston callipers with Cornering ABS EVO

Rear brake

245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Cornering ABS EVO

Instrumentation

5″ TFT colour display

DIMENSIONS

Dry weight

178 kg (392 lb)

Kerb weight*

199 kg (439 lb)

Seat height

845 mm (33.3 in)

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