Ducati Streetfighter Gen 2 - Four Fighter

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Words: NZ Autocar
26 Mar 2020

It was voted the sexiest of the debutants at EICMA 2019 (though what new Ducati isn’t?) and now during the COVID-19 pandemic the second-generation Streetfighter, the V4, has live-streamed to a global audience, all 208hp (155kW) and 200kg of it.

Like most new models these days, there’s a heap more power available but with it also a heap more control, Ducati’s Safety Package replete with electronics to keep it on track, on line and on two wheels.

If you’re thinking that this is a Panigale V4 without the bodywork, and a more upright, less race-like riding position, that’s only half the story. The chassis is tweaked with 15mm of extra length in the swingarm and wheelbase for added stability, while the engine is also massaged to work just as well on road as it does on track. Power and torque figures are only a poofteenth down on those of the Panigale V4. But midrange torque is massaged a hair, aided by slightly shorter gearing.

On styling, Ducati Design Centre’s chief, Jeremy Faraud, reckoned his inspiration for the Streetfighter V4 (which comes in V4 and V4 S spec levels) was the Joker. That’s because this bike is meant to have a split personality; one of wickedness, the other of fun. It must be as good on track as it is on road. Faraud reckons it nicely balances aggression and elegance, and we’d guess EICMA onlookers must have thought likewise of the production prototype.

Compared with the Panigale V4 on which it is so clearly based - its face has the same heavy-handed V-shaped DRL eyebrows as the superbike - the hypernaked has a more relaxed upright riding position with higher bars and lower-set footpegs. Further, it has more in the way of seat padding, 60mm of it, and also offers pillions a slightly more acceptable perch than before.

Aeros are dialed back slightly compared with the monoplane wings on the Panigale V4. This has narrower biplane winglets, the downforce from which helps to prevent wheelies and stabilises the bike accelerating out of corners. They’re also meant to help with braking. On that, stoppers and suspension are the same Brembo Stylemas and Ohlins semi-active boingers as on the Panigale V4 S. The base models gets Showa and Sachs gear. Rake and trail are the same as for the superbike (24.5 degrees, 100mm).

The heart of the beast is a 90-degree V4 displacing 1103cc and it’s good for 208hp at 12,750rpm. It features dual injectors per cylinder, a compression ratio of 14:1, and service intervals of 24,000km. The four-pot engine, acting like a pair of coupled V-twins, is said to produce substantial midrange torque, with 70 per cent of peak twist arriving at 4000rpm, and more than 90 per cent on tap from 9000-13,000rpm. The peak of 123Nm is delivered at 11,500rpm. Being MotoGP derived, it features a counter-rotating crankshaft which is said to balance the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, making the bike more agile and less wheelie prone.

The chassis differs slightly from that of the Panigale but there’s little difference in overall weight, at 199-201kg wet. The engine is a structural part of the chassis, and the U-shaped aluminium front frame portion incorporates optimum bending and torsional stiffness. This evidently helps with more secure handling when the suspension cannot contribute further, like when the bike is fully leaned over.

Other control features include ride by wire throttle, ABS cornering Evo, DTC Evo2, Ducati Slide and Wheelie Control, Ducati Power Launch, Quickshift up and down, and Engine Brake Control Evo. TC evidently now acts in a predictive manner, so intervention is faster and smoother, aiding stability when exiting corners under full acceleration.

Prices for Panigale V4 kick off here at $34k so we’d expect the Streetfighter V4 to start close to the $30k mark. We’d like to bring you a test report of the Streetfighter V4 at some point but we’re not holding our breath on that ever happening.

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