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We tested the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S: an overflowing 208 hp naked motorcycle that thrills on the road and track
We tested the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S: an overflowing 208 hp naked motorcycle that thrills on the road and track

This year has been complicated because of the pandemic. Among other things, the coronavirus left us unable to attend the launch of one of the most brutal motorcycles of this 2020, but the time has come. We have tested the Ducati Streetfighter V4, and no, it has not let us down.

This naked is not a wolf in sheep's clothing, it is simply a naked wolf. All a purebred sports car stripped of its fairing and with a few minimal changes to make it somewhat less habitable but just as extreme. And we're sorry for the spoiler, but there is no other way to introduce this marvelous wide-bar bike.

Ducati Streetfighter V4: the fight formula

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If we look back and put a bit of perspective, when a brand undressed a sports car and put it on a flat handlebar, we drool over a motorcycle that is relatively comfortable on the road but very effective thanks to an R engine and cycle part, or almost.

Now, we used to be in front of motorcycles that derived from not too extreme sports. For example, I can think of the example of the Aprilia Tuono born in 2002 derived from the RSV Mille, with about 120 hp and, indeed, components, feel and top-level sports performance.

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The history of naked sportswear has changed a lot since then. More than anything because after the crisis of the Superbike, the Rs have been polarizing towards an ultra-specialized market in which the liter sports only have a place if they are designed as motorcycles that want to opt for victory in the WSBK. So radical bikes that mostly they no longer have naked versions directly derived.

From the latest batch of supercars, only a handful of brands have dared to make naked options, and today's is one of them. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 is a direct heir to the experience that Borgo Panigale has gained with the Ducati Panigale V4. A motorcycle that has more than proven its worth at the WSBK and has become one of the best-selling (and most expensive) sports cars.

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The Bologna genetics jump at first glance in the Streetfighter V4 with an aesthetic that leaves no room for doubt: we are facing a radical motorcycle. A very Italian design, fluid and aggressive but at the same time sober. There are no gimmicky items or unnecessary refills and all items serve a purpose beyond sheer design. A perfect excuse to recover the Streetfighter name and relaunch the one that Ducati has nicknamed "the fight formula".

It's hard not to mention their four ailerons located in pairs, two on each side of the radiator. Are they necessary for a road motorcycle? Probably not, but the scope of this Streetfighter V4 goes well beyond the limits of the roads open to the public. Aesthetically, these aerodynamic appendages coupled with its sharp design and daylight give the Streetfighter V4 a truly intimidating character. It looks short, wide, and extremely muscular.

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The middle and rear area is somewhat more conventional, within what is conventional in the Italian factory. A narrow central zone with a surprisingly compact V4 to look at, dual keel exhaust, seat with a hollow tail and very, very sharp. The icing on the cake is the massive aluminum rear single-sided swingarm.

We would only improve the design of the eternal rear license plate holder which, in addition, gave us a somewhat poor feeling when mounted in a not solid way. Otherwise it stands out for some very high level finishes and leaving quality components in sight, such as the robust lightened triple lower triple clamp. It is well made, well assembled and has solid adjustments in its plastic elements.

The sense of electronics

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Getting at the controls of a motorcycle like this is intimidating, even when stopped. Leaning on its sculpted side stand, the Streetfighter V4 waits for us in silence, and when we get on, hey, because the truth is that it is a much more comfortable feeling than we expected thanks to a seat with a more comfortable cushion than usual.

Placed at a height of 845 mm, the seat allows us to reach the ground with both feet at the same time for a height of 170 cm. In part this is motivated by a surprisingly narrow leg arch. We would even say that the Streetfighter V4 has a width similar to that of the Panigale equipped with the twin engine. In a sports car it is not something so fundamental, but in a motorcycle more focused on street use it is.

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But we can feel like it, so we press the button and start the Desmosedici Stradale and… wow! The roar emitted by the Ducati V4 engine with the standard exhaust is devastating, exciting and it really makes us wonder how it is possible that Ducati has managed to homologate this engine under the restrictions of the Euro5 regulation, especially severe in noise emissions.

After a couple of fooling around with the right fist to treat ourselves to the ear, we lowered our heart rate a bit and hit the road. The feel of the Ducati Streetfighter V4 is that of a sports bike. She feels restless riding at low speed, the assisted clutch is soft but the available force wants to move the bike quickly.

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Even in the Street mode, the most docile, we already realize that it is going to be a motorcycle that calls for war. The electronics have come a long way, but even so if we drop the motor a lot we will find a kick.

Up to 6,000 or 8,000 revolutions the four-cylinder engine in vee gives us a progressive delivery but very very full, unfit for a four-cylinder and more than two-cylinder. What's more, even the sound is very Ducati, two-cylinder. Best of all, at a quick glance we realize that the red line is at 14,500 rpm. Eye!

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The stretched out even in Street mode is… exaggerated: 208 hp and 123 Nm of Italian forcefulness for a motorcycle that weighs 178 kg dry and 199 kg in running order. A real stupid to use on the road and that makes the hair stand on end. Any incorporation or overtaking is annihilated under the demands of the right fist.

It does not matter what speed is engaged. In high gears there is a lot of torque available from the basement, and in low gears turning up… anyway. It could make many sports bikes cry, because the maximum power is the same in all modes, but it changes the delivery and the different electronic aids (engine delivery, traction control, ABS with cornering assistance, antiwheelie, engine brake, quickshifter, degree of slip allowed for the rear wheel and suspension adjustment).

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We are going to a clearer area to change to Sport mode and the sensations are corroborated. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 is equipped with one of the best engines on the market in terms of pure performance, full below and furious above, and with a cycle part that accompanies the engine very well.

In this case we are dealing with the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S. Unlike the plain Streetfiter V4, the S version equips its Front Frame monocoque-type aluminum chassis with an even more exquisite cycle part. The Streetfighter V4 S comes standard with the set of Öhlins NIX30 suspensions at the front and TTX36 at the rear with full regulation and electronic adjustment, instead of Showa-Sachs mechanical suspensions. In addition, the rims are forged and signed by Marchesini, lighter. With these changes the difference is 2 kg less for the Streetfighter V4 S despite the increase in equipment.

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The set works effectively at all times with that point of constant information and progressivity typical of the suspensions of the Swedish brand. The moron is always hard to achieve the effectiveness of a set that maintains an outstanding degree of stability and agility, without oscillations in curves and containing well the weight transfers both in braking and acceleration phases.

The adjustments made by these suspensions depending on the mode can significantly change the character. It is not that it is a particularly comfortable motorcycle, but we can ride on conventional roads or motorways with dignity. We also insist that the seat is more comfortable than usual, but yes, the footrests are high (somewhat less than in the Panigale) and the handlebars are very low. It's a very aggressive stance with some concession for road use.

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But our test has not ended here because a motorcycle like this, with such a radical approach to which the roads are too small, we had to test it on the circuit, so we went to shoot with her at the Jarama Circuit.

On the way we found that aerodynamic protection is not its strong point; no surprise for a naked bike and the chest and helmet take all the scourge of the air. For the rest, the legs are well integrated with the set. The knees fit under the tank and are covered with air thanks to the width of the radiator and its side covers.

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The absence of a fairing allows the engine to better evacuate heat and does not direct it towards our legs as it happens in the sports car; While standing still you can see a hot motorcycle and when we put our feet on the ground we notice the breath of the exhaust towards the ankles. On the other hand, on a day-to-day basis, vibrations are contained, smaller than in the old V2 engines of the brand but more noticeable than in other four-cylinder motorcycles.

We have not mentioned it yet but in front of the handlebar we find a familiar interface. The Streetfighter V4 dashboard is a color TFT screen, compact and with very good visibility, although in this case with slightly different menus than those we have seen in other models of the last batch of the brand such as the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S, in which there are so many options that it even becomes a bit overwhelming.

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For this occasion, navigation is done exclusively from the controls on the left hand side, and it has been simplified. There are three driving modes (Street, Sport and Race) that are selected from the right button.

Then, on the fly, each electronics settings can be adjusted from the right button without having to enter the menu again unless we want to customize each mode. Something that is especially appreciated when riding on roads with changing conditions or on the track.

Ducati also has to be recognized for its good work with the mirrors, which are quite large and with good visibility. Nothing about seeing only your elbows.

"The fight formula" is unleashed in circuit

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We go out on the track with the Sport mode selected to get used to the bad milk of the Streetfighter V4 when we turn it near the red line and despite the fact that the control panel and experience tell us that the electronic aids are coming into operation. true is that are not perceived as particularly intrusive.

When the front wheel tends to lighten or when we give more gas than necessary at the exit of a curve, we do know that something is holding back the movements of the Italian, but your engine keeps pushing hard, without abrupt cuts. Time to turn on the Race mode.

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With the most permissive driving mode selected, we hit the track again and the story changes, a lot. When we thought there was delivery to spare, we discovered that the V4 engine has even more with a more direct and fulminating kick. The Jarama is certainly too small for a motorcycle of this caliber and at the end of the straight it is easy to see how they exceed 270 km / h.

At this speed the question is required: Do the ailerons work? Well, yes, or no, depending on how you look at it. The front end feels poised when running at high speeds, but we could not attribute it if it is related to the aerodynamic work of Ducati or it is the fault of an electronics that works very well and in an inconspicuous way.

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If I had to say whether or not they work without empirical data I would say that they do work, because it feels more plumb from the front end than other similar motorcycles, and without the tendency to lighten the previous wheel to the minimum. It is true that it is still an ultra-powerful naked bike that can roll very fast, and that on some occasion we had to cut a bit because the handlebar began to oscillate despite the assistance of the steering damper, also from Öhlins.

In curves it is a motorcycle that, when fitted with good tires, allows you to enter very hard, corner assist ABS is non-intrusive and it lets us brake very late and with great force. Brembo's signature braking kit with Stylema M4.30 four-piston monobloc calipers, 330mm discs and radial pump have plenty of stopping power; their touch is a bit dry on the road but on the track they take on all the sense.

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The Ducati Streetfighter V4 is an agile bike, but it doesn't feel nervous. Goes well in the first part of the line although his biggest problem is how fast we get to the next corner, the inertia we are carrying and how hard it forces us to brake. It is not a motorcycle for everyone; you have to have hands, a very cool head and not lose sight of the references, especially on a technical track like the Jarama that seems small for 208 hp.

When it comes to opening the throttle with enthusiasm and depending on the degree of restriction of the electronics, the motorcycle will go on rails or it will start to move. When he moves he does it in a controlled way, allowing the rear wheel to skid but without stopping pushing. Now, we must aim well where we want to go before opening the right fist.

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With just second and third you can do the entire Jarama Circuit at a very good pace. Special mention deserves the semi-automatic gearbox with an exquisite operation both up and down gear, associated with the slipper clutch. It works well on the track under fire, but also on the street at legal speed, low laps and low throttle load. There were only a couple of false deadlocks splicing gears on the track, but I attribute them more to human failures in the insertion of the gears.

The elasticity of the engine is exaggerated but in return it is a motorcycle that asks you to be very strong and have a good technique to ride it. It is stiff, tough and demanding with whom he takes control and this is perhaps his most critical point: it is difficult to find fault with the Streetfighter V4 beyond the fact that it exceeds the possibilities of most mortals.

The Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is pure irrational passion

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If we had to define the Ducati Streetfighter V4 with one word, we could classify it as overflowing. It is difficult to justify the purchase of a 208 hp motorcycle for someone who is going to use it mainly on the road, but like any other motorcycle, this it is a passionate purchase. And even more so if possible.

To put a bit in context, we could compare the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S with the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, two very powerful naked bikes but with different approaches. The KTM has more than 30 hp less but its set-up is less refined on a voluntary basis, it is a visceral bike that earns the nickname "the beast" based on that wild point.

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On the other side of the ring the Streetfighter V4 S is more tame thanks to highly elaborate electronics that filter the true potential of a motorcycle that without assistance would be nothing short of inconducible for inexperienced riders. Blessed six-axis inertial measurement platform.

It is the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S it is a very advanced naked and that it leaves the metrics of rationalityIt is well finished and has technology and mechanics inherited directly from its racing department. And that shows. Not only in character and dynamic capabilities, but also in price.

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The Ducati Streetfighter V4 part of 22,190 euros for the normal version and 25,790 euros for the Streetfighter V4 S. The KTM 1290 Super Duke R starts at 19,900 euros, an Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 does the same at 16,999 and 15,199 depending on the Factory or RR version, both with 175 hp and the Ducati Panigale V4 sells from 26,490 euros.

On a more earthly plane, the autonomy is reasonable, although it does not shine. The tank is six liters and the autonomy after living a week with it remained in 5.3 liters per 100 km, including a day on the circuit. It is not bad, but it is sensitive to the type of driving.

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For performance, equipment, finishes and dynamics, the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is closer to the purebred sports cars of its brand than to what its competition should be. A complicated positioning because it is a motorcycle obviously expensive, but that from the brand they have confirmed that it is selling very well for the type of product it is, with better sales than the Panigale V4.

The Ducati Streetfighter V4 S does not overwhelm on a daily basis thanks to electronics and has one more point of rationality for someone who was thinking of buying a Paningale V4, within how little irrational and very passionate it is to buy one. 208 hp motorcycle. It is a motorcycle of pure emotions.

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Ducati Streetfighter V4 S 2020 - Assessment


Motor9 Vibrations8 Change8 Stability9 Agility8 Front suspension8 Rear suspension6 Front brake8 Back brake6 Pilot comfort7 Passenger comfortN / A Consumption6 Finishes8 Esthetic9

In favor

  • Very aggressive design
  • Exorbitant engine
  • Effective electronics
  • Dynamic performance


  • High price
  • Very extreme for road
  • Aggressive posture for miles
  • High consumption in sporty driving
  • Ducati Streetfighter V4 2020 - Technical sheet

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