2020 Ducati Streetfighter V4S

Aug 28, 2020 View Comments by

2020 Ducati Streetfighter V4S

Anyone dreaming of a superbike that could do 400-mile days will be intrigued by Ducati’s latest V4 creation. With 208 horsepower stuffed into a race-bred chassis, the Streetfighter V4 provides reasonably placed ergonomics to deliver a MotoGP experience for the street.

While it would be a misnomer to describe the raucous Streetfighter as practical, several features are engineered into it that make it more palatable than some Ducatis of old:

  • Self-canceling turn signals intelligently switch off forgotten blinkers nearly as quickly as you would do it manually.
  • Handlebars are placed 6.8 inches higher than those of its Panigale brother.
  • Valve-adjustment intervals are stretched to 15,000 miles.
  • Excessive engine heat is mitigated by a system that switches off the rear two cylinders at idle.
  • Heated grips!

OK, so a $19,995 MotoGP-derived Italian sportbike is a world away from a pragmatic motorcycle, but if you were given a ride on it, you might try to rationalize its purchase.

The hook is pulled deepest in those who venerate racing. Just hearing the 1103cc Desmosedici Stadale V-4 bark to life evokes images of pitlane at Monza; it sounds like a cross between a V-Twin and a typical V-4 because of Ducati’s Twin-Pulse firing arrangement.

As long as we’re dreaming of Italian sportbike practicality, we’ll encourage you to dig $4,000 deeper into your wallet and upgrade from the base Streetfighter to the S version, which includes lightweight Marchesini forged wheels and Öhlins electronically controlled suspension that solves the problem of finding the delicate balance of plushness and control—just leave it set to its Dynamic mode and it’ll back off harsh damping if you’re not riding aggressively.

Clever tuning provides a large sweet spot of power; the engine pulls handily from 4,000 rpm and soars until the V-4 reaches its bonkers 14,500-rpm redline. At that point, you’d better hope you’re at a racetrack or far away from Johnny Law. The gearbox feels less than slick when shifting manually, but the up/down quickshifter makes swapping cogs mostly seamless.

Handling is what you’d expect from a race-bred Ducati with a curb weight of 439 pounds. It loves being ridden hard, and it is a cooperative accomplice at unwinding twisty roads both fast and slow.

Brakes are top-shelf Brembo Stylemas up front aided by a six-axis inertial measurement unit that informs cornering-ABS as well as traction, wheelie, and slide controls. All electronic rider aids are individually adjustable if desired, which is a boon to having the bike set up precisely to a rider’s preferences. Intuitive switchgear and a vibrant color TFT screen makes menu navigation fairly easy.

The Streetfighter has a captivating appearance even if it’s not traditionally beautiful. Wings don’t add any practicality points, but they do contribute to the SF’s exoticness, as does its see-through tail, which is an interesting visual treat that practically begs you to bend down and look through it.

OK, so only the most lust-filled Italophile would consider the Streetfighter V4S as practical. But, if the $23,995 MSRP doesn’t frighten your wallet, living out your MotoGP or superbike dreams on the street doesn’t get much more real.

Photography by Stephen Gregory

 

 

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