2023 Ducati Streetfighter V2: 5 Things You Need To Know
Don’t sleep on the baby Streetfighter – here are 5 important details about it
When Ducati first introduced its original Streetfighter with the 1098 engine in 2009… I hated it. Other than being nice to look at, the riding characteristics were horrible. Oddly enough, when the 848 version was introduced, somehow it was a little more enjoyable to ride. Nonetheless, when the Streetfighter family went under, I wasn’t very sad. I was skeptical when Ducati brought back the Streetfighter, but you don’t have to search very far in the MO archives to see that I’m a big fan of the revived bike with the V4 engine. And in keeping with tradition, the smaller 955cc V2 Streetfighter isn’t a bad ride either. So much so that we included it in our 2023 European Middleweight Naked Bike Shootout, and though it may not have won (spoiler alert), it definitely kept us talking. With that in mind, here are 5 things you need to know about the Ducati Streetfighter V2.
Powerful Engine – Plagued with Odd Fuel Mapping
There’s no replacement for displacement, and the Ducati Streetfighter V2 955cc V-Twin is the most powerful engine in our test. It was described as an "absolute freight train" from some testers, and it really comes alive when the revs climb. The big Twin engine gives off a tone only a V-Twin can and has that distinctive character, providing a soul-stirring experience that sets it apart from its parallel-Twin and Triple-cylinder contemporaries. The engine performance of the 955cc V-Twin is both praised and criticized. In uncharacteristic fashion, the V2 has a significant dip around 5,000 rpm, affecting everyday riding as that dip is located right where you need it the most. We suspect a pipe and flash is enough to cure this (while adding a great soundtrack to boot), but in stock form it’s an issue. However, the top-end rush is addictive, making it the most powerful bike in the group after 8,000 rpm.
Having the most power in our quartet of middleweight nakeds is good, because we found the Streetfighter to be a little heavy. At 457 lbs fully fueled, it was the heaviest in our test – and it showed. It was most noticeable during side-to-side transitions at the track, where quick direction changes are important. It’s not slow by any means, but when judged against its peers, it’s the one requiring the most work. Not surprisingly, the most heft also makes it the hardest to roll around when the engine isn’t running. When rolling the bikes to and fro for photos, all of our testers muttered an audible groan when it came time to move the Ducati. We had to readjust our footing to properly move the thing!
Price (at least in relation to its rivals)
While not the most expensive bike in our test, we all know there’s a premium for buying an Italian motorcycle. In this case, the $17,995 Streetfighter V2 is a bargain versus its V4 big brother, and even against the MV Agusta Brutale 800RR. But one would hardly call it a value – especially when compared with the KTM and Triumph at $12,949 and $12,595, respectively. Fortunately, motorcycles are rarely a logical and practical decision based solely on price. Sales of Streetfighters, including from our guest tester Joe Jackson, are clear examples that if a bike moves you – and you’re able to afford it – price doesn’t mean a lot.
Heat Management and Ergonomics
One notable issue with the Ducati Streetfighter V2 – and one we’ve mentioned a million times before – is the heat generated under the seat. As we’ve explained before, the exhaust routing under the seat is necessary to achieve the needed header length for proper scavenging and tuning, but it also contributes to noticeable heat on the rider's leg and butt (“noticeable” is putting it nicely). Other than the hot exhaust, the Streetfighter is considered fairly comfortable ergonomically, with a decently padded seat and a rider-friendly triangle. Just, you know, it’s a shame about that heat.
Handling and Stability
Let’s not confuse the weight demerit with handling prowess. The Ducati Streetfighter V2 is rock solid when leaned over, it’s predictable, and it handles well. The fully-adjustable suspension responds well to inputs, too, which is a top feature when you need to change the bike for the conditions. However, quickness isn’t its strong suit, and it's not the most agile among its rivals, as we noted previously. The stability, coupled with its horsepower advantage, allows for impressive lap times on the track without drama.
Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.
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