Today, surprising no one, Ducati unveiled the Streetfighter V4 and Streetfighter V4 S naked hyperbikes. Still, it’s good to finally get a gander at the latest winged V4 beast that will be gracing showrooms in model year 2020. We’ve known the general scope of the Streetfighter for a while – a Panigale V4 shorn of bodywork – but now that we get an official look at it, it seems like much more.
Ducati wants us to see the 1103 cc Desmosedici Stradale engine by making sure it is “only partially screened by superstructures that have been cut to a bare minimum.” Inside that new picture frame, a 208 hp fire-breather delivers what Ducati claims – and (after checking the numbers on the just-announced Kawasaki Z H2) we believe – to be the highest in the naked class. Torque will be 90.7 lb-ft, numbers that bear a striking resemblance to those of the Panigale V4 from which this engine was originally introduced. Still, the power delivery won’t be exactly the same since the final gear ratio has been shortened to deliver a wheel torque that is 10% higher – as if this engine needed more immediate response.
(For those for whom too much of everything is just enough, horsepower and torque can be raised to 220 hp and 95.9 lb-ft, respectively, by installing the race-only Akrapovič Ducati Performance exhaust. Yeeha!)
Naturally, with that much power on tap, Ducati’s latest electronics play a key role in taming the beast. A six-axis IMU handles every aspect of the Streetfighter’s use, from lean-sensitive ABS and TC to clutchless up and downshifts.
The Streetfighter V4 is as much about the sit-up-and-kick-ass riding position as it is about the engine. Here riders won’t be disappointed. The high, wide handlebar gives riders the leverage to hustle the machine around, and at a claimed 443 lbs. wet, it looks to be a pretty feisty package. As with the other members of the V4 family (and the Panigale V2, too), the Streetfighter wears winglets to help keep the front end planted at elevated speeds. Claiming 44 lb. of downforce at 168 mph, Ducati says the wings prevent front wheel “floating” at that speed. Take a moment to wrap your head around that – 168 mph with no wind protection.
When looking at the winglets on the Streetfighter, you’ll notice that they are further forward than on other Ducatis. This is a characteristic of the naked design. You’ll be happy to know that they are useful for more than just top speed runs. Ducati claims that they also increase stability under braking, during turn-in, and through the corner. At street speeds, these characteristics are confidence builders. On the track, they allow later braking and help prevent electronic intervention.
Now, we come to the aggressive styling. Beginning with the V-shaped DRL that betrays a family heritage to the Panigale while highlighting LED headlight. The bodywork is sparing and is only there to draw attention to the engine.
And we still haven’t gotten to the Streetfighter V4 S. As is typical with Ducati, the S model comes with an upgraded suspension. Instead of the 43 mm Showa Big Piston Fork, the S wears a 43 mm Öhlins NIX30 event-based fork, meaning it is semi-active. The Sachs shock gets swapped for an Öhlins TTX36 that is also part of the semi-active Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO. Connecting those suspension components to the tires are a set of Marchesini Aluminum forged wheels replacing the cast aluminum ones on the base model. These changes total up to a package that is 4 lb. lighter.
US pricing has been announced at $19,995 for the standard model and $23,995 for the S.