Allow me to say it before you do: this is cheating. I know. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP is bonkers. And while it technically meets our rules of being available for purchase by the time of posting, it also kinda doesn’t because each of these were spoken for within a week of its release. Sorry.
Let’s be real for a second here: Honda’s always taken the über conservative route with what we now know as the CBR1000RR, and this dates all the way back to the CBR’s origins with the CBR900RR. When compared against its peers, the consensus usually goes “The Honda is a really good bike, but it’s not great.” The reason is because Honda’s tried to toe the line between racetrack performance and streetable useability because these are road-legal motorcycles after all. And as much as any investor will tell you how important it is to diversify, in the sportbike world, this simply isn’t the case anymore.
Race bikes evolve constantly, so the tire manufacturers must race to catch up. Race tires evolve further, passing the race bikes, but eventually allow them to catch up and get back on track. And this motorcycle of life, goes around and around and around, like a dropped forged wheel.
Around the MO offices, we’re filled with excitement and restraint whenever a motorcycle with “motard” in its name enters our graces. This is especially true when we took delivery of the $14,995 Ducati Hypermotard SP. With its high ground clearance, light weight, abundance of power, and dirtbike-like agility, we were anxious to rip around the city and the canyons, knowing there would be very little on the roads that could keep up. Of course, motards, more than any other kind of motorcycle, compel us with a childlike enthusiasm to act like even bigger MOrons than we are, much to the chagrin of the local constabulary.