S model Streetfighters, like...
S model Streetfighters, like the one shown here, benefit from Öhlins suspension, though the Brembo four-piston Monobloc calipers and 330mm discs are identical on both the S and base models. Here you can also see the front wheel speed sensor for the DTC.
What they'd mainly be doing is twisting the throttle and that's where the Streetfighter excels. Grunt out of corners seems on par with that of the 1098, even if it is slightly down on torque. The lack of top-end steam was noticeable, though the average rider would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Even still, the strong headwind we faced down the fast, full-throttle backstraight might have tainted those impressions. Then again, do you really need much more than 155 horses anyway? At any rate, bringing all that action to a halt has never been a Ducati weak point. Braking duties are shared with the 1098 and feature dual 330mm discs up front, clamped by four-piston monobloc calipers wearing two pads each. A single 245mm disc and twin-piston caliper handle things out back. Initial bite is actually softer than we're used to, but that's a welcome change. Stopping power is still strong as always with good feel at the lever, making modulation during trailbraking that much easier.
As was mentioned before, the handlebars do provide ample leverage to flick the bike over, but the longer wheelbase and lazy geometry do make it a tad slower to react. The Ascari circuit isn't much for bumps anyway, but the Öhlins suspenders on the S models we were piloting soaked up what little there was. We did have to stiffen the front slightly and despite the strong winds, the Streetfighter held its line and stayed composed—even with the standard Pirelli Diablo Corsa III tires. It's composure is surely helped by the DTC which, in the revised version first seen on the 1198S, now retards and/or cuts spark before cutting back on fuel. The result is a much less noticeable intervention when the system activates, and true to form it was near seamless during our track sessions—the indicator lights on the gauge cluster being the only visual cue the system was working.
Just What The Geek Ordered
As dazzling as the Ascari circuit is, one can't help but wonder what the Streetfighter's true potential would be if it were unleashed in its natural environment. Truth be told, many of the squabbles we had with the bike are only issues that arise when pushed to the extremes of the racetrack. The Streetfighter definitely has every ingredient needed to bring out the inner hooligan in us all and we can't wait to exercise those alter egos when we get a testbike stateside. If our hodge-podge creation of a proper streetfighter was any indication, this factory example should be every bit as exciting.
'09 Ducati Streetfighter
Type: Liquid-cooled, 90-degree DOHC 4-stroke V-twin
Bore x stroke: 104 x 64.7mm
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Induction: Marelli EFI, single-valve oval throttle bodies equivalent to 60.0mm dia. Single injector/cyl.
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III
Rake/trail: 25.6 deg./4.5 in. (114mm)
Wheelbase: 58.1 in. (1475mm)
Fuel capacity: 4.4 gal. (16.5L)
Claimed dry weight: 368lb (167), excludes battery and lubricants