The Streetfighter S was Ducati’s first ever naked sportbike to be fitted with the awesome Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system. Now, the Streetfighter 848 is armed with full eight-level DTC as standard equipment.
Accessible from the left-hand switchgear and displayed on the digital instrumentation, the system offers a choice of eight profiles, or ‘sensitivity levels’, each one programmed with a wheel-spin tolerance matched to progressive riding levels of skill, graded from one to eight.
While level eight administers a confidence-building, high level of interaction from the system by activating upon the slightest amount of wheel-spin, level one offers a much higher tolerance, resulting in less intervention for highly competent riders. Once the level is selected and DTC activated, both are displayed on the Streetfighter’s instrumentation. The system then analyses data sent from front and rear wheel speed sensors to detect wheel-spin. Should the system recognise wheel-spin above a certain threshold, the DTC ECU instantly evaluates the many possible wheel-spin scenarios before administering two types of interaction in varying amounts.
DTC is able to sense the exact use that the Streetfighter is being put to. From slow mid-corner acceleration with considerable vehicle inclination to high speed corner exits while almost upright, DTC is intelligent enough to react according to each and every situation. It’s even smart enough not to intervene during a burnout or a wheelie.
The first ‘soft’ stage of system interaction is executed by high speed software that instantly makes electronic adjustment to the ignition by administering varying amounts of retardation to reduce the engine’s torque output. During this initial stage of DTC interaction, both outer warning lights on the Streetfighter instruments – normally used to signify over-rev – illuminate to signify that DTC is being applied.
If the DTC software detects that the first ‘soft’ stage of system interaction is inadequate to control the wheelspin, it continues to administer ignition retardation and instructs the engine ECU to initiate a pattern of constantly increasing injection cuts until, if necessary, full injection cut. During this second stage of system interaction, both outer and central warning lights fully illuminate to signify that DTC has also initiated injection cuts.
After either stage one (ignition retardation) or stage two (pattern of injection cuts or full cut), the system incrementally returns to the original ignition and injection mapping as the wheel speeds approach equalisation. This carefully programmed return to full power delivery is the real key to DTC’s smooth and efficient operation.
In developing its World Championship-winning traction control system for road use, Ducati continue to demonstrate their strategy of transferring technologies from their race bikes into the production environment, and show how solutions developed for performance on the track really can be applied to enhance safety on the road.
A chassis born to fight
At a class-leading 169kg (373lb) dry weight, the Streetfighter 848 boasts the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class. The beautifully built Trellis frame uses the same 24.5° of rake as the Superbike 848EVO to provide optimum agility, while the trail is increased to 103mm to give the confidence-inspiring “feel” of a well-planted front-end. At the back-end, the brand new, black-finished, single-sided swingarm is beautifully cast in aluminium 35mm longer than the Superbike, bringing the total wheelbase to 1,475mm (58in) and ensuring the Streetfighter’s acceleration is never compromised.
The Streetfighter 848 is armed with fully adjustable 43mm Marzocchi forks up front and a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock at the rear, giving the bike high performance handling and the rider absolute confidence and a comfortable ride.
The matte champagne coloured fork bodies house natural chrome finished sliders, are fully adjustable in spring preload and compression and rebound damping and feature radial mounts for the Brembo brake callipers. The lower triple-clamp is formed in a strength-enhancing gull-wing shape for increased rigidity, it maintains a vice-like grip on the fork legs, giving a precise and solid feeling through the bars on fast direction changes.
On the rear, the single Sachs unit operates through a progressive linkage and is also fully adjustable in spring preload and damping in both compression and rebound.
The new Streetfighter uses Brembo’s powerful four-piston radial callipers gripping twin 320mm discs on the front and a two-piston calliper on the rear with a 245mm disc to provide user-friendly and dependable braking performance.
Wheels & tyres
10-spoke wheels with a rear rim width of 5.5in and 3.5in on the front are made in black-finished, lightweight aluminium to help keep the overall motorcycle weight down and maintain an all-important control on unsprung weight. This weight is made up of all the components between the suspension and the road and includes tyres, brake discs and callipers etc, but when rotating at high speed, it is the wheels that store most of the kinetic energy and offer the most resistance when steering, accelerating or braking. Their weight saving, therefore, is a serious contribution to both the handling and performance of the motorcycle and the Streefighter pulls out all the stops achieve the best results.
The Streetfighter 848 confidently relies on Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres created using technologies developed in the Superbike World Championship and perfected for street use - the ideal methodology for bringing race technology to performance street products. The construction and profiles ensure optimum agility and control by providing enhanced support during vehicle inclination.
The 120/70ZR17 front tyre uses a 0° steel belted construction that guarantees maximum support under heavy braking and corner entry. The new 180/60ZR17 sized rear tyre is constructed with three compound zones, featuring a softer compound on the shoulders (25% on each side) for performance in cornering and a harder compound on the centre section for longer tyre life.
The 180/60ZR17 rear tyre implements an aspect ratio used in World and National Supersport competition and offers a larger contact patch compared with the 180/55, further enhanced with an increased “slick” area when at maximum lean angle. The higher and slightly wider profile improves riding comfort and the larger contact patch spreads road stresses throughout the contact area for reduced wear of both rear compounds. Transversal grooves between the rear tyre’s central and side shoulder sections quickly disperse residual water, providing excellent grip in wet conditions, while the central non-grooved rib ensures maximum rubber on the ground for traction under acceleration and improved straight line stability.
848 Testastretta 11°
Ducati’s 848 mid-range Superbike engine has been a massive success since its first introduction in 2008. Enhanced to “EVO” spec for 2011, its thrilling, flexible and user-friendly power delivery made it a popular Superbike choice. Now, combined with the factory’s latest Testastretta 11° technology, it is transformed into what many consider to be Ducati’s perfect engine and provides the Streetfighter 848 with the best power-toweight ratio in its sub-one litre class.
With 132hp @ 10,000rpm and a colossal 69lb-ft (93.5Nm) of torque @ 9,500rpm, the 848 Testastretta 11° engine is all about authentic Ducati Desmodromic performance. Radical cam timing adjustment enabled Ducati to achieve strong torque through a wider rev-range, considerably enhancing the 848 Streetfighter’s ridability, while ensuring plenty of power remains on tap for high-rpm fun.
For an engine with brute power on tap when needed and smooth, user-friendliness available for an effortless and comfortable ride, Ducati revised the configuration of the cam timing with particular focus on the valve overlap angle. The overlap angle is defined as the interval of crankshaft rotation, measured in degrees, during which both the intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time. This overlap occurs between the end of the exhaust stroke and the start of the intake stroke. High performance engines, which are subject to compromising smoothness for extreme power delivery, use high values of this parameter in order to benefit from the pressure waves to improve engine performance by maximising volumetric efficiency.
On the 848 Testastretta 11° engine, this angle has been reduced from 37°, used in the Testastretta Evoluzione engine which powers the 848EVO Superbike, to 11°. As a result, the fresh inlet charge from the MotoGP-derived elliptical throttle bodies is less compromised by the exiting exhaust gases, producing a much smoother combustion, improved fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions.
The valves are controlled by Ducati's signature Desmodromic system, which activates valve closure mechanically instead of relying upon normal valve springs to follow the steep closure profile of highperformance cam profiles. This system, which closes the valves mechanically with the same level of accuracy that they are opened, is used on every single Ducati motorcycle including the world-beating Superbike and Desmosedici MotoGP power plants.
Ducati’s Streetfighter 848 engine harnesses the track-ready power of the Superbike and makes it smooth and tractable, while a high performance six-speed box with user-friendly wet clutch ensures a smooth riding experience in all conditions. Everything about the 848 Testastretta 11° engine is a direct result of Ducati’s engineers making massive advances in balancing high-performance with an enjoyable ride.
The Streetfighter’s power house is protected by twin coolant radiators, carefully curved in pure naked style for optimum performance and stunning with visual effect. The upper radiator is assisted by lightweight, high flow electric fan assemblies while the lower sits in the front of the belly pan, which also houses a highly efficient oil heat exchanger.
Surface features on the new engine include the Streetfighter enhanced detailing on the cam belt covers, with carbon grey finish for the main outer casings and black cam covers. Ducati employ a vacuum die-cast process for the crankcases, which ensures consistent and precise wall thickness and increased strength from absolute material purity while maintaining a low overall weight.
Decades of experience combined with constant investment in advanced materials and precision engineering techniques has enabled the distance between the major service intervals (valve clearence check) to double from 12,000 to 24,000 kilometres (15,000 miles). This continual attention to detail and development of twincylinder technology makes Ducati ownership even more accessible and enjoyable than ever.
The massive Streetfighter 2-1-2 exhaust system is made from weight-saving 1mm thick steel and flows from 58mm to 63.5mm diameter pipes. The system uses two lambda probes to ensure precise fuel mapping for optimum performance and an electronic valve in the mid-section to achieve a wide spread of power. The cannon-style, vertically stacked mufflers sport a natural, brushed aluminium finish and deliver the famous Ducati L-Twin sound synonymous with raw, Desmo power.
The aggressive looking headlight is the ‘face’ of the Streetfighter and it leaves little doubt as to its character. While the main lighting source and multi-reflector design provides powerful illumination to cut through the night, its two evil eye strips of LED positioning lights give a striking and unmistakable identity to the bike.
Preserving the clean and stylish design, the directional indicators remain unobtrusive with clear lenses and coloured bulbs, while the rear light is integral to the shape of the tailpiece, providing unobscured illumination while maintaining the smooth and elegant look to the high and sharp rear-end.
Streetfighter 848 colours
While the Streetfighter looks stunning in traditional Ducati red with red frame, yellow makes its return set against a racing black frame and dark stealth underlines the Streetfighter’s aggressive image also with racing black frame. All three options roll on 10-spoke wheels finished in black.