Posted: 11 Oct 2012
One of Ducati’s big success stories is the Monster range of bikes – the naked class of air-cooled machines is actually its biggest selling range of all its years in production. So Ducati knows that a successful naked bike is a money-making bike; and with the water-cooled Streetfighter 848, similar levels of success should be repeated.
With the Streetfighter engine lifted from the wondrous 848 Superbike, it’s a given that performance is going to be exciting – and it is. By combining V-twin torque and superbike power, the Streetfighter 848 is not scared of taking on bigger capacity, faired sports bikes and scalping many. Ducati really has excelled itself with the Testastretta (narrow head) engine design.
The one problem with this engine design is that you can’t hear the delicious air intake and booming exhaust note like Ducatis of old. The Italian marque has met emissions regulations full on and has strangled the famed Ducati engine note with an exhaust that would silence Boris Johnson! That same exhaust is also shaped to cause the heels of expensive bike boots to melt over it, or scratch it badly when riding with the balls of your feet on the footpegs. Flat-footed is the coolest way forward, literally.
With chassis technology also borrowed from its Superbike brother, the 848 is equally at home at a circuit of your choice. Yes, the suspension is a little bit firm over most road surfaces but immediately perfect for that first session at Cadwell. It’s worth noting the Streetfighter’s suspension can actually be tuned to be softer – all adjustable suspension can but it’s often forgotten about.
Ducati has finally realised that a naked road bike doesn’t need its handlebars placed just south of the bottom fork yoke. What the Streetfighter has is a handlebar position that pulls you forward slightly to lessen the windblast, but also allows you to sit in complete comfort in any riding situation.
+ points – glorious V-twin grunt, traction control
- points – iffy exhaust routing, seat hurts after 70 miles
Power: 132bhp, 69ft lbs
Dry weight: 199kg
Seat height: 840mm
Colours: Black, red, yellow
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