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Ducati Streetfighter V4S – Review (2023)

BikeSocial Road Tester



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S SP2 Review Price Spec_79
2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S SP2 Review Price Spec_06
2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S SP2 Review Price Spec_78

Technical Review: Ben Purvis (20th October 2022)

Riding review: Adam ‘Chad’ Child (3rd April 2023)

UK Roads Review: Michael Mann (25th May 2023)


Price: £21,095 to £30,595 | Power: 205bhp | Weight: 196.5kg to 201.5kg | BikeSocial Rating: 4.5/5


You might not be able to immediately spot the changes Ducati has made to the 2023 Streetfighter V4 but the company has led its flagship naked bike down the same path that the Panigale V4 it’s based on took a year ago – with changes to the ergonomics, chassis and electronics and the introduction of a range-topping SP2 version to replace the old SP.

As in the past, the range starts with the straightforward Streetfighter V4, essentially a Panigale V4 stripped bare and with its clip-ons replaced by straight bars. In the middle of the line there’s the Streetfighter V4 S, gaining electronic Öhlins suspension and Marchesini forged wheels. At the top of the line the Streetfighter V4 SP2 adds a bare alloy fuel tank, dry clutch, carbon winglets and mudguard, carbon fibre wheels, Brembo Stylema R brakes and a its production number embossed on the bars (although it’s not actually a limited-edition).


  • New tank adds fuel capacity and improves ergonomics

  • Electronic updates make it easier to ride

  • Revised swingarm pivot point mirrors changes to Panigale V4

  • Panigale race dash transforms the Streetfighter into a naked race bike

  • Wet riding mode for the first time

  • Only the cognoscenti will know you’ve splashed out on the latest model

  • Prices are up compared to the previous version

  • The new full-power mode is almost too much. Almost

Ducati Streetfighter V4S (2023) | BikeSocial Review

Off went BikeSocial's regular road-tester, Adam 'Chad' Child, to Andalucia in Spain to give it a whirl on track.



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4S Prices

The new Streetfighter V4 range starts at £21,095, rises to £22,895 for the ‘S’ version and then hits £30,595 for the new SP2 model.

Compared to the 2022 machines, those numbers represent a substantial increase. The old entry-level version was £19,395 - £1700 less than its replacement – and the old ‘SP’ model undercut the new ‘SP2’ by the same amount, coming in at £28,895 for the 2022 machine compared to £30,595 for the 2023 version. The ‘S’ used to be £1400 cheaper than its replacement at £21,495.

Whether those price increases are justified by the updates will depend on your point of view. There’s no question that the 2023 Streetfighter is a more accomplished machine, with distinct improvements over the earlier model, but those improvements are incremental rather than revolutionary and perhaps not justification for owners of the current model to rush to chop their bikes in for the new version.



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4S Engine & Performance

The Streetfighter recently lost its spot as the world’s most powerful unfaired bike thanks to the launch of BMW’s new M 1000 R – and Ducati’s updates for 2023 don’t remedy that situation.

However, we’re talking about a fraction of a percentage point of difference. Whichever version of the Streetfighter V4 you choose, it makes a claimed 153kW, which translates to 205bhp (although Ducati claims 208 ‘hp’, it’s using the metric horsepower rating that’s more often referred to in its German ‘PS’ term). In comparison, the new M 1000 R makes 154kW (206.5hp or 210PS), but the chances are nobody would be able to register that difference without some sophisticated telemetry on hand.

However, if you absolutely have to win the barroom contest for maximum on-paper power, there’s a route to do it with the Streetfighter. If you choose the SP2 version, with its dry clutch, you’re able to use the new Shell oil, developed with Ducati for the latest Panigale V4 R superbike, that cuts internal engine friction by 10% and in doing so pushes power up by ‘up to 3hp’. This oil can’t be used in the lower Streetfighter models, as its race-bred additives would cause problems for oil-bath clutches.

The most notable changes for all versions of the Streetfighter V4 come in the form of updated electronics. There are now four engine modes – Full, High, Medium, and Low. Full takes the Ronseal approach and does what it says on the tin, giving max performance in all but first gear. In High and Medium, the ride-by-wire is mapped for each of the six gears, while in Low the peak power is cut to 165hp and the throttle response is softened.

There’s also a new ‘Wet’ riding mode for 2023, and the engine brake control (EBC) is uprated to Ducati’s ‘EVO2’ software, again giving gear-by-gear maps in three possible modes.

Finally, there’s new software for the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) to smooth the gearchanges, and the cooling fan software is improved to help prevent heat reaching the rider during low-speed operation.

Normally when we attend a world press launch, especially a track-only event for an updated model, we expect the manufacturer to have added a few more bhp or injected more torque. But in this case, the power and torque curves remain the same as the previous model and, to be honest, I'm not complaining. Ducati’s hugely powerful Streetfighter V4 S could even have been tamed a little – had a hew horses shaved from its brutally potent motor, and I'd have been just as happy. Describing the Streetfighter as powerful or fast is like describing Mike Tyson as a level-headed sort of chap who'd rather debate things out than get punchy. Every time you ride the V4 on track you know you are in for a serious workout.

I spent the first two sessions of this test using the Sport mode: short-shifting on the new super-smooth up-and-down quickshifter, trying to re-familiarise with the tricky Andalucía race track. But despite not pushing for a fast lap and being a few thousand rpm short of the redline in each gear, the V4 felt utterly up for the fight. Ferociously strong.   

Session three and it was time to wind it on a bit in Race mode. Race mode displays the Panigale dash, which clearly highlights the active rider aids in colour down the right side, plus a big gear position indicator, huge rev counter and (addictive and optional) GPS lap timer. Race and Sport modes have the same peak power and torque figures, with torque limited in the lower gears, but the semi-active suspension delivers a tauter ride in Sport.

With the race dash active it’s impossible not to chase a lap time and all-too tempting to treat every lap like Superpole, especially as every facet of the Streetfighter makes it feel and behave like an unfaired race bike.

It loves to rev and makes power all the way to the red line. On Andalucia's back straight it was still accelerating hard in fifth gear at 250kph. Every time I opened the throttle it tried to separate my arms from their sockets as I was shoved back onto the seat's bum-stop. Meanwhile, those rider aids are illuminating the dash as the updated electronics busily and brilliantly supress wheelies or send the traction control into overtime (despite running soft Pirelli slicks in perfect conditions).

For session four, and doing it for BikeSocial readers, I bravely selected the new full power engine mode ('Full'), which sits outside to the riding mode options and has to be selected manually. And the only thing it does is limit the V4's torque fractionally in first gear, every other gear is full fat.

Until that point I thought he Streetfighter was desperately quick – like few other bikes I've ridden in 25 years of testing and racing – but this is another step. As I’ve found with Ducati’s Panigale V4, which I’ve ridden several times on track, an unrestrained, unleashed Stradale is almost too much. It gives both the rider and rider aids an intense examination and an even tougher workout that demands everything from you in terms of commitment and concentration.

Selecting Full is undeniably one of the most exciting you can do on a motorcycle, and some riders may prefer it to the more managed engine strategies (High, Medium and Low) when chasing that compelling lap timer. But if I was to ride on track all day, I'd favour the limited torque strategies, which give both the rider and outstanding electronics an easier time. For normal humans that also translates to a more enjoyable and satisfying ride.

It's worth mentioning the rider aids, which are predictably excellent. As mentioned, the track dash display gives live readouts of rider aid intervention, clearly showing in full colour which ones you are using. Once back in the pits, you can scroll through your lap data, scrutinise lap times, discover your maximum lean and revs, top speed and even your maximum yaw, which is the measurement of the slide.  

Just to see, I removed the Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) and the Streetfighter raised its lightweight five-spoke alloy front wheel in first, second and third gear on a mere whiff of throttle over crests. It's far easier and faster to lap with DWC active. Same story for the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Ducati Slide Control (DSC). I did reduce the latter's intervention from standard but again went a fraction slower. The rider aids and new track dash make it all so easy, help turn the Streetfighter into supremely quick and fluent track device beyond the dreams of trackday regulars of just a couple of years ago. I hate to lean on a cliche but it really does go like a real life video game – chasing lap times, trimming the rider aids to suit, and watching the lap times fall.



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4S Handling, weight and suspension

When it comes to the chassis, the essential recipe of the 2023 Streetfighter V4 is carried over from the previous generation but there’s one meaningful change – the swingarm pivot point has been raised by 4mm, mirroring a change made to the Panigale V4 12 months ago.

It’s a change that’s intended to increase the anti-squat and improve stability, boosting the bike’s ability to put down power coming out of corners. It also shifts the weight distribution forward, a move that’s claimed to help in corner entry.

Other than that, the bikes are largely as before. The base model features 43mm Showa BPF forks and a Sachs monoshock, while the S and SP2 both get Öhlins kit at both ends, with NIX-30 forks and a TTX36 shock, along with Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) EVO and an Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 control system.

Where the base model features cast alloy wheels, the ‘S’ gets lighter forged alloy Marchesinis to help reduce its weight, plus a lithium-ion battery – previously exclusive to the SP model – that’s 1.7kg lighter than the lead-acid version. The result is that the base model’s wet weight comes in at 201.5kg while the ‘S’ is 4kg lighter at 197.5kg. The SP2 slices another kilo off that total, bringing its ready-to-ride weight to 196.5kg, thanks to the use of carbon fibre wheels that go a long way to explaining the price increase over the S model.

Raising the swing-arm pivot to reduce squat and move weight forward means Ducati has tweaked the S model's Öhlins NIX30 forks to create a sportier, firmer feel, more like the Panigale, but with the same spring as the previous Streetfighter. The rider aids have also been recalibrated. The suspension remains semi-active, with spring preload is manually adjustable as before.

The new 2023 Streetfighter is certainly sporty – sportier than the previous model – but it’s hard to say by how much. In testing, Ducati test riders were one second faster on the new model compared to the older, factionally heavier bike.

The standard settings in Sport mode are impressive, with the bike relatively soft on track and easy to live with, and clearly made for a brisk road ride. Up the tempo to the sharp end of the fast group, though, and it becomes apparent that you need to opt for Race mode. In Race mode, the power, torque and throttle remain the same but the semi-active suspension makes a dramatic shift from road to track. The weight of the bike is more supported, the chassis feels livelier, easier to turn and ground clearance is improved. Within half a lap you are carrying even more corner speed and confidence.



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4S Comfort & Economy

In terms of comfort, the 2023 Streetfighter V4 range gets a boost thanks to the same new fuel tank that the Panigale V4 received a year ago. As well as adding one litre to the fuel capacity, taking it to 17kg, the new design is intended to offer better support to the rider under braking and in corners.

The fuel economy is identical to the previous version, perhaps unsurprisingly given that the engine is largely unaltered, giving 37mpg (7.6l/100km).

This was a track-only test of the new V4 S but the new fuel tank certainly provides more support on track, and should do the same on the road.

There is a new Wet riding mode that limits power to a mere 165bhp..., while throttle response and rider aids also reconfigure accordingly. As is often the case, this wet weather mode might also be useful a town mode or to save fuel.

Road, previously known as Street, mode limits torque in the first four gears (Race and Sport limit torque in the first three gears and has its own level of rider aid intervention.

The new quickshifter is similar to that on the Panigale and is smoother and faster than before, and should prove beneficial on the road.



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4S brakes

No big changes to be found here, but since the Streetfighter V4 was already equipped with some of the best stoppers on the market improvements are hard to make.

Both the base model and the S have the same setup – Brembo Monobloc Stylema M4.30 four-piston radial calipers, 330mm front discs, cornering ABS ‘EVO’ and a 245mm rear disc with a 2-pot caliper. The SP uprates that kit to add Monobloc Stylema R calipers at the front.

The feel from the adjustable lever and the bite from the Stylemas make for a sublime combination. Stability is excellent, stopping power stupendous and the new larger fuel tank allows you to stay seated in the saddle with less effort. The only weakness is human arm strength. The brakes are backed up by excellent Cornering ABS EVO and the new Engine Brake Control EVO 2 which has three levels, and now engine braking is controlled whilst monitoring lean angle, gear and throttle. When you hit the brakes, there is very little traction on the rear, therefore less engine braking; as you release the brake and approach the corner apex, there is more engine braking, depending on speed, gear, and lean angle.



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Rivals


BMW M 1000 R | Price: £19,480

The new kid on the block for 2023 is the combination of BMW’s S 1000 R with the engine from the S 1000 RR, which gains the ‘M’ badge and enough power to depose the Streetfighter V4 from its ‘most powerful naked bike’ spot. It undercuts the Ducati on price, too.

Power/Torque: 206.7bhp/83.3lb-ft | Weight: 199kg


MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RS | Price: £23,250

Another bike taking the inline four route to performance, the Brutale 1000 RS is the cheaper version of the big, 205 hp (208PS, 153kW). There’s also the ‘RR’ version at £29,300 and the Nurburgring at £35,660 if you’re feeling flush.

Power/Torque: 205bhp/86lb-ft | Weight: 208kg


KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo | Price: £17,899

Ducati has stepped back from the big V-twin formula, so if that’s your bag KTM has your back covered with the 1290 Super Duke R Evo. Undercutting the cheapest Streetfighter V4 in price, its tech includes semi-active suspension. It’s nearly 30hp down on peak power but offers more torque.

Power/Torque: 177bhp/103lb-ft | Weight: 210kg



2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4S Verdict

Ducati hasn’t made huge changes with the new 2023 Streetfighter V4 S because they didn’t need to. Power and torque are the same, it's still blisteringly quick and, excitingly, almost too much in a naked chassis.

But they have tweaked the final set up, which is sportier than before. The new Panigale dash isn’t just functional and visually appealing, it also helps turn the Streetfighter into a trackday tool that's even more refined and responsive – and easier to ride at a good pace. You really do trim your rider aids as you chase a lap time; it really does feel like a video game.

Ducati hasn’t just made the Streetfighter closer to a naked race bike either. A new wet-weather mode, a larger 17-litre fuel tank and super smooth quickshifter will only make the V4 more capable and fun to ride on the road. And we can’t ignore the revised styling, either, or the oh-so apparent appeal and exclusivity the bike exudes.

The only downside is price. £21,095 for the base model and £22,895 for the S means ownership requires serious money. But if you want one of the craziest (aside from the exclusive SP2 'Fighter!) naked bikes on the market, one that can embarrass superbikes one minute and commute to work the next, you probably expect to have to dig deep.



Second Opinion – Michael Mann

After Chad’s on-track exploits I was let lose on the Streetfighter V4S around Northamptonshire’s scenic yet gnarly (potholes-a-plenty) B-roads to see how it copes on British roads, perhaps the more relevant test than sticking it on a Spanish circuit.

I’d run a SFV4S as a long-term bike in 2020 so was already familiar with the aggressive nature of this red-hot chassis and Desmosedici Stradale engine combo, but it’s the suite of electronic assistance that should be the talking point of this motorcycle – it can protect the rider from losing traction while cornering, harness the throttle when it's raining, or avoid those unintentional power wheelies, it also shields you from the bikes' full ability. Be that a good or bad thing. Turn it all off and you’d have Signore Bagnaia running scared.

Aggressive enough in Road mode, this Ducati should come with a health warning… or an ASBO. Seriously. This is the kind of motorcycle where the manufacturer requires a moral obligation to ensure the customer can handle it. But how? They’d be shooting themselves in foot if mandated rider skills testing for each potential buyer. I’ll stop now before I get too deep into this rabbit hole.

The point is, I've been riding since being old enough to get my feet down on my dad’s ST70, and having sampled the latest raft of sports bikes, and wobbled around circuits on BSB bikes, the 2023 Streetfighter V4S has to go down as one of the most invigorating yet perilous machines I've piloted. Many will argue “the throttle works in both directions”, and yes it will only go as fast as your direct inputs request. BUT (yes, that’s a big but), for all its electronic wizardry – and there is a plethora of bells, whistles, and safety-related aids – the Ducati can create a you-shaped-hole in the nearest hedge with the merest flick of the wrist. It really requires getting used to. Like a computer game where the better you get, the more levels and performance is unlocked.

I don’t want to put you off but do think it’s necessary to warn you of its outrageous capabilities. Honestly, it’s as energetic as Tigger after five Red Bulls... but not quite as frivolous.

It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing which may go hand-in-hand with its agressive streak but sit yourself on and strap yourself in, metaphorically, and the Streetfighter V4 is as fierce as its moniker suggests. Push the ignition switch and the initial induction rumble is quickly followed by a burbling V4 ready to catapult you away. A tightly-strung, late biting clutch lever tells you how serious this thing is and how carefully it needs to be treated. Once away, it burbles on the overrun like a lion ready for the hunt.

The short, sweet, crisp snap of the quickshifter is beautifully sensitive and changes up with such directness that you can barely feel any ignition cut. Down the ‘box and the autoblipper makes you feel like you are the aforementioned 2022 MotoGP World Champ. Engine braking is adjustable but in the default setting in Road mode, there’s enough to negate the use of the front brake. Inviting yourself towards any of our national speed limits needs no RSVP because by the time you recall what RSVP means, the speedo will show a three-figured number beginning with ‘1’. It’s an epic ride but one where your eyes need to be on stalks and no matter what distance is covered, you will have only taken one breath. And once your brain has recalibrated, it then gets scrambled again when you realise that from a performance perspective, Road is followed by Sport which in turn has Race mode as the next step towards oblivion.

We live in a world where superlatives have been wrecked by influencers seeing as though everything is ‘awesome’, and this would be an easy option to describe the Ducati but my ghast has never been so flabbered on a naked street bike. There are so may electronically-assisted adjustments affecting the way the bike can be ridder including its comfort by way of suspension settings, it’d be a minefield to get into the detail of which settings of engine brake control, slide control, damping, compression, wheelie control, quickshift settings, etc. that I preferred or recommended. If you’re brave enough to try it, then take your time to familiarize yourself with all the options.

Oh, and for £23k I’d expect a neater clutch and brake reservoir. At least ones that don’t vibrate and look flimsy.

If you are a BikeSocial member and own a 2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 and would like to contribute your thoughts, then please get in touch:


2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Technical Specification

New price

£21,095, £22,895 (S), £30,595 (SP2)



Bore x Stroke

81 x 53.5mm

Engine layout


Engine details

DOHC, four-valve, Desmo, liquid cooled


205bhp (153KW) @ 13,000rpm


90.4lb-ft (123Nm) @ 9.500rpm


Six speed, chain final drive, quick shift up/down

Average fuel consumption

37mpg claimed

Tank size

17 litres

Max range to empty

138 miles

Rider aids

Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS EVO, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO 2, Auto tyre calibration, Ducati Power Launch (DPL), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO 2


Aluminium alloy ‘Front Frame’ design

Front suspension

Showa 43mm BPF forks (Ohlins NIX30 43mm forks for ‘S’ and ‘SP2’)

Front suspension adjustment

Adjustable compression, rebound and preload (electronic damping adjustment on ‘S’ and ‘SP2’)

Rear suspension

Sachs monoshock (Ohlins TTX36 on ‘S’ and ‘SP2’)

Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable compression, rebound and preload (electronic damping adjustment on ‘S’ and ‘SP2’)

Front brake

2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema M4.30 4-piston calipers with Cornering ABS EVO. (Stylema R calipers on SP2)

Rear brake

245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Cornering ABS EVO

Front wheel / tyre

5-spokes light alloy 3.50" x 17", 120/70 ZR17 (3-spoke forged alloy Marchesini on ‘S’, 5-spoke carbon fibre wheel on ‘SP2’)

Rear wheel / tyre

5-spokes light alloy 6" x 17", 200/60 ZR17 (3-spoke forged alloy Marchesini on ‘S’, 5-spoke carbon fibre wheel on ‘SP2’)



Seat height



201.5kg (kerb) (197.5kg for ‘S’, 196.5kg for ‘SP2’)


24 months unlimited mileage


12,000 km (7,500 mi) / 12 months

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated



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