Ever since Ducati started selling the Streetfighter in the US we kept hearing happy owners bragging about their exquisite rides and decided it was time to get some professional riding impressions. So we started from the already very good opinion that we had on it after simply reading the specs and came to find that this is an uncompromising naked motorcycle with superbike-like performance. Great!
No wonder, considering the fact that both the standard Streetfighter and the S version are powered by an L-Twin, Testastretta Evoluzione 1098 engine, the same one found on the 1098 superbike (except the shorter intake tracts), makes these very promising Italian bikes…as promising as 155 hp and 85lb-ft of torque at 9500 rpm can be.
Ducati built the Streetfighter with pure performance in mind so apart from using Showa suspension on the base model and Ohlins on the special one as well as lighter forged-aluminum Marchesini wheels and carbon fiber pieces (front fender and cam-belt covers, like on all other “S” models of the Italian house), both models feature magnesium cylinder-head covers, clutch and headlight bracket for even lighter overall weight.
2010 Ducati Streetfighter S
While the Ducati Data Analyzer (DDA) system, which gathers crucial information concerning throttle opening, gear positions, revs, speed and lap times, is optional on the base Streetfighter, this comes as a standard feature on the S model. This last was built as a version for those who cut no corners and go for the best of the best, not necessarily the best bang for the buck. And the fact that the Streetfighter S features a traction control system sets it further apart from its sibling. Using information from the wheel-speed sensors, the traction control will first intervene by retarding ignition timing and then, if necessary, cut out fuel supply to the engine with the use of the fuel injection system and so prevent dangerous wheelspin.
Although the Ducatis are still new entries on the streetfighter market and stand out as truly unique rides, this is not the first time that the world sees such a courageous idea being put into practice.
The MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR might not look as aggressive as the Streetfighters do, but the fact that the inline four-cylinder engine produces 144.2 bhp and 85 ft-lbs of torque makes this also Italian bike a fierce opponent for the latest arrivals.
Triumph can also brag about being a class expert if we take a look at the Speed Triple’s sales charts, but we have a hunch this isn’t quite THE Streetfighter competitor. The looks are quite different and the Triumph’s inline-triple is a whole different story compared to the Ducati twin.
2010 Ducati Streetfighter
The whole idea behind the 2010 Ducati Streetfighter is to have a stripped down superbike, so if we look at the “totally necessary pieces” such as the front fender, fuel tank and rear tail section it is easy to spot the same design lines as on the Ducati superbike models.
Designing an aggressive bike was a must and the excellent results show when looking at the main headlight underneath which are found the twin air intakes and LED lighting components. The bike also features an LED taillight, which is perfectly integrated in the sharp tail. Still, this piece of the bike looks like being positioned a little too high given the fact that there are no exhaust pipes running underneath it. In fact, the right rider side shotgun exhaust will have your eyes running between it, the tail and the stylish rear wheel (on both models), which stands out thanks to the single-sided swingarm.
No fairing means more work masking all the wiring and making components that would have normally been covered look good. We must say the Streetfighter’s engine department unveils nothing but a muscular L-twin motor when looking between the tubular steel trellis frame’s tubes.
The instrument panel is brand new and designed in the Ducati style. This offers digital speed and revs display as well as time, ambient air/coolant temperature, battery voltage, trip meters and warning lights – neutral, turn signals, high beam, rev limit, low oil pressure, fuel reserve, DTC intervention status (on the “S” model) and scheduled maintenance.
In both cases, color options include Red, while the Pearl White characterizes the base model and Midnight Black stands for the “S” one.
"Once triggered into life, the liquid-cooled V-Twin emits a burly rumble through a pair of stacked muflers that portends near-Superbike power production. We brought our bike down to legendary tuner Carry Andrews’ Hypercycle Speed Center where it spat out 133.2 roaring ponies at 9800 rpm." – motorcycle
"This is actually about five horsepower less than the Superbike, due to the shorter air intakes that are inevitable without the full fairing, although the Streetfighter’s engine is actually seven pounds lighter thanks to the cast-aluminum crankcases. Having recently ridden a 1098R, there is no way from the seat of the pants you can notice the minor power loss." – ultimatemotorcycling
"As you roll out of pit lane and onto Ascari’s 3.3-mile, 26-turn road course, the Streetfighter feels relaxed and less twitchy than the Superbike. As soon as you crack the throttle a tremendous wave of torque greets you. But with its slightly longer wheelbase, controlling that power wheelie feels a little friendlier." – motorcycle-usa
“The L-twin motor revs up quickly to the 10,700-rpm limit, indicated by a flashing red light since the LCD bar tachometer has no redline. With 85 lb-ft of torque trying to pull the bike out from under you, gear changes are more about prerogative than necessity, though the transmission is very accommodating.” – ridermagazine
“But the real kicker is what happens when the road bends: the Streetfighter S turns in so willingly, it’s easy to forget you’re on a bike with a 1099cc engine. Direction changes are accurate and immediate, and adjustable with minimal effort throughout the turn-in/apex/exit process.” – motorcycles.about
"Our S model’s Öhlins suspension exhibited a firm ride around town but excellent control in the turns, and the Marchesini wheels felt willing to change direction with ease, with midcorner corrections coming effortlessly." – popularmechanics
"As I pushed harder (after adding a few clicks of both compression and rebound to the fork), the DTC was a bit intrusive, softening power earlier than I wanted, so I backed it off to level 4, then eventually 3, and really began to enjoy the bike. Electronic intervention, when it’s this tunable, is a Very Good Thing." – cycleworld
"Think of it a cross between a big supermoto and a Monster and you’ll be on the right track. And for speed, the S version rated here has better front and rear suspension, traction control and data analysis built-in." – MCN
The 2010 Ducati Streetfighter comes with a $14,995 MSRP, which is quite fair if you ask me. Yet, the $18,995 MSRP of the Ducati Streetfighter S makes it impossible for me to say the same thing about it. The $4K difference is simply not justified, not even by the fancy DDA and traction control systems. This last definitely addresses to those for which money is not an issue.
2010 Ducati Streetfighter S
Ducati does offer the best there currently is in matter of superbike-derived roadsters and, looking at the Streetfighter’s potential, it’s easy to reckon this situation won’t change a long time from now.
Following the same recipe used by MV Agusta to build the Brutale 1090RR, Ducati manages to dethrone the “teacher” and start giving lessons of engine performance, handling and refinement on its own.
Front Brake: 2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc callipers 4-piston, 2-pad
Rear Brake: 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.5l - 4.4gallon (US)
Dry Weight: 169kg (373lb) / 167kg (368lb)
Instruments: Digital unit with displays for: Speedometer, rev counter, lap times, time, air temp, coolant temp, battery voltage, A & B trips, fuel reserve trip, scheduled maintenance. Warning lights for: Neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, oil pressure, fuel reserve. Plus: Immobilizer system
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Body Colour (Frame/Wheel): Red (racing balck / graphite grey) - Pearl white (racing balck / graphite grey)
Seat Height: 840mm (33in)
DDA: DDA system-ready for Ducati Performance accessory
The Streetfighter is armed with fully adjustable 43mm Showa forks up front and a fully adjustable Showa monoshock at the rear, giving the bike high performance agility and the rider absolute ’feel’ and confidence from sure-footed handling.
The forks feature a natural chrome slider finish and radial mounts for the brake callipers and are fully adjustable in spring preload as well as compression and rebound damping. On the rear, the single Showa unit operates through a progressive linkage and is also fully adjustable in spring preload and damping, both in compression and rebound.
The Streetfighter S pushes the spec way up with 43mm Superbike-spec Öhlins forks that have sliders treated in low-friction TiN. Fully adjustable in spring preload and precisely adjustable in compression and rebound damping, they ensure ’S’ feeling and finesse when the fight gets rough.
Taking care of the rear of the ’S’ is a single high-spec Öhlins unit fully adjustable in spring preload with full adjustment and highly engineered control of compression and rebound damping. The unit is also fitted with a ride enhancing top-out spring which helps maintain rear tyre contact under extreme conditions.
Important attention to performance detail is inherited from its Superbike bloodline with both the Streetfighter and Streetfighter S having rear ride-height adjusters that allow fine correction after setting personalised spring preload.
10-spoke wheels in lightweight aluminium 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 consists of wheels, 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 the performance of the bike and the Streefighter pulls out all the stops to be the best.
The Streetfighter S reduces weight even further by using Y-shaped, 5-spoke wheels by Marchesini, forged and then machined in lightweight aluminium.
The Streetfighter wheels are finished in graphite grey and the ’S’ in bronze with both models rolling out on Pirelli tyres.
Both the Streetfighter and Streetfighter S use Brembo’s powerful Monobloc calliper race technology. Machined from a single piece of alloy, the callipers achieve higher rigidity and resistance to distortion during extreme braking. The result not only delivers planet-stopping brake power, but also gives an enhanced and precise ’feel’ at the brake lever. The twin Monobloc callipers each have four 34mm pistons that grip huge 330mm discs to achieve their spectacular performance. The weight of the discs has been kept to a minimum by using racing-style narrow braking surfaces.
The world-beating 1098 Testastretta Evoluzione needs little introduction. Debuting in 2007, it went on to form the basis of a motor that powered Ducati to Superstock and Superbike World titles that left the competition stunned. Now, its massive bore, short stroke and incredible torque powers Ducati’s most extreme naked and the results are equally as stunning.
Producing a ballistic 85lb-ft (11.7kgm) of torque and 155hp (114kW), the Streetfighter’s awesome 1098 power house fears nothing of the naked sports competition. The L-Twin, Testastretta Evoluzione engine gives both the best power-to-weight and the best torque-to-weight ratios in its class.
Surface features include enhanced detailing on the cam belt covers and the magnesium dry clutch cover as well as a new black finish for the main outer casings and carbon-grey finish for the crankcases, which employ the same weight-saving technology used for the 1198.
The vacuum die-cast process used to make the crankcases ensures consistent and precise wall thickness and increased strength from absolute material purity while reducing weight an incredible 3kg (6.5lb) compared to those of the 1098 Superbike engine.
Using the Testastretta narrow valve angle, super-straight intake ducts and specially shaped combustion chambers, the Desmodromic motor continues to breathe through MotoGP-derived elliptical throttle bodies and four large diameter valves per cylinder to achieve its incredible spread of torque.
A high performance six-speed box and racing-style dry clutch makes sure the transmission package delivers 155hp as efficiently as possible.
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.
Having more experience and success with twin-cylinder high performance engines than any other manufacturer, the air-cooled L-Twin remains central to Ducati’s philosophy of motorcycling. This experience, plus constant investment in quality by design, advanced materials and engineering techniques, has enabled the distance between service intervals to increase to 12,000km (7,500 miles) making Ducati ownership even more 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 the same finishes as the Superbike family: Brushed steel for the Streetfighter and black brushed steel for the Streetfighter S, both delivering the famous Ducati L-Twin sound synonymous with raw, Desmo power.
The new 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.
Keeping design matters clean and stylish, 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.
More attention to detail than ever before went into creating the Ducati Streetfighter. Repositioning many of the components usually hidden by bodywork and continuing to keep them out of sight was a major challenge for the design and engineering teams, but they’ve pulled it off with impressive results. Add to this details such as the perfectly formed passenger seat cover, a rear hugger fitted as standard equipment and the pre-minimalised licence plate holder, and it’s plain to see that Ducati have gone that extra step to achieve the highest level of finish.
While the Streetfighter looks stunning in either red or sophisticated pearl white set against a black frame and subtle graphite grey 10-spoke wheels, the Streetfighter S positively seduces in red and menaces in midnight black with carbon fibre front fender and cam belt covers contrasting superbly against the bronze finish of the frame and Y-shaped, 5-spoke wheels.