Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 review: The bike builder’s most brutish, intimidating model is back with the latest riding technology

Ducati’s Streetfighter is back and this time, it is bringing you 208hp

A name can pack some power, and in motorcycle circles, Ducati has its fair share of impressive monikers. Monster, Panigale, Superleggera – they each represent a facet of Bologna’s best machines. But for 2020, the bike builder is reviving its most brutish, intimidating model. The Streetfighter is back.

Missing from the Ducati family tree for the last eight years, the Streetfighter V4 and up-spec Streetfighter V4 S are essentially a Panigale V4 S superbike that has been partially stripped of its bodywork, with a one-piece handlebar replacing the fork-mounted clip-on bars. The new edition will get some 208hp from its 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine, a monstrous number for any street-going motorcycle, let alone a naked bike.

The base Streetfighter V4 will come with conventionally adjustable suspension from Showa and Sachs, while the Streetfighter V4 S will have the latest-generation, electronically adjustable Öhlins suspension, which operates with the Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO algorithm, an Öhlins electronic steering damper and Marchesini forged aluminium wheels.

Ducati is also debuting a ‘biplane’ aerodynamic package on the 139kg (Streetfighter V4’s dry weight) two-wheeler, with two wings mounted on either side of the radiator. This fresh design should add 28kg of downforce at 270 km/hr, with the bonus of greater stability during braking and cornering.

Both models come with three ride modes – Race, Sport and Street – and the now ubiquitous Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit, which will oversee rider aids such as traction, slide, wheelie and launch controls; the up-and-down quick shift for the six-speed gearbox; and ABS and Engine Brake control. 

The Streetfighter V4 and V4 S debut the latest riding technology – such as aerodynamic winglets derived straight from MotoGP and the Slide Control algorithm – and pack greater horsepower than has been previously released in the naked category. By comparison, the Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory brings 175hp to the table, but with an aerodynamic package devoid of winglets. The KTM 1290 Super Duke R delivers 180hp and runs a conventionally operated suspension, as opposed to the electronic one on the Streetfighter V4 S. Clearly, Ducati is closing the gap between street bike and racer more than ever before.