Saturday, November 10, 2012

Video: Ducati Streetfighter 848 longterm trip report

Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves recently took some time off to ride his longterm Ducati Streetfighter 848 on the beautiful roads of France and Italy. Here he shares his trip.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 Launch

An introduction to the new Ducati Streetfighter 848, filmed during its international press launch in Modena, Italy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 First Ride

In the motorcycle world we thrive on excess, damn the consequences if it’s not in our best interests. We crave the fastest, nastiest and sexiest machines we can get our mitts on. The trouble is that this approach in life usually ends in some sort of pain, be it buyer’s remorse or even worse, getting in over your head. Ducati’s Streetfighter is a perfect example. It’s sexy as hell, goes like a scalded cat and is razor sharp. The only thing is you need to be just as sharp to use it to its full potential. Thankfully Ducati has recognized this and brought forth a Streetfighter for us mere mortals in the form of the 2012 Streetfighter 848.

During the marketing and technical presentation the Ducati team stressed the focus on the concept of a friendlier, easier to ride Streetfighter. The target consumer for the 848 is a rider that is not as extreme and is looking for more usability, someone who needs a more confidence inspiring ride. Ducati set out to make that happen with an all new, smaller displacement Streetfighter that would satisfy these criteria and still be a high-performing naked bike.

A 849.4cc Testastretta 11 mill powers the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848.
Ducatis DTC system come standard on the 2012 Streetfighter 848  however ABS is not available.
The 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848s Brembo brakes are equipped with soft-feel sintered pads.
A 849.4cc version of the Testastretta engine powers the Streetfighter 848. Ducati's DTC system and non-ABS Brembo brakes keep things under control.
The cornerstone of this new Streetfighter is of course the 849.4cc L-Twin Testastretta 11 powerplant. Sharing the same basic configuration with the 848 EVO Superbike, the 11 degrees of valve overlap is designed to give a smoother engine character which is more suited to the street duty the Streetfighter 848 will most often be used for. The most notable difference between the Superbike and Streetfighter’s engine is the camshaft profiles tuned to deliver a more street-friendly punch. The bore, stroke and compression ratio are identical, with a service interval of 15,000 miles.

A new superbike-derived frame is similar to the 1098 Steetfighter, but has less rake and trail for more stable and confidence inspiring steering traits. The wheelbase is the same as the 1098 at 58.07 inches, but longer than the 848 EVO’s 56.3-inch wheelbase. Attached to the rear of the trellis frame is a new one piece cast aluminum swingarm sprung by a fully adjustable Sachs shock set up for a comfortable ride. Up front 43mm Marzocchi forks with full adjustability handle the imperfect road surfaces that the Streetfighter 848 is expected to see. Both the front and rear are set up softer in spring rate and damping than its 1098 sibling.

As with every Ducati as of late, the Streetfighter 848 comes standard with the Ducati Traction Control system, offering eight levels of adjustment. A full Brembo brake system sans ABS slows the whole kit down with 320mm discs squeezed by radial mounted 4-piston calipers with soft-feel pads in the front. Braking duties in the rear are handled by a single 245mm disc and a 2-piston caliper. We find it a bit interesting that the bike that is aimed at being more usable on the roads doesn’t have ABS as standard equipment.

Ducati set us up just down the road from its headquarters and a stones throw from Ferrari’s factory and testing facilities at the newly constructed Autodromo di Modena. Consisting of 11 turns, the track is ultra-tight with more than its fair share of decreasing-radius second-gear corners that would challenge and even frustrate during the short track sessions. We also rode through the hills above Modena so we could gauge the Streetfighter 848’s performance in the real world. If you can call the picturesque landscape painted with an ever undulating and curving ribbon of asphalt the real world. To me it was more like a dream.

A fully adjustable Sachs rear shock handles the suspension duties on the rear of the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848. As expected the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires offered tons of grip and worked well with the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848s chassis.
A fully adjustable Sachs shock handles the suspension duties at the rear of the streefighter. Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires provide grip suitable for street and track usage.
Immediately I found the cockpit to be very comfortable, especially the reach to the 20mm higher handlebars. The tapered aluminum unit allowed for a slightly more upright stance than the 1098, and kept the pressure off the wrists. Seat to footpeg height was also roomy, however my right heel was cramped by the exhaust shroud when I placed the balls of my feet on the pegs. The word is that Ducati spaced the peg mounts out 10mm from the frame to allow more clearance, but for me it still wasn’t enough. It wasn’t a huge concern on the street, and I adjusted my foot position accordingly. It was a different story on the track however. Moving the footpegs outward decreases the cornering clearance slightly and when combined with the interference from shroud, the toe slider on my new Dainese boots paid the price.

Twisting the throttle on the small Streetfighter produces a spread of very linear power from around 2500 rpm to redline. Just like a good streetfigher should the 848 wheelies easily in first and second gear, although once the limiter kicks in on a fast one, the front end will drop like a sack of potatoes. Tire twisting grunt coming out of the corner is what makes
The power from the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848s Testastretta 11 engine is punchy yet controllable.
The Streetfighter 848's Testastretta 11 powerplant had plenty of grunt with a linear power delivery.
twins a blast to ride, and this bike is no different. Throttle response was instantaneous yet not abrupt, which was perfectly suited to the tight hairpins that we encountered above Modena.The boost is just enough to be fun without getting out of hand. It really is easy to control the power, but just in case the DTC can be dialed in to help out the ham-fisted. I personally like setting Number Two for street duty. On the track I kept the same setting and never really had any problems with a loss of traction or too much interference. In fact it wasn’t really even noticeable.

The small two-lane, sometime one-lane roads in the hills had everything from billiard table smooth sections to potholes to bumps that could become jumps at the right speed. With such diverse road surfaces, the 848’s suspension would be put to the test. On the less chewed up sections the yellow Ducati handled well, with a balanced feel, but when things began to get bumpy the suspension began to show its weaknesses. Any moderate sized heave in the pavement would induce some squirm. It was most apparent when on the gas coming out of the corner, but really it was more of an annoyance than anything else. With some time to fine tune the Sachs shock and Marzocchi fork setting, mainly spring preload, I think that the squirm could be lessened if not eliminated. On the track the suspension was firmed up considerably and created a rock solid chassis, confirming my thoughts on increasing the preload.

The 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 is a capable handler on the track and the street.
Keeping your right toe off the deck is difficult on the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 due to an exhaust shroud that crowds your heel.
Riding the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter on the track is a blast but the street is where it really shines.
On the street, cornering on the Streetfighter 848 was a blast. Effort on the taller bars is light, and flicking into a corner at the appropriate speed is cake. Mid-corner changes were as easy as thinking about it, and even an unexpected decreasing radius turn was not a problem. On the track I struggled with getting the bike to completely drop into the corner, especially in the tight, second-gear corners that required trail-braking all the way into the apex before squirting to the next corner. It seemed that the super-comfortable bars on the street were fighting me for that last bit of lean. The straight bars coaxed me into holding my elbows up like I was on motocross bike. Once I made an effort to drop my elbows the resistance lessened and the track began to flow. I was able to pick up the pace considerably, and the phenomenal grip from the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tire helped the bike stick like glue. When our track session came to an end, I found myself wanting more time as each lap the bond between me and the Streetfighter improved.

As expected the Brembo brakes performed with poise. The soft-feel sintered pads on the front didn’t have as much initial bite as we’ve become accustomed to, but the power and feel was stellar. Even as the laps counted down on the track, there was zero fade which was surprising on such a tight layout. The rear brake was not as powerful as I would like, and the feel was not on the same level as the front.

Ducati has a hit on its hands with the 2012 Streetfighter 848. Although it’s not the nastiest or most powerful, it is still sexy and pure Italian performance. The fact that it is more manageable for the average Joe and can still coax smiles and bench racing from the fast guys goes to show that more isn’t always better. The concept of a more controllable yet still exciting Streetfighter just makes sense, and the 2012 Streetfighter 848 is proof.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ducati Streetfighter Performance Parts Listed

Ducati Streetfighter Performance Parts Listed

We’ve just finished adding the new Ducati Performance Catalog for the 2009 Ducati Streetfighter to our website. See all of the items here: Ducati Streetfighter Performance Parts at

Some items are already avilable and others won’t be until the bikes are released, but this will help you plan your modifications so you can be ready when your bike arrives!

Ducati 1098, 1198, Streetfighter Slider Set Front Axle 96630808B
Ducati 1098, 1198, Streetfighter Slider Set Rear Axle 96630708B
Ducati Billet Aluminum Bar End Weights 966320AAA
Ducati Billet Aluminum Oil Fill Plug 96853208B
Ducati Streetfighter Aluminum Filler Plug Quick Turn 96782710B
Ducati Streetfighter Aluminum Number Plate Holder 96781110B

Ducati New Style Carbon Sprocket Cover 96983607B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Belt Guard Kit 96998309B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Front Mudguard 96997809B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Ignition Switch Frame 969A00510B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Instrument Panel Cover 96999610B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Oversize Air Intake Tubes 969A00410B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Passenger Seat Cover 96998209B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Rear Mudguard 96997709B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Undertank Side Panels 96997909B
Ducati Streetfighter Carbon Swingarm Protector 96998309B

Ducati Tecno Billet Aluminum Clutch Cover 968534AAA
Ducati Billet Aluminum/Carbon Clutch Cover 969943AAA
Ducati Billet Slotted Clutch Cover 96848107B
Ducati Carbon Full Clutch Cover 969023AAA Motorcycles
Ducati Carbon Half Clutch Cover 96924800B Motorcycles
Ducati Carbon Vented Clutch Cover 96982507B
Ducati Performance Billet New Style Clutch Cover 97084BAAA
Ducati Performance Complete Set of Clutch Plates 964060AAA
Ducati Folding Brake/Clutch Lever Kit 96849908B
Ducati Pressure Plate for Dry Clutch 968454AAA
Ducati Pressure Plate Radial 96857008B Motorcycles
Ducati Pressure Plate Self Venting 96856808B
Ducati Billet Clutch Slave Cylinder 96851608B
Ducati Performance Racing Slipper Clutch 968317AAB
Ducati Performance Street Slipper Clutch 968318AAB

Ducati Automatic Battery Charger 96769508B
Ducati Bluetooth Intercom System 981553000
Ducati DDA System Marelli DP28620401B Motorcycles
Ducati Disc Locking Padlock with Alarm 96769908B
Ducati Performance Tire Warmers 96519107B Motorcycles
Ducati Powershift Electronic Shifter 966321AAA
Ducati Streetfighter AntiTheft System 96781310B
Ducati Streetfighter LED Turn Indicators 96637610B

Ducati Streetfighter S Termignoni Carbon Full Exhaust 96455010B
Ducati Streetfighter S Termignoni Carbon Silencers 96455210B
Ducati Streetfighter S Termignoni Titanium Silencers 96455110B
Ducati Streetfighter Termignoni Carbon Full Exhaust 96454810B
Ducati Streetfighter Termignoni Carbon Silencers 96454710B
Ducati Streetfighter Termignoni Titanium Silencers 96454610B

Ducati 1098/1198/Streetfighter Rear Sprocket 520 Pitch DU49411261AE
Ducati 1098/1198/Streetfighter Rear Sprocket 525 Pitch 96847807B
Ducati 520/525 14/15T Drilled Front Sprocket 96839402B
Ducati Chain Joining Tool DP887132562 Motorcycles
Ducati performance Chain in Red or Gold 968331AAA

Ducati Folding Brake/Clutch Lever Kit 96849908B
Ducati Streetfighter Quick Turn Throttle 96635610B

Ducati 848/1098/1198/SF Ohlins DU511 Rear Shock DU36520751A
Ducati Streetfighter Ohlins Front Fork Kit 96856210B

Ducati Multipurpose Elastic Net 967415AAA
Ducati Streetfighter Bike Cover 96782310B Motorcycles
Ducati Streetfighter Fuel Tank Protector Carbon 96999810B
Ducati Streetfighter Fuel Tank Protector Clear 96782010B
Ducati Streetfighter Racing Seat 96999510B
Ducati Streetfighter Rear Bag for Passenger Seat 96781510B
Ducati Streetfighter Soft Tank Bag 96781610B
Ducati Tire Repair Kit 96847006B Motorcycles

Ducati 1098/1198/Streetfighter BST Carbon Fiber Wheels 96993708B
Ducati 1098/1198/Streetfighter Forged Aluminum Wheels 96848907B
Ducati 1098/1198/Streetfighter Forged Magnesium Wheels 96849007B