All Tests – First test Ducati StreetFighter 848: small but strong – Read the instructions before use!

First test Ducati StreetFighter 848: small but strong

All Tests - First test Ducati StreetFighter 848: small but strong - Read the instructions before use!

Three years ago, Ducati launched its Streetfighter, a roadster closely derived from its Superbike 1098. This year, the Reds have adopted the same principle on their 848 … Site was able to test this novelty for 2012 at Ducati, in Bologna. Contact !

Read the instructions before use !

Some of the small roads around Bologna seem cut out for Ferrari tests: nickel asphalt, varied bends and curves, rhythmic sequences … Only the straights should be a little short to let go of the 570 horsepower of a 458 Italia !

And the same goes for the 132 horsepower of the Streetfighter 848 – but 169 kg dry, against 1380 kg for the four-wheeler: on the open road, the torque delivered between 4000 and 7500 rpm is more than enough to have fun..

The accelerations delivered and the sensations distilled by the 848 Testastretta 11 ° are such that this Streetfighter should not have a problem facing mid-capacity roadsters. "In fact, these are not our targets", explains Fabien Reze, press manager of Ducati West Europe:"we aim for the upper class like the Speed, Z1000 or Superduke".

In terms of its price, it is clear that the new Streetfighter is aligned with the maxi-roadsters: a check for 12,490 euros is requested against the Ducati. Certainly, compared to the Streetfighter S (18,990 euros), the loan will be easier to obtain from your banker. But you still have to stay motivated !

A fabulous engine

Luckily for him, the Streetfighter 848 holds up pretty well on the road. In addition to its sensational engine, it has a biting and powerful front brake, and a dosable rear brake and not too aggressive.

It is hardly that by manhandling the beast on uneven surface that one begins to feel the limits of its suspensions. Lacking hydraulic braking – including relaxation on the shock absorber – the Ducati tends to waddle at high speed and lose its precision in the trajectories.

So not sure that experienced owners will be satisfied with the "factory" setting of the new Streetfighter … The fine tuners will remedy this via the preload, compression and rebound settings that the Marzocchi fork and Sachs rear shock allow. !

If the suspensions have something to destabilize the Ducatist "purists", the lack of protection and steering as well as the vibrations of the handlebars will not surprise them in the least. But it will be quite the opposite for customers "of conquest", that Ducati wishes many !

Bikers who will rightly crack for the look, the engine and the greater docility of the Streetfighter 848 must therefore know that their future motorcycle will not allow them to last for hours on highways – OK, they suspected it – will transform their session daily Chinese puzzle gymkhana and will numb their hands after a few kilometers…

It is logically on the track that the continuation – and the end – of the discovery of this latest Ducati model takes place. There is no longer any question here of judging the ease of reading the meter – a little low but legible and very complete -, appreciable comfort – according to taste -, suspensions or flexibility – surprising! – engine: only efficiency counts !

Finally, high speeds are no longer prohibited but on the contrary sought after! We then see that in accordance with the power and torque curves presented by Ducati, the engine benefits from a second wind at around 8000 rpm. !

Already well filled from 4000 rpm, the twin in L changes tone twice as high to stop only around 10,500 rpm! Site is very concerned that this relaunch will be too quickly curtailed on the French version … But in the original version, this version of the 848 is a pure treat !

At the beginning, we enter too quickly into the tiny chicanes of the circuit. We then jump on the brake lever, the fork plunges – a bit too much -, the steering does not stiffen so far, but like any self-respecting Italian, this bike needs to be worked on the body…

A cycle part to tame

In the many pif-pafs and sequences of the short circuit of Modena – to believe that Ducati did it on purpose, just to warm up journalists for the 1199 Panigale ?! -, the Streetfighter 848 requires both engagement with the handlebars, mobility around its tank and a certain restraint in the style.

Because at the end of the first lap, when he decides to give more to increase the pace, the pilot finds himself diving too drastically towards the rope! Before cutting the desired trajectories, a period of adaptation is therefore required. Naturally, the duration of this observation phase will vary depending on the experience of the rider.

Likewise, the front axle of the Streetfighter 848 is not the most obvious to approach: light as air when galloping the 132 horsepower, it does not give the impression of being perfectly placed on the sharp changes of ” angles or fast curve entries…

Unlike an 848 and its "racing" half-handlebars, the Streetfighter is less likely to force a front tire which nevertheless remains stuck to the floor. So much so that we end up damaging the ground clearance of the roadster … and the ends of his boots !

Apart from its setting a little too flexible out of the box, the rear axle is much more convincing. First of all, the grip of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa is impressive: no glide initiation even though the track had just been finished. It’s reassuring !

Also reassuring: the DTC is on the lookout and it will be necessary to attack damn before triggering it. Set to the 3rd notch (on 8, maximum intervention value), it did not interfere with MNC at all during our two driving sessions.

Streetfighter, the aptly named

Full angle this time, we regret that the footrests end at their end with a simple ball: not notched, it singularly lacks grip, while the piloting of the motorcycle in demand !

On the circuit, the Streetfighter 848 is therefore initially enjoyable to release, then difficult to pin down, before becoming limited – fortunately ?! – by too low ground clearance. Demanding both physicality and delicacy, he will serve his rider’s ego … until he gets rotten by a less good friend but with an easier motorcycle. !

In conclusion, we can only salute the work Ducati carried out on the 848: this version "Testastretta 11 °" – it is marked on the right crankcase! – is simply sensational! We also appreciate that this now "standard" version of the Streetfighter did not take a single gram and downright lost 3000 euros on the invoice for performance still at the rendezvous..

Fans will also thank the Italians for not having overcharged the "Rosso Ducati" color – the frame is matched -: count 12,490 euros for the red model, the yellow "Fighter" or the black "Dark Stealth" !

The smart ones will take advantage of the tiny sticker "Streetfighter 848" placed discreetly on the engine spoiler and easily removable, in order to show off in front of friends and to impress friends: "I have a Streetfighter, yes it is about that: the wheel of the world champion Carlos Checa without its fairings !"

But be careful because once on it, the biker will no longer be able to lie … In addition, the price does not include the acupuncturist sessions to eliminate the "ants" accumulated in the hands in town, those of the masseur after the ride on the road or those more expensive still of the physiotherapist at the end of the course on the track !

Likewise, if the Streetfighter is guaranteed for two years and its major mechanical inspection is only scheduled every 24,000 km, there is no point in hoping for a commercial gesture after a fall on wet-fat because of the bite of the brakes. . and the absence of ABS !

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