Comparison test of noble naked bikes
Ducati Streetfighter S and Bimota DB6R in comparison test
Strong in sound, noble, self-confident. And with a robust V2: Bimota DB6R and Ducati Streetfighter S. Two of the same style and a proud price. If the Ducati draws its fascination from aggressive design and lush power, with the Bimota it is exclusivity and understatement in terms of performance.
It’s a tough nut to crack. Hardly has the decision been made to take the sour savings to the dealer, to grab the truly finely crafted mass-produced child and get enough of performance for it. We the other hand, there is an outrageously noble small-series piece of jewelery with an abundance of fine details, but with a less potent drive.
Ducati Streetfighter S and B.imota DB6R can steal your senses. Not only because of the velvety carpet of sound that the two twins spread out full-bodied. At each stop, a few minutes should be allowed for questions from curious people. Like the refueling stop. "Wow, Peter, look here, it’s amazing." The Bimota, overflowing with shimmering aluminum milled parts, makes the two truckers at the small gas station in the Black Forest completely excited. It leans adorable in the sun, with a bright red frame and snow-white painted parts.
Comparison test of noble naked bikes
Ducati Streetfighter S and Bimota DB6R in comparison test
Ducati V-2, two tubular space frames – and two huge holes in the money sock. In the case of the Bimota for an air-cooled, nominally 95 hp two-valve engine. It is available fitted in what is probably the noblest small-series chassis with a unique tubular rocker arm. A real treasure chest. Cast aluminum seems so repugnant to the Bimota makers that the milling machine is started even for trivial holders of oil cooler lines. The Ducati competes with the famous, water-cooled Testastretta engine with 148 HP in the papers and, although it is a mass-produced product, also damn noble.
They are sisters in spirit, dedicated to pure, unfiltered driving pleasure – and yet very different. That becomes clear when you take a seat.
Uff, thinks the Ducati rider, bolt-straight, flat handlebars mounted far to the front, and taut seat cushion rising towards the rear. Clear announcement: This is about sport. In contrast to this, the Bimota pilot sits upright, at a lofty height, despite the slightly high rests, the silver anodized, conically drawn aluminum handlebars well in the hand. Almost relaxed. First. But now the engines should speak. The test bench announces 93 Bimota-PS against 159 at Ducati, actually an unfair matter. One should think so. Wait. The Bimota can be asked for a cold start, a button on the throttle grip, as once on the 916, helps to raise the idle speed a little during a cold start. Both require a firm hand for the clutch. Ducati just. The Streetfighter’s transmission works more smoothly. Tea Bimota technicians have made their DB6R a real treat for the ears. Ducati only supplies the engine, Bimota contributes the entire periphery. The way the two-valve valve knocks, pulsates, stomps, there is something calming and flattering about it. Its comfortably bassy pressure waves come as if one had covered the drumsticks of a large timpani with soft fur. Much harder and more aggressive is the blow with which the four-valve engine of the Streetfighter exhales. It cannot deny its origins as a high-performance racing engine. And yet it does not manage to clearly distance the Bimota in the wild.
The air-cooled engine presents itself once more as a very fine country road engine. Hangs precisely, but not as aggressively and directly as the water-cooled four-valve engine on the gas. And pushes really hard. Up to 6500 rpm, the apparently aged construction produces perhaps a little more vibrations, but not a bit less power than the Streetfighter engine. So pressure is there in abundance exactly where you need it in real life. His full step up from low altitudes warms the heart.
The easy-revving four-valve engine still looks livelier, reacts more nimbly to gas commands, whirls vehemently from the cellar up the speed ladder. And while you notice the two-valve engine that its performance peak is exceeded at 6500 rpm and its vigor is noticeably waning, the Streetfighter engine really wakes up here. Like a bubbling volcano that has so far only been kept under lock and key, its performance then erupts to keep your spit away.
That is spectacular, overtaking is a breeze, but the Bimota still cannot be boiled properly. Because the moments when the full potential of the Streetfighter can be used are few and far between. And everywhere else, the Bimota keeps up, even in drafts. Even more.
Two types of dynamics: With the Ducati, the explosive engine dominates the stable chassis. The Bimota impresses with its maneuverability and pleasant torque.
If we leave the cold start aside, the Bimota has the edge in terms of engine tuning in everyday life. Below 3500 rpm in the partial load range with the throttle valve slightly open, the Ducati first releases its power indecisively, then all the more energetically. Which is quite annoying, especially in the city or on narrow routes. The Bimota solves such situations more smoothly. And it dips smoothly into the winding side streets, the narrower the better. With the Bimota you can hit the hook that makes you dizzy. Aim for the curve, bang, and go through. The DB6R circles the corners on the targeted line with millimeter precision. However, only after the spring preload of the somewhat softly tuned shock absorber has been significantly increased, which is done in no time thanks to hydraulic preload. This is at the expense of comfort on furrowed asphalt, but it also brings accuracy and stability. Mogul slopes are not the preferred terrain of the Bimota anyway. That, in turn, unites them with the Ducati, whose hard-tuned strut extends the edges and joints rather undiluted. This is accompanied by a noticeable righting moment on bumps, while the Bimota nervously dances over patches and heels on bumpy slopes at brisk pace – the downside of its very handy chassis geometry. But nobody would seriously expect a Lamborghini to cut a good figure on dirt roads. Then it’s better to go unsafe on the well-developed roads and whirl around in forehead of the streetfighter’s nose.
It clearly loses out in terms of handiness. Tends towards wide arcs at the exit of the curve. And only sees the rear light of the Bimota on narrow streets. The Ducati cannot offer this feeling of lightness that the Bimota creates. It drives like a one on even asphalt. The feeling for the front wheel is first class and in connection with the aggressive seating position it is a pleasure to rush through long curves with it. Perhaps it can best be described this way: While the Bimota zigzags lively from curve to curve, the Ducati moves majestically and confidently on its way. As long as you maintain a smooth driving style. That means: braking and shifting in front of the bend, bending over and pulling through in a nice curve. Then the Ducati spoils you with transparency, stability, that earthy, saturated feeling for the road that makes your heart open and inclines and speeds cannot be big enough. If, spurred on by it, you let yourself be carried away, however, with hurray in the sportsman style, late and hard on the brakes in the corner, hit the gas, then the fun quickly has a hole. The Ducati doesn’t like that at all. Pulled a little too hard on the lever, the brakes snap like an alligator. The fork dips deeply in a flash, and a strong erecting moment ruins the line.
Countersteering is then required. The engine, which is attached ultra-directly to the gas, then pulls the machine forward impetuously. A clean line may be difficult to achieve this way. While the Bimota pilot is much easier with athletic insoles.
When braking hard, a finely tuned anti-hopping clutch, a delicacy that the Ducati, which flirted with its racing origins, cannot offer, keeps the rear wheel in check. With the powerfully gripping stoppers, which can be easily dosed even without monobloc fuss, you can decelerate perfectly in an inclined position up to the apex of the curve. And then power out again on a nice tight line with plenty of well-dosed bacon.
Alone, after an hour at the latest, the fun is over, forcing the Bimota to stop. Not because she drank her tank empty. When designing the bench, the designers got it wrong. The seat hollow does not allow any freedom of movement and is so hard that one wonders who Bimota was measuring. It was certainly not a normally built Central European.
Better is the Ducati upholstery. Also spartan and tight, but not uncomfortable. And it gives the popometer a lot of feedback, with space to the back. Which cannot be used properly simply because it rises backwards and the driver is ultimately back in touch with the tank after a few corners.
The bottom line is that the Bimota has what it takes to steal the show from the Ducati, despite the weaker engine. If only the mistake in the seating furniture would have to be ironed out and maybe the shock absorber had to be adjusted a little more lovingly.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a performance kick and can adjust to the Ducati, at the end of an extended ride you even want to enjoy the feeling of having this character under control, you will find a stimulating and stirring partner in the Streetfighter. In any case, both deliver the big show.
Noble naked bikes
Bimota DB6R, it offers relaxed and uncomplicated fun on corners and an engine that is made for brisk country road driving, wonderful. A fine, little street sweeper. Only on the bench, Bimota urgently needs to go again.
Ducati Streetfighter S, measured against the Bimota, the Ducati requires significantly more effort and concentration from its driver so that it can fully play out its strengths on cultivated asphalt: stability, feedback, power.
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