Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ducati Streetfighter 848 - a quick look

There is a new super hot naked streetfgighter about to hit Australian shores - the Ducati Streetfighter 848 - and it looks to be an absolute rip snorter.

You gotta love nakeds and streetfighters, the minimalist approach to modern bike design combined with face numbing power and the handling of a race bred machine, the category is now producing truly awesome street legal, two wheeled weapons. I loved the Streetfighter S when it first hit our sures a while back, but to be honest that thing is the kind of bike you should be scared of. Owners are one of two types of rider - either quite serious about riding hard and visit the track often (I mean mentally deranged), or the type that just polishes it every day and night and sit and look at it. A lot. It represents the kind of bike I'd ride to fast and get tipped off, over, under, flipped, or ejected into a tree. It would be also be a convincing license shredder. But the baby-fighter with a 132Bhp (97kw) and a dry weight of  a mere 169kg is lighter and more powerful than my Hyper EVO SP, a little bike like this should be something you'd need to feel. I'd liken it to a face reconstruction with some high cheekbones and an eye-lift but less painful.
"The new Streetfighter 848 offers pure motorcycling thrills thanks to its perfect combination of 848 Testastretta 11° engine and a new Trellis frame with Superbike 848EVO-derived geometry. Outstanding control and precision make the Streetfighter 848 irresistible. Thanks to the superb handling offered by the new frame, the progressive easy-to-manage power delivery provided by the Testastretta 11° engine, the confidence-inspiring upright riding position and Ducati Traction Control, which keeps watch over the power, this latest interpretation of the fighter concept delivers instant, knock-out riding enjoyment. Ducati.com.au"

All this extra grunt and power comes from the L-Twin Desmodromic liquid cooled power plant a new, smaller capacity version of the Testastretta 11 Degree used in the Multi and Diavel, with four valves per cylinder, compared to my two. A different beast altogether from my past experience. Amazing what a couple of little steel plungers in a cylinder can do. It also has the interesting advantage/disadvantage (depending on your view on this) of featuring the wet clutch which promises to be a full kilo lighter than the traditional dry clutch system. You're either a fan or not, but straying from the Ducati dry clutch is like messing with mother nature, but it could mean a wider appeal to the general public as I know people just hear the dry clutch and think your bike is broken without really understanding what it really does.

 The 848 also features the schnizz in Marzocchi forks up front, but gets the Sachs down back, hinting at the possibility of an EVO SP Corse fully spec'd model in future maybe(?). She comes stock with Pirelli's of course (Diablo Rosso Corsa) In my mind the 848 promises to tame its big brother demonic doppelganger - the S - just enough to make it quite a bit more practical. A Streetfighter S with a more powerful engine and yet lighter dry weight (155Bhp & 167kgs)  is overkill for a daily ride, but the 848 would be a truck load of fun everyday and something that more people are going to find easier to ride, and I bet that is what Ducati is really hoping for with this beat.  Rapid Bikes issue #68 2011 agree and say the bike 'will further widen the appeal with enhanced usability' and bikesales.com.au writer Kevin Ash seems to conclude that the 848 is a pretty good package all up. The price point will be the telling sign, at a yet unconfirmed $18,990 AUD making it a pretty competitive, it would be my choice of mid weight sportsbike over anything Japanese or a Trumpy Speed Triple. I was told by Ducati city that it's due to land late Jan early Feb in Melbourne, can't wait to go for a test ride. I'll take a black one if your giving any away, thanks.
Images courtesy http://www.streetfighter.ducati.com