Monday, June 4, 2012

Ducati Streetfighter 848 - first impressions and flickr gallery

I had an opportunity to take the 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 out for a blast over the weekend, thanks to the guys at Ducati City Melbourne. What an awesome machine. Had a good hour to get a feel for what this bike is all about and shoot a pretty damn cool flickr gallery if I do say so myself.
The yellow is a tad yellow for my liking but I warmed to it enough, this is an aggressive little beast that'll whip you back in your chair pretty hard, so the bumble bee theme kinda just fit. I got a pretty good feel for it, some tight ugly traffic getting out of the city, then out onto the freeway to open it up a bit and then down through the Boulevard to see how it felt in the twisties, so not a complete 'living with it' review like I got with the Multistrada but a good enough to know thatsadly, it's not a bike for me. For starters, it's just too small for me. I felt like a stick insect wrapping myself around a twig, all legs and arms everywhere knees up to high, arms raked over the bars, wrists twisted down. It's really quite a small compact bike and maybe for commuting short distances I could deal, or if I had so much cash I was able to keep a track bike, but then I'd probably go all out mental and want a Panigale 1199S anyway.

 

 Whining aside it's a HOOT to ride. Quick and quiet, smooth and powerful (sort of in a 850cc kinda way) and in a short tough package that steers really quickly and accurately, if I was 20 years younger and had one of these I'd probably be a different peson today. A dead person maybe? Liquid cooled and a wet clutch though... leads me to this conclusion.... Wrapping on the throttle hard it feels like a mid-weight Jap sportsbike rather than a Ducati twin. I am going to be in so much trouble for saying that, but it did. There isn't the mid range thump of a Hyper or Multi (I know, it's an 850cc) and to me it just felt more like a jap sportsbike or sport naked than a Duc. It winds on beautifully and so smoothly perhaps that is where the illusion comes from.

The good news is that the free revving little Desmodromic L Twin has four valves per cylinder and it performs like it, it is by no means a slow bike at all. It is really quick and will fling you past every speed limit at great haste if you want it to. But cranking out 132bhp (97kw) and weighing in at only 169kg it way out powers the Hyper on paper (same weight but only 94bhp) but just doesn't feel as quick. Torque, must need more torque. And noise, needs some more noise. Speaking of noise, there is an almighty induction bark that thumps out hard at your lid as you progress through the higher rev range, reminiscent of the WaspWorks PUK I just upgraded on my Hyper. I wouldn't mind betting there is some pretty big filters in that airbox or maybe some stacks and pods? It certainly breathes well and the sound is very pleasing as you approach speed limits in a very quick manner. That'd be the other problem owning one of these, you'd want to hear all of that noise all the time, and I don't know if my license could handle it. May as well chop it up now. Check out the technical specs at the Ducati City website, and if you're in the market, go ask for Jamie and tell him Dan sent you.

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