I am speed, desire, and absolute insanity. I am the 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S, and I am the bike you lust after. It’s a combination of all that is good about the Panigale V4 S, wrapped up in a slightly more practical package.
Better still, it maintains that red hot Italian passion. The 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is the pinnacle when it comes to road registered street bikes. The raw magical numbers when you take a moment to digest them; 153kW (208hp) with a wet weight of 199kg.
That’s enough to peak any keen motorcyclist’s interest and most probably a few hormones for that matter. And whether you call it a naked bike, or a street bike, one thing is clear, the 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is a class leader.
From its sleek muscular looks and the wings that protrude from the front of the bike, the Streetfighter presents as a pure athlete. There are no unnecessary bulges or additions. It’s streamlined, and built for aerodynamics and speed.
Its beating heart is a Desmosedici Stradale liquid-cooled 90-degree V4 engine, with a rearward rotating crankshaft. It’s a powerplant that features four desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder.
But perhaps the pure beauty of this package is its practicality for everyday riding. The Streetfighter V4 S, with its more upright and relaxed riding position, allows the rider to navigate the everyday on a well behaved bike, when needed.
It’s almost as if it has a Jekyll and Hyde persona. Is that what makes it truly memorable and adrenalin pumping though? Absolutely not. Crank the right wrist and the Streetfighter turns boys into men.
Hold on and enjoy the ride as you will soon be addicted to the heart pumping performance this thing has on tap. With a sophisticated cutting edge electronics suite, there is pretty much an adjustable setting for just about everything on the bike.
The 2021 Ducat Streetfighter V4 S comes fitted standard with Ducati power launch, quick shift, full LED lighting, Sachs steering damping and auto on/off indicators. And then there’s the safety technology.
This includes selectable riding modes, power modes, a Bosch ABS cornering system, traction and wheelie control, slide control, engine brake control and auto tyre calibration. There’s a tonne of tech, but you’ll also need time to understand it.
Once you have grasped its capabilities though, you’ll be able to get the most out of it, either on the road, or at the track. All the options can be selected and adjusted via a 5.0-inch colour TFT display too.
On the plus side, despite all the technology, the display is pretty easy to navigate, and you can try out different settings while you’re out on a ride. You can of course get it all sorted in the garage ahead of time.
Climbing aboard the Streetfighter V4 S is pure joy. It feels light and nimble, and thanks to its more upright seating position, the Streetfighter V4 S will make you want to ride for endless kilometres.
Be prepared for one of the few shortfalls this bike has though – its fuel economy. We found ourselves struggling to get 200km out of its 16-litre tank, although we’re the first to admit we were enjoying the Streetfighter to the fullest of its performance capabilities.
Handling and grip are supreme. Much like the Panigale V4 S, the Streetfighter V4 S can make average riders look much better. It has so much grip, it sticks to the bitumen like superglue. That’s thanks in part to the super sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres.
They work beautifully when combined with the fully adjustable BPF forks that feature 43mm chromed inner tubes and offer 120mm of travel on the front of the bike. At the rear, a fully adjustable Sachs unit enables 130mm travel.
For us, even playing with the settings, we found the rear to be quite firm and combined with the slightly shorter wheelbase, it was a little bumpy when riding enthusiastically.
Braking front and rear, as you might expect of a bike with this pedigree, is responsive, with good feel. The front is nice and aggressive, and the rear provided good bite and confidence, with two 330mm floating discs up front.
These are paired with radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema 4-piston callipers, topped off with Bosch ABS cornering. On the rear, a single 245mm disc setup sports a 2-piston calliper, and the same ABS system.
Doing most of our riding around country roads on the Central Coast, the combination is an absolute pleasure. We spent most of our time testing Sport mode, which allowed full power, with a slightly less twitchy throttle than say race mode.
Cornering is a delight and this bike offered more confidence each time we hit the apex, inspiring us to push a little bit harder each time. The Streetfighter also plays nice when it needs to ride slowly, and doesn’t feel like a caged beast.
It’s hard to remain patient and calm each time you hit a township though, as you just want to cut loose, and open it up. Is the Streetfighter too much bike for the road? Nah, it just takes a little restraint and requires the rider to exercise a little responsibility.
This is a bike we wish every motorcyclist could experience, because it is phenomenal. Without question, the Streetfighter V4 S is one of our favourite bikes this year, but it also has the capability to cost you your licence.
Ridden sensibly and within the realms of the riders ability, it’s a beautiful bike, delivering adrenalin pumping performance. It has a pedigree built on a rich history and embraces all that is Italian motorcycle passion. It will need all these attributes though to take the fight to Triumph’s new Speed Triple 1200’s and Yamaha’s revised MT-10 range.
The 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S is priced from $34,200 ride away, and is backed by a 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty. It will soon be joined in the Streetfighter family by the entry level V2 and premium V4 SP in 2022.
Our test bike was provided by Ducati Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S, contact your local Ducati dealer.