Whether or not you believe racing improves streetbike product, there’s a familiar trickle-down effect from bikes made to race down to bikes made to sell. Following the reveal of the Ducati Panigale V4 R (read the WorldSBK, Meet Ducati’s 2023 Panigale V4 R Superbike article), it was just a matter of time before the rest of the V4 clan debuted.
Editor’s note: We’ve reported on the dynamic of the Streetfighter V4 during the 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S MC Commute Review and 2020 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S MC Commute Review articles and videos.
World, meet the Ducati Streetfighter V4, Streetfighter V4 S, and Streetfighter V4 SP2. For starters, nice to see the apt and inspiring Streetfighter name live on (looking at you, BMW M 1000 R Roadster).
If you’ve been following all things V4, you’ll be pleasantly unsurprised by some new touches. At its heart, the Streetfighters’ “Fight Formula” is unchanged: Ducati puts all the ungodly track power it can muster in streetable naked bike form; then it shaves off a few horsepower, perhaps for irony or simply to assuage its Italian conscience.
The 2023 Streetfighter V4 press release clocked in at exactly 1,983 words, only 174 fewer words than the Panigale V4 R release. Much of it was adopted word for word. While that doesn’t say much from a literary standpoint, it says plenty about what you get with your new Streetfighter V4.
Three major developments stand out. Chassis geometry is upgraded, with the V4 S and V4 SP2 getting semi-active suspension along with a slightly larger fuel tank across all V4 variants. Electronics packages and displays are upgraded as well, with improved software and calibration to harness the upgraded Desmosedici Stradale engine. Finally, they all get slightly upgraded livery and bits of fairing.
Across the board, Streetfighter V4s get a slightly higher (0.16 inch/4mm) swingarm pivot, putting a bit more weight toward the front. The V4 S semi-active Öhlins suspension comes with Smart EC 2.0 interface, along with lighter forged aluminum alloy Marchesini wheels. A reshaped 4.5-gallon fuel tank (previously 4.2 gallons) is said to offer better support during braking and cornering.
Improved electronics are part of the deal, with the base V4 getting its own brand-new Wet Riding mode. Otherwise, between the Full, High, Medium, and Low riding modes, Full and Low are newly developed, with the Full mode free from any torque limitations except in first gear. Low mode limits things to 165 hp in low-grip environments.
Additionally, like the Panigale, the new Engine Braking Control (EBC) EVO2 software works to keep contact patches rolling during corner entry and braking. Ducati Quick Shifting (DQS) has likewise been improved, in both partial and full throttle acceleration.
Following 2022′s lead, there are two small winglets on the 2023 iteration, with very minor design changes to the fascia and bodywork. Colors available are Ducati Red, plus the new Grey and Nero livery exclusive to the V4 S.
It goes without saying that all this hurtles through time and space due to the 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale V-4 engine, capable of 208 hp at 13,000 rpm. The exhaust system has been slightly revised with a larger-diameter silencer outlet for less back pressure.
As for that limited-edition V4 SP2, it comes in Winter Test livery, which closely follows the Grey/Nero colors. It also gets an STM-EVO dry clutch complete with carbon cover to show off the rattly bits. Five split-spoke carbon rims, Brembo Stylema R front brakes, adjustable footpegs, and carbon fiber front mudguards and block-off plates for mirrors and license plate complete the package.
The Streetfighter V4 and V4 S start off at $22,095 and $27,595 MSRP, respectively. The Streetfighter V4 SP2 starts at $37,395 MSRP.