2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4/S/SP2/Lamborghini
- A showcase of Ducati’s engineering prowess, aimed at the street
- Menacing looks, flattering ride quality
- Electronic updates for 2023, including a wet ride mode, make it even more approachable
- You may get what you pay for, but you pay a pretty penny
- You pay for the performance at the gas pump too
The pinnacle of Ducati street performance, the Streetfighter V4 family features the best technology Borgo Panigale has to offer. Eye-watering performance meets refinement and usability. It’s the consummate modern Ducati.
Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 is an apex predator—a Panigale V4 stripped of its bodywork, with a handlebar above the top triple clamp and ergonomics designed for attacking the road. With daunting performance numbers and menacing looks, it may seem like a heart attack on two wheels, but its refinement and excellent rider aids make it amazingly approachable. Still, open the throttle and hang on tight. And make sure you’re thinking ahead.
Admittedly, we’re lucky to have the Streetfighter V4 on showroom floors. Ducati’s large-displacement naked bike platform disappeared entirely from its lineup during the twin-cylinder Panigale years, so it was with much anticipation that the name was revived in 2020 and based on the Panigale V4. It has not been a disappointment. Universally acclaimed for marrying blistering performance with rideability, the Desmosedici Stradale-powered Streetfighter is everything the original was not: refined and flattering. With MotoGP roots, decent ergos, and looks to kill, the bike is Ducati’s gift to apex-hunting road riders.
For 2023, the lineup consists of four models: Streetfighter V4, Stretfighter V4 S, Streetfighter V4 SP2, and Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini.
Updates for 2023
As with the flagship Panigale V4, Ducati continually evolves the Streetfighter V4 to keep it at the pointy edge of the field. While 2023′s updates may seem minor, they’re proof that Ducati’s engineers continue to move the needle in terms of performance and safety. This year’s biggest developments are to the electronics and chassis.
On the electronic side, mirroring the changes it made to the 2022 Panigale V4, Ducati updated the power modes (which enable riders to adjust the throttle response and engine output). There’s also a new wet ride mode, should riders wish to tame performance and increase electronic intervention on wet pavement. Additionally, Ducati updated engine brake control (EBC EVO 2) and refined the software for the quickshifter to optimize shifting at partial and full throttle openings. The TFT dash display receives a new graphics treatment, lifted from the 2022 Panigale V4. In an attempt to keep the rider more comfortable on the street, Ducati refined the functionality of the cooling fan, and updated the tank shape.
On the hardware front, the S model joins the SP2 in receiving a lightweight lithium-ion battery as standard. On all models, the swingarm pivot has been positioned 4mm higher to reduce squat under hard acceleration and give the motorcycle more front-end bias to benefit corner entry. The engine mapping has been updated to optimize performance with new, larger silencer openings. Finally, the Streetfighter V4 receives the Panigale’s clutch cover to facilitate the installation of a dry clutch should owners choose.
Pricing And Variants
The 2023 Streetfighter V4 is available in four variants: the base model, up-spec S model, the premium SP2, and a limited-edition Lamborghini model. The base model Streetfighter V4 ($22,095) is available in Ducati Red. The S model is available in Ducati Red ($27,595) and Grey Nero ($27,795). It distinguishes itself with semi-active Öhlins suspension (NIX30 upside-down 43mm fork and TTX36 shock absorber) and forged Marchesini wheels.
The Streetfighter V4 SP2 ($37,995) is a premium model that comes in a numbered series. In addition to the special winter test livery, the SP2 features carbon fiber winglets, a carbon fiber mudguard, a carbon fiber license plate holder, and carbon fiber wheels that are 3.1 pounds lighter than the S models’ forged aluminum rims. Other top-end components include Brembo Stylema R front brake calipers and billet aluminum rearsets. It also has Öhlins suspension that has been lifted from the Panigale. Nostalgic Ducatisti will appreciate the pièce de résistance: a dry clutch that’s sure to send shivers down the spines of all who love the signature rattle of the legendary Desmoquattro and Testastretta-powered superbikes.
The Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini ($68,000) is a collaboration between the two iconic Emilia Romagna brands. The model is limited to 630 numbered units plus an additional 63 units (for $83,000) designated for Lamborghini customers who want to customize their motorcycles to match their car. The Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini was specially redesigned by Centro Stile Ducati to resemble the Lamborghini Huracán STO. A lot more than just flashy bodywork and vibrant Verde Citrea and Arancio Dac livery, the motorcycle drips with premium components, including carbon-fiber bodywork.
The hyper naked lineup is chock full of incredible motorcycles, including the BMW S 1000 R (starting at $13,945) and M 1000 R (starting at $21,345), the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 ($16,199) and Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory 1100 ($19,599), the KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO ($20,399), the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS (from $18,395), plus the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RS ($29,998) and Brutale 1000 RR (from $37,798).
Competition from Japan includes the Kawasaki Z H2 (from $18,500) and the Yamaha MT-10 SP ($17,199). Riders who want—and can afford—such premium, high-performance offerings are spoiled for choice, and the Streetfighter V4 will be at or near the top of many people’s list.
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Streetfighter V4′s 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale engine delivers a claimed 208 hp at 13,000 rpm and 90.4 lb.-ft. of torque. The 90-degree V-4 adopts a crankshaft with its two crankpins set at a 70-degree angle to obtain perfect balance without the need to resort to power-robbing balancing shafts. Like the MotoGP racer upon which it’s based, the engine features a crankshaft that rotates opposite the wheels to counteract their rotational inertia and make the bike easier to turn. It also shares an 81mm bore with the MotoGP bike, as if to underpin the relationship.
Testers say: “It’s a delightful engine to ride at any pace, but a monster if you want it to be. Ducati struck gold in balancing its power characteristics, finding an impressive medium between rowdy performance and rideability.”
The Streetfighter V4′s chassis is based on the pyramidal sheet-aluminum structure Ducati calls a “front frame.” This uses the engine as an integral stressed chassis member for a very light construction, rigid overall in terms of both flex and torsion. The chassis geometry has classic road-going sporty numbers: 58.6-inch wheelbase, 24.5 degrees of steering rake, and 100mm (3.9 inches) of trail.
Testers describe the Streetfighter V4′s handling with superlative expressions like “impeccably planted.” The S model uses semi-active Öhlins NIX 30 forks and TTX 36 rear shock, an Öhlins steering damper, and forged-aluminum Marchesini wheels. The base model uses a manually adjustable 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF), a Sachs monoshock and cast-aluminum five-spoke wheels, and you’d still be hard pressed to describe this version as anything other than nimble.
As one might expect, each tier higher brings with it even more track-focused performance. That culminates in the V4 SP2, with its carbon fiber wheels and performance-tuned suspension that are more at home on the racetrack.
Top-shelf Brembo Stylema brake calipers bring the Streetfighter to a quick halt, aided by seamless intervention of the Cornering ABS EVO system and latest Engine Brake Control (EBC) EVO 2 software. The Brembo Stylema R brakes on SP2 models offer yet another bump in performance, with exceptional braking power that reminds you of the bike’s Panigale V4 SP2 roots.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Desmosedici Stradale engine is renowned for being somewhat thirsty. CW hasn’t tested the 2023 model, however. Still, no one buys a 200-plus horsepower super naked for the sake of frugality, so unimpressive fuel economy probably isn’t going to be a deal breaker.
Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility
With great horsepower comes a lot of heat. However, since the Streetfighter V4 is stripped bare, all that hot air doesn’t get trapped inside the fairing like it does on the Panigale, making for a far more comfortable ride out in the real world. Like the Panigale, it also features rear cylinder bank deactivation to keep the rider as cool as possible.
Our testers say the Streetfighter has “an ergonomic package worthy of all-day comfort.” A long and low reach to the handlebar gives it an aggressive stance, but not so much that it puts weight on the wrists. Even the saddle is pleasant enough for several hundred miles of riding.
Ducati’s latest fuel tank design is intended to better support the rider during braking and cornering, though testers still found it hard to support themselves under aggressive braking, while testing the Panigale V4, which uses the same fuel tank design.
The Power Modes logic developed for the Panigale V4 and V4 S is carried over to the Streetfighter, with dedicated calibrations for the Desmosedici Stradale engine and the “less extreme” riding conditions. There are four engine delivery strategies: Full, High, Medium, and Low, the latter limiting output to “just” 165 hp.
The Streetfighter V4 uses a Bosch 6-axis IMU to manage its rider aids: launch control, wheelie control, traction control, engine brake control, cornering ABS, quickshifter, and slide control. Rider aids are fully adjustable in each of its ride modes, along with the aforementioned power output and throttle response, as well as suspension settings (on models equipped with semi-active suspension). The 5-inch TFT dash has smartphone connectivity and track-friendly features like a data analyzer and available lap timer. The electronics, which were updated for 2023, have been acclaimed since the model’s release in 2020.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Streetfighter V4 has a two-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Our testers have proclaimed: “This may be the most exquisite high-performance naked bike ever made.” This is Ducati doing what Ducati does best: pure performance.
|2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4||2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S||2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP2|
|Engine:||1,103cc liquid-cooled Desmosedici Stradale 90° V-4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 desmodromically actuated valves/cyl.||1,103cc liquid-cooled Desmosedici Stradale 90° V-4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 desmodromically actuated valves/cyl.||1,103cc liquid-cooled Desmosedici Stradale 90° V-4, rearward-rotating crankshaft, 4 desmodromically actuated valves/cyl.|
|Bore x Stroke:||81.0 x 53.5mm||81.0 x 53.5mm||81.0 x 53.5mm|
|Fuel Delivery:||Electronic fuel injection w/ elliptical throttle bodies||Electronic fuel injection w/ elliptical throttle bodies||Electronic fuel injection w/ elliptical throttle bodies|
|Clutch:||Wet, multiplate slipper and self-servo; hydraulically actuated||Wet, multiplate slipper and self-servo; hydraulically actuated||Wet, multiplate slipper and self-servo; hydraulically actuated|
|Frame:||Aluminum alloy||Aluminum alloy||Aluminum alloy|
|Front Suspension:||43mm Showa BPF fork, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel||43mm Öhlins NIX 30 fork, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel||43mm Öhlins NIX 30 fork, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Sachs shock, fully adjustable; 5.1 in. travel||Öhlins TTX 36 shock, electronic compression and rebound adjustable; 5.1 in. travel||Öhlins TTX 36 shock, electronic compression and rebound adjustable; 5.1 in. travel|
|Front Brake:||Brembo Monoblock Stylema 4-piston caliper, dual 330mm discs w/ cornering ABS||Brembo Monoblock Stylema 4-piston caliper, dual 330mm discs w/ cornering ABS||Brembo Monoblock Stylema R 4-piston caliper, dual 330mm discs w/ cornering ABS|
|Rear Brake:||2-piston floating caliper, 245mm disc w/ cornering ABS||2-piston floating caliper, 245mm disc w/ cornering ABS||2-piston floating caliper, 245mm disc w/ cornering ABS|
|Wheels, Front/Rear:||5-spoke light alloy (V4); 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 6.00 in.||3-spoke forged aluminum alloy (V4 S); 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 6.00 in.||5-split -spoke carbon fiber; 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 6.00 in.|
|Tires, Front/Rear:||Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV Corsa; 120/70-17 / 200/60-17||Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV Corsa; 120/70-17 / 200/60-17||Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV Corsa; 120/70-17 / 200/60-17|
|Rake/Trail:||24.5°/4.0 in.||24.5°/4.0 in.||24.5°/4.0 in.|
|Wheelbase:||58.6 in.||58.6 in.||58.6 in.|
|Seat Height:||33.3 in.||33.3 in.||33.3 in.|
|Fuel Capacity:||4.5 gal.||4.5 gal.||4.5 gal.|
|Wet Weight:||444 lb.||434 lb.||433 lb.|