DUCATI STREETFIGHTER V2 (2022) IN THE DRIVING REPORT

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First drive on country roads and racetracks

The Streetfighter V2 made its debut on the Monteblanco circuit and a lively country road lap. Ducati wanted to demonstrate what a wide range the new model can cover, and it has succeeded completely.

The Ducati Streetfighter V2 has already taken over the racetrack talents with the basic construction of the super sporty Panigale V2: the 955 Superquadro V2 and the monocoque, which integrates it as a supporting chassis part and in turn serves not only as a steering head support, but also as an airbox. Forks, wheels, brakes and the components of the electronics package are also known from the "small" Panigale.

But because it usually doesn't work well when a super sports car is turned into a naked bike just by removing the fairing and installing a tubular handlebar, the Ducati Streetfighter V2 has been adapted to the new conditions in a number of points. Assuming that the driver sits more upright than on the Panigale V2 and brings less weight to the front, the Ducati technicians constructed a longer swing arm to compensate for this and placed the driver's footrests further forward. The lower rear frame is used for seating comfort; it enables a thicker, padded, wider bench with the same seat height.

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Ducati Streetfighter V2 with 845 mm seat height

Nevertheless, you are enthroned at a lofty 845 millimeters height and that is a good thing, as it becomes clear during the first laps on the Monteblanco racetrack. The driver involuntarily leans flat over the tank; at the entrance to the bend because it wants to put more stress on the front wheel and at the exit because the Superquadro tears heavily in the upper speed range, supported by the shorter secondary ratio compared to the Panigale V2. 

For the racetrack, the sport mode was activated in the standard configuration, the wheelie control is then in level two of four. What it saves you in weight shifting work becomes clear when you put it on level one. Then the front wheel of the Ducati Streetfighter V2 tends to snap up further than desired during the acceleration phases.

While the wheelie control in level two is a suitable option for the sporty, normal driver, the traction control in level three is clearly too defensive on the racetrack. What is more, the reduction in torque made by throttle valve intervention in a deep lean position dilutes the relationship between the position of the throttle grip and the reactions of the rear tire. 

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Sure, with the stricter levels two or even one, you yourself have more responsibility to prevent excessive slides or even highsiders, but it is also easier to meet this responsibility. This even applies to the Pirelli Diablo Rosso 4 series tires, which are not specialized race track tires but bravely withstand the stresses and strains.

Tires, chassis, brakes

"No specialized racing tires" - this formulation not only applies to better grip, it is also about the higher steering precision and clearer feedback that a Pirelli Supercorsa SP or a Dunlop Sportsmart TT offer experience, albeit at the expense of temperature tolerance, comfort and high-speed stability. It is not particularly bold to predict that the Ducati Streetfighter V2's chassis will have enough reserves to take advantage of the potential of such tires.

With the brakes, you can be quite sure, although according to the developers, the pads don't bite as hard as those of the Panigale V2. On the long home straight in Monteblanco, according to the speedometer, you reach around 250 km / h, but you have to remove around 190 of them and downshift four gears for the following right-hand bend. Shortly afterwards, the vehicle accelerates back into fourth gear from a right-hand bend and brakes a tight left-hand bend. 

This is repeated two curves later, only in the other direction. The brakes also take place sharply before the third from last and the last bend of the course, and despite this lap-by-lap recurring load, the front Brembo system of the Ducati Streetfighter V2 did not give way. The pressure point, which is very hard when cold, softened a bit while driving, but then remained constant, and the slightly longer lever path even improved the controllability. The rear wheel brake is also very effective, which you can clearly feel when you try to turn off the rear wheel ABS.

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What can be attributed to the deceleration performance of the accessory winglets, which were only mounted on the racetrack motorcycles, could not be determined. It was not desirable to dismantle them in between, and on the country road loop you naturally stayed well below the speeds at which they generate significant downforce.

Relaxed and sporty on the country road

The country road lap began with a wonderful swing stretching over dozens of kilometers with wide alternating curves before winding closer and closer in the higher part of a hilly area. All in all, a terrain on which the Ducati Streetfighter V2 can dance the Panigale V2, but at least offers a better overview of the game and is less strenuous than any motorcycle with super sporty ergonomics. Relaxed on the wide handlebars and with moderate physical effort, it proves its superiority over motorcycles with a narrower field of application.

Thanks to the modified throttle valve control, the V2 smoothly accelerates. The short-stroke Superquadro is naturally not a torque bull in the lower speed range, as can be seen from the curve shown by Ducati. She is - who is surprised? - Very similar to the curve of the Panigale V2 determined on the MOTORRAD test bench. 

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Nobody should be tempted by the striking increase in torque from 7,000 rpm to underestimate what the 955 offers below - even there it presses over 73 Nm, usually close to 80 Nm, even at the lowest point. A current Monster or a Yamaha MT-09 offer a little more from 5,000 to 7,500, but the 955 still pulls hard enough to accelerate vigorously out of tight corners at moderate speeds. It would also be wrong.

However, there is one thing this Ducati engine does not like either - when the driver turns to full throttle in fourth gear at 2,000 rpm in anticipation of vibration-free pull-through. Whether this is unreasonable, the V2 only hacks indignantly on the drive train. Such shift laziness doesn’t get along well with a two-cylinder with 160 HP liter output, which is better taken care of on a used four-cylinder naked bike with 1,200 or 1,300 cm³.

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CONCLUSION

Within the Ducati model range, the Streetfighter V2 closes a gap between the Monster and the Streetfighter V4. In competition with the competition, it also opens up new possibilities between mid-range Nakeds and the insanely powerful 1000, 1100 and 1200 cc. As an all-round successful motorcycle with a sporty character, it will win over fans in both camps.

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