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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

The title is not meant to be inflammatory, its meant to be a genuine question. I completed my second test ride yesterday, about twenty five miles. Both test rides were on your average South Florida roads, ie combination of city and some mildly curving roads. Not even close to a back road of any sort.

I went for a second test ride because I wanted to fall in love with this bike in person as much as I adore it in photos. For the second time in a row I walked away perplexed. I do not love this bike, at all. I found the ride to be boring to be honest. Contrarian as this may sound, I also believe that out of the box, this is one of the finest motorcycles ever made. The fueling is PERFECT and the engine is incredibly versatile. The fit and finish is very well done and the interface is also very well done. The riding ergos are pretty good albeit the sweep of the bar was just a tad off for me but that's just me.

What I cannot wrap my head around is how boring the power delivery is on this bike. It has ZERO soul which is unusual for a Ducati. The bike builds rpm fairly slowly and then rockets to the moon once it hits about 6.7-7K RPM. Everything from 1-6k RPM was boring, ie the torque curve felt flat. I know that the bike has a few things working for it or against it depending on your frame of mind, ie the counter rotating crank shaft and the decreasing torque maps in the first three gears. I found that even when you're on the boil, the bike builds speed in such a linear fashion that its once again, boring.

So, several questions for you owners and more experienced riders.

1. Have I been spoiled by my KTM 2018 SDR 1290? That bike is positively mental. From 0-130 its a freight train the entire way through. Fueling is excellent. Gas mileage is excellent. I have zero gripes about this bike other than the fact that I simply want to try something else because im fortunate enough to be able to do so.
2. How corked up is the SF? How much does the bike really change once you add a map and an exhaust to the bike? Does the bike fundamentally change? My dealer was honest with me and told me that the bike is a different animal with the akra full system and the associated mapping but he was hesitant to sell it to me seeing as I usually buy a new bike every year. He didn't want to see me take a tsunami sized bath on this one. (my dealer is awesome).
3. I have almost zero experience with inline four cylinder engines except for a few BMW examples on test rides. I've never liked them and always found the about as boring as the SF. My other experience is limited to triple cylinder, V4's and Twins. Once again, am I spoiled by the engine types that i've traditionally ridden?
4. Did I ride this thing wrong? I'm very used to riding the above bikes which means I generally have a very fat torque curve in the middle of the RPM range. Riding a high RPM screamer to me is not something i'm used to, especially since on the V4, the bike starts to vibrate once you enter the torque curve at higher RPM. This led to a very uncomfortable and unusual ride for me. Are you guys riding this bike above 6K rpm ALL the time?

I'd like some objective feedback from owners if possible. I really want to give this bike a whirl but unless I fall in love with it, I cannot buy it.

I knew immediately I would purchase a Tuono after the test ride. The same can be said for the last few Ducati's ive purchased.
 

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Bon Vivant
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I think you nailed it. what's boring to you is just good engineering to others who want a more civilized experience. I grew up on 4 cyl bikes I love them, and although the Duc V4 is more like a paired twin feel to me it has that smoothness and precision that I like about a 4.

I honestly just dont think the SFV4 is the right bike for you. We all get used to the type of ride that we like - I have a buddy who compare everything to a Harley and the better it is the more he hates it. I think he's unhinged but hey it's what floats his boat. You need more lump and more torque, I like the smooth controlled manners. I say look elsewhere.
 

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I love my sfv4, but I also have my hyper1100 to suit my torquey bike needs. I haven’t tuned the sfv4 yet, but as soon as you get it in 5th gear you really feel the increase in power. So I am assuming with the tune and dropping of the power restrictions in gears 1-4 it will feel similar. But it’s not going to be a bump in power down low, same shape curve, just magnified.
 

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i have a 20 SDR... I tried the top mode (race? track?...something) for a while and pretty much loathed it. Now I have it back in street mode and throttle in street and I can stand to ride it again. Only reason I keep that bike in addition to my v4s is because it's comfortable in town. I was going to say I have no "torquey bike needs" but the v4 is hardly a slouch in that department.

Good thing there's a bike for every butt.
 

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The full Akra system makes it a bit more ornery and more “Ducati-like” in my opinion. And even then the engine pull though the rev range is very linear and doesn’t threaten to rip your arms off (until you realise the speed you’re going). In retrospect in standard trim it is extremely smooth and relatively un-intimidating (after coming from a Tuono V4R way back in 2012, then a 1199 followed by a 1299S, amongst others).
But paying a small fortune for the full system to find out you still don’t love it doesn’t make sense!
Sort of like the Multistrada V4 compared to the 1260...
Horses for courses :)

To answer a couple of your other questions.

6K rpm is more than enough for me when “cruising” - I don’t go hunting revs like some people I know. For spirited riding through twisties 6K+ just happens with no drama I feel.

A short ride on a BMW 1000 XR left me bored!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Curently riding
2020 Streetfighter V4S - serious fun
2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260S - fun fun

Kent
 

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That's the exact same feeling I had when putting my 900 Superlight in (temporary) retirement and switching to a Triumph Street Triple.
For it's more a false sense of speed I get with the Triple, it all goes so smooth because the torque comes in extremely linear.
The 900 was full of life in comparison, giving the sense of a bit of extra power. But that shows in the torque curve.

My 2 cents: get a bike that feels fast in the rev range that you intend to ride.
If it's a Ducati Streetfighter you're after, you won't be disappointed with the older generation ;-)
1006543
 

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It's simply a very personal thing to love a bike or not. Exiting/boring will be very different for different persons. Some love it, some feel it's boring.

What need to be said though is that the SFV4 needs to be ridden differently than other bikes in the same category. It revs to 15k.... You can't ride it in low revs and compare it to a 1300 cc twin that hits the wall at 10k. It's simply two very different engine layouts with different characteristics. In spirited rides I'm between 8-12k continuously and there you have all the torque/thrills you'll ever need. If you're comfortable with high rev riding is a personal thing. But low rev riding will never be a strong point of this bike, akra or not. It's really a superbike with bars and should be ridden like one.

The other thing is that the torque decreases with revs if you hold the throttle constant. Very confusing at first and the engine feels weak and boring. But after a while you learn to use the throttle in a different way than you're used to from other bikes. If you want constant torque during acceleration, keep twisting the throttle. Strange, yes, but when adapted to it, the bike feels more alive and more of what you'd expect from a powerful bike like this.

I suppose those things makes it a bike that doesn't suit everyone or get rave reviews everywhere like the Tuono or SDR that are very easy to love from the first go. But I really love it's different character and treating it right, it delivers right on spot for ME, much more than Tuonos and SDR's. (Coming from owning a Tuono 1100 for 4 years and 60 000 miles).

So I'm not saying you're wrong. It doesn't seem to be the bike for you. Keep looking for the bike that gives you that lovely feeling we're all after!
 

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Bon Vivant
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The other thing is that the torque decreases with revs if you hold the throttle constant. Very confusing at first and the engine feels weak and boring. But after a while you learn to use the throttle in a different way than you're used to from other bikes. If you want constant torque during acceleration, keep twisting the throttle. Strange, yes, but when adapted to it, the bike feels more alive and more of what you'd expect from a powerful bike like this.



So I'm not saying you're wrong. It doesn't seem to be the bike for you. Keep looking for the bike that gives you that lovely feeling we're all after!
This ^ is right in my view, but also remember we are used to these big powerful bikes biting our ass so we twist the throttle with caution. you want the bike to accelerate fast? twist the throttle fast - I know, sounds silly, but try it - and be ready!
 

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I have had a 2016 SDR and a 2017 Aprilia Tuono and I now own a very mint 2010 1098 Streetfighter. I liked all of those bikes a lot but the SF is the one I will keep because of very things you are looking for. It's raw, visceral, plenty fast, handles well and just plain fun to ride. The sights and sounds are amazing on this bike. I have no doubt the new V$ is a much much better bike but I have yet to own a bike that has the soul of the original Streetfighter....:)

Streetfighter.JPG
 

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These are the exact reasons I keep my neanderthol tourqe monster 08 hypers around there absolutely MENTAL the tighter the corners the more I spank fellow riders (except my friend on his husky 701) I've ridden the SFV4 your absolutely correct it's like riding an electric powererd bike yes it's beautiful but it has no soul

I'm seriously considering a new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR just because the Aprillia scares the shit outta me for replacement & aftermarket parts cost & availability
 

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For you guys thinking you'll buy a Super Duke RR, where do you plan on getting one? I thought they sold out in 45 mins and only in Europe.

If "soul" is the new term for wonky fueling and sketchy handling now, I've ridden plenty of those bikes and I think I needed a break from that, hence my attraction to the SFV4.
 

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Fwiw i had a 19 Sdr, and once you go OpenFlashTuning or UpMap(Openflash is significantly more precise) the bike will wheelie down low at the crack of a throttle. The SDR is a sport tourer vs my SF.

Stock, 1st gear peaks at 135 whp, 4th about 155 and 5/6th around 182-186. Hitting 5th gear is like a nitrous hit, OFT will give you full power all gears. it's night and day, and honestly the bike i paid for now.
 

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Fwiw i had a 19 Sdr, and once you go OpenFlashTuning or UpMap(Openflash is significantly more precise) the bike will wheelie down low at the crack of a throttle. The SDR is a sport tourer vs my SF.

Stock, 1st gear peaks at 135 whp, 4th about 155 and 5/6th around 182-186. Hitting 5th gear is like a nitrous hit, OFT will give you full power all gears. it's night and day, and honestly the bike i paid for now.
Yep...I had Open Flash Tune on my 16 and it was a night and day difference!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Fwiw i had a 19 Sdr, and once you go OpenFlashTuning or UpMap(Openflash is significantly more precise) the bike will wheelie down low at the crack of a throttle. The SDR is a sport tourer vs my SF.

Stock, 1st gear peaks at 135 whp, 4th about 155 and 5/6th around 182-186. Hitting 5th gear is like a nitrous hit, OFT will give you full power all gears. it's night and day, and honestly the bike i paid for now.
I did quite a bit of work to my 18 SDR. Granted, even in stock format, the bike was pretty well set up, ie the fueling was nice. Things only got better after mapping the bike and adding an intake and other bits and bobs. My 17 Tuono never really got "perfect" even after the OFT flash and addition of a can. Still better, but not as well setup as the SDR.

This is why I was curious as to what could be done with the SF after modification. I never leave my bikes stock and i'm aware of how dramatically they can change. I just wasn't sure how dramatic that modification would be to the SF given how different the whole package feels.

As many have said, perhaps this isn't the bike for how I like to ride bikes. I'm still stubbornly curious lol!
 

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I feel like low RPM torque really nice on a street bike. On a track I'd have no problem running around 9k+, but on the street I want pull down @ 3k. I suppose it depends on where you live, but around here you are doing a good amount of accelerating and decelerating/stopping. High strung race bikes don't really do well in that environment.
 

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Exactly............well put I will say.

I get in a tight canyon with alot of corners & short straights NOTHING can even come close to the acceleration & braking the old air cooled hypers (except that damn husky 701) some of my riding buddy's have R1's & the lot, not a single one of them can come close to how bad I smoke em, hell on one canyon about 10 minutes for me the next guy is at least 2 minutes behind @ the next 'gather everyone up stop' now I will add on the days we hit the really fast canyons (120mph+) I get my ass handed to me on a regular basis (and stay outta jail)
 

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First of all, the V4(s) is a fantastic bike, comfortable, interstellar-fast, easy to ride, great in the bends, so easy to ride fast and it will totally flatter you as a rider. It looks great and are probably if not the best - then one of the best bikes I´ve ever ridden and in many ways a game changer in my opinion. Brakes great, Öhlins is more then great (all different modes) and when it comes to speed, you really need to hold on when the revs go high and beyond. So in sort, a damn good bike, comfortable and stupid fast when you want it to be. Flawless. It´s hard to keep the speeds in some kind of normal way, even when you think or try to - you´re still riding to fast without even trying to.

Still....

I would have wished for a more powerful bottom and midrange (sort of V-twin-ish) and don´t get me wrong, it´s there and it is nothing but slow but I prefer a more powerful midrange instead of chasing revs and let it go into interstellar mode.

One thing to improve that is to apply the UpMap (Mtorque) on it, it REALLY transforms the bike in to the hooligan I thought it was supposed to be out of the box. Before it was more refined, a quick yet very good behaved bike that hardly or nearly, wanted to wheelie with its manners and fantastic electronics. It´s still a great and a fantastic ride, but I wanted to experience the fighter in the bike, give me a giggle, a rush every now and then. Upmap does that. At least for me.

I am very greatful and spoiled to be able to own one of these so I probably should not complain, still I miss my previous bike, a Aprilia Tuono Factory (with a Gabro mapped ECU, simply perfect...) it had a fantastic sound, so much midrange and a top end that was impressive (almost as silly as the V4SF but not quite...)

My point is... hard to say. I wish i kept many of my bikes, I love the twins, I love the V4 engines, not som much of a fan of inline fours or triple, so I stick to the V4 and twin engines. It all depends on how you ride, how you want the bike to feel, what kind of riding you do and so on. I want it to make me feel happy, but a smile on my face and be a bit naughty.

I LOVE my SFV4(s), it´s really like iPhone next to a old Nokia 3310.
Still I want the Aprilia sound and midrange, the punch of a twin on low revs.
The SFV4 is probably a great pick since it´s a bit of both worlds.

If I were to pick another bike I would probably go for the Tuono and try the Super Duke 1290 R as reference.

Either way, you won´t be disappointed with the bike.

Also my absolute best passive accessorie I´ve bought for the bike is heated grips, so nice to have, It can´t be seen, but of great value on cold days, never thought I would fall for that but I guess I just don´t like to be cold or maybe it´s just me getting old.
 
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