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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I would post my 300 mile first impressions of the bike. I took delivery late Friday and just hit mile 300. 290 miles of back roads and 10 miles of highway (I hate the highway).

My profile: Riding for 30+ years, early 50’s, decent amount of track days, most recent bikes were Hyper 821 and BMW S1000RR. 6 feet tall and 215 pounds wearing just a smile 😊

What I wanted out of this bike: My back cant handle the full on sport bike ergonomics but I miss the sportbike performance. Simply put, I wanted a sportbike with an upright riding position. Please don’t detune it and neuter a perfectly good sport bike. I want to ride the piss out of it on the street and do the occasional track day without having to reconfigure it so I don’t grind a boot down so bad I can see my pinky toe (true story on the Hyper)

Break in Philosophy: What beak in period???!! Break it in the way you would normally ride it. Ride her like a $2 whore. No courtship or cuddling. Just get right to the main event. Break her in like you stole it. Nuff said.

Two bikes in one:
This bike is a Jekyll and Hyde in a good way. I was shocked how easy it was to ride around town at low speeds and putting around. I thought I would be dealing with the standard cranky sportbike low RPM behaviors and have to wind the piss out of it to keep it happy. Not this bike. It’s a pleasure to ride at low speeds and low RPM’s. At first, I was worried that the pussycat I was riding was the “detuned” sportbike I was afraid Ducati would make. Ohhh was I wrong, this cat has claws. Crank up the RPM above 7K and it wakes up. Push her past 9k and its gets [email protected] bonkers. Ludicrous speed bonkers… smoke em if you got em bonkers. But here is the surprising part. It’s not Jekyll OR Hyde its Jekyll AND Hyde. Its not a switch you flip or an RMP powerband you hit to cross over into bonkers. There is a blending of the compliant and the beast. I found myself pushing through turns between 7-11K and the bike was smooth. No on off chop and the wind up to higher RPM’s has surprising pleasant fueling. Normally on these backroad twisties I would keep a lower RPM and have enough torque to muscle trough. Why? Because I had to. My previous bikes got “twitchy” at higher RMPs and the on off throttle was choppy and could upset the suspension. This is not the case with the SF. Now I can choose the hit the turn with low RMP/torque or roll on in higher RPMs without feeling the bike was going to twitch me into an uncomfortable position.

Comfort: Yes, its comfortable for me. I tried to ride from fueling to fueling and stopping only for gas. The low fuel light comes on at 80 miles and the refill will take 2.5 gallons. The seat in nice and comfy. I have spent good money on Corbin and Sargent seats and this is as good as they were. There is no buzz in the handle bars or rearsets. Wind protection is decent at highway speeds. 80MPH at 6K/6th gear. The weather has been 60-70 so I have experienced any heat issues.
Riding modes: I have only spent time in sport and race. At first, I liked sport because it felt more refined. But as I spent more time on the bike I now prefer race. Specifically, because of the lack of twitch factor I explained above. On my Hyper and BMW, I always felt race was just too much of a knife edge for the street. This is not the case for the SF. I have played a little with all the rider control nanny options. But honestly, I have not pushed the bike enough to notice these intervening. I have dialed them in to where I think I want them to be for sport and race, but more time is needed to sort them out.

Does the bike wheelie? [email protected] YES the bike wheelies 😊. But there is a caveat. DWC (Ducati wheelie control) does its job. Really Really well. I have never ridden a bike that you had to fight so hard to loft to front wheel. (Wheelie defined as brining the front tire up to 11-12 o’clock and riding on the balance point) Even if you dial DWC down to #1 its still fights you bigtime. Its like trying to snatch Ronda Rousey’s purse. You may get away with it but its not going to be worth it. Just turn OFF DWC. Simple, now go have fun. FYI you CAN”T turn off any off the nanny functions on the fly. You CAN dial them between 1-8. But you can’t turn them off. You need to go 5 screens deep in the setting menu to turn them off. If you are able to do this while riding it’s a very bad Idea. I have DWC turned it off in Race mode and have it on #2 in Sport. If I feel the need to give the front tire a break. I toggle to race, crack the throttle and up she goes.

So far so good with my purchase. I tried to cover a few things that were not mentioned in the other reviews and my overall opinions. As with everything opinions may vary. Like my grandfather used to say “Opinions are like [email protected]. Everyone stinks but mine”.
 

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I totally know what you mean about the high RPM on off chop which is generally too twitchy for the street. A characteristic of a lot of Ducati’s I’ve own. I also lug and torque my way around when street riding because of this.

I’m so excited that the SF4 is that smooth. Thanks for the review. Now the waiting continues.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Great review Bengi. our riding expectations are identical. And my age and back is in the same boat as well. I still wanted the sport bike handling and agility but couldn’t handle the race-replica ergonomics on the street anymore. I think the SF does an amazing job at being the ludicrous sport bike with handlebar comfort.. what s not to like...
cant wait to get back to my bike so I can continue getting comfortable with her....

enjoy your new bike in good health , looking forward to hearing more in the weeks to come...
 

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Thanks for a great review! And 300 miles already? Even better! I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the piss out of the bike! When do you plan on taking her to the track? :p
 

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Sounds awesome in almost every way (maybe not if you want to use it for all day touring!) but otherwise fits my needs, I do wish the wheelie control was built to allow you to dial in allowing it to wheelie while still on and just set maybe the allowable angle, like how stability control in my car can allow drifting without fully turning it off so it still saves your ass but doesn't ruin the fun!
 

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Excellent review from a fellow V4S owner.
 

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If you set the wheelie control to, say, 2, will the front wheel come up and hover on hard acceleration, or do you actively have to force it to do a wheelie? Or does it just stay planted all the time no matter what?

I’m not much of a wheelie guy, but I’m just curious what the bike will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I’m not a wheelie expert by any means.

Let me make the distinction of clutching up or powering up. I have not played with clutching her up. I wanted to test how the bike powers up and how DWC intervention effects powering up. The last thing I wanted was to clutch her up and having DWC kick in hard and crash the front end to the ground.

Yes if the DWC is dialed down the bike will power wheelie under acceleration. It will loft a little off the pavement and settle back down. To do more than a little power wheelie you have to crank the throttle to get her to loft. Honestly even at DWC #1, I just feel like the bike is not happy and does not want to play nice wheelieing. I feel like you have to fight it to stay up. I don’t have this issues or feeling when its turned off.
 

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If you set the wheelie control to, say, 2, will the front wheel come up and hover on hard acceleration, or do you actively have to force it to do a wheelie? Or does it just stay planted all the time no matter what?

I’m not much of a wheelie guy, but I’m just curious what the bike will do.
Although still breaking in my bike when I rode it last. I did make a couple hard pulls from 3500 to 9500 in race mode (where the anti-wheelie is set at its least aggressive setting by default) and the front wheel did come up off the ground by just rolling on and kind it hovered off the ground about a foot maybe until I let off around 9500 rpm. No clutching needed. If you go in the setting anti-wheelie can be turned off. I am sure it would keep coming up if it were turned off.

Do not know if this is true- another interesting rumor I heard from someone on YouTube reviewing the SF S is that for the 2020 model V4 Panigale(s) and Streetfighter(s). Ducati has changed the swing arm pivot point a bit to assist In getting better drive out of corners which also will help mitigate the bikes tendency to wheelie even more.... Not sure if this is true are not. I do know that when I last rode my buddies V4 Panigale back to back with my bike. His bike when in Race mode with the same default anti-wheelie setting, was a good bit more prone to wanting to wheelie than my bike was. Not grant it I could ride his bike a lot harder as his is broken in and my bike was not so take that with a grain of salt... will be interesting to see when my bike is fully broken in and we can compare both bikes with the anti-wheelie off...
 

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It's interesting reading all these initial reviews and how different the overall impressions are. This reviewer seems to like the bike a lot, but at several points he complains that Ducati tamed it down too much, saying it lacks "bite" and that it just doesn't have the rawness of the V4S Panigale or the old SF. He first mentions that at about the 2:00 mark and then revisits the issue several times throughout the video.

 

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It's interesting reading all these initial reviews and how different the overall impressions are. This reviewer seems to like the bike a lot, but at several points he complains that Ducati tamed it down too much, saying it lacks "bite" and that it just doesn't have the rawness of the V4S Panigale or the old SF. He first mentions that at about the 2:00 mark and then revisits the issue several times throughout the video.

I’m glad that someone is echoing my reviews on YouTube. My seat-of-pants sensation was exactly what this youtuber has stated. When my bike is broken in (200 miles to go) I am going to switch off all electronics and ride her raw. I will then provide a concise update.
 
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Saw that, this probably will be my system once there is an Upmap(tuning) for it available.

What these Dealers want for the Akropovic system and install is RIDICULOUS.. I have had two custom full exhausts (headers, intermediate piping, and Burns mufflers) made for two of my Porsche race cars in the past where there is 6 times the amount of tubing and labor involved for around $5k each system.. both the systems were made from thin wall 321 stainless which isn’t titanium of course . it Took almost 3 to 4 weeks to weld the systems all together. These motorcycle systems could be welded up in a couple days.. u can barely buy the slip on system for that, than install. NO way..

Using the price of the base SF than install a full system at the dealer. The cost to buy and install the full system adds up to almost 45% of the price of the initial cost for the bike.. ????? That’s like buying a $100,000 sports car and putting a $45,000 exhaust on the car. I guess my arms are getting shorter in my older age but that just doesn’t add up.
 

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Saw that, this probably will be my system once there is an Upmap(tuning) for it available.

What these Dealers want for the Akropovic system and install is RIDICULOUS.. I have had two custom full exhausts (headers, intermediate piping, and Burns mufflers) made for two of my Porsche race cars in the past where there is 6 times the amount of tubing and labor involved for around $5k each system.. both the systems were made from thin wall 321 stainless which isn’t titanium of course . it Took almost 3 to 4 weeks to weld the systems all together. These motorcycle systems could be welded up in a couple days.. u can barely buy the slip on system for that, than install. NO way..

Using the price of the base SF than install a full system at the dealer. The cost to buy and install the full system adds up to almost 45% of the price of the initial cost for the bike.. ????? That’s like buying a $100,000 sports car and putting a $45,000 exhaust on the car. I guess my arms are getting shorter in my older age but that just doesn’t add up.
Certain things being sold leave the buyer feeling remorseful and violated, the akropovich for the SF is one such item. I agree 1000% that the pricing is absurd and I also think that the stock header pipes aren’t restrictive, rendering a slip-on like this arrow probably identical in terms of power. What saps the power are the cats, so ditching the collector muffler is where most gains will be obtained. There are plenty of upmaps out there that return the fueling to a decat format and eliminate the exhaust valve error. Has anyone had an arrow? Can the terrible Infantile nuclear fallout warning yellow decal be remove?
 

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Can the terrible Infantile nuclear fallout warning yellow decal be remove?
Lolololol,
i have to agree with you that the stock header pipe are more than capable to make good power with just a slip-on .
the difference in power gained between the dealer Akropovic slip-on system and Full system or just 4 hp. Who knows, the gain of 4 hp more on the full system my be done in tuning holding the slip-on system back to justify extra cost of the Full system.. the tune is on such dealer lock down, one would never know....

cant speak to Arrow systems on any V4 bikes but years ago I had an Arrow system on my Aprilia Mille R And I was very happy with the gains, quality, welds, price, etc. Very reputable company IMO....
 
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