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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up my StreetFighter V4S today and rode the bike for 60 miles around Miami, combined city and freeway riding. This is my first owned Ducati, however I did ride a 916 in the 1990s. I have not ridden a modern Ducati since and I bought this bike because I’ve always admired the design of Ducati’s.

As per my signature, I’ve owned numerous suoerbikes and have been riding since age six (now early 50s). My latest bike, which I still have, is a naked BMW K1300R, it has 173bhp and 101 Lb ft between 8000-9000rpm

Now onto my initial impressions of the SF 4S

Aesthetics - obviously the bike is beautiful, beauty is of course subjective but, this bike looks stunning to my eyes. I was surprised that the rear fender was so terrible and I guess the bikes designer cringed when he was told that DOT homologation requires a tow hitch style fender. Needless to say I ditched that like everyone else does. The front turn signals were not the fault of DOT and Its abysmal that incandescent bulbs are featured on a 2020 motorcycle of this caliber. Changed to LED too. I also bought the passenger seat delete and while I had that installed in advance but, when I arrived to collect the bike I was told that to reinstall the passenger seat it wasn’t just the insertion of the key under the seat, but rather tools are needed to reinstall the passenger seat, I find that really inconvenient and unusual, so I had them remove it and, since I had already paid for it, it’s languishing in a cardboard box and I doubt it will ever be used. I never know when I will have a passenger and certainly can’t plan when my GF or daughters fancy a ride, so its a shame that this aesthetically pleasing part couldn’t have been made to be fitted using the seat latch for fixation.

My first ride was in Sport mode the whole time and I haven’t investigated the software yet.

Riding position - I’m 6ft and 200 lbs, the riding position is excellent and I didn’t feel undue buffeting at the sustained 90 mph I managed on a stretch of freeway today. The bike feels ergonomically natural and comfortable. One weird aspect though is the position of the rear brake. It is unduly high and impossible to leave my foot preemptively hovering over it as I would on other bikes. I hope there’s some type of lever position adjustment, I didn’t notice it today. The seat sent my ass to sleep after less than an hour in the saddle, this hasn’t happened on any other bike...I hope it was just today and I need to get used to the bike or something...

Engine and Power - since I am running her in I only revved to 8k RPM in all gears. My BMW produces around 160hp at this rev range (173bhp @ 9250) and pulls hard, the ducati feels more like a 600 in comparison at equal revs. I was actually quite surprised how lethargic the bike was and wondered if it had inadvertently switched to a lower power mode, but after checking, it was still in sport. There was no front wheel lift at any time, which again seemed odd compared to my bmw. I can only assume that the bike has a kind of powerband? where it comes to life over 8k revs but, that isn’t exactly tractable nor akin to what I’m used to, not just with the bmw but the long list of liter bikes in my signature.

Handling - I was only on public roads but, the bike feels supremely agile and almost telepathic compared to my BMW or previous bikes. I can sense that this bike will be great fun when pushed or on the track.

Brakes - I didn’t use the rear because I couldn’t access it when needed (see above). The fronts don’t feel anything special to be honest. Maybe the pads need to bed in or something but, the bite didn’t seem very decisive and I will investigate further on a longer ride tomorrow.

Engine - I’ve never had a V4 nor even a V2, so my comparison is with a multitude of in-line 4s. I guess for that reason the engine sound and feel will take some getting used to. It certainly doesn’t sing like a straight 4, or maybe the above applies and, above 8k it comes to life?

Suspension - Nothing jumped out at me as being worth stating. The damping and spring rates seemed ok and it doesn’t really feel much different to other bikes I’ve had but, without any electronics. My BMW has electronic rear preload adjustment but the front and rear aren’t electronically damped. Either way, the SF 4S seems fine but not the massive Ohlins leap I was expecting.

Fueling - the bikes feels weird at low-rev initial throttle openings or using throttle blips when pulling away. Its like its fueled incorrectly at very low rpm and seems to get bogged down, requiring a decisive twist of the wrist to emerge from the low rev problematic fueling. This made leaving traffic lights hit and miss. I felt I had to over rev her to get out out of this boggy region in the rev range, which then made me feel like those 20 year olds we see revving at standstill at the lights. The bike stalled twice too, both times sat at lights with the clutch in. The stall felt like it is trying to run too lean.

Quickshift - I’ve had a up gear only (ducati is up and down gears) quick shift on my BMW from new. Again, I’m not sure if I need to adjust something in the Ducati’s electronics but, the shift on it has a weird pause (again compared to the BMW). Its like the software is killing the revs for a fraction of a second too long, the effect being a pause in power that kicks back in smoothly instead of the inertia I’m expecting.

Engine heat - it wasn’t particularly warm in Miami today. Still T-shirt weather but around 76f. The under-seat heat I’ve read about on here was absent on this bike, however, it runs very hot with the fan coming on frequently. I was wearing shorts and heat from the upper engine area was fierce but not unbearable on my bare knees and calves. I’m guessing that with jeans it could be either better or worse, depending if the heat is dissipating around my legs or if it would penetrate into and heat up fabric. I will try tomorrow.

Since this was just the first few hours in the saddle I suspect I will have more to say as I get accustomed to the bike. Right now my only benchmarks are current and past bikes, lets see if the SF 4S forges its own path in the coming days. I’m looking forward to get a couple of hundred miles in tomorrow.

Lincoln Road South Beach Miami



Brickell Miami

 

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New bike, new things to learn. Ride the bike for a month, get the first service out of the way then revisit your post. Let us know what has changed and what has not. My 2002 Aprilia RSV-R changed dramatically after first service (some silly wire had to be cut to open up the engines full potential).
The biggest gripe I have buying a new bike is the no test ride or very limited test rides policy of most dealers. A test ride would have revealed all of the issues you mentioned. Maybe it’s time we boycotted shops that don’t have demonstration bikes on hand. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test ride.
I hope the bike turns out to be your perfect ride, it’s just a shame it doesn’t feel that way right now
 

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I'd be pissed at the stalling. Maybe a software update at first service will iron things out (with this and QS).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, it stalled again today while downshifting Between 1st 2nd towards some lights...it feels like a fueling problem. Probably too lean, emissions BS
 
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Yes, it stalled again today while downshifting Between 1st 2nd towards some lights...it feels like a fueling problem. Probably too lean, emissions BS
Sent you a PM!


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Thanks for the initial review. There is another member who posted his review in the SF section of the forum. He hasn't indicated any stalling issues...
 

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I lost interest when I read about riding in shorts. Skin graphs are super painful and can lead to all kinds of deadly infections that can take you out. That's if the initial fall doesn't send you off to see Jesus.


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It could be you're just not used to this style of engine, and it will feel more natural in time. However, I'm speculating based on what you wrote that at least part of what you're feeling is very likely a direct result of the power limiting which is baked into the Gen 2 Streetfighter's DNA.

As I understand it, this bike is capped at 155 hp unless it's set to race mode. And even in race mode, the Streetfigher remains capped at 155 hp until it reaches 6th gear. That has caused some people to question whether the SFV4 is really a 155 hp bike, since the 208 hp is limited to very specific conditions. Outside those conditions, it has about the same power as a Monster 1200, but with way less torque. The fact that it's so light may make it a challenge to get a good feel for how much power it is really making compared to power limiting, etc.

As for the front wheel not wanting to come up, the counter-rotating crank was specifically implemented to mitigate against that. However, I would have thought the crank design would only really become a factor at high speeds/high revs, so I'm guessing what you're feeling has more to do with the power limiting than it does the crank. And if there's a fueling problem, that isn't helping.

Again, this is just thinking out loud. When a guy who comes from a long history riding inline 4's describes a bike designed to be a STREETfighter as feeling surprisingly lethargic and not very exciting below 8k rpm, it raises some questions about the design...

P.S. The mods really ought to move this thread to the Streetfighter forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Dr Zaius thanks for your comments. I believe that your comments concerning the power available may not be correct. I think that there’s a change to 155 bhp on the lowest setting, whereas sport and race are full power. I have used sport only (for now). Maybe someone else can correct me but that’s my assumption. The bike isn’t fierce, in the way my previous bikes have been, so I assume its by design or that the engine only wakes up in a rev range over 8k (I haven’t ventured their yet due to break in). I’m not a fan of electronics on motorcycles or cars. I understand that for inexperienced riders/drivers that they can avoid calamity and accidents but, unless you’re inexperienced, electronics are just a complete pain in the butt. I usually turn them straight off on any vehicle. I guess I’m old school and have always controlled my bikes with my right wrist instead of some electronics dictating how much power I get from my wrist depending on some screen settings. I find the whole concept unsettling because, as riders, we learn when power will come on stream, how and with which intensity, as we get to know a bike. Thats what its about right? Becoming an expert of your bike and how it handles and delivers power? The fact that electronics can muddle these messages from the bike or dilute/enhance them isn’t sadly for me. Give me a bike, throttle and big engine and I will delve out the power how I see fit.
 
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Congrats on your new Purchase. I took delivery of my SF S 9 days ago. Unfortunately I only had 4 days with the bike so had limited riding opportunities.
in those 4 days I was able to put 300 miles on the bike. I find your comments about the power interesting as I rode with a good buddy of mine for most of those miles who has a V4 Panigale. Although I am breaking my bike in, we did have numerous accelerations up to 9k rpm. and Neither of us noticed a huge advantage between each bike. now of course his bike would fly by me as I would have to hold back for break in but TBH with the different gearing I would say my SF S may have had a small advantage in the lower rpms. I rode his bike as well and it definitely is not slow. Neither do I think the SF to be slow.

i remember back n the late 90’s when I bought my first Ducati, i had the same reactions as yourself to its power delivery and slow reving bike after riding nothing but inline 4’s before that. at first I thought I had made a huge mistake cause the bike felt slow to me until I started riding with buddies and realized this wasn’t the case. The bike was just as quick as other nline 4’s in its category. Maybe this is the case for you, just a thought.

i also have not experienced the stalling between gears either. Hope those are just freak issues or maybe something needs adjusting in the QS system..

agreed n the electronic nannies. This is the first bike I have owned with all these systems. I haven’t ridden the bike hard enough to experience all of it electronics intervening yet.

one thing I noticed in watching the new updated 2020 V4 Panigale reviews is a lot of them have mentioned that the new Panigale‘s power delivery has been toned down from the previous models. I suspect the new SF would be subject to those tuning changes as well. They mentioned it is a slight difference but albeit a noticeable change. I know my buddies V4 Panigale‘s power delivery feels like it almost has two powerbands, pulls pretty hard through the mid range than around 11 or 12krpms it pulls like a beast. the few pulls I did on his bike it felt EXTREMELY strong Up top but similar to my bike down low and mid. Needless to say I was very impresed. I wasn’t able to run my SF that hard through the Rev range but what part of the rev range I have used so far it does feel tamer or like it has a much smoother torque curve. I want to reserve any more comments until I can fully break the bike in and really run the bike hard to compare.
Anyway, congrats on your new purchase. Enjoy in good health...
 

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I can really appreciate a review by an experienced rider who is not one of the Ducati faithful, your impressions and findings have no preconceived ideas or loyalty. I'm not surprised by much of what I'm reading in this review - I've said all along that the panigale engine is a race engine and was designed for track use and is not ideal for street use, and by Ducati's own admission it has been "torque limited" in all but 6th gear meaning it has nowhere near the advertised 205 HP in gears 1-5.

I'm happy to read that you find the handling nimble but coming from that portly BMW I'm not all that surprised about that either. I'm a bit bummed about the poor fueling and stalling, I would have hoped that this bike was better than some of the crap we've all had to put up with in the past.

I do think time will help you appreciate the bike a little more but, we have to look at the source of this information. The fact that you felt nothing from the brakes or suspension coupled with where you ride (Miami which is famous for curvless roads) and what you came from ( a big long BMW with tellelever front suspension and the fact that BMW is known for the worst electronic suspension system ever installed on a motorcycle on the S1000R and RR) and on top of that you've told us a little something about yourself that puts you in a different category of rider - most Ducati faithful would NEVER ride in shorts, I dont care if it's 115 degrees out. Means I have low confidence that your findings, at least with some of your review, would relate to my own.

I do think you are right on about the power delivery, the engine is known not to hit its stride until about 9000RPM and who wants to ride around at over 9k all the time? It makes no sense for this type of bike.
I'm glad you posted a review for all of us but put some gear on and get the bike out of Maimi and into some curves.
 

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I'm almost certain Ducati has publicly stated the SFV4 is torque limited or capped at 155 hp except in race mode in 6th gear, but the company is definitely making it really difficult to find any definitive information on the subject. I get it, Ducati doesn't want to advertise that fact. And the few reviews which are out there so far are pretty spotty.

It will be interesting to see what the professional reviewers have to say once things get back to normal. Of course, we all know to take anything which comes out the professional motorcycle publications with a grain of salt due to them having a serious conflict of interest going on. Not to get off subject, but the fact that publications are dependent on access from the manufacturers, combined with reviewers getting flown to awful places like Corsica or Portugal and wined and dined by the manufacturers, means their conclusions have to be viewed with a degree of skepticism. They often seem to forget 99.9% of the bikes they're reviewing are never going to get used at Mugello, but they're too caught up in the moment and end up treating the street performance aspect almost as an annoyance or an afterthought.

Still, every once in a while one of the reviewers slips up and says what they really think. Once they get around to doing a proper naked bike shootout for 2020, it might be interesting to hear what they have to say about the SFV4's performance on the street.

Question: How many people here would have preferred a Streetfighter based on the 1299 rather than the V4? It certainly would have been possible to do a 180-190hp twin SF with gobs of low-end torque, combined with a frame specifically designed for the street. Instead, it seems Ducati gave us a race bike with a handlebar.
 

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Question: How many people here would have preferred a Streetfighter based on the 1299 rather than the V4? It certainly would have been possible to do a 180-190hp twin SF with gobs of low-end torque, combined with a frame specifically designed for the street. Instead, it seems Ducati gave us a race bike with a handlebar.
[/QUOTE]

yeah I am sure it would be very easy for them to make a v-twin SF, in fact the more it gets asked and talked about eventually it will get back to Ducati and they will do it.

the proof is in the puddin’ with this Gen. 2 SF. I heard numerous times when watching reviews of the V4 Panigale the reviewers stating they hope and cant wait for a SF version of this bike..
I even made sure to let me dealer know that if they make. V4 Streetfighter and it is basically an track bike with handlebars I will be the 1st one to buy one.... he let Ducati know about my request as well as the numerous other customers who made the same comment...
and low and behold , here it is...

thinking back and watching some of the latest 1199 and 1299 reviews I can’t recall a reviewer stating that he can’t wait for the SF version of this bike. Wonder why? I belief it would probably live up to the ”Streetfighter” name with its lower down torque delivery... makes sense to me..

I think a remember one reviewer testing the new V2 Panigale stating that maybe Ducati would make a SF version of that bike and I think that would be amazing. Not sure if the demand is for that version of the bike is higher than the demand for a V4 SF but I guess time will tell..

it sounds like some folks are miffed are disappointed that there is a V4 Streetfighter, that has virtually the exact same performance and character as its V4 brother , which I don’t understand to be honest.. whether the bike has clip-ons or a handlebar, minus a few tweaks, the bikes are going to be very similar. What strange is i have never heard anyone complain or comment on the things that I have heard here about the SF V4, which we all know is virtually the same bike As the Panigale V4 ....
I guess I don’t understand what some of us were hoping for when Ducacti put a handlebar and less fairings on their track special bike that somehow the character was going to be transformed into something totally different than the bike it is virtually identical to...

after all the first video footage That Ducati released of it in action was on a track dragging knees and almost elbows carving corners.. that is exactly the bike I was hoping for and that seems exactly the bike they delivered...

I am also pretty happy that finally there is a naked bike available that isnt heavily watered down from the bike it is based on. I know I have heard tons of complaining from folks about manufacturers doing that..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This seems to explain my seat of the pants sensation, from minute 9 onwards, the SF V4 is compared to other bikes and is 55 hp down at equal Rpm to one competitor

 
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Anyone remember 2 strokes. You ride what you got to it’s best advantage.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can really appreciate a review by an experienced rider who is not one of the Ducati faithful, your impressions and findings have no preconceived ideas or loyalty. I'm not surprised by much of what I'm reading in this review - I've said all along that the panigale engine is a race engine and was designed for track use and is not ideal for street use, and by Ducati's own admission it has been "torque limited" in all but 6th gear meaning it has nowhere near the advertised 205 HP in gears 1-5.

I'm happy to read that you find the handling nimble but coming from that portly BMW I'm not all that surprised about that either. I'm a bit bummed about the poor fueling and stalling, I would have hoped that this bike was better than some of the crap we've all had to put up with in the past.

I do think time will help you appreciate the bike a little more but, we have to look at the source of this information. The fact that you felt nothing from the brakes or suspension coupled with where you ride (Miami which is famous for curvless roads) and what you came from ( a big long BMW with tellelever front suspension and the fact that BMW is known for the worst electronic suspension system ever installed on a motorcycle on the S1000R and RR) and on top of that you've told us a little something about yourself that puts you in a different category of rider - most Ducati faithful would NEVER ride in shorts, I dont care if it's 115 degrees out. Means I have low confidence that your findings, at least with some of your review, would relate to my own.

I do think you are right on about the power delivery, the engine is known not to hit its stride until about 9000RPM and who wants to ride around at over 9k all the time? It makes no sense for this type of bike.
I'm glad you posted a review for all of us but put some gear on and get the bike out of Maimi and into some curves.
Hi, thanks for your comments. Firstly, the bmw can be hustled at tremendous pace and handles fantastically for its wheelbase and size. I have left supersports 600 and 1000s, especially piloted by less experienced riders in the dust. The lack of front end brake-dive makes the bike supremely stable when late braking into corners. This is not a BMW forum so I will leave it there. Suffice to say, the BMW is “much” more powerful than this SF 4S at real world RPM. I would bet it has at least 50hp more and 20lbs more of torque at any rev range between 5 to 8k rpm. I have the BMW in at my home in Europe Since it wasn’t ever sold in the US.

As for my riding gear, I own 2 Arai RX7, schuberth flip up, bell open face, etc. Alpinestar leathers and, when riding fast UK made kevlar reinforced hoodjeans. The fact I wear shorts sometimes doesn’t make me a stereotype of rider, rather someone who has decades of experience riding extremely powerful motorcycles. I could ride my bikes in pijamas so long as I match my lack of physical protection to that particular ride. If I offered my review wearing shorts, merely because I can’t push the bike now anyway due to break-in, then to me thats just fine. I read so much about riders talking about cool electronics, traction control, wheely control, super special leathers, yet motorcycles are controlled by your right wrist, talent as a rider and experience with that particular bike. Leathers and electronics don’t make the rider, experience does.
 
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