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Ducati STREETFIGHTER 848 Naked Motorbike Review

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Ducati Streetfighter 848
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike. On one hand the new bike was at best surely only a ‘lesser’ version of the already aging Streetfighter 1098 – a bike that has slipped down the appeal ladder due to its £14,695 cost (Streetfighter S model only for 2012) and overpowering performance.

On the other, even though significantly cheaper than the 1198 version, at £10,121 it’s still much pricier than likely rivals such as Triumph’s Street Triple and MV’s Brutale 920. But then you get to ride a demonstrator and suddenly you’ll be smitten – especially if riding in the twisties, where it’s racing pedigree shines through in its chassis. Couple this with a far more user-friendly engine than the 1098 version and you get a modern, sporty, naked Ducati that works.

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Take the engine; a high performing 849cc V-twin. It’s racing heritage of Testastretta engine with Desmodromic valve actuation, oval inlet manifolds and is nothing else but a smaller version of its still conquering 1198 racing weapon. With a claimed 132bhp and 69ftlb of torque, it’s a potent little beast.

That Testastretta engine is strong. Pull away with a fistful and the bike responds with little clutch action to smooth the V-twin pulses and crank clatter for clean drive. Even with the traction control turned off, the simple action of rolling open the throttle hard isn’t enough to loft the front wheel. But clutch it with revs and 848 becomes a wheelie champion from Italy. The engine feels lazy like Ducati’s of old. It doesn’t tear off in a blaze of revs but rushes forward. It’s deceptive.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Streetfighter 848’s ace card is the perfect balance of chassis and engine. Engine braking complements the rider’s decision to slow down. Brake hard and the chassis doesn’t get fazed; no lifting rear wheel; no serious dive to cause the front end to pirouette around the headstock.

There’s so much feel from the tyres that waiting for that last yard or two to tip in for high corner speed becomes the norm. Not even a deft touch of brakes mid corner fails to upset the bike. The simple matter of raising the height of the one-piece handlebars by 20mm is in answer to Streetfighter 1098 customer feedback and it makes a big difference to rider comfort. It gives a sit-in the saddle riding position rather than being stretched on ye olde torture rack. Overall the rider feels in control from the off.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Take the engine; a high performing 849cc V-twin. It’s racing heritage of Testastretta engine with Desmodromic valve actuation, oval inlet manifolds and is nothing else but a smaller version of its still conquering 1098 racing weapon.

Add to this a battle proven chassis of single-sided swingarm, Brembo radial calipers, fully adjustable Marzocchi USD front forks and Sachs rear shock, and you know the Streetfighter 848 is a sporty little number, in every sense of the word, with upright handlebars. There’s also eight-way adjustable traction control (DTC) and it’s wired up ready to play with a basic data-acquisition (DDA) system to read back throttle position, rpm, speed, gear selection etc. There’s also the connections in place for a Ducati Performance accessory quick shifter to be used.

The Streetfighter 848 also comes with Pirelli Diablo Corsa 3 tyres. Varied compound tyres that are durable but sticky on the edges where it matters. What is different, though, is the fitment of 180/60 profile rear tyre instead of the tried and trusted 180/55. This is a first on any production bike.

Ducati Streetfighter 848 (2011 - current)

Detail Value
New price £10,995
Dealer used prices
£8,030 (2012) - £10,700 (2014)
Private used prices
£7,570 (2012) - £9,630 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 849 cc
Power 132 bhp
Top speed 150 mph
Insurance group 16 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Ducatis are exotic, high-priced performers with iffy reliability records… Sorry, but this is wrong. Ducati’s record level is actually very high and getting better all the time thanks to a big push on build quality. Ducati will, however, always be considered exotic because of its Italian breeding of design flair, beauty, sporting genes and technology.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

There’s quite a good sized chunk of technology about the Streetfighter 848 and at just over £10k we are paying for it. Triumph’s Speed Triple is cheaper and with the two bikes tackling each other on the road will make for interesting reading. Ducati’s are always more expensive, it’s the nature of the beast.

Insurance

Insurance group: 16 of 17

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Model History

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Other Versions

Ducati Streetfighter (1098) – the original bad-boy Streetfighter. 155bhp and 85ftlb of torque make it a formidable weapon even for experienced riders.

Specifications

Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 132 bhp
Max torque 69 ft-lb
Weight 199 kg
Seat height 840 mm
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 128 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 16 of 17
Engine size 849 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled, 8v, Desmo, four-stroke, 90° twin-cylinder. Six gears.
Frame Steel tube trellis
Front suspension adjustment Fully adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Fully adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 320mm disc with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/60 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(2 reviews)

  • Just fun

    sandrodc

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    In two words: love it! It's hard to explain the attraction of Ducatis: they're brutal, unforgiving bikes that demand a lot of commitment but produce so much pleasure in return. If you like that then it's the bike for you, otherwise go get something else. My previous bike was a super fun Monster S4Rs, a real brute that almost killed me a few times. And I guess that's what I like most about the SF848, it still has the rawness and punch you expect from a Ducati but is less extreme. Don't fool yourself though: it's still way more demanding than most other bikes of comparable power and size. Although I love mine I wouldn't think of it as my only bike for city traffic - too damn demanding!!! For fun though, nothing comes close at this range. And I've tried quite a few in the bunch!

    26 October 2013

  • Brill

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    So much fun. Engine is a peach and sounds lush on standard cans; must sound like a spitfire aircraft at full chat with a fruity can added into the mix. Normally I'd have fitted a couple of termies but have resisted....see previous sentence. Handling is top notch.....so easy to drop into corners....I go hunting for the twisties. It's as quick as anything else on the road until a long straight lets the SS bikes make the most of fairing and BHP. But in the real world my 848 is plenty fast enough. Build quality is top notch (its my second Ducati bought new and I'm pretty fussy) OEM tyre choice is great. Wet clutch is better than I was expecting. TC hasn't been needed but reassuring....maybe too much but I haven't been caught out. Can't think of another bike I'd rather have...it's got attitude, looks fab, and draws attention at lights and when parked (probably elsewhere but I'm too busy smiling in my lid to notice). This bike has left my gixxer600 unriden for 3 months-that's how much fun the Duc is. If u buy one u will not be disappointed-see MCN long term report.

    20 June 2013

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Mr.Number

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Mr.Numbersays

more bullsh*t

"In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike". Hmm, may i refer you to your very own Michael Neeves report on the SF1098 which he had for around a 5 months, touring many miles, ibiza ireland included. Link for ease of reference - http://youtu.be/Kc5cDKhiGLQ Why would you not expect great things from the 848 ? Did you not place much trust in Neeveseys report, your very own road tester ? If anything the 848 may well prove to be better than the 1098 as the lower displacement could be for some, more suitable to our roads. Aaaah i get it, i forgot this is a comparison against your beloved triumphs, who you never seem to have a bad word! Youl be telling us how the 675 is better than the new MV next !

20 November 2011 11:27

Mr.Number

User's Badge

Mr.Numbersays

more bullsh*t

"In all honesty, MCN hadn’t expected great things of this bike". Hmm, may i refer you to your very own Michael Neeves report on the SF1098 which he had for around a 5 months, touring many miles, ibiza ireland included. Link for ease of reference - http://youtu.be/Kc5cDKhiGLQ Why would you not expect great things from the 848 ? Did you not place much trust in Neeveseys report, your very own road tester ? If anything the 848 may well prove to be better than the 1098 as the lower displacement could be for some, more suitable to our roads. Aaaah i get it, i forgot this is a comparison against your beloved triumphs, who you never seem to have a bad word! Youl be telling us how the 675 is better than the new MV next !

20 November 2011 11:27

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