All Tests – First test Ducati StreetFighter 848: small but strong – A nice toy for older children

TEST

First test Ducati StreetFighter 848: small but strong

All Tests - First test Ducati StreetFighter 848: small but strong - A nice toy for older children

Three years ago, Ducati launched its Streetfighter, a roadster closely derived from its Superbike 1098. This year, the Reds have adopted the same principle on their 848 … Site was able to test this novelty for 2012 at Ducati, in Bologna.

Contact !

A beautiful toy for older children

Because to consider a Streetfighter (1098 or 848) as something other than a toy for spoiled rotten adult child would be, according to Site, a mistake … No need therefore to protest against the lack of place under the saddle or even the certificate insurance hardly bend against the USB output of the Ducati DDA analysis system (great, another gimmick to make fun!).

However, there is no question of forgiving him for all his shortcomings on this simple argument. The absence of a lug on the crutch, for example, makes it necessary to go too far behind, with the tip of the foot, the end of the lateral. This rather unusual manipulation annoys at first.

On the right side this time and even more annoying: the heat shield of the pots forces the big feet – very numerous among the "djeun’s" that the Streetfighter 848 covets – to shift the heel. Fortunately, the Streetfighter makes up for it with the extra thin size of its tank and its relatively low footrests, accommodating very well the large guibolles..

Raised by 20mm compared to the handlebars of the first Streetfighter of the name, that of the 848 continues to put the test on the wrists, as well as the outside of the palms of the hands because of its drop grips. The motorcyclist’s position on the new Streetfighter therefore remains faithful to the image we have of a Ducati: sporty !

For athletes above all

This feeling is confirmed when starting the beast: the left lever – adjustable like the right one – still requires a grip, despite the presence of an oil bath clutch. The battery and the starter also have to be strong: shaking the two pistons seems difficult, but once started they gallop quickly. !

Two Streetfighter in the catalog in 2012

While the Streetfighter S (18,990 euros with its Öhlins suspensions, Marchesini rims, DTC and DDA, carbon parts in particular) remains in the Ducati 2012 catalog, the standard version of the 1098 roadster disappears at the end of this year. It must be said that at 15,290 euros, the Streetfighter "quite short" would probably have badly lived the arrival in concession of the Streetfighter 848, a bit less powerful certainly but just as effective on the road, originally equipped with the DTC and displayed almost 3000 euros cheaper than the big brother: 12 490 euros exactly.

The L-twin and its two brushed stainless steel silencers therefore announce the program: the sound is deep, serious and captivating. Fortunately, the noise level at low revs is not excessive and will allow you to maintain good relations with your neighbors..

The first engaged, we can slowly release the clutch and set off to attack the small Italian roads! The featherweight of the Streetfighter allows you to quickly take the measure of the machine.

"Yes, the 848 engine is lighter than the 1098, but some parts like the Marzocchi fork, the brake disc crowns or the clutch are heavier", described to Site Giuseppe Caprara, project manager Streetfighter 848.

In the end, the weight of the Streetfighter 848 and that of the "fire" Streetfighter 1098 standard (see box opposite) are perfectly identical: 169 kg dry and 198 kg all full. Suffice to say that the handling of the machine and the maneuvers at a standstill are childish !

Chaining gears is also easy and enjoyable: the gearbox of our model just run in (488 km on the odometer) allows gears to be up and down without retaking the clutch, on condition of course to play skillfully with the throttle control.

The latter also makes it possible to manage the look of the motorcycle to the hair: the Marelli injection and the entire transmission generates very few jolts. In town, however, we regret that the first report is so long and requires you to resume the clutch as soon as traffic becomes denser..

The primary ratio as well as the box are unchanged from the Supersport, but the crown of the rear wheel has three additional teeth on the roadster (42 against 39). With its 35 mm longer swingarm (its wheelbase is 1475 mm, like the Streetfighter 1098), the Streetfighter 848 is therefore a little more accommodating and nervous than the 848 at low speed..

The engine is also very accommodating: it accepts to set off again from 2,500 revolutions on intermediate gears. Nice performance for a sporty twin! To accelerate frankly, it is better, however, to exceed 4000 rpm. And to become the king of standing starts or improve the pickups on the last gear, don’t forget to order the 14 pinion !

Easier than its elder…

During the very first kilometers, the Streetfighter 848 also seduces thanks to its front axle much more neutral than that of its predecessor: "we have deliberately kept the shank angle of the 848 sports car on the roadster because it is more closed than that of the Streetfighter 1098 (24.5 ° vs. 25.6 °) and makes the bike easier at low and medium speeds", confirms Giuseppe Caprara.

In the end, the crossings of villages – including that of Maranello, temple of Ferrari where we only met … Fiat! – are marred only by the heat which quickly seizes the underside of the thighs, despite a pleasantly mild morning temperature.

Still in town, beware of the power of Brembo calipers – and again, these are not the one-piece models! – which do not trigger as soon as the lever is taken, but after half a centimeter of travel. Ducati warned us: this bike is not for beginners !

But even experienced pilots will have to be careful on a daily basis: a pedestrian tumbling down without warning, a car that does not respect a priority, a Vélib ‘that goes out of "its" bus lane … or an overconfidence of the part of the rider himself can very easily lead to a blockage of the front !

… but be careful anyway !

Unfortunately for the somewhat masochistic followers of Streetfighto-boulot-bobo, Ducati was unable to equip its 2012 novelty with ABS: "no, the "Safety Pack" (DTC and ABS, NDLR) is not available on Streetfighter 848", tells us the leader of the project,"simply because we did not have any place to cram the ECU".

Like its big brother and its sporty cousins, the Streetfighgter 848 will therefore require dexterity and restraint in an emergency situation or on slippery surfaces. Easy to say…

On the other hand, compared to the same Streetfighter 1098, Superbike 1098 and "Supersport" 848, the new Ducati model is more comfortable, largely thanks to its suspensions "whose compromise is oriented towards comfort in standard setting", reveals Ducati.

"The rear tire also plays an important role", insists Alessandro Abate, test pilot at Pirelli,"because its new dimension proven in Mondial Supersport of 180/60 instead of the traditional 180/55 offers a better damping thanks to its higher profile".

"At the same time, it offers better sporting skills on the motorcycle", continues the Italian specialist … All in all beneficial! Will this dimension suddenly become the standard of tomorrow? Alessandro assures us that…

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