Ducati’s much-rumoured entry into the "street fighter" market (think Triumph Speed Triple, Aprilia Tuono, etc. — basically naked sport bikes) was proven to be much more than a rumour today at the big Milan bike show.
The bike is based closely on the outgoing 1098 (more on that below), and unlike many other slightly homogenized sport bike-to-street fighter machines, it pretty much keeps the high-end sports stuff intact while changing riding position and losing the sports fairing.
There are two models planned, called Streetfighter and Streetfighter S. Ducati says both use the identical frame and engine to the 1098 including the single-side swingarm, meaning something that handles pretty well and whacks out about 155 horsepower.
We haven’t seen detailed specs yet, but rumour has the wheelbase a touch longer than the 1098’s; likely an attempt to reduce the wheelie tendency created by the more upright and weight-rearward riding position. The ‘S’ model is a bit lighter, and features forged Marchesini wheels and Ohlins suspension, plus race-level electronics such as traction control and on-board data acquisition system.
The traction control system modifies engine output in response to wheelspin, and features eight settings to allow the rider to fine-tune his bike’s (mis)behaviour to suit the mood of the moment (and rider ability, of course). The data acquisition system can store and retrieve various bits of data from track sessions or a road trip, and that’s about all we know about it at this point.
No fairing, dual mufflers, and of course a more upright riding position distinguish the looks of the Streetfighters.
The 1098 on which the new model is based is being replaced by the 1198, basically a slightly over-bored version of the two-year old flagship sport model. It of course comes with the same trick electronics, and finds its extra displacement through both a bigger bore and longer stroke.
A new, more precise casting technique has allowed the engine to be a bit lighter, contributing to a two-kg drop in overall claimed weight.
The rest of the bike is identical to the 1098.