The Streetfighter family grows by two with the 2022 V2 and V4 SP models

Image source: Ducati Italy

While no rider would care to admit that a bike is a bit too much for their skill level, it is only sensible that manufacturers cover all bases and offer slimmed-down versions of their flagship models to cater to as broad an audience as possible.

With the arrival of the Panigale V4 superbike, Ducati signalled its intent for the future of its sports bikes, realising that the V-twin had probably been stretched as far as it could be. That didn’t mean, however, that there wasn’t still a huge demand for a Ducati V-twin-engined sports bike, so the Panigale V2 filled that gap.

Image source: Ducati Italy

It’s the same with the Streetfighter V4. It’s an astonishing bike but likely too much for some people. What can’t be discounted, either, is the fact that, to many people, Ducati {is} a V-twin. To own a Ducati with anything else is unthinkable. It’s like Harley Davidson abandoning the V-twin: it would cease to be a real Harley.

So, just as it did with the Panigale, Ducati has released the Streetfighter V2. It uses the 955cc Superquadro engine that does service in the Panigale V2, although it has been slightly re-tuned for use on the Streetfighter. It loses a little power and torque over the Panigale V2 (153bhp and 74.8lb-ft as opposed to 155bhp and 77lb-ft) but gearing has been tweaked to mask this slight drop. If that really bothers you, you can opt for a full titanium Akrapovic exhaust system that adds 7bhp to the tally.

Image source: Ducati Italy

The engine is a stressed member of the chassis, as with most of Ducati’s models, and a new subframe gives rise to the possibility of fitting luggage, perhaps. The swing arm is longer than that on the Panigale V2 and that will help with stability. The suspension remains as on the Panigale V2 – fully adjustable Showa and Sachs at the front and rear respectively – but the settings are completely revised to give a slightly softer ride. Pirelli Diablo Rosso lV tyres are fitted as standard.

Ducati has gone to some lengths to make the bike easier to get the most out of. So, while Brembo M4 calipers are fitted, softer pads are used to be a little more forgiving. The cornering ABS has been re-calibrated to achieve the same end.

Image source: Ducati Italy

Naturally, the riding position is much more relaxed than on the Panigale V2: the pegs are lower, the ‘bars higher and the seat wider.

Electronics are as you would expect: the aforementioned cornering ABS and lean-sensitive traction control, wheelie control, engine braking control and an up and down quick shifter. Three riding modes offer variations in the above and a dedicated power mode.

Image source: Ducati Italy

In case you were worried that the new Streetfighter V2 might lose some of the visual impact of the V4 model, then you need not worry. The V2 version has all the insectoid angularity of the V4 and retains the front winglets, which are claimed to add 27kg (59lbs) or downforce at 264 km/h (because we all go that fast on the road…!)

In summary, this is a Streetfighter that promises to be just as brilliant to ride as the V4 but without the need to be a MotoGP-class rider to get the best out of it. It could just be the best of the pair.

Image source: Ducati Italy

Expect to see the Streetfighter V2 in showrooms in the first quarter of 2022.

Round 2: The Streefighter V4 SP

While you might think that the 205bhp Streefighter V4 was all the bike you could ever possibly want, Ducati would beg to differ. At the same time as the Italian company launched the Streefighter V2, it also took the wraps off the completely bonkers V4 SP, a limited numbers version of the Streetfighter V4S.

Image source: Ducati Italy

The V4 SP is not only lighter than the V4 S, but it is even more track-focussed, if that were possible. The unique paint job and single seat might set it apart visually, but it is the components taken from the Superleggera V4 superbike that really take the V4 SP to the next level.

Image source: Ducati Italy

The engine remains the same, which means 205bhp, but it has shed a further 3kg from the V4 S, meaning an all-up weight of 196kg (432lbs). The main weight reduction comes in the form of five-spoke carbon rims that alone shed 1.4kg along with a whole bunch of inertia, making the bike even sharper at direction changes. Brakes have been uprated to Brembo Stylema R units as fitted to the Superleggera.

Image source: Ducati Italy

Suspension is the Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 electronic system and the clutch is an STM-EVO SBK dry unit to help with aggressive downshifts, while the foot pegs are CNC-machined and adjustable.

Image source: Ducati Italy

If it’s still not light and powerful enough for you, a full titanium Akrapovic exhaust shaves off 6kg and raises power to 217bhp. Should be just about enough!

Image source: Ducati Italy

Being what it is, the V4 SP goes head-to-head with KTM’s limited run 1290 Super Duke RR. That bike sold out within minutes of going on sale so expect the Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP to do exactly the same despite the eye-watering price tag, which is 28,459 English pounds, no SA price having been announced as yet.

Harry has been obsessing about motorbikes for over 45 years, riding them for 38 years and writing and talking about them for 13 years. In that time, he has ridden everything from an Aprilia to a Zundapp, from the 1920s to the 2020s. His favourites are the ones that didn’t break down and leave him stranded. While he loves the convenience of modern bikes, he likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty keeping old bikes running, just as long as it’s not by the roadside! Old enough to know better and young enough not to care, he knows you don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.