The Ducati Streetfighter V4 and VS are utterly bonkers motorcycles. Both make north of 200bhp and weigh under 200kg, offering up staggering straight-line performance you can’t possibly experience on the road for longer than a second or two without risking an appointment with the local court.
Thankfully, Ducati is happy to reign in the lunacy of its V4 bikes, offering various ‘V2’-badged underlings with more road-exploitable performance. Already sold under this banner are V-twin versions of the Panigale and Multistrada, and now there’s a Streetfighter V2.
Unlike the Panigale and Multistrada, however, which replace recent models, there hasn’t been a twin-cylinder Streetfighter in years. There is once more, and it’s best thought of as a Panigale V2 sans fairings and clip-ons, the latter replaced with wide and high handlebars.
That starting point does mean that this kinder, gentler Streetfighter still isn’t a bike for the faint-hearted. Its 955cc ‘Superquadro’ V-twin develops 151bhp and 10,750rpm, with peak torque of 75bhp felt from 9,000 onwards. Oh, and that engine is tasked with propelling a bike that weighs just 178kg (dry). This will not be a slow bike.
You get the full suite of gadgets lifted straight from the Panigale V2, including a six-axis IMU (inertial measurement unit), cornering ABS, traction control, wheelie control and much more besides. The Streetfighter gets a slightly longer swingarm than its fared cousin, along with 43mm Showa BPF front forks and a Sachs shock at the back.
In terms of styling, it’s much like the V4, including a V-shaped daytime running light Ducati says is “inspired by the famous grin of the Joker”. Yes, really. It’s a cleaner-looking bike, though, thanks to the omission of the V4’s downforce-generating side blades.
If you still want those and the stonking V4 engine, you might be more interested in the other bike released by the Italian company this week - the Streetfighter V4 SP. It gets the same punchy engine as the V4, but with carbon fibre wheels, trick Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 adaptive suspension and brakes pinched from the extremely expensive V4 Superleggera.
The Streetfighter V4 SP isn’t anything like as spendy as that bike, but at £28,495, it’s not what you’d call cheap, either. There’s no UK price available for the Streetfighter V2 just yet, but should be around £12,000 - 13,000. Which one will it be for you?