Taking off I suddenly feel like I’m sitting on top of the front wheel and am turning the bars from vertically under me instead of in front. It’s a bit strange but you quickly get used to it. The bike hates being in traffic. The throttle off idle is snatchy and it hunts if held flat under 4K RPM. There’s not much sensation of torque under 4K, which is unusual for a twin but it wakes up significantly beyond that. The show wraps up quickly after about 9K RPM so the powerband is fairly short and you’ll need to work the gearbox on this bike to extract optimal performance, like a supersports.
The handling is sweet though. The racy riding position and excellent forks give fantastic feel for the front end, the best out of all the bikes I’ve tested. It’s a really front-endy bike. This is consistent with its very aggressive front end look where the whole bike is slanted forward. The bike turns really easily and because you feel like you’re holding onto the fork tubes directly, it can feel a bit alarming as the front tyre bites, pivots and bounces during the turn. I suspect you just get used to this and it will feel completely natural. For someone who rides a streetfighter regularly, all other bikes must seem to suffer a serious lack of front end feel! Change of direction is almost unsettlingly quick but putting a few corners together on the streetfighter is very enjoyable as you lean into corners effortlessly and power out of them strongly if you get the gear selection right. One surprising shortcoming is the ground clearance. I managed to grind my boot on the floor twice during just normal riding on not especially tight corners. I suspect I would regularly scrape the pegs on a tight road like MacPass or Mount Kiera. I haven’t scraped hard parts on a bike for so long that this appears a serious shortcoming to me though may not be as bad as it sounds once you get used to it.
The suspension is firm but not uncomfortable. The front, especially is extremely communicative, providing an exciting and confidence inspiring ride.
What else? Clocks – full digital monochrome, tiny and a bit hard to read. At least they don’t get in the way of the view ahead, which is excellent. It has traction control. Didn’t play around with it at all. Probably works well. Ducati performance electronics are usually well regarded.
The under seat toolkit consists of a single allen key. This signifies either Ducati’s amazing confidence in it’s product or an intimate knowledge of its customers. I suspect it’s the latter.
The V-twin is very well matched with the triples and the one you pick out of these 3 will say more about you than it would about the bike.
The MV for Flashy McHoon, the MT for Hoony McScrooge and the Ducati for Snobby McTwin. Which one are you?
I then rode some Big Bore Nakeds >>