Thankfully, the engine mapping on the SFV4 is spot on, every degree of twist on the throttle resulting in progressive and linear power delivery. The engine was benign when commuting around town, driving in carparks (in first gear) aided by a friendly clutch that had hardly any clutch “grab”. However, twist the grip in anger, and holy moly – what a power plant!
The bike’s superb handling matches the mega soundtrack, despite the V4 engine sounding more like a twin, and this bike has what seems like the loudest stock exhaust since the Tuono V4.
Living with the SFV4 was no hardship, especially compared to past Ducatis. Unlike the predecessor V-twins, the V4 gave out little heat. No longer were our legs scorched, the full-sized radiator doing its job to keep the temperature gauge at the middle mark. Really impressive considering the SFV4 is Euro V compliant now. Our only gripe here is that it’s thirsty and you won’t get more than 200km out of a 16-litre tankful.
The dashboard, the same 5.0-inch TFT colour screen from the Panigale V4 is slickly-presented, and while there’s the inevitable menu-trawling needed, it’s all quite logical and easy to use.
But to answer the S$9,000 question: Is it worth it to jump up to the ‘S’ model?
The conventional suspension isn’t as magically convenient as the active Ohlins units on the V4 S obviously, but it’s still very real-world usable. The biggest plus for the latter is convenience – you can make all the suspension adjustments without leaving the seat. The forged wheels are nice to have, but would really only make a big difference if you’re pushing on track, in which case you should have gotten a Panigale V4.
Along those lines, track pundits would say the electronic suspension is superfluous and comes with a weight penalty, and they’d change out the suspension to track-focused farkling anyway.
Logically, if you’re spending S$65k on a motorcycle, we’d say the 14 percent premium isn’t worth it. But if you’re spending that kind of money on a motorcycle to begin with, logic might not come into it.
Conversely, Ducati sells more “S” variants across its model range as opposed to base models. Other manufacturers like Triumph have picked up on this, now only offering the Speed Triple in top RS spec.
Would the S$9k gulf between base and S models be a consideration over a vehicle loan tenure of six years? We think for most, emotion would win over logic, and the answer would be to pay up.
With all that in mind, the S upgrades make a fearsomely competent bike even more so, but you really can’t go wrong even with the regular SFV4. While it has a big price tag, it’s clear the Streetfighter V4 is the best supernaked on the market. Its blend of visual, aural and experiential euphoria is something the bike delivered each time we rode it.
Perhaps the last piece of advice we can give is: If you have trouble convincing “The Powers That Be” you need to own a Ducati SFV4, maybe saying you saved S$9,000 on it would help you own the king of streetfighters while avoiding another type of fight (you’d lose) altogether.
|Power||208hp at 12750rpm|
|Torque||123Nm at 9500rpm|
|Gearbox||6-speed manual with up/down quickshifter|
|Price||$66,900 OTR (with COE, road tax, sans insurance)|
|Verdict||Easy to live with as an every day bike, possesses superlative performance to keep up with the latest sportsbikes on the track, a truly all-in-one bike, off-roading aside|