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Ducati Streetfighter 848: First Ride
Aiding the frame is the equally well sorted suspension set-up despite employing somewhat low-spec components than its elder sibling, the 1099 Streetfighter S.Running 43mm fully adjustable Marzocchi upside down forks upfront and a Sachs-provided fully-adjustable monoshock on the rear, these components do a fine job when put to the task and are more than enough to take whatever the road or track has to throw at them. Although the true essence of the 848, as also any other modern day Ducati is its engine, the 849cc vee-twin Testastretta motor with Ducati’s patented Desmodromic valve mechanism is nothing but a scaled down and slightly detuned version of Ducati’s 2011 World Superbike Championship winning machine, the 1198. Pumping out a whopping 132PS of power at 10,000rpm and a solid 93.5Nm of torque at 9,500rpm, the motor packs in enough grunt to keep power-hungry souls satiated.
However, the manner in which all that power and torque is transferred to the rear wheel via the slick six-speed transmission is really the charm of the 849cc motor.Smooth and slick, there is a constant surge of power that keeps coming in throughout the rev range but not in a scary or intimidating manner but more so in a very friendly and hospitable form. It is quite like being treated as a guest at a Japanese spa. Twist the throttle and even as the 848 lurches forward with staggering urgency, it goes about doing it in a highly unruffled manner thanks to the balanced chassis clubbed with well damped suspension and super-sticky Pirelli Diablo Corsa 3 rubber on both ends. Well yes, we do admit that a lot of this soothing and well-behaved character of the 848 is also due to the high-end tech-wizardry that has gone into the motorcycle but hey suddenly I am finding this is a most civilised hooligan bike that ever could be!
For the 848 gets the advanced Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system package which comes with eight different operational modes as well as an option to turn it off completely if you like it wild. The electronics largely control the wheel from spinning out of control and depending upon the mode selected, release limited power to the rear wheel when the throttle is turned wide open. However at the same time, ABS is missing from the 848 Streetfighter, which we believe has been done solely to keep costs under check. However the Brembo-made radial-mounted twin discs upfront and a single disc unit provide assured anchors to scrub off speed and for overall control whatever the situation might be.