Ducati Streetfighter 848: First Ride
There has been a slight revolution underway at Ducati HQ in Bologna and this takes in the adoption of a hydraulically controlled wet clutch system that has dispensed the dry clutches which was staple Ducati fare for the transmission. I must say that having experienced this on the 796 and then on the 795 and now on the Streetfighter, this change is proving sound (literally as well with less clatter!) and meaningful in operation – the shifts are positive yet ultra slick and there are none of the missed neutrals which were so much a bugbear of Ducati vee-twins of the last decade, Even the clutch actuation is easy and not one where you had lopsided arms with the right one all pumped up muscle and the left being just flabby!
After having spent enough time astride the Streetfighter 848 at the Sepang circuit, I realised that it is not one particular thing that really works for the naked middleweight from Italy but the sum of its parts which delights. No doubt the engine has racing pedigree to it and the chassis is supremely balanced for the road, but it’s the entire package which works in such perfect harmony leading to an absolutely enriching experience every time one would straddle the Streetfighter 848.
And that brings me to a rather interesting quandary, which is – why can’t superbikes be as much fun as naked motorcycles? There is nothing quite like the hooliganism that envelopes these minimalist beasts which are always eager to get into a brawl. Honestly, it’s a bit too much too handle at times astride a superbike and its stops being fun then. A superbike will scare your silly even before you swing a leg over it. It’s a known fact that the race replicas are brutal and a mistake could lead to catastrophic results for the rider.