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Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP First Ride: Racy Doesn’t Even Begin To Cover It

Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP First Ride: Racy Doesn’t Even Begin To Cover It
Hustling the 2022 Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP up a winding ridge in Malibu, I pop my first ever wheelie on a motorcycle. At first, I don’t believe what I’m experiencing—after all, I purposefully set the ride mode to “Street” with the bike’s Ducati Wheelie Control EVO system activated. And the decision seemed wise, given that I had only recently stepped up to the V4 SP from a Streetfighter V2. Doubling the cylinder count adds only 148cc of displacement and bumps power output from the 90 degree Desmosedici Stradale up to an ungodly, untameable, undeniably unnecessary 208 horsepower without actually adding more weight to the frame.
But wheelie control can only do so much, precisely because Ducati manages to tame the V4’s bulk via the copious application of carbon fiber for the wheels and nearly every visible piece of trim. Throw in a lightweight lithium-ion battery and the result? A V4 bike that actually weighs two pounds less than its V2 sibling and delivers exhilaration 100% unsuited to amateurs.
Call the V4 SP obscenely fast if you must, but everyone—amateurs and experts alike—needs to plant their feet firmly on the adjustable pegs before cranking hard on that throttle. And yet, as mind-boggling as straightline power that can lift the nose off the ground at speeds well into the triple digits might seem, actually keeping both wheels firmly and confidently planted during hard cornering reveals Ducati’s mythical engineering magic.
Perfectly comfortable as a daily, the V4 SP can easily snatch breath from lungs off the line and simultaneously invokes that ineffable flow state almost immediately while cornering. On such a bike, the horde of Ducati diehards that only swells larger and larger, year in and year out, suddenly seems slightly less stupefying.



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