Streetfighter designs reveal more than stripped 1098

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We’ve made no secret of our dislike for the generic design of the Ducati 1198 and it predecessor, the 1098. But we do like the Ducati Streetfighter. Ignore, for a second, the uninspired headlight and focus instead of the aggressive profile, forward hulking mass of the engine and tank and the simplicity of the rear end. These designs, for the first time, reveal the process that went into the Streetfighter’s design.
While much of the bike’s look was defined by stripping the fairing from
the 1098, what remained had to express emotion and intent. Viewed
from above, the Streetfighter strikes a very slim profile, with nearly all its visual weight contained within the trellis frame’s
perimeter. From the side, the headlight creates a continuous line
sloping down from the tank and pointing at the ground close in front of
the wheel; this defines the aggressively canted-forward stance. This is
continued back through the seat and tail and is reflected in the angle
of the shotgun pipes. Also note how the lower cowl mimics this line
from a different angle, creating an effect where the body work appears
to scoop the front wheel, à la the gorgeous 2002 Yamaha R1.

Ducati and Streetfighter designer Damien Basset are clearly proud of
the low, right, rear 3/4 angle, using it in many of their press
materials and promotional shots. This angle emphasizes not only that defining and downward sloping line, but also interrupts it with the
horizontal bars and emphasizes engineering features like the
single-sided swingarm, shotgun pipes, v-twin engine and prominently
displays the trellis frame. It also emphasizes the large rear tire,
creating a slimming effect as the eye tracks forward.

Thanks to MC24 for the images.

  • Design Ronin

    Like they say, taste (/beauty) is in the eye of the beholder. To me, the Japanese are making bikes that look as good, if not better these days. Duc has lost its way….. yet again.

  • geonerd

    as i’ve said previously, i’m not a fan of the faux streetfighter thing. but i will admit, it’s a stunning bike to look at and despite its italian DNA, red is not its color. black, or a dark version would be the way to go. for sho. bronze or red frame. che bella machina! but still a poser.

  • Frank

    Not a fan of the Streetfighter. Saw it at the New York M/C Show and my impression was that it looked cluttered, jumbled and confused. Too much DNA from the 1098. I think Ducati got it right with the Hypermotard and the new Monster, they should leave it at that. No need for another segment bike, particularly at that price point.

    Of course they probably can’t let the shareholders/marketing/accounting types feel like they’re missing a market niche..

  • Frank

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I was a big fan of the 999 so maybe I’m not qualified to comment on this design…

  • Keith

    I thought they did away with the SuperSports because they had to may niche models? I say stick with the Monsters with a 1098 heartbeat. If somebody wants to SF that, then power to them. Cafe Racers and Streetfighters are meant to be built and not bought.

    • geonerd

      i imagine this bike will appeal to the guy who buys pre-worn designer jeans for $400. he looks great, but what a tool.

      • keith

        …do you think, in that regard, that’ll get some kind of tax credit for building bikes for the retarded?

      • Martin

        I think this bike will appeal to those who have a race suit at home along with the race bike but do not want to kill their backs on their way to work…
        According to the rumors, at least 3 journalists crashed on introduction day in spain…
        better ride with the full suit even on the way to work, hun!

  • will

    I just don’t know what the Streetfighter does that the Monster doesn’t, other than all the numbers being bigger.

  • jack

    the number are bigger so it does more, he bozo!

    • geonerd

      down kitteh.

  • uberbox

    Uninspired Headlamp? Really? Did you not happen to notice that row of LEDs on the bottom and air intakes that mimic the 1098/1198′s face? Pretty cool if you ask me.

    the frame is more pure ducati then the new monster (full exposed trellis), which is likely an indicator of why a new model bike has to be created to fill the S4R niche. The new “Monster” frame is not compatible w/ the current liquid cooled motor.

    Personally,I love the look. very aggressive with lots of interesting detail (or busyness depending on your perception. Plus it has an ass-kicking engine and chassis.

    • Wes

      Actually that is a 1098 frame. We first told you that the new Monster frame wasn’t compatible with liquid-cooleds back in September when we were the first publication in the world to bring you news of what was then called the Ducati Fighter

      Here’s a close up shot of the 1198-mimicking LEDs.

      Here’s our original story on the Ducati Streetfighter.

  • Frank Caballero

    That bike is amazing. It looks like a brutale but better. If you don’t like it, is because you are just another typical sport bike rider.

    • Keith

      Actually most of my bikes pre-date 1960, ranging brit to american to czech to italian. But if typical sport bike riders also are limited by such qualifications then I guess I stand corrected.

  • v

    it looks like there are many parts shared between the 1198 and the streetfighter(swingarm,frame,most of the engine etc) so i think that if it doesn’t fly it’s no biggie for ducati,they had the R&D investment in the 1098 so they probably thought(looking at the growing aftermarket streetfighter market round the world) that they would provide an alternative which would also fill the niche that was left vacant when the s4r/s went out of production.. i quite like the headlight though..but that’s just me..i don’t like the afterthought mirrors but nothing a pair of crg blindsight can’t fix