Would you spend $12,995 on a Ducati Streetfighter 848?

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You’ve got exactly $12,995 to spend on a new motorcycle and you’re determined that it be a Ducati. Should you buy an 848 Evo or a Streetfighter 848? Pricing on that naked bike has just been released and its identical to its faired sibling despite making less power, less torque and coming with cheaper suspension and brakes. In fact, the only advantage the Streetfighter holds over that 848 is standard traction control. So, is it worth the money?

Update: video.

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The 848 Evo is an outstanding supersport motorcycle. In addition to boasting a superior power-to-weight ratio to a 999R, it comes equipped with:

43mm, USD, fully-adjustable Showa forks.
Fully-adjustable Showa Monoshock.
Brembo Monobloc brake calipers.

Ducati has saved costs on the Streetfigher 848 by fitting it with lower-spec suspension and brakes:

43mm, USD, fully-adjustable Marzocchi forks (from the Monster 1100 Evo)
Fully-adjustable Sachs Monoshock
4-piston, radial Brembo brake calipers

Not privy to the prices Ducati pays its suppliers for parts, we’d struggle to price out the savings of the Streetfighter’s inferior spec. But, if you were shopping as an Average Joe, the 848’s Monobloc calipers would set you back around $1,600. The Streetfighter’s? Only $300 or so. Make no mistake, the Streetfighter comes with appreciably cheaper components.

Having ridden both 848s and the larger Streetfighter, we can also report that the naked bike’s ergonomics don’t follow the traditional recipe of increased comfort, instead sacrificing both that and the faired-bike’s optimal track riding position.

We’re constantly told that we’re assholes for stating obvious truths, so we’ll avoid drawing a conclusion on this one. Let’s let you do that instead. Would you be happy paying an identical price for a bike with inferior specification?

  • Pete

    i’d buy the 848 EVO, sell off the street bodywork, and make a true streetfighter.

    • slowestGSXRever


  • Maxwell

    848EVO are 13,995. The ‘dark’ version was 12,995, which for 2012 will match its glossy painted brothers mspr of 13,995.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler
      • Edward

        Yes, but only if you don’t bother actually to look at the other color options. There isn’t any equivalent discount for the 848 streetfighter dark, however.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

          Wow. Showing the red bike with the $12,995 tag until you hit the rollover, huh? That’s an interesting use of information design…

          • Edward

            I guess it’s no different than every car commercial where they show a fully loaded model and then list the “starting from” price. Somewhat misleading, sure, but unlikely to cause any actual buyer to make a $1,000 mistake.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

              Regardless, the 848EVO is available at $12,995. Just not in red or white.

      • Maxwell

        Yes it does still say that. But once 848SF hit dealers, the 848 will be bumped.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

          So just the black 848EVO will go up to $13,995, with all three color versions costing the same, or will the red and white versions also go up to a new price point as well?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          What an excellent value proposition. Nice to see Ducati doing something positive for its customers.

  • Deep6Dive

    I’d rather buy a Triumph, but if it was evo or sf… evo wins, sell the plastics on ebay, make your own streetfighter.

    • tomwito

      I have been pondering that before they announced this bike.

    • Maxwell

      Not the same. Just as the Street Triple is truly a different bike than the Daytona 675. The sf848 will have different camshafts for better midrange, a different swingarm than the regular 848 (id bet a shorter wheelbase) not to mention 15k mile service intervals opposed to the 848′s 7500mile.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        15K service intervals? Winner.

        • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

          The new SF 848 has a Testastretta 11° engine and wet clutch, similar to the Multistrada 1200′s — not the same as the 848 EVO’s.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        It’s got the same wheelbase, but yeah, the Testastretta 11 does increase valve check intervals (if not service intervals): http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2011/09/ducati-streetfighter-848-smaller-capacity-less-money/

  • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

    whats weirding me out on this one is that I’ve never seen the Ducati Streetfighter. Ever. Not even at the Ducati Dealer in town here.. and Zurich’s really the place where people tend to spend money on their vehicles, so you’d expect one or two hedgefund guys to ride around on one of these… is it possible that these are only made for the US?

    • Mr.Furious

      I saw one. In Shawinigan QC no less. I have to admit it looked and sounded awesome, but the riding position was ridiculous. Definitely for the man who has everything.

    • Ceolwulf

      I saw one in Winnipeg. The sound was glorious. It was an event, a rolling event. I want one rather badly, don’t really care about such trivialities as ergonomics.

      Mind you my soon-to-be-naked FZ1 is nine tenths as good at a quarter the cost. Close enough.

      • resonance

        they have them in Australia, i have seen one in my town

    • aristurtle

      A guy at my work has one; I see it parked in the motorcycle spots on nice days sometimes. I talked to him once, ribbing him for not riding it in all the time (I’m the crazy guy who commutes by bike every day) and he said the ergonomics got painful after a couple of days with it.

      It sure looks damn nice, though. I think it might be the nicest-looking bike I’ve ever seen in person.

  • Chris F

    Um, no. I would like to find that city with no traffic, though.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    No. And if your assessment of the streetfighter ergos is accurate then the 848 evo is still a better deal even at $14k.

  • Myles

    If it had to be a Duck, it would be a Monster 1100 Evo plus $1k of Rossi memorabilia.

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet


  • Ceolwulf

    Anyone with any sense would see that the proper Streetfighter with the proper engine is only two grand more. I don’t think they’ll sell many 848 versions.

    • Myles

      Those with sense wouldn’t seriously consider purchasing any Ducati. All Ducatis are completely non-sensical, emotional bikes.

      Not to say they’re all bad. But none of them make sense, especially when cost is considered.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        When riding is a luxury, instead of a necessity, choosing a bike based on practicality over passion is rarely a satisfying choice.

        • BMW11GS

          Myles, do you not like Ducatis?

      • Ceolwulf

        I’m assuming the purchaser is using up their little remaining sense just in deciding between these two models ;)

        I have some expertise on this subject since riding any bike at all makes zero sense in Manitoba …

    • Kurt

      The base 1098 SF will not be available for 2012, only the $19K S model.

      • Ceolwulf

        Oh, well that’s one way to sell 848s I guess.

  • je

    This so soon after the release of the Diavel.. Did HD secretly buy Ducati?

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]


      On the other hand, the SF and Diavel are aimed at different buyers. HD will put out two models back-to-back aimed at the same buyer.

  • hooligan317

    I thought the bars on the 848 SF were going to be higher than on the larger version. If that’s the case, between the new ergo’s and likely insurance savings of not having a full on supersport, I can certainly justify picking the SF over the EVO if you’re looking for a street duty bike.

  • Deltablues

    Probably not. I would go buy the best Ducati not made by Ducati…the Triumph Street Triple R.

    • filly-fuzz


      • Mr.Paynter


  • http://krtong.com KR Tong

    Why in the hell would you spend a $1000 premium over the speed triple and buy a detuned 848? If you want a bike that won’t kill you, the street3′s a third less. Around here the Duc dealerships sell triumphs as well. I wonder what they’re thinking.

    • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

      That’s why we stopped selling MV’s a few years back. Not enough folks were willing to drop the extra coin on a Brutale over a Speed Triple so they just sat, collecting dust.

  • Liquidogged

    It’s certainly a gamble on Ducati’s part. There is no way in hell I would buy the 848 SF at the same price as the evo. As others have said, if you don’t want the bodywork, then sell it. I’m sure pristine 848 bodywork fetches a pretty penny on ebay. Even if you add on a few tasty bits from the LSL catalog – higher bars, SF headlight, etc, you would still come out ahead. And this could all be accomplished by a shade tree mechanic by the side of the road. Honestly, that pricing is Ducati telling me that even if I did have the money, the 848SF is not for me. Or anyone else who can operate a screwdriver and a box wrench.

    I always thought the whole SF concept was the definition of corporate poser anyways. Like pre-ripped jeans or brand new vintage furniture. Total embrace of style over substance. The origin of shit matters, especially on an emotional item like a Ducati. Stuff like this reinforces the pride of LOOKING like a rider, instead of BEING a rider. And the price of this 848 SF really just drives that home for me.

    • Liquidogged

      One last thing: the video is horribly lame. I found myself wishing I was watching the Ben Spies on a stock R1 video.

  • 1

    For me this posting is inept. For the bike looks silly, and the 2011 S3 made it so.

    And in fact if I were to purchase a 2011 Triumph speed triple, I would request it came with a genuine Triumph branded T-shirt that stated across the front, “I have 99 problems, but a silly bike ain’t one”.

    However I do like the photoshopped exhaust cans, and Ducati logo on clutch cover on the first pic.

  • dux

    But didn’t Shia LeBouf ride one in that movie that no one really liked? That’s worth at least $1500 in MSRP.

    • Kyle

      i see what you did there

  • Sentinel

    The ergonomics are said to be improved on the Streetfighter 848, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves damning it before you’ve even ridden it.

    The difference in perceived value is easily made up with the extended service intervals saving boat loads of cash and only multiplying by thousands of dollars over time…

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

      I bet half of the buyers of a new SF never even see 7,500 mi on it, let alone 15,000.

      • hooligan317

        This could be said for many bikes, not just a SF.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    Like someone here already mentioned, insurance and maintenance. The SF is probably going to be considerably cheaper over the life of the bike than the the evo.

    So, yeah I’d consider the SF.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I would not, but you know there are people out there that will, because name cache. Informed Ducati buyers will buy the 848Evo, and wannabes will pick up the Streetfighter.

    • hooligan317

      So you’re able to look at a bike in the parking lot and instantly define its owner as an wannabe with no other information whatsoever? Cool.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Sure, just look at the chicken strips :)

        • hooligan317

          True… btw are we going to see an article about the 675R other than the taco run snippet?

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            Yep, shot it today.

  • doublet

    I really like the way you guys ended this one. It’s much more poetic that way. Don’t you think? There are some people who would say ‘yes’ initially to your question, but without telling them they would be unhappy, they can come to that conclusion ‘on their own’ with your helpful and righteous info. Thus gaining readers by helpful persuasion, and hopefully ridding the market of fashionable rip-offs like this by diverting sales. Inception!

  • Chris

    I’d buy the SF over the 848, but only as a 2nd bike. It would be purely an emotional purchase because the looks of the SF are amazing in my eye. I don’t think I could deal with the SF ergos full time as a commuter.

  • R13

    I’d actually consider it, but then i’d buy a street triple R instead.

  • Johndo

    yes, if it wasnt a Ducati.

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    FYI in france the SF is (or will be) at 12 490€, while the 848 evo is 14 500€ (with the bigger SF at 15 290€).
    Two grands cheaper seems like a way better price point.

  • robotribe

    Hell for No.

    • Andrew


  • BMW11GS

    Everyone should go over to Ashonbikes.com and read his review. He refreshingly calls things as they are and points out that the downgraded component specs are actually an advantage for most riders on the street who don’t need the intimidating monoblock calipers. We on Hell for leather judge a book by its cover more often than not…but a bike can be more than its spec sheet indicates.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Sounds like he was more impressed by the steeper front suspension that he was the decreased spec.

      What does this bike do that an 848 Evo wouldn’t do better, for the same money?

      • BMW11GS

        Im not qualified to speak for all riders, but I just am not into sport bikes, I think their riding position etc. is just to focused for the kind of riding I do everyday. The SF looks like you could live with it on the weekdays and love it on the weekends. The guy who pointed out higher insurance costs above also has a good point.