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.