Ducati's 09 Streetfighter

Stop Making Sense

By the time an actual 09 Ducati Streetfighter showed up in our garage, I'd already decided not to like the thing. Pictures really didn't do it for me. And the whole idea of a de-fanged, undressed 1098 sounded like sawing off a Caesar Guerini shotgun: tragically inappropriate and potentially dangerous. But after 144 miles on the thing, I'm not keen on the idea of giving it back. Ever.
Logic obviously isn't a factor, despite the fact that Ducati did a whole lot more than peel the plastic from a 1098. A new frame and longer swingarm add nearly two inches of wheelbase to keep the front Pirelli in closer to the pavement. I like that almost as much as the shockingly humane riding position: more legroom than the new Monster 1100. Unlike the Monster, this fuel tank feels nice and narrow between my knees. The tapered aluminum bar leans me into the wind at a comfortably sporty angle. The headlight lights up enough pavement to have some fun after dark, even around corners. Despite stock gearing that would be more appropriate for a land speed record attempt, the engine is a straight-up beast above 5000 rpm. With sharper steering and another tooth on the countershaft sprocket, the only thing keeping me from filling the Streetfighter-sized hole in my garage is the $15,000 crater it would blow in my budget. But since logic really isn't a factor, I'll be leaving that part of the garge open for now.