Raucous, loud and brutal, Ducati’s original Streetfighter is considered by many as the original “bad boy” Super Naked bike. Sales of this eye-wateringly expensive exotic ($15K-$19K USD) were slow from 2009-2012 before it was replaced with the more civilized Streetfighter 848 in 2013 (discontinued after 2015). This Chance Moto build will walk you through the process of tuning the golden age prize fighter to smooth out some of its rough edges.
Our build started with a base 2010 Streetfighter in pearl white. The stock bike has a lot of personality and potential but can be greatly improved upon in several areas: fueling, handling, comfort and (subjectively), easthetics.
It’s unanimous among owners that the stock fueling of the 1098 Streetfighter leaves a lot to be desired. Bucking, surging and overall unruliness under 4,500 RPM is the norm and makes the bikes nearly unrideable at anything but high RPM.
Those hoping for relief by installing one of the OEM exhaust & Ducati Performance ECU packages (full system or slip on) from Termignoni were sadly disapointed as the expensive piece of kit did little to improve fueling. Gearing the bike down a little (14t front sprocket) helps somewhat but only masks the fueling problem.
After installing the full Termignoni system (including headers, ECU and performance air filter), we did a dyno run and learned that the bike saw some good power gains across the rev range (+9HP and +9 ft-lb of peak torque). The air/fuel ratio however was far from ideal, with a notable lean condition, particularly under 5,000 RPM. This explained the rough fueling which we decided to address with an adaptive system by Rapid Bike.
Since Ducatis ECU’s run an infamous closed loop system (making it difficult to remap the entire rev range with a piggy back unit such as Power Commander), we chose Rapid Bike’s Evo system (review available here) to remap the 1098.
After a few hundred kilometers, the bike ran much more smoothly and the lean fueling issues below 5,000 RPM all but disapeared. With the bike now much more ride-able, we also took the opportunity to install an aftermarket quickshifter by way of Annitori’s QS Pro (our full review here).
Even the “base” Streetfighter is no slouch from the factory and one would be forgiven for living with the fully adjustable Showa components. Those wishing to push the bike hard will however find the limits of the lesser components (at least, when compared to the $20K “Streetfighter S” which came stock with Ohlins front and back). We performed upgrades on both front and rear suspension to sharpen handling, particularly at race pace.
The stock Showa shock in the rear was replaced with an OEM Ohlins 3-way adjustable unit which provided better damping for street riding, all while maintaining better mid-corner composure at higher speeds.
Although we weighed the option of replacing the stock fork with Ohlins cartridges or a complete Ohlins front end, we were pleasantly surprised by the results that re-valving the Showa unit provided. We ordered an FPK (Fork Piston Kit) from Ohlins (part #FPK 103) and rebuilt the forks to better suit aggresive riding.
The last suspension component to replace was the steering damper (which is present in non-adjustable form on the stock bike). We chose the 16 position adjustable Matris SD-R kit (part #SD.D114R) which looks and performs as one would expect, lightening steering for lesser duties while providing the ability to stiffen things up when the pace quickens.
For both cosmetic and perforance reasons, we undertook a side project to powercoat some forged Marchesini wheels and replace the stock cast Enkei wheels (read our full write-up here). The upgrade saved over 5 lbs of unsprung weight and provided the custom look we were after.
Although the Streetfighter was comfortable enough (compared to a 1098 Superbike anyway), there was room for improvement. For one, the stock clutch pull was extremely heavy and the seating position felt quite low.
On the clutch side, replacing the OEM slave cylinder with an aftermarket Oberon unit lightened clutch pull significantly.
Combined with some adjustable levers from ASV and new grips, hand controls now felt great.
On the seating side, we opted for the Ducati Performance Race seat which raised the seating position. We covered the seat with a custom Luimoto seat cover to complete the look and provide a grippy texture.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder -but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who dislikes the aggressive lines and sharp angles of the Streetfighter. It’s a bike that has and should continue to age well cosmetically.
To enhance its appeal, a few custom touches were added, mostly in the form of carbon fiber parts from Carbonworld.
And of course, no Ducati build would be complete without paying a little “Rizoma tax”, as evidenced by the angular, Circuit 744 mirrors that complement the “OG” Streetfighter’s lines.
Although Ducati has since re-designed and re-released the Streetfighter platform as a V4, we’re still massive fans of the original V twin. For all its unruly behavior, it’s still one of the most elemental, brutal and rewarding (and head-turning) bikes ever made.
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