Ducati North America CEO Talks New Streetfighter V4 Motorcycle Coming Spring 2020

December 21, 2019, 11:30 AM UTC

Ducati, the Volkswagen AG-owned Italian motorcycle manufacturer, is gearing up to launch a new model—the Streetfighter V4—that North America CEO Jason Chinnock believes will appeal to hardcore enthusiasts of the brand.

In an interview with Fortune, discussing features of the new bike currently available for pre-order and set to arrive in the spring, Chinnock said the “suite of electronics will allow an average rider to feel like a professional.

“There’s safety that’s integrated into it to help them through wheelie control, traction control, engine breaking—all of these technologies that don’t interfere with the riding experience,” Chinnock said. “They don’t tune out the emotional or visceral connection you get with the bike—but it gives you confidence as a rider.”

Chinnock said a key specification of the Streetfighter V4 is electronically-controlled suspension by Öhlins that “will actually adapt to the road as you’re riding.

“So if you’re riding around in the city and you need a more urban setting that can absorb more of the bumps and potholes—like when you’re riding around in Manhattan—it will actually adapt to that,” Chinnock added.

Furthermore, Chinnock said, Ducati in this model “introduced aerodynamics for the first time ever on a naked motorcycle.

“That allows the motorcyclist with winglets”—appendixes on the side of the vehicle that allow for easier maneuvering—”the ability to hard accelerate or hard decelerate and have much more control.”

Chinnock is hopeful the new bike will boost the manufacturer’s growth and market share. The Panigale model, which directly influenced the Streetfighter V4, Chinnock said, was the leader of the superbike segment of motorcycles in 2018, with a market share of over 26%, Ducati announced.

“Motorcycles are not a practical application of transportation; we use motorcycles as entertainment,” ” Chinnock admits. “There’s a saying: four wheels move the body, but two wheels move the soul.”