Ducati’s 2017 SuperSport And SuperSport S: Specs and Prices
The aim of Ducati’s two new SuperSport models was “blend Ducati’s sporting side with road focused performance and accessibility.” And with such an illustrious history in the sporting department, has the SuperSport effort successfully bridged the gap between sports performance and everyday practicality? This isn’t an entry-level Panigale, but it’s not a sports tourer either. Ducati have even said that they predict that this model will outsell the 959 Panigale… So, what exactly is it?
Ducati’s SuperSport marketing boss Paolo Quattrino explained: “The SuperSport isn’t a sports tourer or an entry level superbike. It is a unique bike in its own right, a versatile sportsbike from Ducati.” He continued by adding that: “The target customer for the SuperSport bike desires a good looking sportsbike that is fun to ride and can be used every day.”
Designed as a new model, rather than a derivative, the SuperSport comes equipped by Ducati’s tried and tested 939cc Testastretta V-twin engine that produced a respectable 113 hp. The engine is near identical to the unit found on the Hypermotard, but there are subtle differences. Firstly, there have been a few upgrades, in the form of the intake and exhaust system which have transferred the bikes power more into the lower rev range. The SuperSport produces almost 80% of its claimed 71.3 lb-ft of torque at a mere 3000 rpm, while the full power of 113 hp is unleashed at 9000 rpm.
This shift makes it an ideal candidate for their desired target market, and promises road riding comfort, with enough spice to keep track riders interested. While it may seem a little lackluster compared to other industry front runners, the SuperSport and SuperSport S models come with enough on board technology for aggressive riding, including the same Bosch ABS and Ducati traction control systems found on the Hypermotard. The “S” version, however, comes with something quite interesting: it’s the only other Ducati model, aside from the Panigale series, to come with Ducati’s up-and-down quickshifter.
Judging from the spec sheet thus far, it seems that there’s more “sports” than “tourer” in the SuperSport, and the ratio swings even further into the sports department too. The frame has been designed with heavy influence from the Panigale, offering sports orientated geometry, 48° of lean and a sporty single sided swingarm. The SuperSport has a longer wheelbase for more stability, which makes sense given the versatile nature of the bike.
Finally, the SuperSport is blessed with fully adjustable Marzocchi forks and a variable Sachs shock on the rear, but that’s just for the standard model. The “S” comes with fully adjustable Ohlins suspension. In both configurations, it’s still heavily loaded towards the sports category. Where’s the versatile tourer aspect then?
While it looks sports orientated on the surface, the Ducati SuperSport is actually pretty touring friendly, boasting a few customizable features. The front screen comes with two pre-set positions, the handlebars, although clip on, are in a much higher position, and heated grips are also on offer. On top of that, the seat height can be adjusted by up to 810 mm for the best riding experience depending on what you’re doing. The pillion seat has also been thoroughly tested (to a claimed distance of 30,000 km) and comes with a handy integrated grab rail. What’s more, the SuperSport tank has been made from steel, specifically with magnetic tank bags in mind.
Despite borrowing it’s styling from the Panigale, it’s still a decent touring package. The SuperSport also comes with LED day lights, a cleverly placed headlight, and a winning aesthetic. The price, however, might be a bone of contention. Sure, it’s a versatile machine, but for the SuperSport’s $12,995 price tag, it may be a little overpriced. The SuperSport S’s $14,795 isn’t much better either.
Will it outsell the Panigale 959? It’s hard to say.