DUCATI SUPERSPORT (2017 - on) Review
- More comfort
- New colour dash and cleverer electronics
- Perfect performance for the road
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£430|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
More than ever sportsbikes are inching towards being ultra-focussed track weapons with ever-shrinking dimensions, excessive power and knife-edge handling.
- Latest news: Ducati update SuperSport 950 for 2021
But with its simple, modestly-powered V-twin engine, all wrapped up in a sweet-handling chassis Ducati’s new SuperSport has more than enough power for the road and will dance through your favourite corners with ease. It isn’t sports tourer-comfy, but it’s practical enough for commuting and long trips away. A genuine every day sportsbike.
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 update
For 2021 the SuperSport gets a host of upgrades and ‘950’ added to its name. The changes are subtle, but its new seat is comfier, albeit at the expense of feel in corners, its quickshifter lets you pop through the gears and the new colour dash adds a splash of pizazz but could do with being bigger.
It’s still quick, crackles through its exhaust and steers, stops and excites like a sportsbike, but it’s always friendly. It’s quite pricey for the performance on tap and some might crave more power, but like the similarly aimed Aprilia RS660 the Ducati is still an exciting road-going alternative to an obscenely cramped and powerful pure race rep.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Without an excess of power to worry about you can concentrate on ringing the most out of the Ducati’s relatively heavy, but rock solid stable Monster-based chassis and well-set, fully adjustable Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear shock (adjustable for preload and rebound).
Steering is effortless and things never get out of shape, no matter how hard you push, how low you lean, or how bumpy the roads are. Ducati claims the SuperSport will keel to 48 degrees before metal scrapes tarmac. The ride is plush, controlled and the standard Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres give immense road grip. They’re especially impressive in the wet.
The SuperSport has the poise through the corners to keep up with a race replica on the road and the ABS-assisted M4.32 Brembo monobloc radial calipers give Ducati superbike-levels of fadeless power and feel. You also get the added security of traction control, but the power modes are a bit pointless. Urban and Touring modes make the Ducati feel like you’re riding with the brakes stuck on. Sport is the only mode to select for instant, free-revving acceleration.
One thing the SuperSport isn’t is a tourer. Yes, your magnetic tank bag will snap nicely to the 16-litre steel fuel tank and the tall, thin screen is two-way manually adjustable, but the riding position is sporty, even if it doesn't fold you in half and inside out like a tortuous race replica. The SuperSport has a bum-friendly seat and relatively generous legroom, but taller riders will still need to bend their legs a long way to get their toes on the footpegs.
And while the handlebars are mounted high on risers it’s still a fair stretch to reach them, forcing you to ride with straight arms, so things get a bit ‘wristy’ on long jaunts. Compared to a conventional sportsbike you’ll cover longer distances with less stress, but the SuperSport isn’t the last word in comfort that some may have hoped for.
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 update
Mixing comfort and sportiness was always the point of the SuperSport, like Ducati’s 90s SS models. You can ride for longer with fewer aches and pains thanks to the 2021 model’s new, more plushily padded seat – something you always dream of when riding a race rep a long way, but its squidgy-ness absorbs some cornering feel.
The general layout is unchanged, which is good news because there’s still lots of leg room, even for taller riders and the bar position is sporty without crunching your wrists. Wind protection is decent on a long run, too and the screen is two-way height adjustable.
There’s no change to the SuperSport's trellis frame, single sided swingarm, geometry or 210kg kerb weight for 2021. The delicate clip-ons and new self-bleeding master cylinders scream race bike, but like its calm engine, the Ducati is set up for road handling.
It’s never on the edge of a tank slapper and doesn’t change direction using telepathy, but instead it’s stable, reassuring, neutral and easy to hustle cross country. Öhlins suspension on the S version is trademark supple, ground clearance is plentiful, Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIIs ooze grip and Brembo M432 calipers have the power to put you through the screen with the lightest touch.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The 113bhp liquid-cooled 937cc V-twin is a retuned Hypermotard 939/Multistrada 950 unit. Despite its modest power the big V-twin motor is tuned for sporty riding with a revised crankcase and cylinder heads. The ride-by-wire throttle is friendly, but the reworked engine doesn’t have that instant, explosive, wheelie-inducing thrust you get with the unhinged, foaming-at-the-mouth Hypermotard 939.
Instead the engine is tuned for a longer spread of power. There isn’t a whole lot of grunt at low rpm, so you have to work the motor hard for best results. The more you rev it, the deeper and harder-edged the engine note becomes and the quicker the scenery blurs around you.
For everyday riding the engine is flexible and can be ridden at lazy revs in high gears, but you’ll need a flurry of left foot activity and a big handful of throttle to make fast getaways.
Of course, there’s more than enough power for the road, but experienced sportsbike riders will want for more and it does lack a certain fun-factor. But like the old 90s and early noughties Ducati Supersport, your speed comes less from ‘point-and-squirt’ and more from maintaining momentum and carving perfect, high-speed arcs through fast corners. It’s here where the new SuperSport excels.
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 update
Compared to the 2017 original the 2021 model has lost some oomph thanks to Euro5 exhaust and ECU tweaks. Power is down 5bhp to 108bhp and torque drops 2.3lb-ft to 69lb-ft.
That doesn’t matter because the Ducati has always been more about delivering sparkling road performance and it still does. The 937cc V-twin booms on the throttle, pops off it, has a great throttle and chunky power through the revs.
It’ll be quick enough for most and there’s also a 47bhp A2 licence version, but some might crave a little more performance and excitement. It returns 46mpg and desmo valve checks are set at generous 18,000-mile intervals.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality is superb and there are lots of nice Ducati detailing touches, like the milled ali top yoke and a repeat of the bike’s ‘face’ on the plastics surrounding the dash.
Now that the SuperSport has been around for a few years now we’ve had a chance to see how durable it is and judging by all the gushing owners’ reviews here, the Ducati won’t let you down.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Aprilia’s RS660 is the closest to the Ducati in spirit and it too is a 100-ish bhp sportsbike with great road handling, lots of tech and a sensible riding position.
It’s cheaper than the base SuperSport and with a kerb weight of just 183kg it’s lighter and more fun. Both are stylish and well built, but the Ducati just edges in the quality stakes.
You might also consider the less powerful but much cheaper Honda CBR650R which also has a less aggressive riding position than a traditional supersport. The Honda is less charismatic than the Ducati but is still a great bike in its own right.
If you want a more aggressive riding experience without having to go all the way up to a 200bhp superbike, a Ducati Panigale V2 could be the answer. The "middleweight" Panigale makes 153bhp from its V-twin engine and has a more aggressive set-up than the SuperSport.
The base SuperSport comes with a high level of chassis and electronics spec, but there’s also an S model. It has the same motor, chassis, electronics and Brembo brakes, but comes with fully-adjustable Ohlins forks and shock, a seat cowl and a quickshifter/autoblipper, which you can also fit as an accessory to the standard machine.
The Ohlins and electronic shifter adds an extra layer of control and sophistication. It offers a plusher, more controlled ride, gear changes are snappier and you never have to use the clutch, other than when pulling away and stopping.
With their easy power, safe electronics, supple chassis and generous ground clearance, both the standard and S models will make superb trackday bikes for less experienced riders.
As you’d expect there are lots of official accessories available including a Sport Pack, including carbon and billet ali trinkets and flip-up levers. The Urban Pack comes with a tank bag, alarm, rubber footpeg inserts and you get a taller screen, heated grips and panniers with Touring Pack.
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 update
For 2021 the SuperSport gets a new nose, LED headlights and daytime running lights share the superbike’s scowl. The fairing has extra cooling vents and a more enclosed bellypan.
In S trim the SuperSport isn’t far short of superbike money, but you get Öhlins suspension, a rear seat cowl and build quality is what you’d expect from a Ducati with luxurious fixtures, fittings and paint finishes (it comes in red or satin white).
Mirrors are new but still vibrate so much you have to pull the clutch for them to clear. New red wheel stickers resemble the duct tape club racers use on their wheel weights.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v, L-twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm Marzocchi forks fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single Sachs rear shock, fully adjustable for preload and rebound damping|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial caliper|
|Rear brake||245mm single disc with twin-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£430|
|Used price||£8,200 - £11,000|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||108 bhp|
|Max torque||69 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||162 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: Ducati SuperSport introduced. It’s powered by the 113bhp 937cc V-twin taken from the Hypermotard 939 and Multistrada 950 of the day and uses a Mon-ster-based steel trellis frame. Rider modes, traction control and ABS.2021: Updated for Euro 5 and making slightly less power at 108bhp. Chassis is un-changed but the SuperSport gets ‘950’ added to its name and a comfier new seat, fairing, mirrors, LED headlights, six axis IMU, cornering ABS and traction control, anti-wheelie and up/down quickshifter.
Ducati SuperSport 950 S: As base model with 48mm Öhlins forks and shock and pillion seat cover.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI SUPERSPORT (2017 - on)
9 owners have reviewed their DUCATI SUPERSPORT (2017 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£430|
Annual servicing cost: £250
Really good bike. Great to ride and looks good too.
Top quality Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes, can’t go wrong
Perfect for road riding, powerful enough but not silly. Great sound. If you like the idea of a Street Triple but fancy something red on the driveway the Supersport is the bike for you.
No issues at all
Not the cheapest, but not outrageous either
Heated grips work well in winter
Buying experience: I bought new from local dealer. Good experience from Seastar Superbikes.
Very much at the sporting end pf sporttourer.If you want to take a passenger buy something else.Get the s model.aA THRILLING RIDE .SUPERB HANDLING RIDE AND EVERYTHING YOU WOULD EXPECT FROM A SPORTS DUCATI
Superb.The comfort seat is a must.Shaped better no more sliding towards the tank Ohlins front and rear are superb.
For an L twin really loves to rev.Minimal vibration.
Lovely quality and design.The fairing integrates beautifully into the tank.Great aerodynamics.The screen works well.
All good.The chain is poor quality.Rusts when wet.A gold chain is a better bet.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Quick enough, handles well, very stable, great noise, not taxing to ride, flexible engine, lovely mid-range grunt Mirrors are horrendous, completely useless.
Love riding it, never had a pillion so cant comment. Comfortable to ride, easy flexible engine, fitted Quick shifter which can make riding slightly less taxing. Brakes are really responsive and confidence inspiring
Great noise even on standard exhaust, lovely mid-range, great to keep the throttle open and just flick through the gears riding the mid-range.
Erratic fuel gauge - reads empty when full, unreliable has got worse the longer I have had it, Sensor issue? Will ask for it to be looked at at the next service. Has had 2 recalls.
expensive to service, even when only having basically oil changes
Yes, it has lots of safety equipment and switchable maps etc, BUT, the mirrors are unforgivable, you can barely make out anything behind you, they are not long enough and vibrate far too much at the majority or road speeds. Single worst feature of the bike.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer on a low rate PCP deal at the end of a year, cheaper to buy this bike per month on the deal available than it was to buy a rivals bike which had a list price of £3k less. Due to low Interest rate and stronger residual.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Being of a more mature age and sized in a way the NHS would complain, sportsbikes are now out of my realm for comfort, practicality and licence safety. So when I first sat on the SuperSport I was surprised at how well it fit me, and then when I test rode one, how agile and fun it was, without scaring the living bejeesus out of me. I already have a large Harley and a Triumph Thruxton, and I was looking for something fun, practical and weather proof, something the other two bikes lack. The SuperSport fitted the bill, and after 6 months and 2000 miles it makes going to work a pleasure, and coming home, now the weather is better, an absolute hoot.
This is subjective. If you are looking for a power horse, then this isn't for you. The power is good, still licence losing, but the delivery is softer so it is easy to have great fun without getting into trouble. The bike is well balanced, tips into corners well and fires out with that Ducati roar. My ride to work is 65 miles, with fast B-roads, tight country lanes, speed restricted M4, and some busy A-roads which it despatches with aplomb, unruffled by anything I throw at it. It is also good on the M25, narrow for quick filtering, comfortable in the variable speed limits where speed control is important. If I opt for the boring route it just does it. I have knocked a star off for the tank size, seemingly following the trend for peanut sized tanks. I can't see any advantage a small tank brings, but constantly gauging how much fuel I have is a pain, and filling every 120 miles irritating.
A good engine rather than a great one, but one that fits my style and needs. Fast enough with reasonable economy (50mpg) there are certainly better engines with more character, but this one is good enough for me.
So far, so good. No furring, no corrosion, and it feels well built and full of quality. I had heated grips fitted to help me through winter and they integrate well with the controls making life easy, and fingers toasty. It is only six months, but no complaints or reasons to knock off stars.
There are a few of these about and plenty of deals. I picked up an ex demonstrator, with 200 miles on the clock, £2k below list, with the first service included and a nice Ducati teeshirt. For what you get, it is outstanding value.
Lots of good stuff. Controls are easy to use once you get used to them. The quick shifter is brilliant and suspension copes well with my bulk. Lots of adjustability that I ignore.
Buying experience: Excellent. Another bike bought from Ducati Aylesbury and as ever professional, friendly and easy to deal with.
Annual servicing cost: £1,100
I just love this bike. It wants to gallop but isn't scary. Been on some back country irregular road surfaces and it'll take care of you while running near 100%. It's comfortable enough for all day riding and is fun, fun, fun. I test rode the bike based on online reviews and it does what the reviews say - a sporty bike without the pain or fear. The mirrors aren't great, you can see something is there but mostly not what it is. In other words, a great road bike. Is there a sexier looking thing to roll up on?
I've run 2-3 hours, arrived at my destination and not wanted to stop. There are never any doubts about braking and I love the ride. It copes with rough or smooth New Zealand roads really well, while holding onto or running quicker than others I ride with.
I love the power delivery of this bike, it feels like it's got rubber pistons and just makes me laugh (in a good way). I love the poppety-pop on deceleration. The fat mid-range is just swell. Although I thought it was rattly at first, that's two cylinder, desmodromic character for you. Quote addictive.
So far I've had no problems. It hasn't broken down and is showing no signs of deterioration.
There's better dash displays now, but functionally everything is there. I absolutely love the quickshifter, although you do have to be definite and firm to ensure no false neutrals e.g. between 4-5, 5-6. I replaced the tyres with EOM and I'm happy with that.
It makes you smile no matter what. I'm a returning rider, coming back after 25 years. The SSS is a tad lighter than my old bikes, with similar peak power and torque, although the power spread is way wider than what we used to have. It ticked the boxes for looks. It rides absolutely beautifully. It is everything I ever wanted in a motorcycle. My wife, who also rides (and has had a similar layoff), came back after one of her first rides with a huge grin on her face and said she suddenly understands what sports oriented bikes are all about.
I did a returning/intermediate riders course. The young blokes on their gixxers and R6s could not believe how quickly it could stop. The Brembo brakes are amazing, so much feel. The Ohlins suspension is sublime. It handles so well, but I haven't had to find the old kidney belt I used to wear on my Katana. If there is one area that has improved out of sight over 25 years it is the handling and brakes.
I thought I would struggle to get used to a V twin after inline fours. Huh. Broad power, lovely sound, so much character. I'm a convert.
Generally well finished but a couple of niggles... The mirrors are poor (well documented) and the push fit peg on the gear shift lever has been known to work its way out (also well documented). High beam was not adjusted on mine, it was at its lowest (assembly?) position, so I had to work out how to adjust it myself. Owners manual can be wrong, for example it lists the wrong headlight bulbs (anyone want to buy some cheap H1 and H7s?)
Cheap to run (5.2 L/100km over 4500 kms). Tyres still have tread. Claimed service cost (700AUD over 2 years) seems reasonable.
The S with its quickshifter (as well as its standard electronics) is pretty well equipped, but it could use cruise control. But what's with the indicators? My XJ750 from '84 had self cancelling indicators. Why hasn't the Duke?
Buying experience: Bought from the sole Ducati dealer in South Australia but the service was exemplary. Well done Mike and team!
Annual servicing cost: £250
A fantastic mix of full fat Panigale and Monster dynamics.
This is a special bike. I ran a 2013 Multistrada with the skyhook suspension and the Supersport S beats it.
Still running in but the demonstrator I rode was very good. The chassis could take another dose of power but it is not slow! The 959 may have another 45 bhp but it is no faster in the real world.
Early days and other than traditional tight Ducati gearbox (bit of a sod to find neutral) faultless.
Servicing is not stupid money but you need to factor in all the other costs (tyres, road tax etc) to know what you are letting yourself in for.
The quick shifter/auto blipper is amazing! Give it the beans and tap up as you get close to the Rev limit for full effect. No fluffed gear changes.
Buying experience: It’s a Ducati! You will be proper looked after at a main dealer.
Having spent the last 4 years putting 32k miles on an 1100 monster I thought the supersport, with its monster frame and smaller engine wouldn't hold any surprises. I was so very wrong. This bike is very special; plush and sophisticated, with all the agility of the monster but with a much smoother and stronger power delivery.
Ride is immense, brakes sensational but I do have a few niggles. Firstly, the clutch can be terribly snatchy on those cold February mornings for the first 5 mins or so. So snatchy that you need to be committed and pointing in a straight line to avoid a potential drop. Secondly (and lastly) the mirrors; they're not terrible but they really only let you know there's something behind you not what.
Can't fault the engine. Very strong, sounds great. Haven't run out of revs or power yet but it is cold, wet, dark, miserable, foggy ......
The whole design package is flawless. Beautifully executed, as your expect from the chaps in Bologna.
Value? Well, I bought an ex demo from my local dealer with a couple of nice accessories for 7k GBP and a trade in. In today's market I don't think that's so bad.
This bike is the standard model with a few accessories which include the DQS, seat cowl and heated grips. DQS is a nice option but not essential, seat cowl is purely for aesthetics and the heated grips are a Godsend.
I have owned all manner of race bikes, I have also done over 100 track days and recently took this to Silverstone, Not its natural hunting ground, but this bike was awesome once the geometry was altered. Apart from the 180 mph track speed and clip ons this bike is a beautiful bike, easy to ride and get it on the road and it keeps up with a panagale no problem. Just be braver of those fantastic brakes.
chill out or go made - apt at both
on track you wish you had more, but hey that's the same when riding the panagale- who doesn't want more power ))
thin paint aside - all round perfection
long service intervals
tops when stuck in sport. don't need other riding modes - which are useless
Buying experience: YEP DEAL maker !! a bike for life - really