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. Happily it won’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 the reach them, forcing you to ride with straight arms, so things 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.
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.
Build quality is superb and there are lots of nice Ducat detailing touches, like the milled ali top yoke and a repeat of the bike’s ‘face’ on the plastics surrounding the dash.
When you look at what an actual supersport machine costs the Ducati SuperSport starts to look reasonably priced. The new R6 is just a few hundred quid cheaper and there are some cracking PCP deals out there, too. Service intervals are every 9000-miles for an oil change and general check and 18,000-miles for valve clearances, or every year, which ever comes first.
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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.