Ducati SuperSport 950 (2021-on) Review | Owner & Expert Ratings

Highlights

  • More comfort
  • New colour dash and cleverer electronics
  • Perfect performance for the road

At a glance

Power: 108 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.9 in / 810 mm)
Weight: Medium (463 lbs / 210 kg)

Prices

New £12,295
Used £11,900

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

For 2021 the Ducati 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. The Ducati SuperSport is 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.

The 2021 model replaces the 2017 Ducati SuperSport and is available in £12,295 standard and £13,895 'S' trim. The model test here is the latter.

Watch: Ducati SuperSport 950 video review

Michael Neeves takes the new 950 to task on UK roads to find out if the upgrades for 2021 change the game. Is the Ducati SuperSport now the saviour of sports bikes? Find out below... 

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 from the original bike, 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.

Cornering on the 2021 Ducati SuperSport 950

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.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Compared to the 2017 Ducati Supersport, the 2021 model has lost some oomph thanks to Euro5 exhaust and ECU tweaks. Power is down 5bhp to 108bhp @ 9000rpm and torque drops 2.3lb-ft to 69lb-ft @ 6500rpm. It's a proven lump and has also been used within the Multistrada 950, Hypermotard 950, Hypermotard 939 and new-for-2021 Monster.

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.

Ducati SuperSport 950 V-twin engine

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 quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Much like the original bike, the build quality is superb - backed up by by all the gushing owners’ reviews on our 2017 model review. The Ducati SuperSport 950 won’t let you down.

There are lots of nice Ducati detailing touches too, like a milled ali top yoke and a repeat of the bike’s ‘face’ on the plastics surrounding the dash.


Watch our video review of the original Ducati Supersport here:

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Aprilia’s RS660 is the closest to the Ducati SuperSport 950 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 also 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. Check out 60 seconds with the 2021 Honda CBR650R below.

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.


Watch our in-depth Ducati Panigale V2 review video below:

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

For 2021 the Ducati SuperSport 950 gets a new nose, LED headlights and daytime running lights share the Panigale V4 superbike’s scowl. The fairing has extra cooling vents and a more enclosed bellypan.

Ducati SuperSport 950 TFT dash

In S trim the SuperSport 950 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.

Specs

Engine size 937cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled 8v L-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 210kg
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 -
New price £12,295
Used price £11,900
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 108 bhp
Max torque 69 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 162 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

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.

Other versions

Ducati SuperSport 950 S: As base model with 48mm Öhlins forks and shock and pillion seat cover.

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