The SuperSport had me riled. I couldn't wait for it to arrive and I was counting down the seconds...
When it did finally arrive… at 4.26pm, by the way, I spent 10 minutes just walking round it soaking up the detail. The pearlescent white paintscheme (a £200 extra) allowed the blood-red wheels and trellis frame to really stand out and although the red bike is already a fairly hefty £12,795, already I was convinced the extra cash for the super-cool colour was worth every penny.
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Once on board, the dash seemed pretty straightforward and the Sport riding mode was selected. The L-twin 937cc motor produces a solid yet (on paper) unspectacular 113bhp, but the 71.3ftlb at 6000rpm are the stats you really notice on the Supersport. It just grunts out of corners and pulls like a train through the mid-range when overtaking.
I immediately found it flickable and responsive. There are a couple of early niggles – the quickshifter is a bit clunky – I’ve found a few false neutrals between fourth and fifth. And the mirrors are so bad it’s laughable. They are like a couple of bits of spaghetti with a makeup mirror stuck on the end. At anything over 50mph they are about as much use as Donald Trump at a Diplomacy Conference!
But the pros far outweigh the cons and I genuinely get a bit giddy every time I approach the bike, crash helmet in hand.
One of my first ports of call was the local Ducati Dealership. Peterborough Ducati’s Alex Vindis revealed that they’d sold more S’s than stockers and that red had been the most popular colour.
He also had a pretty slick answer to the question I’ve heard raised a few times – why would you buy a Supersport when a Panigale 959 is only £1000 more? “The Supersport is higher spec. It’s got an autoblipper (down-changes) and a quickshifter (up-changes) for a start. It’s also got Ohlins suspension front and back, while the Panigale has a more basic set-up. And a lot of people just don’t want that much power.
“Once people ride the Supersport they are blown away by the acceleration and character of the engine.”
What I love so far about the SuperSport S: First impressions count
- Love the LED daytime running lights – they look oh-so cool
- There doesn’t seem much difference between low and high beam
- Love the crackling and burbling on the overrun
- Branded toolroll is cool
- It’s pretty comfy. Not BMW R1200RT comfy, but comfy enough for a day in the saddle
What I don't love so far about the SuperSport S...
- Mirrors are rubbish
- Quickshifter is a bit glitchy – gaps between 4th- 5th and 5th- 6th