Ducati's new SuperSport and SuperSport S are kind of in a class of their own. They're not quite as practical as bikes like the Kawasaki Z1000SX, but not as focussed as a full-on sportsbike. So what are both models like to ride?
Below the video you'll find Neevesy's thoughts as he rode both models during the day of the launch.
Update, February 14, 5:30pm
After a three hour 80km road ride in wet conditions on the standard SuperSport model Neevesy reckons the bike leans much more to the sporty side of the spectrum:
"I was expecting it to be a comfortable sports bike, as Ducati themselves say, but the reality is it’s actually very sporty. The riding position, pegs and handlebars are all pretty sporty and after three hours in the saddle I did ache a little bit, but not as much as I would have done on a sports bike. The seat’s comfortable.
"The most impressive thing about it, in true Ducati style, is how well it handles. It’s a very stable, swift, sweet handling sportsbike. The suspension is very plush and it gives you lots of control. The brakes are excellent, the Pirelli Diablo Rossi III tyres are excellent and give lots of confidence and grip in the wet.
"I thought the engine would have a little bit more grunt since it’s based on the Hypermotard engine but it’s actually a lot more long legged and it works better when you rev it. If you’re too lazy with the revs it bogs down a bit and there’s not much oomph coming out of the corners so you’ve got to work it a little bit more which makes it feel sporty.
"The other impressive thing is the electronics. The traction control and ABS both work really well but the Touring and Urban riding modes knock much too much power off and make the bike really dull.
"What are its rivals? There's the VFR800, Suzuki GSX-S1000F and Kawasaki Z1000SX. This is a lot more special, it’s a Ducati and it handles a lot better. It's definitely more sporty than touring."
Update, February 14, 12:30pm
Neevesy's thoughts after the second, slightly drier, track session:
"With the track drying drying the traction control was turned down slightly and the riding mode changed to Sport. It was a little bit of relief really. There was no instant power in the first session - the electronics must have been absorbing it all - but in the second session the bike really felt alive and was much more fun to ride. It leapt out of corners like you'd expect a Ducati to.
"The two track sessions really highlighted how good the chassis is and how good the electronics are in the wet. The brakes are really good and it's just really easy to ride. It's kind of highlighted that its not a comfortable sportsbike for people that are coming down from a supersport or superbike machine. They might find the power's not quite there, but if you're coming up from a naked or sport touring bike it will be quite nice. I think it will come into its own on the road."
Original story, February 14, 11:30am
MCN Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves has just stepped off the new Ducati SuperSport S after his first (wet) session at the Monteblanco circuit in Southern Spain, and these are his initial thoughts.
"It stopped raining for the first session, but we went out with the fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension slightly softer than standard and all the electronics adjusted to suit the conditions, including a softer power delivery.
"The bikes are fitted with Pirelli wets, thankfully, and it feels like a really sweet bike. It handles nicely and the power (113bhp) isn't too intimidating. The electronics have been really impressive in the conditions. You can brake as hard as you want without any danger of the wheels locking up and the traction control stops any slides under power. The Pirelli wets are impressive and enable lots of lean.
"The riding position feels really natural - you're sat in the bike - and it really feels like it will work well on the road.
"There's a broad, flat spread of power which makes riding easy, but on a track as big as this it feels a little breathless and doesn't highlight the strengths of the engine. It should fit nicely on the road.
"Overall it's a very easy bike to ride, and anyone should be able to enjoy it straight away."
Ducati SuperSport S onboard footage:
This afternoon Neevesy will ride the standard model on the roads around the Monteblanco circuit, check back later for his thoughts.
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