Motorcycle.com is on the ground at the 2017 Ducati Supersport and Supersport S intro in Seville, Spain, where Troy “Trizzle” Siahaan will get to ride Ducati’s latest creation both on the street and on the Circuito Monteblanco. Expect Troy’s review in a few day’s time, but while you’re waiting, here are seven things you didn’t know about Ducati’s Not-Quite-A-Panigale sporty-bike.

1. Putting the Sport In Sport-Tourer

2017 Ducati Supersport with bags

According to Paolo Quattrino, Product Manager for the Supersport, Ducati doesn’t see the Supersport as an entry-level Panigale. Instead, Ducati sees the newest Supersport as one that leans heavily on the sportier end of the sport-touring spectrum. Ducati reasons those who prefer more touring than sport can opt for the Multistrada, but until now the company had no answer for those wanting the inverse. Oddly, Quattrino also notes Ducati does not see the Supersport as a revival of the eponymous model from a decade ago.

2. Focus Groups

people with opinions

Like all the major OEMs, Ducati spoke to focus groups both in Italy and in the U.S. (the latter Ducati expects to be the Supersport’s largest market) including one conducted in Anaheim, CA, near the SoCal base of the MO staff. One conclusion derived from the focus groups was discovering the primary buyers for the Supersport are current mid-displacement naked bike owners. In the final design briefing, Quattrino tells us the Supersport speaks to a customer who has never owned a sportbike before. It needed to offer unmistakable sportbike looks, without being too intimidating.

3. Happy Wife, Happy Life

021717-ducati-supersport-7-things-image03

Ducati placed a lot of attention on making sure passengers are comfortable. The standard pillion seat is fairly broad (at least as far as sportybikes go) with a decent amount of padding compared to naked bikes or sportbikes. If that’s not enough, Ducati offers an accessory pillion seat with an extra 10mm of cushioning, to go along with the accessory passenger grab handles.

4. Service Intervals

2017 Ducati Supersport engine

It wasn’t long ago Ducati was scorned for its offensively short service intervals, as the desmodromic valves constantly needed adjusting. Those days are a thing of the past. All Ducati models have progressively been getting more and more reliable, with more miles in between trips to the service bay. In the case of the Supersport, Ducati says desmo service intervals are now only needed every 18,000 miles. Oil service intervals? Try 9,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.

5. How Low Can You Go?

2017 Ducati Supersport action

I’ve never been at a new model introduction where the manufacturer gave a max lean angle claim. Until now. The Supersport comes standard with Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires, measuring 120/70-17 front, 180/55-17 rear. With it, Ducati says max lean angle is 48º.

6. A Class Of One… Kinda

Suzuki GSX-S1000F

Because the Supersport is heavy on the sport side of sport-touring, Ducati insists the Supersport is unique in the segment, with no direct competitor. In fact, Quattrino noted Ducati didn’t use any competitor models as benchmarks. However, when pressed to name one motorcycle closest to being a benchmark, the Suzuki GSX-S1000F was mentioned. “But that’s not really a true competitor, since it doesn’t have standard panniers and the passenger area is small,” he said.

7. Superbike Supersport

2017 Ducati Supersport exhaustHow’s this for cool: Ducati’s accessories catalog for the Supersport includes a full Akropovic exhaust system, made completely from titanium, with its twin silencers placed under the seat, just like Chaz Davies’ WSBK Panigale! ECU mapping to ensure proper air/fuel mixture with the new pipe is included.

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Ducati Communities

  • JMDGT

    I need this bike. I’ve always wanted a Tiger Sport(only available in Europe) but this Super Sport is beautiful. It looks like everything I want in a motorcycle.

  • spiff

    I lke where the stock exhaust exits more than the Arka Ti piece.

    • Born to Ride

      I like the high mounts. Clear view of the rear wheel, sexy pipe routing and welds instead of a bulbous ugly canister under the engine. That being said I am aware that under engine exhausts are better in every other way.

    • TroySiahaan

      Check Motorcycle.com’s Facebook and/or Instagram page for a clip of what the Supersport sounds like with the Akra exhaust! Hint: it’s pretty awesome!

      • JMDGT

        Vellísimo!

    • MyName

      Except that they block access to the rear wheel and single sided swingarm… Pretty weird actually.

  • Old MOron

    Hey Trizzle, why do you speak of yourself in 3rd person?

    • TroySiahaan

      Because Troy like talking about Troy in third person…

  • Born to Ride

    When can I expect your writeup? I have been waiting for this one.

    • TroySiahaan

      Full writeup either Sunday or Monday. Check Motorcycle.com’s Facebook or Instagram channels for the most current updates.

      • Born to Ride

        Yeah no Facebook or Instagram for me. I already have too many dings going off on my phone as it is.

  • John B.

    Finally a motorcycle that looks good enough to park in the living room!!!

    • Larry Kahn

      Finally? I’ve got my ’48 Indian, ’73 Norton and ’72 Ducati GT in the house. Plenty of home decor bikes been around!

      • Goose

        in case anybody is wondering, I’ve been there and he really has the bikes (on plinths) in his house. Art is what you like.

  • Born to Ride

    Also, how is the VFR800 not a direct competitor to this bike? They even have similar aesthetics. I guess Ducati looked at the sales figures on those bikes and decided it was inconsequential.

    • Joe Popp

      There are many VFRs laying around from 2014. But a Ducati brings a bit more nuance of style. If Honda would just pump up the VFR to 1200, I bet they would sell a few more. I had a 900ss and I currently own a VFR800. I like my VFR, but man even with all her problems, the 900SS was the love of my life…

      • TroySiahaan

        This is kinda Ducati’s thinking. However, I should have clarified: no direct competitor among the crop of *current* production bikes.

        • John B.

          It doesn’t compare in terms of aesthetics, but the Ninja 1000 seems to fill a similar niche. Am I wrong?

          • Max Wellian

            Similar in style and ergos, but twins feel much different than inlines to my senses. It’s nice to have a choice.

          • John B.

            The insurance on the Ninja 1000 is a deal breaker.

          • Born to Ride

            With a name like “Supersport” don’t expect the rates to be much better on this Duc.

        • Born to Ride

          Isn’t the VFR still being produced? I saw a 2016 model at a Honda dealer last year.

          • TroySiahaan

            No new ones are being pumped out of the factory, but there are plenty of leftovers still sitting on dealer floors with little or no miles on them.

          • John B.

            In Dallas, Texas, VFR’s are advertised with substantial discounts. At the discounted price, the VRF 800 seems like an outstanding value.

          • Jason Channell

            You can get the GSXS-1000F for smokin deals around here in DFW too.

          • Gator Greg

            Troy, the 8th gen VFR Interceptor is apparently still being made but not for the USA market. Honda’s Australian website now has the 2017 model listed:
            http://motorcycles.honda.com.au/Sports_Touring/VFR800F
            “…for 2017 a revised exhaust system and addition of a STD Power socket.”
            Also the frame on the 2017 is now black instead of silver.
            See this thread at vfrworld for more info: http://vfrworld.com/forums/showthread.php/52176-2017-8th-gen-VFR-vid-pics

            I love my ’14 Interceptor but I’m looking forward to seeing your full review of this new Ducati.

      • (Funny to see you here) Honda has offered a VFR1200 (Shamu) since 2010…they do not sell well.

        • Joe Popp

          Yes, but that was an ugly beast! the 2014 was a nice looking bike. I would have bought one if they pumped it up to 1200. I would like to see hard luggage on the new Supersport. If they make that it would be in the running for a new bike. That zipper stuff is worthless in the rain.

    • JMDGT

      This is the bike I wish my old VFR was. I miss the idea of that bike but not the bike itself. My guess is that Honda wanted to keep the new bike close to the specs of the original. They should have developed the VFR to be more like this Supersport. In my opinion. If the Supersport had been available two years ago I would have bought it instead of my RT. I love my RT so it will always have a place in my garage just like my roadster. I need to figure out how and when to get a new Supersport.

      • Born to Ride

        The SS is definitely what the new VFR800 should have been. If Honda had ditched the Vtec and put the old girl on a little bit of a diet, I think it would have sold a better. Maybe.

        • JMDGT

          I agree. I would have bought one. I fantasized about the Tiger Sport but it was heavy and not available here. I was not a fan of my 2002 Vtec From my perspective I wanted the VFR to be a litre bike, weigh a lot less and have the full compliment of electronic goodies. I am convinced it would have sold big time if they had mad that version.

          • Born to Ride

            A V-4 superbike from Honda with a heavy street bias like the SS would probably finally get my money away from the Europeans. I contemplated replacing my Sprint with a Tuono, and adjusting the ergonomics to suit 20k+ mile a year riding, but horror stories of piaggio customer support and mediocre fuel range kept me from pulling the trigger. I wanted a ninja 1000 but the insurance cost was a no go. So I bought another Ducati with the air cooled engine platform that I know and trust. Don’t see myself replacing it anytime soon.

        • Joe Popp

          Exactly! Lose the weight and the VTEC, and add the gear driven cams everyone seemed to love. Make it 1000cc maybe? If I had a brain I probably find a leftover VFR800 Deluxe. But having owned the 900ss before draws me to this bike. The service intervals are amazing!

      • roma258

        Yeah, I had a 1999 VFR800 and I too liked the idea of it more than the reality of how I wanted to use it. A VFR800 that lost 50 lbs and gained a bit of grunt sounds just about perfect. Slightly higher bars too, please.

    • azicat

      VFR800 is a porker (30kg heavier), with less power and cheaper suspension. It’s a 15+ year old bike in modern clothing.

      I’ve owned two VFR800s in my time and they are competent in an extremely mundane way. MO’s oddball ST shootout really highlighted how outclassed the VFR design is.

      • Born to Ride

        I had a Sprint ST that was basically the same story, smooth, balanced, and very rideable. But I only really liked it on the open road. It had a few really annoying flaws that made it a pain around town and at night, so I replaced it with Ducati’s old Swiss Army knife. Turns out that the old multistrada is so good, I’m currently trying to get rid of my monsters because I hardly ever ride them now. Maybe In a few years when the Multi is getting tired I’ll replace her with this new SS. I’m anxiously awaiting a test ride on one.

        • Jason Channell

          I’m looking at this to replace my Sprint ST.

          • TroySiahaan

            I’m not a fan of the Sprint ST, so I’d make the switch if I were you. But if you like your Sprint, and it’s paid off, then there’s probably no need to go for the Supersport.

          • Jason Channell

            It’s a 2001 with 69K on it. I wish Triumph made an updated model, but they don’t. It’s likely this or the new Gixxer 1k,

  • kenneth_moore

    I’ll have mine in red with the underseat exhaust, please. I’ve never forgiven myself for passing on the 916. Now I can have my 916 and ride it too.

    • TroySiahaan

      Fun fact: Ducati personnel on hand say the Supersport makes more power than the original 916. With longer service intervals, a wet clutch, and all-day comfort.

      • DickRuble

        Sure, but will it handle better?

      • MyName

        A wet clutch is not automatically a good thing. This is a Ducati, after all.

  • gjw1992

    Hopefully this spurs Triumph into producing an “ST” version of the new 765 speed triple with the looks of their daytona but keeping the ergos of the speed.

    • Randy Talburt

      I hope this is the start of a good thing. I’ve always loved Supersports and not offering bags for everyone was a crime. I’ve had a lot of folks ask about touring bikes and it’s gotta be an ADV or barge. Anyone under 5’10” or can’t lift an 800lb machine is outta luck. The Kaw Ninja 1000 is certainly a competitor as is BMW RS or800 GT. Cmon Aprillia (Futura),Triumph(ST),KTM,Honda,Suz,Yam bring this class back!

    • Joe Popp

      Oh, that would be nice!

    • roma258

      Seriously, I’ve been waiting for close to a decade for Triumph to make that bike.

      • Jason Channell

        We’re still waiting. I’d love to have an updated version of my 2001 Sprint ST with great suspension, and electronics.

  • spiff

    Do you think KTM will release the 790GT in 2018 or will it take two or three years?

    Reading others comments makes me wonder what this class will evolve into. The Z1000 is a very good option. Triumph needs to answer if they don’t already have a plan. MV has the Veloce. I like that there is no race class to dictate the engine. Manufacturers can tackle the concept anyway they want. I see the rules like this: a sporty bike that you can commute on, a weekend blaster, or use as a weekend getaway machine. Doesn’t need stupid power, but better loft the front when called upon.

    • spiff

      ps

      Anyone jonesing for Bruce to tell us about the recent MotoGP testing.
      Come on MO, we are in the mood for a race season.

    • Born to Ride

      Talk of a Sprint 765 based on the new streetie is the buzz. If it materializes, I would certainly have to consider it. I have at least 3-4 years before I need to replace my do-it-all bike though. My hope is that the category sees a resurgence while I am busy riding the piss out of it and saving cash.

  • azicat

    This bike seems more CBR600F4 than VFR800 on the sport-touring spectrum – a class of bike that’s been AWOL for a while. Welcome back!

  • Say it with me: Ah-Crop-O-Vitch!

  • Brian Clasby

    I like the Suzuki too.

  • Buzz

    A new version of my beloved old ST4. The K1600 may go on the market this year due to my lack of long distance touring anymore.

    I’ll have to ride one but this hits all the right buttons for me and having two 90 degree twins in the garage (Guzzi and Ducati) would be pretty cool.

  • tristan50

    I saw, and sat on one of these at the International MC Show. Fit me like a glove. Felt much lighter then my Ninja 1000. I really liked the looks. Would love to test ride one. Just wonder if I would miss the huge power of my Ninja? Probably not once I hit the twisties.

  • Nick Hooser

    Ninja 1000!

  • Shawn Poorman

    I love everything about it – except the price. 13 g’s seems a little steep for essentially a monster 939 with a fairing. Also its silly that the passenger accommodations and panniers make it somehow not in competition with the GSXS1000F. It’s funny they said that, cause right now I’m thinking 2 grand cheaper for 30 more hp, and everything else being very similar (suspension, brakes, ergos etc) is a bargain that’s hard to beat. And as a current Monster rider (696), as much as i like the rumbly, torquey twin, a smooth, high- revving I4 sounds like an excellent proposition.

    Spot on with their observation that guys who ride naked bikes might be ready for something with a little wind protection but not at all interested in supersport ergos