2017 Ducati Supersport

Editor Score: 86.5%
Engine 19.0/20
Suspension/Handling 13.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.0/10
Brakes 8.0/10
Instruments/Controls4.0/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 7.0/10
Overall Score86.5/100

In 2015 I wrote a column about how Sportbikes Are Terrible. In short, I felt (and still do) that production sportbikes have become so focused on the racetrack that riding them on the street anywhere other than a curvy road is borderline torture. Take either of the Ducati Panigale variants, for example. Rolling works of art, on a track they are some of the most fun you can have on two wheels. But would I want to ride one a few hours to the track, do a trackday, then ride home?

Not just no, but hell no.

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way: introducing the 2017 Ducati Supersport. Offering a motorcycle nearly as pretty as the Panigale, with all-day comfort and a slice of the 1299’s performance chops – Ducati calls the Supersport the model for those who lean more toward the sport side of sport-touring.

Really, the Supersport shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as we first posted a leaked photo of the Ducati Supersport back in July of 2016. The bike was shown to attendees of World Ducati Week with a strict no-cameras policy, but unsurprisingly, a “mole” (if you believed this photo was staged) was able to snap a pic and distribute it to the world via social media. The rumor mill then ignited with possible specs for the Supersport and, I’ll admit, I got caught up, too.

The guesswork came to an end in October 2016, as Ducati finally took the official wraps off the Supersport and Supersport S at Intermot. Beyond being a sporty sport-tourer, what we found could arguably be described as the ideal middleweight sportbike – if you’re willing to let go of the notion that middleweights have to be 600cc Fours. We’ve already covered the technical details of the Supersport after its Intermot unveiling, but here are the key points:

  • Power is sourced from the 937cc Testastretta 11º found in the Hypermotard. The 937cc Twin delivered 101 hp and 67 lb-ft of torque to the wheel when we sampled it in our 2017 Ducati Hypermotard review, making it perfect for its intended role in the Supersport.
  • The engine is mated to a new steel-trellis frame. To accommodate, the 937cc V-Twin received a new crankcase, cylinder heads, generator cover, and external coils.
  • Base model gets Marzocchi fork (fully adjustable) and Sachs rear shock (rebound and preload adjustable)
  • Uprated S model gets Öhlins shock and 48mm TiN-treated fork, quickshifter for both up and downshifts (optional on base model), and a solo seat cowl.
  • Both versions get Brembo M432 radial-mount calipers with a Brembo PR18/19 front master cylinder
  • Both versions get Bosch ABS and eight-level traction control

Crucially, what makes the Supersport an ideal companion for the street and track is its relatively relaxed ergos. Clip-ons are placed above the top triple clamp, its 31.8-inch seat height is 0.78 inch lower than the Panigale’s, and the pegs have been placed in a more comfortable position versus the Panigale as well. Even the windscreen is adjustable to two positions for user comfort.

2017 Ducati Supersport

The Supersport’s optional expandable saddlebags don’t need cutouts to accommodate the exhaust, so are able to hold an equal amount – enough to fit a full-face helmet. The bags are part of the optional Touring pack which includes a taller windscreen and heated grips.

Despite those comfort items, the Supersport still has the ingredients to slice up a canyon road and set some quick laps, too – it is a Ducati, after all. With a 24.0° rake, 3.68-inch trail and 58.3-inch wheelbase, compare that to the 1299 Panigale’s figures of 24.0º, 3.78 inches, and 56.6 inches, respectively. Clearly, the sporting chops are still there.

Ducati doesn’t categorize the Supersport as an entry-level Panigale. Instead, Bologna believes the Supersport and Supersport S fill a gap in the company’s lineup between the Panigale and Multistrada. It’s a model with unmistakeable sportbike aesthetics that doesn’t alienate those who still want to travel some distance on it. Whether you want to call it a sporty-bike or a sporty-tourer, the question remains: Does it work?

A Streetable Sportbike

The simple answer is yes, it absolutely works. But if you’re expecting a motorcycle like the past Supersports of a decade (or more) ago, then you should change your expectations. Ducati says the latest iteration of the Supersport isn’t a modern day interpretation of an old name, but instead a new direction. Ducati’s out to prove comfort and sport are not mutually exclusive.

2017 Ducati Supersport street action

Visual lightness comes from cutting out the lower part of fairing to keep front header pipe visible, while the short exhaust silencer exposes the rear wheel.

Looking at the bike, it’s clear to see by the Panigale-inspired nose and elegant bodywork that the Supersport is ready for a curvy road. Once you’re sitting on it, the message of comfort also makes itself known. The narrow seat/tank junction feels as though you’re nearly touching your knees together, which makes it easy to put both feet on the ground. The seat itself is broad and fairly well padded once you scoot back a smidge.

Comfort is further illustrated when you reach for the bars, as you’re not splayed out over the fuel tank. Instead, the high bars place the rider in a natural posture, with only a slight forward lean. Wrist pressure is minimal, which is what you want if burning up miles en route to twisty roads is the goal. I was pleasantly surprised, too, when reaching back for the footpegs as I would for a Panigale, only to find nothing back there. Relaxing my knees a bit and reaching forward placed toes on pegs. Ahhh

2017 Ducati Supersport instruments

Notice the clip-on bars mounted above the top triple clamp. This is a key component to the Supersport’s all-around rideability. The rider is crouched forward far less, taking pressure away from the wrists and lower back.

On the roads in and around Seville, the Supersport’s beauty and functionality come into view. A less intimidating mileage cruncher compared to the Multistrada, its smaller dimensions are easier to manage and the 937cc Testastretta V-Twin is lively and athletic, producing just the right amount of power to have fun but not be intimidating – the Goldilocks effect, if you will. Clutch pull is light, though a little slippage is needed to leave a stop.

Three ride modes are available (Sport, Touring, Urban) thanks to ride-by-wire technology, with full power available in Sport and Touring. As the name would imply, the latter meters out a gentle delivery of power with the first few degrees of throttle turn, while Sport gives the full dose from the off. Urban, meanwhile, limits the Supersport to 75 hp and really soft power delivery. Touring was initially selected for our street ride, as Sport mode on past Ducatis have sometimes been too aggressive for casual riding.

2017 Ducati Supersport street action

It’s easy to see the relaxed rider triangle here, as I’m in a far less committed riding position than on either of the Panigale models. With seats broad and well padded for both pilot and passenger, the Supersport hasn’t forgotten that sport doesn’t have to come at the cost of comfort. Optional seats are available that are either 0.98-inch taller, or 0.8-inch shorter than stock. The taller option also includes a pillion seat with 10mm thicker padding.

Fuel is metered precisely no matter the ride mode, but I found myself wanting for just a touch more power during the initial twist of the wrist in Touring mode. Switching to Sport halfway through the ride gave a much more immediate burst of power without being too harsh or abrupt. I liked it so much it became my default setting for the rest of the ride. ABS and traction control are tied into each ride mode, but can be adjusted independently from the menu screen.

Once above 4,000 rpm, the Supersport really starts to sing. It’s belting out something in the region of 101 hp and 67 lb-ft to the wheel, based on the 937 in the last Hypermotard we tested, and Ducati claims 80% of the bike’s torque is available from 3,000 rpm. This playful character makes the Supersport a riot in the canyons, with readily available propulsion that gently pushes you forward instead of snapping you back, like on the 1299 Panigale. Simply put, you’re the one riding the bike. Not the other way around.

2017 Ducati Supersport street action

The Supersport thrives on roads like this, where curves flow from one to the next.

Rowing through the six cogs is easy enough. Ratios are identical to the Hypermotard, but according to Giuseppe Caprara, Supersport Project Leader, the gears themselves have been strengthened compared to the Hyper to better handle the stress from the quickshifter, which works in both directions and comes standard on the S model. The standard models we rode for the street ride were not equipped with the quickshifter, but it wasn’t much of a problem. Clutchless upshifts go on without a hitch, and a slipper clutch helps mask any mistakes made changing down.

As fun and athletic as the engine is, the Supersport is blessed with a chassis and supporting cast that are equally down to party. Its trellis frame is derived from the Monster line, with Marzocchi supplying the fully adjustable fork and Sachs delivering the shock with preload and rebound adjustability. Tires are Pirelli Diablo Rosso III measuring 120/70-17 front, 180/55-17 rear – the latter size chosen specifically to highlight the Supersport’s agility, says Caprara.

2017 Ducati Supersport street action

Upright bars that are spaced nicely apart provide just the right amount of leverage to put the bike wherever you want.

More than just marketing speak, the Supersport really is a light and agile motorcycle, willing to change direction quickly. The sinuous Spanish roads Ducati chose as part of the ride route brought this into clear focus, as flicking the Supersport’s 463 pounds from side to side was effortless – an attribute no doubt helped by the positioning of the bars, which are wide enough to give just the right amount of leverage to toss the bike around. Once on its side, the chassis/suspension/tire combination feels sure and planted.

If you ask me, Ducati nailed it with the Supersport. Fun, quick, and unintimidating it’s a great real-world Ducati for those who want to combine elements of sportiness from the Panigale, approachability of the Monster, and touring ability of the Multistrada. That said, the bike isn’t without its sore spots.

2017 Ducati Supersport windscreen

For a little extra wind deflection, the windscreen can extend another two inches by simply pulling it to this raised position. If that’s still not enough, a larger screen is also available.

First, as a bike claiming to be flexible enough for touring, the twin 22-liter saddlebags are part of the optional Touring Pack available from Ducati. Other bits of the Touring Pack include a taller windscreen and heated grips. Speaking of which, buzz from the Supersport does start to make the hands go numb when you’re playing in the upper third of the rev range (common when strafing canyons at a quick clip). Lastly, it seems Ducati missed an obvious opportunity by not equipping the Supersport with cruise control. Throttle is ride-by-wire anyway; for a bike capable of some light touring, cruise control should be a no-brainer.

The New Middleweight

The Supersport may be a road-going motorcycle first and foremost, but Ducati has racing in its blood, so it couldn’t just have a single version of a model. Hence the Supersport S. Distinguished by its matte white color (but also available in Red), matching solo seat cowl, fully adjustable Öhlins suspension, and Ducati Quick Shifter (DQS), the S version further highlights the sporting chops of the bike without sacrificing its light-duty touring potential.

2017 Ducati Supersport S beauty

The most obvious sign you’re looking at a Supersport S is its matte white color (Red is also an option). Other distinguishing features include the Öhlins suspension, solo seat cowl, and Ducati quickshifter.

To take full advantage of the Supersport S, a racetrack is needed, Ducati shuttled us to the Circuito Monteblanco to fully explore the limits. With only two 20-minute sessions at our disposal, it was important to learn the track quickly. Fortunately, the relatively docile Supersport S made this easy to do, as its modest power doesn’t overwhelm the senses, allowing me to spare a few precious brain cells to figure out my lefts from my rights.

Once up to speed, the Supersport S is just as enjoyable on track as the standard model was on the roads. Without crazy horsepower to manage, liberal amounts of throttle can be applied exiting a corner as the bike is picked up and accelerating on the fat part of the tire. The rear Diablo Rosso III protests quickly when ridden this way, squirming and sliding as it copes with the rider’s request, but the Ducati Traction Control (set to level 3 of 8 in my case), keeps everything under control. Without it, I’d likely still be in orbit as you read this.

2017 Ducati Supersport S action

While not as fast or as track-focused as either of the Panigale models, the Supersport S will still get around a circuit at a quick clip – and be far less taxing both physically and mentally doing it.

If you’re the type to be more cautious as you navigate bends, the Supersport’s excellent fueling means careful throttle inputs are met without harsh abruptness during on/off throttle inputs. Around a racetrack, the Supersport favors corner speed and momentum to make up for its modest power. Just like on the street, the SS has no problem changing directions, the wide bars providing ample leverage. More impressive was not feeling much of a difference between the Marzocchi/Sachs suspenders on the standard model and the Öhlins bits on the S. This isn’t a knock on Öhlins as much as it is a credit to Marzocchi and Sachs. Granted, our time aboard the S was very short, so a more thorough assessment of the suspension will have to wait until we get one Stateside.

Either way, the bike feels composed and stable – the tires being the limiting factor in this equation for anyone truly wanting to set fast laps. There’s plenty of room to move about the saddle, and when raised to its higher position, the windscreen even provides a decent pocket of still air for the pilot to tuck into.

2017 Ducati Supersport S switch gear

Scrolling through the dashboard menu screens is a dance between the turn-indicator button and the arrow button above it. A mixture of taps and holds (both long and short) through various screens will eventually get you where you want to go, but it’s not intuitive or quick.

Because we were able to ride the bike on the track, I can’t help but think the Supersport represents a shift in thinking of what a middleweight bike is. As I mentioned earlier, if you erase the notion that a middleweight has to be a 600cc Four (or 675 Triple), the Supersport satisfies many of the same qualities; it feels roughly as quick as a 600, it feels lighter than its 463 lbs would make you believe, and it’s less demanding both physically and mentally than a liter-class racer. Or even the 959 Panigale, for that matter. It’s even priced similarly to the 600 competition, too: standard Supersports start at $12,995, S models $14,995. Compare that with the $12,199 price tag for the new Yamaha R6 (or $14,999 for the R1S).

As much as I like the S model, there are a few (albeit minor) complaints I noticed on track. The 320mm rotors and Brembo M432 calipers provide decent braking power, but it could use a little more. Feel at the lever was lacking as well. Make no mistake, it will stop just fine with a hard enough squeeze, but the M432 calipers are akin to a paint gun compared to the air brush of the M50s used on the 1299 Panigale. Perhaps, something as simple as a pad change would go a long way.

2017 Ducati Supersport S action

Notice the fairing has no visible screws or bolts. All the tabs and screws to keep bodywork attached are located internally, making the bike lovely to look at, but perhaps a chore to work on.

Along that line, the ABS can be too intrusive. Fortunately, it’s adjustable to three different settings (four, including off). Set to level 2 during our initial track outing, the ABS would kick in aggressively, especially while braking for Turn 1, which comes at the end of a very long straight, just as the Supersport touches the rev limiter in top gear. ABS is working hard at both ends to keep the wheels from locking, but it’s also taking away feel at the lever that lets the rider find that threshold himself. Setting ABS to level 1 disables it in the rear, allowing for rear tire slides; It’s not the fast way into the corner, but it sure is fun. Still, engagement in the front occurs slightly too soon for my taste, but it’s really a minor nitpick.

The Ducati quickshifter also felt as though it was tuned for the street rather than the track. Kill times were just a hair too long during upshifts, and clutchless downshifts felt notchy and slightly too slow for track duty. Ultimately, I went old school and downshifted with the clutch lever.

Lastly, changing any of the settings from the LCD menu screen requires requires a degree in computer science. I applaud Ducati for giving the Supersport plenty of tunability within the settings, but navigating the screens and making changes requires numerous screens and button presses to wade through; you won’t be making any changes on the fly.

2017 Ducati Supersport with pipe

This here is the Supersport S with the available Sport package, which includes the option of either an Akrapovic slip-on exhaust or the full system seen here. Other bits include foldable levers, billet reservoir covers, and carbon fiber fenders. A third option, the Urban pack, includes rubber peg inserts, a magnetic tank bag, and an anti-theft alarm system. Pricing for these different packs was not available at time of testing.

One Bike To Do It All

In the overall scheme of things, those complaints are fairly minor. The bigger thing to keep in mind here is that, as motorcycles have become more and more specialized, Ducati has set out to create a motorcycle to bring things back to the way they were. With the Supersport and Supersport S, the street rider really does have a bike capable of fulfilling all their needs. Whether it’s commuting, weekend rides, touring, or even trackdays, the Supersport can handle it and handle it well.

2017 Ducati Supersport street action

If you’re looking for an entry-level Panigale, then look elsewhere. However, if you’ve wanted to join the ranks of Ducatisti but couldn’t quite find the one model to do it all, the Supersport might be the perfect fit.

Personally, I agree. Ducati named the Suzuki GSX-S1000 as something remotely close to a competitor, but I think we can all agree the Gixxus doesn’t match the Supersport for looks, and its passenger accommodations are rather slim. While I didn’t ride on the back of the Supersport, I did sit back there while parked and agree it’s broad and well padded. Perhaps its nearest Japanese analog is the VFR800 Interceptor, which was dropped from American Honda’s lineup in 2015.

The beauty of Ducati’s Supersport models is their flexibility to suit riders of all skill levels. Nearly anyone can ride it in the manner that suits them and come away satisfied. As it turns out, the group of journos assembled this day ranged from MotoAmerica pro racers to a first-time track rider, and everyone in between. All of them, myself included, walked away happy and with a big grin on their face.

 

2017 Ducati Supersport
+ Highs

  • Goldilocks engine
  • All-day comfort
  • Can easily hold its own on track or in the canyons
– Sighs

  • Menu screens aren’t intuitive
  • Brakes could use a bit more power and feel
  • A little pricey…

Whether you lean more towards sport or touring, the Supersport offers something to like for almost everyone. Touring riders looking for something smaller and lighter than a Multistrada will be pleased, as will sport riders looking for a less hardcore kind of middleweight. The beauty of the Supersport is the ability to modify and accessorize it to better accomplish either.

As for me, I think I’ve found my new favorite Ducati. I’d even ride it to a trackday, burn laps, and ride home.

2017 Ducati Supersport 2017 Ducati Supersport S
MSRP $12,995 $14,995
Horsepower 113 hp @ 9,000 rpm (claimed) 113 hp @ 9,000 rpm (claimed)
Torque 71.3 lb.-ft. @ 6,500 rpm (claimed) 71.3 lb.-ft. @ 6,500 rpm (claimed)
Engine Capacity 937cc 937cc
Engine Type

Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled

Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled

Bore x Stroke

94.0 x 67.5 mm

94.0 x 67.5 mm
Compression
12.6± 0.5 :1
12.6± 0.5 :1
Fuel System
Continental electronic fuel injection system, 53 mm Mikuni throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire
Continental electronic fuel injection system, 53 mm Mikuni throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed
Clutch Multi-plate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system & quick-shifter Multi-plate PASC slipper clutch
Final Drive Chain Chain
Frame
Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the chylinders head
Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the chylinders head
Front Suspension

Fully adjustable 43mm (1.7 in) usd Marzocchi forks

Fully adjustable 48mm (1.9 in) usd Ohlins forks

Rear Suspension

Progressive linkage with adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm

Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins monoshock. Aluminium single- sided swingarm

Front Brakes

2 x 320 mm (12.6 in) semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4- 32 callipers, 4-piston, radial pump with ABS as standard

2 x 320 mm (12.6 in) semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4- 32 callipers, 4-piston, radial pump with ABS as standard

Rear Brakes

245 mm (9.6 in) disc, 2-piston caliper, ABS as standard

245 mm (9.6 in) disc, 2-piston caliper, ABS as standard

Front Tire

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17

Rear Tire

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17

Seat Height

31.9 inches

31.9 inches
Wheelbase 58.2 inches 58.2 inches
Rake/Trail 24.0º/ 3.6 inches 24.0° / 3.6 inches
Curb Weight (fully fueled) 463 pounds 463 pounds
Fuel Capacity 4.2 gal. 4.2 gal.
MPG 35.4 mpg 38.4 mpg
Electronics

Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW. Ready for anti-theft system

Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW, DQS. Ready for anti-theft system

Colors Red Matte White, Red
Warranty

24 months unlimited mileage

24 months unlimited mileage

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Ducati Communities

  • Joe

    Great review Troy!

    This is probably going to be my next bike, upgrading from an SV650s.

    Do you think Honda might respond to this bike and actually update the Interceptor? It would be great to have more bikes in this sporty sport-touring category.

    Also, how much forward lean would you estimate you have on the Supersport? I’m trying to get an idea of how i’d fit on the bike (I’m 5’10”).

    • JMDGT

      cycle-ergo.com does not have it in their database yet but should fairly soon.

      • Joe

        Yeah, that’s basically what I’m waiting on. Thanks!

      • DickRuble

        Site hasn’t been updated in a while…

        • JMDGT

          Yeah. They are a little slow but they seem to get around to it sooner or later. Mostly later.

    • TroySiahaan

      Thanks for the kind words. As a former SV650 owner, I think this would be a fine bike to upgrade to. I’m 5’8″ and I hardly felt like I was leaned over at all. Since you’re a little taller, I’m guessing you’ll feel pretty relaxed – especially if you have a long torso.

      As for Honda… who knows?

      • Junker

        Got any idea how the ergos compare to the current VFR800? I’m specifically interested in forward lean.

  • Born to Ride

    First off, the S model is F**king gorgeous. That being said, those fuel economy/capacity stats don’t add up to a competent tourer or commuter. My guess is that the fuel light will be coming on around 100-110 miles. That is unfortunate for one bike in the garage types. Disappointed with pannier capacity as well, but in fairness they are the same size as the ones on my old Sprint. Are they at least of the locking/waterproof variety?

    Judging by your words, it doesn’t seem to excite like a proper second bike should. I’ll reserve judgement until I score a test ride, but I don’t think the Tuono or new Streetie have any sort of competition for my wallet here except for the pure beauty of this thing. Especially with a full fairing and a name like “Ducati Supersport”, I don’t think the insurance is going to be reasonable…

    • spiff

      I would like to see a CR version. I dig less plastic, more motor.

      • Born to Ride

        With a handlebar. That factors into the classification for insurance believe it or not.

        • roma258

          So…a Monster?

          • Born to Ride

            With a quarter fairing.

    • TroySiahaan

      I haven’t ridden the new Street Triple yet, but judging by what I know about you based on past comments you’ve made, if you’re comparing the Supersport to the Tuono or ST, the Supersport will come up short. Especially to the Tuono. But then again, the Tuono trumps almost everything. The SS and ST make an interesting comparison, though.

      • Born to Ride

        Well I am currently outside the target demographic for this bike I think. I already have a solid performing daily rider. I’m currently in the process of cleaning out the garage, and once I get down to one bike, I’d like to buy something to be my focused sportbike. Being that I’m not willing to pay the insurance on a newer repli-racer, it is my thought that the Tuono and the STR are the sharpest scalpels one can keep for reasonable cost of ownership.

        • TroySiahaan

          If those are your choices, then Tuono all the way.

  • Old MOron

    Great work, Trizzle. Since I recently purchased a fantastic new bike, I’m not pouring over these new bike articles like I was about a year ago. But your review of this new Supersport is very engaging. And I was especially happy to read:

    “With the Supersport and Supersport S, the street rider really does have a bike capable of fulfilling all their needs. Whether it’s commuting, weekend rides, touring, or even trackdays, the Supersport can handle it and handle it well.”

    Quick question for you. Does the S model really get better gas mileage than the standard?

    • Born to Ride

      Especially since the monster 1200 gets closer to 40 by most people’s real world estimations. I’m guessing there was a lot of WFO riding going on at the launch.

    • TroySiahaan

      Thanks, OM. No idea about gas mileage. All I know is we were flogging both bikes, people in Ducati shirts were topping up the tanks after each track session, and I didn’t keep track of the mileage. That will have to come once we get a bike over here for a thorough evaluation. But since the engine is the same between the two, I don’t see why one would get better mpg than the other.

      • Old MOron

        Thank yo for your reply. For the record, I was referring to the specs at the end of your article. Maybe it’s a botched cut-and-paste job. It says the S model gets better mileage, 3 mpg!

        • TroySiahaan

          Right, I saw the specs and am skeptical about it, too.

  • gjw1992

    Another good review.

    The bike is appealing – looks, all rounder, decent performance. But I think at that price the ‘standard’ should have the S spec. And the ‘S’ just added the touring bits. But why’s the S 3mpg better off?

    I agree with others the street looks good in comparison – in street RS form it has better spec and just lacks the fairing and easier seating position. But this Ducati might be the contender for main bike. Thanks again – hope the vid arrives soon!

    • Born to Ride

      Might wanna wait, word is that Triumph is going to release a ST bike based on the new streetie. Fingers crossed.

  • spiff

    Clutch stats are mucked up.

    • spiff

      I think, the quick shifter at least.

  • spiff

    The Akra exhaust looks better than I expected, but still not a fan of under seat exhaust.

  • JMDGT

    This bike is exactly what the doctor ordered. Not surprised to hear about the electronic setup issue. No big deal for me. More sport than tourer. I’m all in. Better brakes,yeah I can see that too. Well done review.

  • DickRuble

    I can’t remember one Ducati that looks more like a last decade Honda than this one.

    • azicat
    • ken mcguire

      Yeah the similarities are uncanny :/

    • roma258

      The Duc looks significantly comfier and a 959 L-twin has to be a much nicer street motor than a 600 inline four.

      • ken mcguire

        roma258, absolutely! My original post was taking the piss. Apart from the pre-requisites that make them both motorcycles, they’re hugely different. The Honda it could be said to most resemble in appearance is a CBR650F. My question though is, why bother?

        • benzone

          Because the 200HP sport bikes make no sense on the street? Apparently there are plenty of people who’d like to ride a mid range, sporty but still relatively comfortable mid-weight bike. They were out of fashion recently, but might just be making a comeback.

  • john phyyt

    Oh dear I just read the old SS write up and they said it was difficult to praise the bike too highly as it only had 80 hp. Move forward 20 years and I guess I will say it because Troy himself was saying it about a 600 super sport BUT.. Only 100hp from a modern near 1000cc water cooled Ducati at that price.. Please .
    Before you come down on me ; would you be so sanguine if new Triumph middle weight had just on 100hp?

    • TroySiahaan

      I had a feeling a comment like this would come eventually. To which my answer is this: the CBR600RR (and others in the class) is supposed to be on the cutting edge of middleweight performance. Ducati didn’t design the Supersport to be a hard-edged middleweight sportbike, or a competitor to the 600cc sportbikes. It’s mission is to be a road bike that blends sportiness and touring into a single package. A broad spread of torque is what helps the Supersport excel here, and it trumps the 600cc class in that regard. I made the comparison to middleweight sportbikes because there was a track component to this test, and I think with some choice aftermarket parts it could keep some of the 600s honest.

      • DickRuble

        Ohhh .. so this is the new Ducati ST2?

        • HeDidn’tWeDid

          That’s actually pretty close to what I was thinking…or maybe even the ST3. I saw one of these (in yellow) this past weekend riding around Little Rock.

    • Kevin Duke

      FWIW, the new Triumph middleweight will only have around 100 hp at its wheel; the base version might be less than 100 rwhp. The Duc’s big advantage is its 67 lb-ft of torque, which will be significantly more than the Triumph and absolutely dwarf any 600.

      • Born to Ride

        On that note, The Ducati 999 had the exact same horsepower rating as the R6 of the same year, yet it won WSBK multiple times.

    • Stuki Moi

      With the grippier rubber on modern bikes, 100 is the new 80. The Goldilocks for street performance for many experienced riders looking for a new 90s 600 or Interceptor. Or original SS. Personally, this is about the only Euro bike that much appeals to me right now. Although a 98 (out of respect for Ducati) RWHP SV1000S would appeal even more.

      And for those who don’t agree, it’s hardly as if what the world is currently lacking, is enough 150RWHP bikes to choose from.

      • Born to Ride

        Doesn’t the SV1000 put something like 110 to the rear wheel? I remember reading that with bolt on mods and tuning you can nearly massage 120hp out of those old girls.

  • Ariel Andres Cáceres

    So pumped for this bike, maybe it’s just confirmation bias but I was really wondering what I could get as my upgrade bike with out it feeling like a stepping stone to something I really wanted. I don’t think I would want to go anywhere else after this one.

  • John B.

    Well done Troy. I would like to see MO do a “Best All-Rounder” Shootout where each editor picks a bike he considers the best do-everything motorcycle, and then put the bikes through a motorcycling pentathlon.

    For those who want one motorcycle that does everything reasonably well, and looks great doing it, this bike deserves serious consideration. The gas tank and panniers are small for serious sport touring duty, especially for those with big shoes and clothes, and those who have to grind highway miles for a full day before reaching interesting terrain.

    If I had two motorcycles in my garage, I might prefer a naked bike for around town and nearby destinations, and a full size sport tourer for long trips.

    • TroySiahaan

      Hmm…. “Best All-Rounder” Shootout and motorcycling pentathlon. I like that. What events would you include in the pentathlon?

      • John B.

        I thought about that a bit and then decided to leave that to the pros because I got stumped. The stumbling block was whether or not to include off road riding. I don’t ride off road, so my ideal events would include:

        1. Trip to the grocery store to buy ingredients for multi-course Valentine’s Day dinner including flowers, wine, and dessert;
        2. Track day including riding to and from the track;
        3. Six hundred mile plus day ride to a destination (2-up);
        4. Sunday canyon carving & related activities;
        5. Urban rush hour commute to/from a client meeting that requires a suit and tie and powerpoint presentation followed by an afternoon tennis/golf match. Alternatively, ride 2-up with a gift to and from a wedding.

        • Old MOron

          Holy smokes! Are you my long-lost twin brother?

          • John B.

            Possibly! Lol!

        • Born to Ride

          Nice list, I think 3 seems a little unreasonable for anything other than a Goldwing or a K16 though. haha

          • John B.

            Thanks. My first drafts always need revisions. You’re right, six hundred miles two up is too far. Maybe 300 miles 2-up, or 600 miles solo…. I think I would bring the 2017 BMW S1000XS to the Best All-Rounder Shootout. How about you?

          • Born to Ride

            If we are choosing from current production bikes, I would bring either a Turismo Veloce Lusso or a fully decked out R1200RS. Maybe a Ninja 1000 if I could put a full system exhaust on it beforehand(+20 hp, – 20lbs).

            I hate I4s with no balancer. I haven’t ridden the S1000XS, but it has been universally derided for buzziness. If I am gonna ride something all day, it better not put my hands, ass, and feet to sleep in the first 30 minutes.

          • John B.

            The 2017 S1000XS supposedly addresses the buziness issue you referenced. I agree the Ninja 1000 is a good choice except for insurance premiums. The KTM Super Duke GT might work too and it has two cylinders. How about the Honda Africa Twin? It would be an interesting Shootout especially if they did it Top Gear style where everyone shows up with a motorcycle and gets assignments to complete. Honestly there’s at least 10 bikes I would like to own.

          • Born to Ride

            Ah forgot about the SDGT. That would be high on the list too. Bags are kinda small on it though.

          • Born to Ride

            Let the MOronic hilarity ensue.

          • Jason Channell

            I’ve done #3 several times on a Triumph Sprint ST. I’m crazy enough to ride from Dallas to Chicago and back.

          • Born to Ride

            With a passenger? If so, it’s not just you that’s crazy haha.

          • Jason Channell

            ha no! By myself. But a 600 mile day is a long one no matter what.

          • Born to Ride

            Yeah I took more exception to the stipulation of 2-up than I did about a 600 mile day. My personal record in a 24 hour period was around 600 miles. Also on a sprint ST.

        • TroySiahaan

          Holy crap, this list sounds fun!

          Well, except maybe number 3…

          • mugwump

            #3 Should be 1 up with stuff to camp at a MotoAmerica race a couple days away. 2 up? LOL.

  • Gator Greg

    Great review and photos Trizzle! This bike looks a LOT like my Pearl White ’14 Interceptor, very nice! I prefer the tasteful bronze colored wheels though of the VFR to the clown-like red wheels on the Ducati and I also much prefer the dash on the VFR with its real tach and white on black LCD – the Ducati’s black on tan dash looks like an old Nintendo GameBoy screen – they should have at least used a color TFT screen. I also much prefer the sweet noises made by the VFR especially with an aftermarket exhaust – its absolute heaven when the VTEC kicks in at 7,000 rpm. The Ducati’s okay but twins don’t sound nearly as good to my ears. With only a 4.2 gallon tank the Ducati also won’t have anywhere near the range of the VFR. While the VFR apparently has a more leaned over riding position than this Ducati, Honda sells bar risers to make the VFR more comfortable on longer hauls. The VFR is heavier but it handles awesome and still manages to do 0-60 in 3.0 sec (according to zeroth60times.com) which is just a few tenths behind the Panigale and literbikes. It falls off in the 1/4 mile times but at street legal speeds the VFR is very quick. I’m curious to see what times is new Ducati gets once you have a chance to do more testing. The 8th gen VFR Interceptor is still being sold overseas with a slightly updated 2017 model but all we have in the USA is leftover ’14 and ’15 models – but they are being heavily discounted by dealers so would be a much better value compared to this new Ducati IMO.

  • azicat

    Cruise control is becoming a feature that’s conspicuous through its absence, as Troy has mentioned. As much as I like the idea of this bike, it’s priced fairly close to the supernakeds – with the FZ/MT-10 offering standard cruise, as well as the S1000R in some markets. Perhaps not a deal breaking feature as such, but ride-by-wire throttles should be bringing it to the mainstream.

  • azicat

    I’ve quickly whipped up an ergonomic comparison with a CBR600F4i. Seems like the Ducati is slightly more upright than the classic Honda all-rounder. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9922e844b6b71e90586df769175322e4a06134350571e6d3a95ab7c666ed008e.jpg

  • BDan75

    Sounds like a nice machine, but if I were in the market for a sleek-looking, red or white, graphics-free, hundred-ish horsepower sporting all-rounder with an X-shaped LED headlight, one of the many leftover VFR800s for $8,000 – $8,500 would probably be tough to pass up. A little less power and a little (lot?) more weight, yes, but $5,000 goes a long way.

    • DickRuble

      Or just get the VFR1200, a superlative sport-tourer.

    • Junker

      I’ve got a ’14 VFR. The SS does almost look like it was inspired by the VFR, but then again, the VFR was probably inspired by something else, maybe Ducati.

      I was thinking about this as a replacement for mine ever since it was announced. Dropping 70 pounds does sound nice, at least for the sport angle. But for the touring angle the fuel economy and smaller tank don’t sound good at all, though, even for day or overnight tripping.

      The Deluxe VFR has some nice features, but they were Spartan in that Honda way even in ’14, so the tech updates would be appreciated.

      hmmm

      I’ll have to ride one, and if it is a little more comfortable than the VFR I might go for it anyway. That’s really my only gripe with the Honda–I wish there were some better options to raise the bars, but it sold so poorly no one (I’m looking at you, Helibars!) made anything. It looks about the same triangle, though, and if so, I think it will miss the mark just like the VFR for rides longer than a 2-3 hours. It will be better at the sport side of the equation and probably worse for touring, but there are tons of bikes good at the sport side already so…

      I don’t know what the answer is for me yet, but as a VFR owner I think…if you are deciding between the two, unless you are on a very tight budget don’t bother with the VFR at this point–it is badly outdated already and has almost zero aftermarket support. It’s a very competent bike, though, and I do like mine a lot more when I’m riding than I do when I’m reading about sexy Ducatis.

      • BDan75

        Good info, Junker. I’ve thought about the VFR on numerous occasions, but in my online research (and admittedly without having ridden one) it seems like I keep running into people who are just kinda “meh” about the bike.

        I think somebody suggested the 1200, and looking back I wish I’d have bought one of those instead of the ’09 K1300S that was a poor ergonomic fit for me and got sold after a few thousand uncomfortable miles.

        And really, styling and brand loyalty aside, when you put the 800 up against something like a Ninja 1000, it’s even harder to swallow unless you really have a thing for V4 engines.

        I guess in the end I just wish I were really rich with a gigantic garage. Sigh.

        • Junker

          I wish I were really rich with a gigantic… Well, you know.

          Anyhow, I wouldn’t say I have a thing for V4’s, but I will say the VFR never vibrates at all in any discernable way to me. And the Ninja is a much larger bike, iirc. I don’t mean (or know) weight; I just mean girth. I think it would lean to the touring side, but be less capable than the other two for sporting. Not sure. There’s a new one this year, though, so who knows.

          What you’ve heard is the way it is: The VFR is a fine bike. It is just no longer as exciting as it once was in comparison to competition. It has not kept up on weight, technology, etc. They also hobbled it with perhaps the worst set of OEM tires in the history of motorcycles. Switching to Q3’s was like getting a new bike. I’ve wondered more than once if it would have been more exciting to reviewers if it had had a decent set of tires.

          I will also note that at least as of ’14 the great V-tech “problem” that you always hear thrown around is not a problem at all. I noticed it’s activation during the early months of ownership, but now I don’t notice it at all. Unconsciously adapting to that just might have actually made me a better rider. And I’ll take the 45-50 MPG on 87 octane any day, even with gas being cheap.

          If they could trim some weight, tune the engine for more of the power that everyone knows must be there, update the electronics, and tweak the ergos to push it just a tad more toward touring…they would have a winner again. The one perfect bike, imho.

      • Kevin Duke

        You know Honda sells bar risers for the Interceptor, right? Also MotoPumps. More info in this article: http://www.motorcycle.com/features/living-interceptor.html

  • MyName

    I don’t have a lot to compare it too, but this seems like a lot of praise for an 86.5/100 score.

    • TroySiahaan

      The bike is good. The price? Not so much.

      • J.S.

        I don’t think the price is that outrageous. Considering, when new, the last Honda Interceptor went for $10,800 MSRP and the current Monster 821 goes for $11,695 MSRP, $12,995 doesn’t seem that far off the mark. And IMO, the Supersport S with Ohlins and quickshifter is a no-brainer at under $15k.

        A lot of discussion about who this bike is made for. I think I’m one of those riders who they build this for. I came to motorcycling late in life at 35. Started on an old 1990 K75S, and 4 years later bought a new in the box 2008 Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport. Put hard bags on the Goose with a Renthal bar and center stand, so it’s a Naked Sport Tourer. However, I now live in Northern New York, shorter riding season means fewer long trips. I find myself more often then not riding without the bags on short jaunts to breakfast, work, the movies. I’ve been craving something lighter and more modern, with every-day ergos that won’t beat me up. And I don’t need a hyper-performance machine because it doesn’t fit my riding style. So, this may just be my next bike. Good looks, good equipment, capable, comfortable. Thanks for the thorough review.

    • gjw1992

      A case of the sum being greater than the parts, I think. It is expensive, it’s good but not great at most things, though a Ducati it’s not a pana. But it does look like it would be satisfying to use and own.

  • Buzz

    It might be a Super Sport but it really is the return of the ST4.

    • spiff

      Would you rather say your bike was a SUPER SPORT or an st4?

      • Buzz

        I’d rather say it was mine.

        • Born to Ride

          I’d rather say nothing because I don’t talk to myself while I ride. Well… only when the voices demand answers…

  • spiff

    I firmly believe this bike has a direct MotoGP heritage. In fact one only needs to look at Luigi Dall’Igna to see the connection.

    • spiff

      Huh, no one?

  • kenneth_moore

    Did Ducati mention the price for adding bags or the underseat exhaust? I’d guess about $1k for the bags and at least that much for the pipes. What about availability at US dealers? The local shop doesn’t show them in inventory on their website.

    • TroySiahaan

      Bikes should be in U.S. dealers come April. No word yet on pricing for the different accessories.

      • Strat

        Every other pic I see of the Supersport shows it with a black lower fairing.

  • Randy Darino

    if only Honda had given the last VFR800 25 more hp it would have been a legend.But, that’s Honda for you.

  • Angus Norton

    Personally I love my ST3S. Its the last one they made in 2007. Its perfect for touring and has that rawness that bikes of that era had. My daily ride is my Hyper Motard SP. I have bags on her too….. More fun than this for “light touring” me thinks. But she is pretty…

  • JWaller

    Does this sound familiar to you, Troy? Copyright infringement? These guys are using motorcycle.com write-ups as voice-overs in their videos and I’m not seeing you guys credited.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbV_WHEo1tE

    • TroySiahaan

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I believe we’ve politely contacted 360 Motorcycle before to stop stealing our content. Clearly, they haven’t listened. I’ll move this up the chain of command and see if it might be time to get attorneys involved.

    • Ross Elkins

      I’ve read al the reviews and at first I was real stoked on a sport looking Duck made for street riding.
      Now, I’m not so sure and have scaled back the personal hysteria to wait and see for two primary reasons.
      First, the engine and its modest power delivery.
      I really want something closer to the Panigales’s power in any Ducati I might own a for the road. My BMW K1200S is at 167HP.
      I want to keep the hammer effect and not wonder if the 2018 SuperSport will up the ante.
      Second, I would definitely spring for the “S” and more, but I will only plunk my money down for Ducati’s or Ferrari’s in a single color, RED! Unfortunately, while I have been fortunate to driven many, I cannot afford the Ferrari, so my Duck just has to be RED. I hope I’ve made that clear to Ducati. RED ONLY, for your hottest models!

      Ross

      • TroySiahaan

        Uh… the S version IS available in Red. However, the power is nowhere close to the 1299 Panigale’s power – that was the point.

        • Ross Elkins

          This Article said white for the S model. I hope you are right for their sales!
          I don’t agree with the point of any Duck being less power and I thought the whole point was greater comfort. I am very comfortable on my beemer with a lot of power. A ton of power makes for more comfort and safety as long as you know how to use it. I’ve been riding and occasionally racing for over 50 years now, so I qualify!
          I think the lack of power is more of a marketing decision so as to not steal too much thunder from their pricier race oriented bikes.

          • TroySiahaan

            You’re right, I didn’t mention the S model is also available in Red. I’ve amended the story to be clearer about that.

          • Ross Elkins

            Troy,

            Thanks for the replies.
            I like your review as I want reviewers to be candid about their impressions and you did with one word regarding power, “modest”.
            My first bikes were Ducks, a 125 which was private labelled and then a 250 Diana and a 450 can’t remember the model name! Followed by flat track racing on a Triumph TR6-C and then tons of Euro/Japanese brands with a long streak since 1993 on Beemers so I could run around fixing computers and enjoy getting there with a modest amount of hitech gear in the wonderful hard bags and increasing safety features.
            I am now 68 and the 540 lbs of K1200S is too much! I have always wanted a Duck again, but after riding several hot 1000-1300cc models they were killing me on the short test rides! The SS sounded like the ticket.
            BMW has shown the way with abs for close to 2 decades now, along with comfort, power, a lot of volts, safety, safety, safety! The ABS and then the anti dive geometry saved my butt a couple of times from being squeezed between lines of cages!
            However, I’m too old and wise to go back to anemic power bands or models that never really live up close to Ducat’s top of the line specs in performance or resale value. Also, I don’t mind paying more for the extra performance.
            I will wait unless I happen to get a ride on a Panigale with higher clip-ons etc for a more human being like ride to test!
            My K12 chugs along, so I can wait for the right Red Rider with at least 140hp-150HP based on a bigger V2 block.
            I became a factory beemer mechanic and auto shop teacher b4 getting a degree in Electrical Engineering, so I have a very critical eye on power plants and well remember the days of short lived Italian car/bike motors…

            Regards from Ross

  • Open Mind

    Great review. Comparing specs I notice that my 2003 Aprilia Falco has 115hp and 70ft-lbs torque(power commander + Akras) from a 998cc V-twin, weights 415 lbs (dry), has soft factory bags and an all day comfortable position, so up until I’ve been happy. Ducati has hit my sweet spot. The specs are comparable to the Falco but with ABS, electronics, hard bags and a quick-shifter. Where’s that piggy bank?

  • Carpereano

    asdasdaszxczxc

  • Aragon Tara

    Great suggestions – For my two cents if others need to fill out a Alaska Airlines TZ-94/HA-612 , my boss discovered a template document here https://goo.gl/WwDW0c

  • DAVID

    Sounds like my kind of motorcycle but should have **10-20 more hp** ( monster 1200 motor ) and a **5 gal gas tank** would make this the ultimate sport tourer!!!!. I will have to see when they do a full test but so far everybody is saying the same thing with that motor it’s over priced with my recommendations I would go over my price point say 16-17K!! Maybe that new triumph 765 and find a fairing to match the bike?

  • DAVID

    Just bought one so far seems like what they say good all around sportbike but those mirrors are just useless other wise great bike so far with my 35 years of riding everything from 85′ interceptor to the monster ZX 14R ……………

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8beff413ca848cfbc69c6dd03066fdc0bafc126442b9ca698cc7b0b2b9806795.jpg