There are lots of motorcycles trying to get your sport-touring attention. Somewhere in that space Ducati is fighting to grab some attention, drawing upon a name from its past in hopes to lure those who may recognize it. The name, of course, is the Ducati Supersport, and though we’ve featured the bike on the MO pages before – most recently during our staff trip to Laguna Seca – we’ve only ever tested the S model Supersport, complete with Öhlins suspension and the quickshift up and down feature.
We’ve now had some time with the standard model Supersport, and though it uses Marzocchi and Sachs suspension instead of the fancy Swedish bits, we found the standard bike to be plenty capable. Here, then, are five (more) things you need to know about the (standard) Ducati Supersport.
There are lots of sport-touring bikes in the $13k space, and while the Supersport may not necessarily be the best bike in the class, it certainly is a great one. Unintimidating and easy to ride, the Supersport is a logical choice for Ducatisti looking to shred some miles on something other than a Multistrada. The 937cc 11º Testastretta V-Twin is plenty powerful, with linear power delivery, and a distinct V-Twin rumble that’s sure to please the aural senses.
It shouldn’t be surprising anymore, but it seems to be a thing these days with Ducatis roasting our legs to a nice medium-rare. Obviously, it’s annoying (to put it mildly) in the summer, but sometimes we welcome it when the weather gets cooler. Plus, those heat issues tend to manifest itself only when the bike is stopped. With the Supersport, or at least our particular test bike, the heat radiating from the rear cylinder kept the legs and crotch toasty even at cruising speeds. Something to keep under consideration if you’ve been family planning lately and decided your childrearing days are a thing of the past.
With the bars placed above the triple clamps, a well-padded seat, and pegs set low-ish, the Supersport is not a bad place to spend some time. The windscreen, too, moves the wind nicely over or around the head and body. The only caveat here is if you’re on the taller side. My 5-foot, 8-inch frame found it very comfortable, but I can imagine 6-footers getting a little cramped on it. Then again, you and your body type might think differently. Then there’s the aforementioned heat…
No, the Supersport doesn’t come equipped with an IMU and all the sophisticated rider aids supported by it, but for a bike not destined for track glory, I wasn’t let down by the “basic” traction control and ABS. Reactive (instead of predictive) traction control gets the job done when touring is the task at hand, and though Cornering-ABS has its benefits, I’d be happy with standard ABS. Quickshifters are also nice to have, but aren’t a deal-breaker. I’ve personally never got on with different ride modes, preferring to have all the juice all the time, but if that’s your cup of tea then the Ducati has you covered. The point here is that, while not top-shelf, the Supersport’s Electronics doesn’t leave much to be desired. Except maybe a TFT display…
You know all that stuff about electronics I just mentioned above? Well, there is one thing the Supersport could hugely benefit from – Cruise Control. For a bike marketed as a sport-tourer, the lack of cruise control seems like an obvious and glaring omission. What’s the point in touring and keeping your right wrist in place for miles at a time? With ride-by-wire, this is entirely unnecessary.