Usually when we have a shootout here at Motorcycle.com, the participants are somewhat defined for us. First, we choose a class of motorcycle, and then, we put the latest versions of those bikes in a head-to-head-competition. This time we’re doing something a little different. Each MO editor chose whatever bike they wanted to ride to Monterey, CA, for the U.S. round of World Superbike. The only caveat would be that the bike had to be capable of participating in the annual Pirelli Track Day that takes place the day after the races finish at Laguna Seca. Okay, there was one other rule that I tried to enforce, but the one editor just couldn’t bring himself to choose a bike that had OEM bags available for it.
By now you probably know that I really like the 2017 Ducati Supersport and Supersport S. The comfortable sporty-bike that’s equally at home on the racetrack or on a weekend roadtrip, the Supersport combines good looks, sporting chops, and the ergos to stay in the saddle for a while. The best thing about the Supersport is its versatility. Whether it’s playing in the canyons, cutting laps, or simply commuting to and from the office, the Supersport is the kind of bike you might want if you could only have one bike in the garage to do everything.
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?
In a few days I’ll be bringing you my first impressions of Ducati’s new Supersport and Supersport S models – the everyman’s Panigale, comfortable enough to ride to a trackday, and sporty enough to rip some quick laps – from its launch in Spain. Meanwhile, we bring you MO’s first impressions of another Supersport – the 1999 Ducati Supersport 900. Combining impressions from both a street ride and a few track sessions, my review of the 2017 version will encompass the same. After reading this, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my First Ride review of the 2017 Ducati Supersport, coming soon.
Ducati introduced a new 937cc SuperSport, adding a new street-based sportbike to its roster to go alongside the more track-focused Panigale line. The SuperSport will be available in a base model for $12,995 and a higher-end S model for $14,795 which adds upgraded suspension and quickshifter. Ducati will also offer a choice of Sport or Touring packages.
This past weekend, more than 81,000 Ducatisti congregated at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for World Ducati Week. While most of the event was a big red love-in, perhaps the biggest news to come from the weekend was the announcement of the limited edition 1299 Panigale S Anniversario and a special sneak peak at a brand new Ducati SuperSport model.