Ducati SuperSport S — Ducati’s latest bike is for those casual riders looking for a sports bike easy to ride and control. Ducati’s sports bikes are performance oriented and have knock-out-your-socks characteristics. Their 959 and 1299 Panigale range are more track focused. The Italian brand had a void for a model that is versatile and practical. The SuperSport is expected to fill that gap by offering an everyday bike that doesn’t stray from its track duties too much.
Just calling it versatile will not do and Ducati has given SuperSport enough credits to make it one. Raised clip-on handle bars make for a less aggressive but still sporty riding position and helping the cause are the lowered foot pegs. The bike is much easier to manoeuvre but loses out on the lean angle a bit. Considering this bike is road oriented, it’s not an intrusive factor. You also get an adjustable wind screen that can be adjusted by up to 50 mm, three riding modes - urban, sport and touring and Ducati traction control.
The front of the SuperSport S is inspired by the Panigale range with a string LED daytime running lights and headlamps below. The fairing looks clean with all the nuts and bolts hidden away nicely. The tank sits mightily above the steel trellis frame and to the rear you have the ingenious single side swingarm while the double barrel 2-1-2 exhaust completes the look. The SuperSport S gets fully adjustable 48mm upside down Ohlins forks to the front and Ohlins monoshock to the rear. The instrument cluster is a complete LCD display that puts out all the necessary information to the rider and has got good sunlight visibility too. The overall build quality level of the SuperSport S is Ducati-worthy and all the elements are not just for design but function too.
Powering the SuperSport S is the same 937 cc L-Twin engine that sits under the Hypermotard 939 and Multistrada 950. Even the power and torque outputs are an identical 110hp and 93Nm respectively. But what’s new with this unit is that it gets tweaked crankcase, cylinder heads and throttle bodies. Ducati has also made the engine more responsive by making the power available much lower in the rev range. According to the company, 80% of peak torque is available from 3000rpm while 90% of it is available between 5000rpm to 9000rpm.
The response from the engine is nothing dramatic below 3000rpm and only then the power surge happens, making the bike an easy step up for beginners. That doesn’t mean there is nothing in the bike for the enthusiasts as the overall performance from the bike is still exciting. Though not as fast as its performance oriented siblings, the SuperSport S feels pretty quick and the riding modes help you to get the better out of the bike as per your needs. The bike comes equipped with Ducati Traction Control (DTC) that offers a choice of eight profiles, ABS on both front and rear brakes and Ducati Quick Shift to keep things in control.
The 6-speed transmission is quick and slots the gears smoothly without missing a beat. The SuperSport S strikes a great balance between ride quality and handling. The bike was quick enough to change directions without any delay and absorbed the undulations of the roads good too. Take it around a corner and the SuperSport instils confidence to go faster and lower, thanks to the excellent grip from the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIIs. The bike is heavy but feels compact once you get on it and going.
Ducati SuperSport S has many things going for it - great looks, beginner friendly characteristics, long list of equipment etc. At Rs.13.39 lakh ex-showroom (Rs.12.08 lakh for the standard version), the SuperSport S is expensive but this gets overshadowed by the many things that go for it.