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Ducati Supersport S | BIKE TESTS

How did the Ducati Supersport S rate at the 2017 AMCN Motorcycle of The Year awards?

Groff was ecstatic. “At last,” he said, “all the glory of a proper Ducati engine with the comfort of a near-perfect sports-touring riding position. This is a very impressive bike.” Almost everyone loved the fact that Ducati has created a comfortable superbike.

“It looks, sounds and even rides a little bit like a Panigale, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper and more comfortable to ride in an everyday situation,” Chris said.

“It has so much to offer without demanding the high price (physically and financially) of the really sporty Ducatis,” Matho said.

“It is so much fun without being overbearing,” Matt said.

“I don’t like the look of it,” Stef said, and we all paused, as if seeing the emperor really was naked. It’s true, the SuperSport isn’t quite a Panigale in looks. Nor any other sense. How well does it meet its design brief then?

“The Ducati didn’t excite me as much as I wanted it to,” Matho said. “As good as it is, it feels like a gentle sportsbike in performance, not just riding position.” Surely, though, that gentler approach to everything is what is needed to counter the Panigale, which is uncompromising in every way. So shouldn’t you accept a little less excitement? It’s a conundrum, because you don’t want to be less excited.

We eventually resolved this with help from the R6 and GSX-R. Comparing the three helped us see that the SuperSport succeeds perfectly as a sporty sports-tourer.

“The riding position and predictability of chassis performance gives the rider a lot of confidence in attacking corners,” Groff said, highlighting one of its sports-touring strengths.

Tall Chris Dobie found the riding position “hard work” because the bike felt short and he had “no room to move on the seat,” but he was alone in complaining.

“The combination of solid torque low in the rev range and a smooth throttle response meant I could connect corners with ease and just flow through them with minimal gear changes,” Lance said.

There are other features that raise the standard even higher. Take its electronics package. Sure, there’s no IMU to enable cornering-sensitive ABS and so on, but the quality, precision and adjustability of what’s provided is class-leading.

“The SuperSport has more than enough technology for its intended use, which highlights the fact that it nails its design brief and is excellent value for money,” Kel said.

You have to admit that 20 grand for a Ducati with Öhlins suspension, excellent electronics and other goodies is impressive.

Ducati truly has managed to turn its hardcore superbike into an affordable, comfortable, fun sports-tourer in the Supersport. It scored consistently well in our voting, reflecting heavily on Kel’s point that when it comes to the voting criteria, “the Ducati SuperSport meets more of them better than the other bikes on test”.

The S gets Öhlins suspenders instead of the Marzocchi/Sachs gear on the standard model

Second Ops

Matt O’Connell

Just the mention of the SuperSport name evokes memories of previous models, and the whole idea of a capable, reasonably priced sports-tourer really appeals to me – and many others.

The character of a twin is hard to beat, and the Testastretta 11° is becoming one of my favourite engines. We didn’t play around with suspension but the SuperSport rode out the bumps with no problem. The shape of the seat helped – it’s very comfortable and I love the way it angles up at the back.

The riding position is upright enough to provide comfort but still offers enough leverage on the ’bars when you want to get sporty with it – tick in the box for Ducati’s engineers.

Dyno Dave Says

Riding position still retains that sporty feel. Up and down quickshifter is a great feature. Solid horsepower, a nice flat torque curve and plush suspension. Makes for a roadbike that can handle sensible commuting and sporty touring.