Ducati Supersport S Review - The friendly performer
When it comes to high performance motorcycles, one name which instantly comes to mind is Ducati. Over the years, this Italian marquee has proved its prowess in racing machines and the panache associated with these motorcycles is unique. Ducati launched the Supersport sometime back. We ride this youthful machine and let you know whether you should buy it or avoid it. Read further for the review of the Ducati Supersport S.
Ducati Supersport S Design
The first impression upon seeing this bike is that it is very similar to the Panigale 959. The styling is very similar and it holds the same flamboyance. This is a beauty from every angle. The front full fairing flows impeccably and the strip of LED DRLS looks attractive, in the way it integrates with the headlamp. The twin headlamps are halogen and not LEDs, which is a tad disappointing. The front mud gaurd is a tidy one. The bike we had, was fitted with a carbon fibre finish one, which is available as an accessory. The windscreen on the bike is an adjustable as well. The clip-on handlebars are a bit raised and this help in attaining a more relaxed riding position and one need not lean forward too much. The brake and clutch levers have a hinge, which avoids breakage in case of a fall.
The fully digital instrument pod has a speedo, tacho, trip meter, fuel guage, gear indicator, mode indicator and ABS and traction control display as well. I would have preferred to see a TFT screen here. The rear view mirrors are wing type one, mounted on the fairing and have turn indicators embedded in them. The fuel tank is inspired from the Panigale. The seat is a neat unit and looks classy too. The taillamp of the Supersport is identical to the Monster but looks nice.
The fit and finish is top notch with the highlight being its fairing. It does not have any screws or bolts showing. A well-balanced look goes a long way in adding appeal. The red colour of course makes it more desirable and also turns heads, all the time.
Ducati Supersport S Performance
You never get over the looks of the Ducati Supersport, however, the area where it shines is the way it performs. The engine is a 11-degree Testastretta unit which is also shared with the Multistrada. It is a 937cc liquid-cooled engine and produces 110bhp of power at 9000 rpm. The torque delivered is 93Nm at 6500rpm. Ducati says that 80 per cent of that the torque is available at around 3000rpm. While it was not exactly a torque heaby machine, it did feel very punchy ant low revs and city riding feels much sorted on it as one does not require frequent gearshifts. The bike pulls away cleanly and what is commendable is the quick power build up. It feels like a more powerful bike than the numbers it has. 160km/h comes in no time.
The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox and the highlight of this is the up/down quickshifter, which comes as standard in the Supersport S variant. The quickshifter makes such a big difference and adds a lot of fun, especially during upshifts. all you have to do it use your toe. There is no need to leave the throttle or depress the clutch lever. However, you have to get a little used to during downshifts as it is slightly tricky at times. Also the quickshifter may trip from 5th to 6th gear if you are below 180km/h.
The bike has enough torque to keep you smiling throughout the ride and the best part is while exiting a turn or while hitting a speed breaker, you can pick up from a higher gear as well. The Supersport gets three riding modes - Urban, Touring and Sport. Each one has a diffent level of intervention of the ABS and Traction Control (DTC). The Urban mode has the highest intervention and the power is cut down to 75 bhp. Apart from these preset modes, you can also individually control intervention levels of the DTC and ABS. The exhaust not is also typical with a roaring note, on the turn of the throttle.
Ducati Supersport S Ride and Handling
Now, unlike the Panigale, this one is build for everyday riding. The focus on its track prowess is less and it is more of a road machine. Starting with the riding position, which is less aggressive compared to Ducati standards, one does not lean into the bike and the seating is a bit relaxed. The footpeg position is not set back too much. The first thought that comes to the mind is that a supersports bike will be a bane on our roads, with rough patches and speed breaker popping out of nowhere, however, the Supersport S surprised me on that count. It comes with Ohlins fully adjustable suspension as standard and this is what makes the difference. It handles bad roads pretty well and you do not get that stiffness generally associated with performance bikes.
Pirelli Rosso III tyres come fitted on this bike and offer very good grip levels, especially in dry conditions. They weren't bad on wet roads either. The Ducati Supersport S has 320mm discs at the front and a 245mm disc at the rear which offer excellent braking. The overall handling is not as sharp as a true blue sportsbike, but is light and steady. High speed stability is also impressive and you do not feel nervous at very high speeds. The only major drawback are the mirrors, as their field of vision is very poor. They also vibrate a lot. In fact, you cannot see anything in them while riding and this extremely disappointing to see in a bike of this class.
The Ducati Supersport comes in two variants - Standard and S. The S additionally gets the quickshifter and Ohlins suspension. It also has a pillion seat cowl. The Standard costs INR 12 lakhs (ex-showroom), while the S costs INR 13.5 lakhs (ex-showroom). In my opinion, the S is a better package. Though the price tag brings it closer to the Panigale, the Supersport is a more usable machine and it makes more sense as it can be also used for short touring, apart from daily commuting and weekend rides. For a little less you can also buy yourself a Kawasaki Ninja 1000, with better touring capabilities, but the equipment level of the Supersport is mouthwatering, especially the quickshifter. For budding racers and also for aficionados, its quite an irresistible option.