In the past the Ducati SuperSport has always smacked of compromise. It seemed a bike designed for riders that wanted to emulate racers but without sacrificing comfort. It meant that neither was it a pure speed machine but it wasn’t quite comfortable enough to be a touring bike either. In the last ten years the SuperSport’s mission statement hasn’t changed; this time however, it’s everything it promises.
Powered by a 937 cu in L-twin engine and it’s 113 hp, the SuperSport might seem considerably less than a few other sports bikes but that’s part of the point. Look at it; there’s no denying that the Panigale-inspired styling evokes everything you want from a lightning-fast racer. It can however be ridden by an everyday rider without skirting the edge of insanity. Try doing that with 200bhp under you.
‘Everyday’ might not be the word you want to hear applied to a Ducati, but it’s certainly the most fitting here. There’s no doubt that the SuperSport can hold its own when it comes to performance – 80% of the engine’s torque hits the road at 3,000 revs – but it marries that performance and the looks that accompany it with comfort.
Both rider and passenger can sit in a more upright position, making distance an actual possibility. It’s still sportier than a touring bike but you can travel a more than respectable mileage without needing a break and, just as importantly, tear up the tarmac when you get there.
In essence, the Ducati SuperSport and the slightly more racing oriented SuperSport S (still with the same engine) represent a much-needed middle ground. It’s a jack of all trades and while that precludes any particular mastery there’s nothing the SuperSport is missing.
It can be pushed to extremes while still being accessible, it’s fast when sprinting and comfortable over distance and, most of all, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, whether you’re a novice or a veteran.
Price: SuperSport – Red (£11,495), SuperSport S – White (£12,995) and SuperSport S – Red (£12,795); www.ducati.com