Ducati have just launched the all-new Supersport in Sydney, with the bike now filling what was a glaring gap in the Ducati lineup, but that’s not the full story…

Words and pics: Mat

Ducati’s 2017 Supersport is a bike that some potential Ducatisti have been longing after for a while now. With the Panigale range heavily track focused, and the Monster range a little too street oriented, there was room in the range for something with the street manners of the Monster, but could also give riders a taste of Ducati’s iconic sportsbike heritage.

Sure, it’s not going to keep pace with the Panigale on track, but as far as first impressions go, the Supersport (and it’s upmarket Öhlins equipped sibling the Supersport S) should be more than capable of giving riders who want a more street focused Ducati sportsbike a thrilling ride.

At its heart is a Testastretta V-twin engine (or L-Twin if you are of the Ducatisti) pumping out a healthy 113hp and 96.7Nm of torque and nicely wrapped in a trellis frame chassis with much friendlier rider ergonomics than the Panigale. With higher set bars, and a reasonably low set of pegs you don’t feel cramped on the Supersport, and the wrist ache typical of sports bikes only set in at the end of a full day’s riding.

Out on the roads in New South Wales, the Supersport impressed with its incredibly rider friendly ergonomics and immensely comfortable seat. I don’t often believe in a bike seat being able to be all-day comfortable, but the 811mm high Supersport seat is one I’d wager actually would be. That’s something special in of itself for a bike that sits more in the sports side of the spectrum that touring.

When it came to the some twisty cornering action, getting into the swing of things was easy on the highways and byways of outer Sydney, with the Supersport S I was riding being equipped with Öhlins suspenders front and back. They were damped spot on for my hefty near 100kilos and even on the rougher pot holed sections performed flawlessly.

With our final destination a Top Secret private track, I was able to test the Supersport S and base model back to back, with the Öhlins and DQS equipped S model noticeably easier to hustle around the course. With that said, the base model Supersport I actually found more engaging, despite the obviously lesser suspension needing a good fiddle to get close the the compression dampening of the S.

The only disappointment to rear its head was the gearbox, which on the base model bike – without the assistance of Ducati’s DSQ quickshifter – tended to be a little hard to shift accurately. This could be due to the relatively green nature of the bikes (with less than 400km on each) but I did have the bike jump out of gear a couple of times mid track and neutral was often difficult to find.

With a host of electronics on both, including three distinct and fully customisable rider modes (Urban, Touring and Sport), 8-stage traction control and adjustable ABS, the Supersport was a hoot on the track for a bike Ducati is targeting at first time Ducati owners who aren’t exactly looking for a track bike.

Pricing is set at $20,990 for the base Supersport, with the Supersport S coming in at $22,990 for the bike in Ducati’s iconic red hue, with the sharp looking white Supersport S costing a slight premium at $23,290.

For the full detailed launch report, make sure you grab a copy of Bike Rider Magazine Issue #159, on sale July 24.

The Scorecard: Ducati Supersport and Supersport S

Engine         4/5
Brakes         5/5
Gearbox       3/5
Ergonomics  4/5
Versatility    5/5
Electronics   3/5