Ducati’s product portfolio is full of purpose made motorcycles. You’ve got the Panigale range to go track-ripping, the Multistrada family that’ll draw new lines on the map, and the Monsters and the Hypermotards that are ideal city motorcycles. But here’s something that can do quite a few of those things without burning down the savings of your life. The Ducati SuperSport range can haul your rear to work and back home, let you enjoy a long weekend road trip without breaking your back and yet clock decent lap times around a track – and it does it with the chiseled looks and unmistakable character of the Italian brand. In this review of the Ducati SuperSport S in India, we will unravel the powers this stylish Italian machine possesses.
We had the more premium version of the recently launched Ducati SuperSport series, the SuperSport S, for a little over two days and about 500 kilometers. Those 500 kilometers took us through highway runs, city commutes and – thanks to the governing body responsible for roads – some bit of soft-roading and the motorcycle passed with flying colours. Here’s what the experience was like.
The weather Gods are probably in a playful mood as the city that was flooded under water due to incessant rains about a month ago is already reeling under scorching hot conditions and, at the same time is getting occasional drizzles. The mercury was well into “stay-inside-the-house-and-turn-up-the-air-conditioning” range but we had a motorcycle that needed to be ridden – come rain or shine. Before we talk about the technical bits, the performance and just how comfortable the motorcycle really is, let’s take a moment to admire the form factor of this beauty.
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Design and Styling
The premium version of the two, the SuperSport S, features Ohlins suspension, and a quick-shifter (which works both up and down) and a rear cowl as standard. Both the motorcycles are built around a Trellis frame. The front end of the motorcycle particularly reminded us of the Panigale 959 but the track-riding focused sibling of the SuperSport S gets a sleeker design. The SuperSport S, on the other hand, gets a wider fairing, a new twin-pod headlight with LED DRLs and a two-way adjustable windscreen. The front blinkers are integrated into the rear-view mirrors for a cleaner look to the fascia.
The media motorcycle was equipped with the optional Sport Pack that included a carbon-fibre front fender, articulated racing lever kit, a tank pad and billet aluminium covers for front and rear brake fluid reservoir. The media bike was also equipped with the sleeker LED blinkers at the rear. The lines and recesses of the fairing work in favour of long distance cruising, providing solace to the rider from windblasts.
A full-digital instrument console occupies the space behind the windscreen followed by a clip-on style handlebar. The tell-tale indicators occupy the upper section of the instrument panel. The lower section that includes an LCD display features tachometer, speedometer, odometer, trip1 and trip2, engine coolant temperature, ambient temperature, clock, fuel gauge, distance remaining to empty, real-time fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed and trip duration. Selected Riding Mode and corresponding ABS and DTC levels are shown at all times. Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) lets riders connect their smartphones via the Bluetooth module and control select functions via the switchgears. The panel displays music player controls and earphone connection, incoming call and received message icons.
The lines flow beautifully from the fairing onto the chiseled, 16-litre fuel tank that features recesses to lock in the knees while going fast on the straight lines or leaning into the corners. The upper cuts on the top-front of the fuel tank are designed to let the handlebar come further inwards, thus resulting in a shorter turning radius.
The motorcycle does not feature a split seat setup. Instead, it gets a touring friendly design. The rear half or the pillion seat is covered with a cowl which, as aforementioned, comes standard with the ‘S’ version. Getting the rear cowl off requires the seat to be dismount and unscrewed using an Allen-key that comes with the tool kit. The rider seat is designed in such a way that you sit into the bike than on it.
Underneath the seat is a 1A USB port that would help you charge your smartphone on the go. The rear of the media motorcycle was equipped with the optional LED blinkers that will cost you a few extra bucks. From the sides, you’d notice that it features a single-sided swingarm and a double barrel exhaust. The exhaust sits closer to the centre of the motorcycle.
Ducati SuperSport S is available in two colour options:
- Star White Silk fairing with Ducati Red frame and Glossy Red wheels
- Ducati Red fairing with Ducati Red frame and Matt Black wheels
Some of fellow Motoroids thought that it isn’t as sharp and appealing as some of the other Ducati motorcycles and I wouldn’t deny that either. But this one is probably one of the most functional Ducatis out there and that’s what makes it all the more special. The overall design is aimed to provide comfort instead of an all-out sporty character. That being said, it receives every bit of craftsmanship that goes behind all the motorcycles to roll out from Ducati’s stables. The build quality, fit and finish and the switchgear are at par at Ducati standards and finding flaws was equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack.
But that’s about it from the design department. Here’s how it behaves with 110 ponies worth of power!
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Engine and Performance
Turn on that engine and you’re welcomed by a familiar exhaust note. The SuperSport duo uses a specially adapted version of the 937 cm3 twin-cylinder Ducati Testastretta 11° engine. The engine features a redesigned crankcase and cylinder heads and is a fully stressed part of the frame. Re-routing the water through the heads and a specifically designed alternator cover enabled Ducati to install a new gear sensor. The motor, on the SuperSport duo is tuned for 110 hp @ 9,000 rpm and a peak torque of 96.7 Nm @ 6,500 rpm. It comes mates to a 6-speed gearbox. The SuperSport S gets the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down as standard while it can be added on the SuperSport as an optional accessory. The engine revs to a redline of 10,000 rpm.
The SuperSport features three Riding Modes – Sport, Touring and Urban which modifies the power output and throttle response along with Bosch ABS and DTC levels. The Urban mode gives access to 75 hp of power and a low throttle response while riding which is perfect for city riding. The Touring and Sports mode unleash all the 110 hp of power with the latter providing a sharper throttle response. All the riding modes can be tailored to rider’s preference and the system memorizes the settings, and continues in the same riding mode even after turning off the motorcycle. You can even change them on the go, although you’d have to roll-down the throttle for a few seconds before the desired mode is engaged.
In factory setting, here’s how the Duacti SuperSport S riding modes deliver power:
|Power Output||110 hp||110 hp||75 hp|
|Traction Control (Maximum Level: 8)||3||4||6|
|ABS (Maximum Level: 3)||2||3||3|
How does it behave? I had engaged the Sport Mode for most of the ride and the sharp throttle response was an absolute boon, especially around the twisty roads between Pune-Mumbai. I even tuned down the traction and ABS intrusion from the factory setting to up the fun quotient and it felt under control all the time. Touring Mode was pretty decent too but the progressive throttle response didn’t go down too well with my riding style. Probably the touring lot from the motorcycling fraternity would appreciate the tuning. The Urban Mode helped squeeze out some extra economy as it tuned down the power output to 75 hp so you’d have relatively lower fuel bills by the end of the month.
You’d want to stay north of the 3,000 revs marks as the engine really isn’t too keen going below that. Ducati claims that about 80% of the maximum torque is available at 3,000 rpm. The motorcycle cruises happily anywhere between 3,000 to 6,000 revs mark post which you’d get a sudden surge in pull as the peak torque kicks in. The acceleration is linear all the way to redline. The first gear ends just shy of 100 kmph mark while the second will let you reach 135 kmph. The third will take you past 150 kmph before redlining at 173 kmph. The same third gear would let you cruise at around a ton on the speedometer and 6,000 revs at the tacho with sufficient power backing a quick overtake. On highways, you can cruise at around 3,000-4,000 revs in top gear at about 100-120 kmph on the speedometer.
Puttering around in bumper-to-bumper traffic can sometimes be a bit of an issue, especially in hot weather conditions. As aforementioned, the engine feels comfortable only above the 3,000 revs mark and you’d have to modulate the clutch while wading through heavy, stop-and-go traffic. It gets fairly hot too with the temperature gauge showing figures of upto 105-degree and unless you’re cruising on open highways, the heat radiating our from that motor may put your calves and thighs in some discomfort. But that really isn’t a deal breaker as that’s the case with some other performance motorcycles like the Tuono, which heat up quite precariously, very quickly in traffic.
The gear shifts are crisp and precise although finding Neutral (with the engine running) at the red-light did take a while on every occasion. The Ducati Quick Shift, which comes standard on the SuperSport S works like a charm. The auto-blipper function matches revs for efficient downshifts thus saving you the strain of using the clutch every time you want to change a gear. Hello, better lap times!
The power output isn’t scary and we mean that in a good way. You can actually enjoy the motorcycle without being worried about turning yourself into a self destructing projectile. The safety pack, featuring ABS 9 MP Bosch and Ducati Traction Control (DTC) further enhance the safety factor while giving the freedom to turn it off completely for experienced riders. During the Pune-Mumbai run, the traction control was set at level 2 and everything was well under control.
Braking is top notch and the response from the radial monobloc Brembo M4-32 calipers was outstanding. At the front are a pair of 320 mm discs while the rear features a 245 mm disc, both using Brembo M4-32 calipers. The brakes managed to shed speed faster than I had anticipated, bringing the motorcycle into the right speeds at a glance. The Bosch ABS made sure that the rear wheel didn’t lift-up despite heavy braking.
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Ride Quality and Comfort
Unlike the Panigale’s extreme and track-focus riding position, the rider’s triangle is set on the comfortable side. So, you’d find a relatively tall-set handlebar and low set footpegs and a fairly upright riding position. It’s still committed enough to go canyon carving and yet, you can munch miles with minimal strain on the back or wrists. The default suspension setting delivered a plush ride quality. But despite rolling gracefully over any undulations, the setting was stiff enough to feel confident around the corners. The adjustable Ohlins can be tailored to rider’s preference too but we were quite happy at the default setting. The height adjudtable windscreen can be set at two levels with the overall difference being 36mm between top and bottom setting.
The well-padded saddle further enhanced the comfort and I had no complaints on the Pune-Mumbai run till I was welcomed by the Mumbai traffic. That being said, our photographer, who was riding pillion around in the city, wasn’t too happy as the passenger.
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Handling
The motorcycle is very agile as you dip it from one side to the other around a canyon. It felt planted around corners as I tackled the twisty roads between Pune and Mumbai. The rider saddle is narrow towards the fuel tank that gives you good amount of space to move around, especially while apex hunting. It can even filter its way through moderate traffic efficiently and the relatively short turning radius further enhanced its ability to make way through other vehicles. But it’s the heavy traffic that’ll get on your nerves. As aforementioned, the engine gets fairly hot and with the mercury already rising, I had a difficult time after entering Mumbai. If you exclude the traffic bit, there isn’t a single opportunity that I’d miss to take this motorcycle for a ride again.
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Features and Details
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Safety
Safety net on the Ducati SuperSport S includes Ride-by-Wire, three riding modes, ABS 9 MP Bosch and Ducati Traction Control (DTC). The system makes sure that some stupidity behind the handlebar is forgiven while, at the same time, enabling experienced riders to tune it to their requirements without much hassle. All the settings could be tailored with the left side switchgear. You can even switch between modes on the go although, as aforementioned, you’d have to roll-down the throttle for a few seconds.
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Verdict and Buying Advice
The Ducati SuperSport / S is a great offering for the Indian market. It has the visual appeal of a proper litre class supersport, without being too extreme. It has enough power on tap, and it’s practical enough to do whatever one may wish to throw at it. You get a premium brand, all the bragging rights and an electronics package which is as good as it gets. The pricing cannot be called unreasonable too looking at the brand and overall package. The build quality conforms to the lofty Ducati standards and when you think about the features and functions that you get with the motorcycle, the INR 13.1 lakh ex-showroom price tag does look justifiable. The SuperSport / S, then is just the bike for you if you want to be seen aboard a premium, yet practical machine, which doesn’t have the high price tag or the pains that a litre class supersport brings along.
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Technical Specifications
|Type||Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled|
|Bore x Stroke||94 x 67.5 mm|
|Compression ratio||12.6 (± 0.5) :1|
|Power||110 hp @ 9,000 rpm|
|Torque||93 Nm @ 6,500 rpm|
|Fuel injection||Electronic fuel injection system, Æ 53 mm throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire|
|Exhaust||Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Twin aluminium mufflers|
|Transmission||6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down|
|Primary drive||Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1|
|Ratio||1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24|
|Final drive||Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43|
|Clutch||Wet multiplate clutch mechanically operated, self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run|
|Frame||Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the cylinders head|
|Front suspension||Fully adjustable 48mm (1.9 in) USD Ohlins forks|
|Front wheel||Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 3.50″ x 17″|
|Front Tyre||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17|
|Rear suspension||Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm|
|Rear wheel||Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 5.50″ x 17″|
|Rear tyre||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17|
|Front wheel travel||130 mm (5.12 in)|
|Rear wheel travel||144 mm (5.67 in)|
|Front brake||2 x 320 mm (12.6 in) semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4-32 callipers, 4-piston, radial pump with ABS as standard|
|Rear brake||245 mm (9.6 in) disc, 2-piston caliper, ABS as standard|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Dry weight||184 kg (406 lb)|
|Wet weight (KERB)||210 kg (463 lb)|
|Seat height||810 mm (31.9 in)|
|Height||1150mm (Windscreen Low)|
1186mm (Windscreen High)
|Wheelbase||1478 mm (58.2 in)|
|Trail||91 mm (3.6 in)|
|Fuel tank capacity||16 litre|
|Standard Equipment||Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW, DQS, seat cover. Ready for anti-theft system|
|Warranty||24 months unlimited mileage|
|Maintenance service intervals||15,000 km (9,000 mi) or 12 months|
|15,000 km (9,000 mi) or 12 months||30,000 km (18,000 mi)|
|Emissions and Consumption|
|Claimed Fuel Economy||5.9 litre/100 km|
New 2017 Ducati SuperSport S Price in India
The SuperSport and SuperSport S are priced at INR 12,08,000 (ex-showroom India) and INR 13,39,000 (ex-showroom India) respectively.