Part 1 of this long-term review wasn’t much more than an introduction, but we have now put substantial miliage on the 2019 Ducati SuperSport. This bike was first introduced for the 2017 model year, and the Titanium Grey (matte finish) of our test bike is new for the 2019 model year.
The purpose of our long-term evaluation is to give our readers an understanding of this important member of the “comfortable sportbike” category, testing it both bone stock and with Ducati accessories (including luggage) for uses ranging from hardcore sport to light touring.
As delivered, the Ducati Supersport is the essense of a “comfortable sportbike” with a 937cc Testastretta 11° engine that makes a claimed 110 hp at 9,000 rpm and 69 pound/feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. Expect roughly 98 hp and 63 pound/feet at the rear wheel on a dyno. This is not an “arm ripper” that will compete with superbikes on accelleration, but it is a grunty, flexible powertrain with more than enough performance for most street riders. Of course, you can add to that the typical character and refinement that comes from a modern liquid-cooled Ducati L-twin.
The Ducati “Safety Pack” includes cutting-edge Bosch ABS and traction control that work together with rider-selectable engine modes (Sport, Touring and Urban).
The suspension on our standard SuperSport includes a fully-adjustable Marzocchi fork and a Sachs shock adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping. The 17″ alloy wheels hold Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires, including a 180 section rear.
Braking is provided by twin 320 mm front discs squeezed by radial-mount Brembo M4-32 four-piston calipers, and a two-piston caliper operating on a 245 mm disc in back. As stated earlier, Bosch ABS is part of the package.
Ducati claims the SuperSport weighs 463 pounds with the 4.2 gallon fuel tank topped off. The all-important ergonomics include handlebars that sit well above the triple clamps and lowered footpegs for a rider triangle vastly more comfortable than a traditional sportbike (the windscreen is height-adjustable by approximately 2″). Seat height is 31.9″.
Riding the SuperSport delivers what you might expect, i.e., smooth and progressive v-twin power. We left the bike in Sport mode for dry riding, which provided very crisp throttle response without any abrupt transitions from closed to open throttle. Overall, the fuel injection mapping is excellent.
The SuperSport feels like a Ducati sportbike with more comfort and flexibility. The suspension is on the firm side, but offers good street damping, and even absorbs small chop relatively well. Straight-line stability is good, and the bike transitions from side-to-side on twisty roads in a predictable manner with relatively low effort. The contact patches under the Pirelli tires communicate well with the rider through the suspension and the trademark steel trellis frame.
The brakes do not provide much initial bite, but decent feel and power – certainly plenty of power for most non-track uses. Changing the front brake pads to a more aggressive compound could change this characteristic, but the brakes, perhaps, offer the correct progressive nature for the varied uses of the SuperSport.
The six-speed transmission shifted predictably, and reliably. Pedal effort for shifts is moderate. An optional quick-shifter (standard on the SuperSport S) would be a welcome addition (it arguably should be standard at this price-point).
The Ducati SuperSport loves tight, twisty roads. The engine torque and flexibility frequently allow the rider to accelerate hard between corners, then enter and exit the corner without changing gears. The Supersport holds a line extremely well mid-corner, even with bumps, but still allows mid-corner line corrections. The handling is simply sublime.
All the while, this is a comfortable motorcycle. Of course, the bar position is not nearly as upright as an adventure tourer, or even most sport tourers, but it fits the character of the SuperSport well. Our 5’11” test rider found adequate leg room. Seat comfort, even on longer rides, is good with firm, but not hard, padding.
Stay tuned for further reports as we add accessories to our test bike. In the meantime, check out Ducati’s web site for additional information. The Ducati SuperSport is priced at $12,999 U.S. MSRP, while the SuperSport S (with quick-shifter, Ohlins suspension, and rear seat cover) is priced at $14,995.
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