Ducati sports bikes are renowned for their handling and performance, such as the Panigale duo – the 959 and 1299. But with an aggressive riding stance, they can be rather unforgiving to the rider’s back.
Well, the iconic Italian motorcycle maker decided to search for some middle ground with the SuperSport S – a practical sports bike that, with a comfortable stance, can be ridden in the city. At the same time, it has enough performance in reserve to be enjoyed on the track as well. And how can we not talk about its good looks – well, we can talk only once we stop drooling over the sexiness that oozes from the SuperSport S. After all, isn’t that what Italian beauties are world renowned for – especially Ducatis? It’s no surprise that the SuperSport S shared top honours for design with the Triumph Bobber in this test.
The SuperSport S is powered by the same 937cc engine that’s also present in the Hypermotard 939 – but, in this case, it’s tuned completely differently for both city and track riding. Speaking of the track, Sarath had a blast on this bike at the BIC. After a couple of sighting laps, he adjusted the fully adjustable Ohlins suspension to his liking and proceeded to set the fastest two-wheel lap of this test – narrowly beating out the Triumph Speed Triple. Sarath felt that the margin would have been greater had we used the full circuit. Of course, the fastest lap of this test earned the SuperSport S a spot in our elite ‘Best of 2017’ group.
But, as Ducati keeps emphasizing, there’s more to SuperSport S than just power and handling. And, on the road, we found out just what a relaxed upright stance this bike offers – which makes it possible to be ridden on a daily basis. The raised clip-on bars ensured no additional burden is put on the shoulders and arms. This made it comfortable to ride in traffic, and even negotiate stop-and-go traffic.
The SuperSport S has three riding modes – Urban, Touring and Sport. Urban is perfect for slow moving traffic. This mode caps the 937cc engine to 74bhp, which is plenty for city riding. Plus, the factory setting of the rear Ohlins suspension is slightly soft, which is, once again, ideal for city riding.
Ducati has managed to actually come out with an all-rounder sports bike that can be ridden the way you – the rider – wants to ride, rather than the rider adjusting to the bike’s nature. The X-factor of the SuperSport S is that it’s a sports bike that’s easy to ride everyday, and yet it packs a powerful punch when in Sport mode – plus, of course, it’s absolutely gorgeous.
On both road and track, the SuperSport S is a champion. It’s almost the perfect sports bike – minus the price tag of course. At Rs.13.39 lakh, ex-showroom, it is expensive. Nevertheless, it’s with great pleasure that we award our first ‘Performance Motorcycle of the Year’ title to the stunningly beautiful Ducati SuperSport S.