Why The New Ducati SuperSport Is A Great Idea

by jchannell

The new Ducati SuperSport recently broke cover at World Ducati Week. All we really have to go on is a questionably taken spy shot, and a couple of interviews with forthcoming Ducati folks talking about the new bike. I think the new SuperSport is a fantastic idea. Let me tell you why.

Road Bike Focus

Have you ridden an 899 or 959? They are very track-focused bikes. I spent a demo ride of roughly 40 minutes on public roads on a 959. That was enough. There is no way I’d want to ride it on anything other than on a track. Commuting on one seems a rather poor joke, and spending a road trip on one is totally out of the question.

With the pending demise of the CBR600RR as a sign of the times, we are seeing more bikes that have a balance of features that people would actually like to ride daily. The new SuperSport is the first Ducati I’ve been excited about since I started riding in 2011. I get excited about a bike when I start having sweaty daydreams about writing a check at a local dealer and riding it home.

I normally ride a Triumph Sprint ST daily. It’s a great all-around sport tourer in the true sense of the word. You can ride it to work, throw the hard bags on and head for a weekend road trip, or tackle local twisty roads just fine as well. It’s a comfortable bike to spend a day on. I know, I’ve done it often enough. But the Sprints stopped being imported a few years ago, and the platform was long in the tooth. The Sprints are under-appreciated do-it-all bikes that’ just didn’t sell well in the U.S.

May Be a Decent Sport Tourer

Ducati hasn’t had a true sport-tourer in the lineup since the ST2/3/4 series got the axe in 2008. Yes, you can hop on a Multistrada and ride across the country. The Multi is a great bike, but it’s not a focused sport tourer in the vein of the ST4, VFR, or even Ninja 1000. The Multi is also a very tall bike, and pretty expensive as well. The uprated versions get into the low 20K range pretty easily. Now, I like the Multi, but I don’t like it enough to spend 22K on a brand new one. That’s some serious change. The rumors of the new SuperSport put it in the 15K range, and a bit more for the S versions with the Ohlins suspension, and some bits to be named later.

The details that have been published by places like MotorcycleNews state that the new bike will be based on the chassis of the Monster 1200. The Monster 1200, unlike the 959 is a very friendly bike to ride.  I thought it had great feedback, and allowed a rider to get comfortable with the bike, then push when ready without there being any surprises. A Monster chassis with fairings sounds like a great bike to me.

I’ll take the long-shot wager and bet the folks in Borgo Panigale launch a touring version if the bike sells well in the first year or 2. Borrow the side cases from the Hyperstrada, give it a slightly taller windscreen, and maybe a slightly bigger tank, and call it a day. The motor is a 937cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve L-Twin that makes 113hp at 9,000rpm and 72.2lb/ft torque at 7,500rpm. That’s right in line with what the Triumph Sprints produced for over a decade, and more than fine for sporty touring duties.

While the new SuperSport has only been revealed recently. it could mean good things for both Ducati and motorcycling in general. Companies don’t usually launch several new models when times are tough. Ducati has been doing well over the past few years after some tough times. The aftershocks of the financial crisis of 2008 were felt for many years. We’re starting to see the arms race of the mid-2000’s heat up again. We’ve witnessed a ton of groundbreaking bikes introduced in the past couple years, like the new Yamaha R1. It would appear Winter is over. Summer is coming. Let the good times roll.

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