Du­cati’s se­cret su­per­sports tourer rips up the roads

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Andy Downes

This is the first glimpse of the new Du­cati Su­per­sport 939 in ac­tion. It’s also the first time it’s been seen since the leaked im­ages from last month’s World Du­cati Week, where the bike was pre­viewed in a se­cure area.

At WDW Du­cati at­tempted to only show the bike to Du­cati fans in­side a se­cure area, but some­one sneaked a cam­era into the event and leaked lowqual­ity pic­tures on­line.

Since then, the bike hasn’t been seen again, but now we have spot­ted two dif­fer­ent test bikes un­der­go­ing de­vel­op­ment at a pri­vate test track in Italy, months ahead of the bike’s of­fi­cial launch, which is ex­pected to take place at the Mi­lan show in Novem­ber.

Du­cati have of­fi­cially con­firmed there will be two mod­els; a stan­dard model and a higher-spec­i­fi­ca­tion S model. These spy shots ap­pear to show two dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the stan­dard model, which Du­cati say will ar­rive in deal­ers at around £10,000 when it goes on sale next year. The S model will be a fair bit more ex­pen­sive, but while Du­cati have, so far, not given a firm in­di­ca­tion of its ex­pected cost, we es­ti­mate it will be be­tween £12,000 and £12,500.

Du­cati say the new Su­per­sport 939 is a sporty bike for the road which of­fers good han­dling, per­for­mance and brakes but doesn’t have the su­per high-end per­for­mance of the ex­ist­ing Pani­gale su­per­bike range, which com­prises a fam­ily of 1299 vari­ants, and the 959.

The bike is based around some clever use of ex­ist­ing Du­cati me­chan­i­cal el­e­ments. The en­gine is based on the 939cc wa­ter-cooled L-twin from the Hyper­mo­tard, the trel­lis chas­sis is based around that used on the Mon­ster with the same raft of elec­tronic rider aids seen on other Du­cati mod­els.

Elec­tron­ics will in­clude manda­tory ABS to meet Euro4 reg­u­la­tions, as well as eight-level trac­tion con­trol, and three rider modes. What’s more, Du­cati are now in­tro­duc­ing cor­ner­ing ABS and anti-wheelie across more and more mod­els as the tech­nol­ogy be­comes more ubiq­ui­tous, and cheaper, and we would ex­pect these to be avail­able for the Su­per­sport too.

What Du­cati have re­vealed

MCN re­porter Andy David­son was at World Du­cati Week, where he grilled prod­uct man­ager, Paolo Qu­at­trino, about the new Su­per­sport. He re­vealed: “The en­gine is tuned to be re­ally, re­ally smooth be­cause it’s a sports­bike with road fo­cused per­for­mance.

“The Su­per­sport is not an en­trylevel sports­bike. That would be a bike for be­gin­ners, this is not that. This is a sports­bike de­signed for the road. The dash is com­pletely new, with new func­tion­al­ity, and is ready for the Du­cati mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem, the same as on the Mul­tistrada.

“The head­lamp shape is com­pletely new, the shape was in­spired by the Pani­gale, but the head­lamp has day­time run­ning lights. The ex­haust is new, as well as the com­plete fair­ing.

“This bike is for cus­tomers who de­sire a sports­bike with ver­sa­til­ity

‘This is a bike that is sporty and at the same time com­fort­able’

and with road-fo­cused per­for­mance. It is for rid­ers who don’t want a bike for track­days, so this is a bike that is sporty and at the same time com­fort­able in terms of seat­ing po­si­tion. It is not in the Pani­gale fam­ily.

“In terms of per­for­mance and price it is a step be­hind the 959 Pani­gale, but it is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent fam­ily, the only link be­tween the two is sporti­ness.

“We made this be­cause we wanted to tar­get the cus­tomer who loves sports­bikes and wants street le­gal per­for­mance. We in­ves­ti­gated the mar­ket and saw very in­ter­est­ing po­ten­tial for these types of cus­tomers.

“The dis­place­ment is the same as the Hyper­mo­tard 939, but we have mod­i­fied the en­gine and elec­tronic tun­ing and even the at­tach­ment of the en­gine to the frame is dif­fer­ent. With this frame, the en­gine is a stressed el­e­ment. So it is 939 dis­place­ment, but not re­ally the same en­gine, be­cause 80% of it is new.” Solid per­for­mance The en­gine is based on the Hyper­mo­tard 939’s Tes­tas­tretta 11° liq­uid-cooled L-twin. That en­gine is ac­tu­ally 937cc but Du­cati have al­ready said the en­gine is “80% new” and we ex­pect it will be tuned to pro­duce around 110bhp. Re­mem­ber, this is not an overtly per­for­mance-fo­cused su­per­bike. Light is right Light­weight fivespoke cast alu­minium al­loy wheels add to the sports­bike ap­peal of this bike and even on this stan­dard model they look high-end. Ex­pect even lighter rims on the S model. Top stop­pers Up front it ap­pears twin 320mm semi-float­ing discs are grabbed by ra­di­ally-mounted Brembo M4.32 mon­bloc calipers with ABS as stan­dard. At the back there is a twin­pis­ton Brembo caliper and what’s likely to be a 245mm sin­gle disc. Fam­ily re­sem­blance The chas­sis is a tra­di­tional Du­cati steel trel­lis frame which has taken parts from the Xdi­avel cruiser and the Mon­ster road­ster in or­der to keep de­vel­op­ment costs down as much as pos­si­ble. Shar­ing com­po­nents across bikes not only keeps costs down for bike de­vel­op­ment, but it also saves huge amounts of time off the de­vel­op­ment cy­cle of a new model.

How we said the new Du­cati Su­per­sport 939 would look back in July

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