‘It makes me a bit giddy’

Du­cati’s an in­stant hit (shame about the mir­rors though)

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

The child­ish ex­cite­ment was get­ting ridicu­lous. MCN Of­fice Man­ager, Ali­son had tersely told me that my Du­cati Su­per­sport S was go­ing to ar­rive at 11.57am af­ter I’d pestered her for the sev­enth time that morn­ing. I’ve not felt like that for a while. I’d al­ready down­loaded the on­line owner’s man­ual and even read some of it. Most of it, ac­tu­ally.

The Su­per­sport had me riled. When it did fi­nally ar­rive (at 4.26pm, by the way), I spent ten min­utes just walk­ing round it, soak­ing up the de­tail. The pearles­cent white paint (a £200 ex­tra) al­lowed the blood-red wheels and trel­lis frame to stand out, and although the red bike is al­ready a hefty £12,795, I was con­vinced the ex­tra for the ice-cool white colour was jus­ti­fied.

Once on board, the dash seemed straight­for­ward and the Sport riding mode was al­ready se­lected. The L-twin 937cc mo­tor pro­duces a solid yet (on pa­per) un­spec­tac­u­lar 113bhp, but the 71.3ftlb at 6000rpm is the stat you re­ally no­tice. The bike grunts out of cor­ners and pulls strongly through the midrange when over­tak­ing.

I im­me­di­ately found it flick­able and re­spon­sive. There are a cou­ple of early nig­gles: the quick­shifter is a bit clunky – I’ve found a few false neu­trals be­tween fourth and fifth, and the mir­rors are so bad it’s laugh­able. They are like a cou­ple of bits of spaghetti with a make-up mirror stuck on the end. At any­thing over 50mph they are about as much use as Don­ald Trump at a diplo­matic sum­mit!

But the pros far out­weigh the cons and I gen­uinely get a bit giddy ev­ery time I ap­proach the bike.

One of my first ports of call was the lo­cal Du­cati deal­er­ship. Peter­bor­ough Du­cati’s Alex Vindis re­vealed that they’d sold more S mod­els than stock­ers and that red had been the most pop­u­lar colour. He also had a slick an­swer to the ques­tion I’ve heard raised a few times – why would you buy a Su­per­sport when a Panigale 959 is only £1000 more? He said: “The Su­per­sport is higher spec. It’s got an au­to­blip­per and a quick­shifter for a start. It’s also got Öh­lins sus­pen­sion front and back, while the Panigale has a more ba­sic set-up. And a lot of peo­ple just don’t want the amount of power the Panigale’s of­fer­ing.

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