‘It makes me a bit giddy’
Ducati’s an instant hit (shame about the mirrors though)
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.