The glamorous one
Ducati Supersport S
Ducati’s new Supersport S is a friendly, modestly-powered sportsbike that won’t contort you like a race replica. It only has one natural rival and that’s a bike that’s not even made any more: Honda’s pre-rr CBR600FS.
The Öhlins suspension on this S model transforms bumpy roads into velvet, the Monster-derived chassis loads you with feedback in the corners and the simple 113bhp L-twin motor has just the right amount of power and character for the road… most of the time. However, push it hard and you will reach the rev limiter all too soon in the higher gears and you wish Ducati had given you another 20bhp to play with.
Built to the same eye-wateringly beautiful standard as a Panigale superbike, the Supersport has a delicious paint finish and fastidious attention to detail. It comes with the full set of electronic rider aids, including a quickshifter and autoblipper.
It works superbly as a sportsbike and a short-range tourer, but it can’t match the more touring-focused rivals after hours in the saddle. It’s a physically small machine with a long stretch to the bars, so wrists and knees take a battering after a while.
There isn’t a lot of screen or bodywork to keep you clear of windblast and it will be too cramped for pillion and luggage. It also knocks out quite a lot of heat in traffic and the blurry mirrors are next to hopeless at motorway speeds.
‘Push it hard in higher gears and you reach the rev limiter all too soon’
Stunning to behold, but it does feel like it’s lacking power and comfort in this company