Let’s get ready to rum­ble

Is it a tourer? Is it a sports­bike? Is it a ham­sand­wich? Andy’s on a mis­sion to find out

Motorcycle News (UK) - - GARAGE -

My Du­cati Su­pers­port S has been asked to per­form more on the sporty side since I took de­liv­ery of it in May. Short back­road blasts and a Don­ing­ton Park track­day cer­tainly saw it earn its sport­ing stripes. But now it’s time to see if it can cover de­cent miles in rel­a­tive com­fort?

Du­cati have never claimed this is a Yamaha FJR re­place­ment or even a Honda VFR800 ri­val (although many have made that com­par­i­son), de­scrib­ing it sim­ply as a sports­bike for the road.

The im­pli­ca­tion is that this bike is ca­pa­ble of anything. If you re­ally want to cover thou­sands of miles ev­ery year and cross Europe in com­plete com­fort, buy a BMW R1200RT. If you want to win the fast group at a track day, buy a Du­cati Su­per­leg­gera.

While the Su­pers­port S does err on the sporty side, I have also found the adjustable screen ef­fec­tive and the rid­ing po­si­tion com­fort­able-ish.

But it will soon face a stern test of its tour­ing cre­den­tials. I’m plan­ning a week-long trip to Scot­land. Leav­ing a cou­ple of days in the mid­dle of the trip to walk around a bit, the bike’s all-round abil­i­ties will be put to the tough­est of tests. Big mo­tor­way mileage, scratchy Scot­tish moun­tain roads and two 600-mile plus days in the sad­dle should re­veal a lot. So it had bet­ter be a lovely sad­dle. I’ve made a cou­ple of key up­grades to make this long-dis­tance mis­sion en­joy­able and not just an en­durance test. I’ve fit­ted Du­cati’s Com­fort Seat (£212), a set of Du­cati side pan­niers

‘The bike’s all­round abil­i­ties will be put to the tough­est of tests’

(£960) and a tank bag (£180). I’ve also treated the bike to a set of Akrapovic si­lencers (£853).

The stan­dard seat is okay, but I’ve no­ticed the side­pan­els dig­ging into my legs af­ter an hour or so in the sad­dle and the new seat’s extra pad­ding is im­me­di­ately no­tice­able. So much so, that ini­tially I felt raised-up. As the seat gives a lit­tle and I get used to it, I reckon this will be money well spent. And you don’t even have to lose the neat-look­ing seat cowl.

The Du­cati pan­niers are ex­pen­sive, but add stylish prac­ti­cal­ity. Each bag is 25 litres and while you won’t get the kitchen sink in, I should be able to stash enough kit for a week away. I’ve also got Du­cati’s mag­netic tankbag (£180) on or­der to add a bit more car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity. It looks like it has the qual­ity to be trust­wor­thy, too.

The pan­niers re­quire a small mount­ing rack, which took about half-an-hour to fit, clip on and off in sec­onds and can be locked in place. The right-hand pan­nier has a heat guard un­der­neath to stop the bag from melt­ing, although it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see if the wa­ter­proof outer cover sur­vives – it has so far.

The Akrapovic cans were a bit fid­dly to fit so I called on a Du­cati me­chanic to help. There’s no need to mess around with the fu­elling and, to be hon­est, they don’t make a huge dif­fer­ence to the bike or its noise – they just add a bit of style.

I didn’t want to turn the Su­pers­port into an out-and-out tourer, just give it a dash of longdis­tance prac­ti­cal­ity.

Now I can’t wait to see how it per­foms when I head for the hills.

DU­CATI SU­PERS­PORT S Du­cati’s Com­fort Seat (right) will soothe Andy’s ten­der never-re­gions

high­lands Our es­teemed Edi­tor pre­pares for his trip to the Scot­tish the rain in the midst of a typ­i­cally-wet Au­gust. Best get used to

Akrapovic cans take time and ef­fort to swap

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.