Ducati India says the brand-new Supersport that goes on sale today is the last of the new models that they have planned for this calendar year. Good thing too, because until the Panigale V4 - Ducati has already revealed its new 210+PS Desmosedici Stradale V4 - arrives, the Ducati 959 Panigale was the only sportsbike in the line-up. Well, we're back up to two with the Ducati Supersport. And the Ducati Supersport, we're happy to report takes a very different tack from the norm and that's actually why it doesn't wear the Panigale name. In theory, you could think that the Ducati Supersport compares with the hard to find Triumph Daytona but you would be wrong. The Ducati Supersport is a mild sportsbike by design and it means to appeal to a large audience offering a blend of commuting, touring and racetrack ability. In role design, the 959 tends more to try and offering racetrack and touring ability while the big Panigales are designed to run rings around the competition at the racetrack. Let's look closer.
The Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S are meant to be friendly, easy to ride sportsbikes and come powered by the same engine as the Hypermotard 939
The Ducati Supersport was first revealed to the world at the Milan Motor Show in 2016. OVERDRIVE covered the launch live and the first thing you notice is that while the design is clearly derived from the Panigale, the fairing surfaces are not so tautly articulated. It's almost as if the Ducati 959 sort of breathed out and allowed its muscles to unclench. On its own, the Supersport looks beautiful although the headlight cluster is a little too busy by Ducati standards. But it isn't as focussed looking as the 959 and that sets the tone for the motorcycle. Also note that the Panigale air intakes are gone and the fairing uses more panels than the 959 Panigale. All this reduces costs but also remember it means if you have a crash, you don't have to replace one large, expensive panel. One neat detail is a mechanism that allows you to pull the screen towards you which raises it to a higher setting - this is a very good idea!
The Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S use an all-digital dash not dissimilar in design and layout to the one on the Ducati 959 Panigale
The Ducati Supersport should really be called the Ducati 939 Supersport because that's the 937cc engine it adopts. This, if you remember is the engin is the Hypermotard and now also in the new Ducati Multistrada 950 that we rode recently. The power output is 110PS at 9,000rpm, which used to be 600c supersport performance as little as seven-eight years ago. Now motorcycles like the 959 Panigale - a 160PS missile but still quite friendly - are rapidly becoming the new mid-segment sportsbike. For the Supersport, the 93Nm (at 6,500rpm) engine gets a new head, new crankcase and a new alternator cover - there's a different gear sensor in there. Service will be every 15,000km and major services are 30,000km apart. The transmission is a 6-speed unit with a slipper-clutch. The S model will also gain a quickshifter.
The Supersport uses the Hypermotard derived 939 motor that puts out 110PS
Unlike the 959 - which we are informed is amongst the most expensive to service in India - the Ducati Supersport uses a trellis frame and kerb weight is 210kg, still quite light. The engine is used as a stressed member of the frame and Ducati say the steering geometry is designed for a balance between agility and stability. The Supersport will appeal to new and mid-order riders and a friendly nature is part of the design. Suspension is by Ohlins on the S model - also going on sale in India. The base model gets a combination of a 43mm Marzocchi in the front and a Sachs unit at the back. Both models have fully adjustable suspension, naturally. Ducati specifies the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIIs for the Supersport. This is a sporty tyre and it should work very well on the road. We have also used it at the racetrack on a handful of 600s and it's impressive there too.
The Supersport's face is an all new design and looks quite different from the Panigales
Ducatis latest models all boast substantial electronics and the Supersport toes that line with three riding modes, 8-level traction control and 3-level Bosch 9MP ABS. You can turn the ABS off if you're a hero.
Here's the Ducati Supersport in white. That's the other colour it comes in. Expect a small price premium for this colour
The bookings for the Ducati Supersport should open today and deliveries will begin shortly. We had estimated that the price will fall in the Rs 12 lakh ex-showroom pre-GST and now that will climb northwards a little bit. Ducati has launched the SuperSport and SuperSport S in India at Rs 12.8 lakh and Rs 13.39 lakh, ex-showroom respectively. The Ducati SuperSport S priced at Rs 13.60 lakh, ex-showroom India will be available from November 2017. The Ducati Supersport will get the same 24 month unlimited mileage warranty that the company offers on all its Indian models. The Supersport is also a CBU import that comes from its Thailand factory.