2017 Ducati SuperSport | A Classic Reborn
Intermot is in full swing, and the big news from Ducati is the reintroduction of the SuperSport line. Originally based on the 750cc racer that claimed victory at Imola in 1972 with Paul Smart aboard, the Ducati SuperSport line was produced until 2007.
The SuperSport filled a much-needed gap in the market in a lot of ways—it was not quite a full-blown Superbike, but more than adequate for the street or track. The SuperSport was the Working Man’s Ducati and, oddly enough, the first street bike on which I ever twisted the throttle.
We can’t wait to get our hands on the 2017 Ducati SuperSport to review in full, but until that day arrives, the fast facts will have to suffice:
- The trellis frame endures. One of the most iconic features of Ducati is the trellis frame, and the 2017 SuperSport is certainly representing its heritage in spades. Jutting out of the plastics, you’ll be happy to spot one of the hallmarks of Ducati – the trellis frame, in Ducati red, no less.
- Yes, the 2017 Ducati SuperSport has an L-twin. The SuperSport will be featuring the more than worthy 937cc liquid-cooled, Testastretta 11°, L-twin engine. Boasting some numbers that would keep many happy in both the canyons and on the track, the SuperSport is claimed to produce 113 horsepower at 9500 rpm and 71 ft/lbs of torque at 6500 rpm. Featuring a 94 x 67.5mm bore and stroke, with an ample 12.6:1 compression ratio, the 2017 SuperSport seems to be focused on making its torque show itself nice and low down in the rev range.
- The SuperSport’s styling is very much hybrid. The SuperSport model always led multiple lives. It was a canyon thrasher on the weekends, and a commuter Monday through Friday. It seems that Ducati hasn’t forgotten that core tenet. With design elements lifted directly from their Superbike line, along with an eye to comfort, the SuperSport looks to be a worthy middle ground choice for someone who has supersport and yet street leanings. Between the slim, charismatic design, and more in-the-bike approach to seating, we can see the SuperSport pleasing a wide bunch of riders.
- The SuperSport will be available in two flavors. Two models will hit the showroom floor next year—the base SuperSport, and the SuperSport S. From an engine standpoint, these two options will be identical. The main difference between them is suspension, along with some electronic differences. The standard Supersport will have 43mm Marzocchi forks and a Sachs shock, while the S upgrades to Öhlins at both ends, including hefty 48mm forks. Additionally, a quickshifter is included on the S, but optional on the standard.
- There are plenty of electronic aids on the SuperSport. The base, as well as the S model, will be featuring an electronic suite that includes adjustable ABS, ride by wire, and traction control. Three riding modes—Sport, Touring, and Urban—will be available as well. All are fully customizable, something that Ducati has now expanded to the vast majority of their current lineup.
- The SuperSport should have Ducati’s traditional stability. With 24 degrees of rake and a 58.2-inch wheelbase, we’re likely to be in store for a tried and true SS model. The SuperSport has always been a bit more stable and predictable, and the specs seem to illustrate that. To give some context, the wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than the Panigale. To add a bit of agility, the Supersport has a 180/55 rear tire and a claimed wet weight of 463 pounds.
- The brakes are serious. As expected, the 2017 Ducati SuperSport will be making use of 320mm semi-floating rotors, with Brembo M4-32 calipers doing the heavy lifting. These are the same calipers that are found on the 959 Panigale, so expect similar performance.
- Steel yourself for a new tank. Unlike many of the recent Ducati models, designers have gone with a steel, 4.2-gallon fuel tank. Composite tanks have proven to be somewhat cantankerous in certain situations, so this is not a surprising change.
- Dual exhausts and a hydraulic clutch are nowhere to be found. Fully dual exhaust systems were a staple of the SS line and, while I’m sad to see them go, the alternative isn’t too bad either. Euro 4 compliant 2-1-2 with stacked pipes jut out of the right side of the SuperSport, which are far more attractive than the Euro 4 compliant Panigale exhausts we saw recently. As for the clutch, there’s no master cylinder on the left handlebar. It’s interesting to see a clutch cable creep its way back into the higher-end Ducati line after years of utilizing hydraulically operated clutches.
- Initial customization of the 2017 Ducati SuperSport will be pre-packaged. A Sport Package is set to include a carbon front mudguard, carbon fuel tank cover, folding levers, and billet aluminum fluid reservoir covers. A Touring Package consists of a larger windscreen, semi-rigid panniers, and heated grips. While the Sport Package is primarily aesthetic changes, the Touring Package alters the function of the SuperSport.
- There will be plenty of individually wrapped Ducati accessories. From seat options to a Bluetooth module for the Ducati Multimedia System, as well as lots of carbon and billet bits plus an Öhlins steering damper, I’m most interested in the Akrapovic titanium racing exhaust, which features twin underseat mufflers.
- You can have the SuperSport in red or white, but not blue. In recent years, the colorways rolling out of the Ducati factory have been slimmed down—at least when we’re talking about the performance machines. This time is no different. The good news is, the SuperSport looks pretty sharp in either option. You’ll have your choice of red with matte black wheels, or Star White Silk with red wheels. My personal favorite, you ask? The white, because the 1980s and Miami Vice.
The 2017 Ducati SuperSport is hitting all of the marks of the iconic line. Race inspired as always, we’re seeing design elements that are less ergonomically taxing than most Superbike platforms. We won’t know the final verdict until we get some seat time on one. Until then, let’s get the discussion going!
UPDATE: Ducati has released the pricing for the Ducati SuperSport; the base model will have an MSRP of $12,995, and the S model $14,795.