The everyday sports bike

K Shivraj
Sunday, 7 January 2018

Ducati SuperSport S is a pretty machine and displays good ride quality, however, negotiating ‘oversized’ speed humps, calls for some care

Ducati SuperSport S is a practical ‘sports’ bike for daily use. Making a departure from what Ducati bikes have been traditionally known for, the SuperSport S is no less capable however. With a whiff of Panigale about it, the bike is a new and exciting creation. The Panigale-inspired front is laced with sleek LED daytime running lights that run down the nose and sit atop a halogen headlamp.

Viewed from the side, the fairing presents visual mass, and contributes to a stance that gives the impression of being front heavy. A unique shoulder built into the fairing flows into the fuel tank. The steel trellis frame is partly visible when the line of sight moves to the rear. The single sided swing arm ensures an uninterrupted view of the rear wheel on the right. The double barrel exhaust stops just short of the rear wheel, and is part of the bike’s Italian design flair.

Instrument is all digital
Equipped with gold Ohlins front forks and yellow Ohlins monoshock at the rear, the bike for an extra Rs 60,000 comes fitted with a carbon-fibre front fender, sleek LED indicators, adjustable levers and CNC machined caps for the brake fluid reservoirs. If the body coloured rear-seat cowl draws attention when mounting, an LCD screen greets the rider once he has mounted. Instrument is all digital. The traditional sliding start switch is on the right. On the left are the controls for the digital display. A switch on the right helps to switch between daytime running lights and head lamp. With a nice tactile feel to them, the switches go well with the overall build of the machine. The level of fit and finish is in line with the top end bikes in the market.

Interesting to ride
The V-twin motor of the SuperSport S may look like the 955cc V-twin motor of the Panigale 959, but is different and displaces 937cc. Generating peak power of 110bhp, and a peak torque of 93Nm at 6500rpm, the bike responds well. Some dullness may be experienced at lower revs, the easy availability of power and torque as the revs rise beyond 2000rpm makes it highly interesting to ride the SuperSport. Revving smooth and hard, and devoid of any vibrations, the SuperSport also puts out a loud and deep rumble of an exhaust note, accompanied by pops and burbles. Capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150kmph on an open road, in the city the bike is rideable too. The Urban mode blunts throttle response and power to a point where new riders will find it easy. The Touring mode, in comparison, strikes a good experience with smooth and predictable throttle response. Sport mode makes for sharper response. The traction control does its job well and offers eight levels of adjustability.

Six-speed gearbox
Providing a feel of being a bit heavy or a little reluctant at times, the six-speed gearbox of the SuperSport is precise. The SuperSport S comes with a ‘bi-directional quick shifter’. It supports shifts without the use of clutch. When downshifting, the ECU, with the throttle turned off, blips the engine to shift into the lower gear smoothly. What the rider has to do is simply operate the gear lever. The high-set foot pegs and a handle bar that calls the rider to stretch a fair bit forward makes for a sporty riding position. The Pirelli Diablo Rosso tyres ensure good grip on wet and dry surfaces. If the bike feels a bit lacking in agility, it makes up for its aggressive cornering. A bike that could be enjoyable to ride on the track as well, the SuperSport S is equipped with high-spec Brembo M4.32 brakes. Exerting a strong bite, the brakes, assisted by a three-stage ABS system, have the bike shedding speed quickly.
The fully adjustable Ohlins not only contribute to a sporty behaviour, they also have the bike displaying a good ride quality. However, the SuperSport S does call for some care when negotiating ‘oversized’ speed humps. At Rs 13.39 lakh ex-showroom, the bike makes a pretty machine. It may not be the best performer, or the most competitively priced in its segment, but its dynamic ability and refinement give it an advantage. Over value and power punch, the SuperSport S delivers a Ducati experience that is unique to say the least.

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