YOU know that feeling you got as a kid, waiting to go on school camp. Butterflies in your stomach, a little bit of nervousness and excitement all bucketed in together. That’s what it’s like when your waiting to pick up the 2019 Ducati SuperSport.
Finished in Titanium Grey, with a Ducati Red tubular frame and Y-pattern 3-spoke wheels, it’s exceptionally sexy. The single-sided swing-arm adds to the style of this surprisingly comfortable bike. It genuinely felt like I’d been riding this bike for years.
Hitting the rode in Urban mode, with ABS and traction turned off, the bike felt quite raw, like an old school sports bike. It’s nimble and easy to ride through busy Sydney traffic, with lane filtering a breeze.
While riding in traffic I did find heat rising under the seat a little uncomfortable. This was evident once the bike temp got up around the 100° mark, but once moving this disappeared.
Now before we get into sports mode, we were warned that the SuperSport does love a good wheelie, and that one should hold onto their licence, tight. Real tight. We know why. The Ducati is super quick and super powerful.
The SuperSport’s 937 Testasretta 11-degree twin cylinder Engine has a claimed 81kW or 110hp of power, and really hits its straps from 4000rpm, right through to red-line. And it does it at full noise in Sport and Touring mode.
There are in fact three ride modes, with the Urban setting we already mentioned being the other one. Some eight DTC (Ducati traction control) and three ABS settings, sit within each mode.
A noticeable difference in power delivery between each is evident, especially between Sport mode and the other two. Urban offers a reduced 75hp, with progressive power delivery, which makes it great for wet weather conditions.
We found the throttle response to be a little slow, especially in Urban mode, but let’s be honest, you’ll be riding in Sport mode unless it’s raining. There’s a nice note from the standard exhaust too, and a bit of pop and crackle when slowing down.
If we owned it though, we’d be fitting an aftermarket exhaust to really accentuate the twin’s throaty spirit. Noise aside, the ergonomics of the SuperSport have clearly been thought out.
The one-piece seat hugs you nicely and at 810mm, this rider found reaching the ground flat footed was very easily achieved. The handlebar position is excellent and doesn’t give you the aching wrists you might get with a lot of sports bikes.
Foot peg position was also great and doesn’t give a cramped feeling. Wind protection and aerodynamics were surprisingly good too, especially from the hand adjustable (by 50mm) plexi-glass screen.
At 187cm tall, it was a very comfortable ride, but if you plan on touring on this bike, the larger touring plexi-glass screen and Ducati soft saddle bags that can be had as optional accessories, would be a great addition.
Handling is exceptional. Tip the SuperSport into a corner and this thing wants you to keep feeding the power on. We really loved riding the ‘old road’ on this bike, it loves to corner, with the standard 43mm Marzocchi front forks the only downside if you’re heavier.
At 110kg, I’d be asking my local Ducati dealer to make the change, or perhaps consider the S model, which has bigger forks. We’d also adjust the Sachs rear shock to better suit a heavier weight.
We did find that when pushing through the longer sweeping style corners, there was a little whooping in the rear end. It will be an easy fix with a slight adjustment from someone who knows what they are doing with suspension tweaks.
The standard Pirelli Diablo Rosso 111, 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear are very confidence building, and we’d love to get this bike to the track where we’re sure it would also be a hoot to cut some laps on.
The Brembo brakes are smooth, powerful and inspiring. The 9MP ABS system is quite advanced and offers a refined rear wheel lift-up prevention, creating the shortest stopping distance. Both ABS and DTC can be deactivated.
There’s a full LCD instrument panel, which is crisp and easy to read, with such useful information as speed, RPM, a fuel gauge, fuel consumption, engine temperature and air temperatur.
You’ll also find two trip tallies, average speed and trip duration data, as well as details of the selected ride mode, and corresponding DTC and ABS levels. It’s an easy system to use too, even while on the move.
From a stationary position it was a simple press of the menu button, toggle up and down to select ride mode and you’re sorted. While riding it’s the same, but you get a notice on the dash to ‘close throttle’, as the new ride mode is selected.
We found you needed to be stationary to get into the high, medium or low engine modes, as well as the manual options for DTC and ABS. That said it wasn’t really a big hassle to do it.
The SuperSport comes in Titanium Grey with Ducati red frame and wheels. It’s priced from $17,790 ride away. An S edition is also available, which is available in Get Red or White, for $20,250 ride away.
Upgraded goodies on the S model include Ducati quick shift, a passenger seat cover, 48mm Ohlins front forks with TiN coated inner tubes, and a single rear shock with integrated gas tank, both being fully adjustable.
Our test bike was provided by Ducati Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Ducati SuperSport, contact your local Ducati dealer.