John talks like he actually owns the 950.
What was really interesting was when I flipped back in that old Motorcyclist to the “World’s Best Sportbike” cover story. That original 916 made exactly 1 hp more than this new Testastretta SS, 2.6 fewer lb-ft of torque, and weighed 1 pound more than the new SS. What we’re looking at here, then, is a modern, comfortable 916 for $95 more than the original 916 sold for, that’s also Euro 5 clean and comes with a quickshifter, Ohlins suspension and an IMU to keep you from hurting yourself. A pretty good quarter-century of progress, really. And the base, non-S model is only $13,495.
The other kids wouldn’t share the new V4 Streetfighter or Panigale, but if they’re like the first-year Panigale I rode around Laguna Seca a session or two, upon which I was exhausted after about two laps, I just don’t think I’d enjoy an all-day ride on the street as much as I do cruising on the SuperSport. An 11,500-rpm torque peak seems too much like work, and I don’t need 208 horsepower very often.
But it’s nice to know Ducati offers them as an option: 25 years ago, the 916 was as fast as Italian bikes got, and your Supersport wasn’t too far off the pace. Now, the new SS’s 916-level performance seems relatively sedate. Have my skills really gotten that much better in these last 25 years? I feel like I should ask my doctor if it’s safe for me to ride the new Ducati Streetfighter? You?