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This is a picture taken at the recent wet journalist day. Do you think that's fair and reasonable, I don't.

Look carefully, expand the image if you can't see it ........

 

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Wet tires for a test drive is not fair neither ^^

but as you can see on the onboard video, it was drying at the end of the morning.
 

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Wet tires for a test drive is not fair neither ^^

but as you can see on the onboard video, it was drying at the end of the morning.
Wouldn't I just love if every time it was wet someone would change my tires to 100% wets like a MotoGP pit crew. Be fantastic. Unfortunately I'm just a miserable consumer and have to adapt and ride on the same tires regardless of the conditions.

Bit of a concern in one of the comments that the author thought the bike 'ran out of puff' on the large circuit. What's HP does a Moto3 bike make? 50HP give or take a bit I believe it is. So 113hp isn't enough on a race track and only suitable for the road???? A Moto2 bike only makes 140 hp, and it's only a few seconds slower per lap than a MotoGP bike.

Aren't journalists grand >:)
 

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some said that about the wet riding mode, and that it was better on the sport one.

anyway, we know that 113hp is not monstruous, but we can see on the onboard footage that :
- the bike does not reach top speed on the long straight, 233kph when he jump on the breaks.
- top 5th gear is 215kph.
- acceleration from 60kph to 180kph seems really good (gears 2 to 4).
 

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This was not designed to be a Panigale, the motor should be perfect for its intended (my intended!) use.
 

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Wouldn't I just love if every time it was wet someone would change my tires to 100% wets like a MotoGP pit crew. Be fantastic. Unfortunately I'm just a miserable consumer and have to adapt and ride on the same tires regardless of the conditions.

Bit of a concern in one of the comments that the author thought the bike 'ran out of puff' on the large circuit. What's HP does a Moto3 bike make? 50HP give or take a bit I believe it is. So 113hp isn't enough on a race track and only suitable for the road???? A Moto2 bike only makes 140 hp, and it's only a few seconds slower per lap than a MotoGP bike.

Aren't journalists grand >:)
Apparently you haven't done track days. Most every streetbike will feel under powered on race track straights - tracks devour horsepower. And if great top speed performance is what you want you need to be looking at Panigales, which are designed to excel in that attribute. The SS is designed to excel on the street, where mid-range torque is more important than maximum HP.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think it 'horses for courses' with this bike. On country roads its difficult to make full use of 160bhp.
Michael Neeves is used to 200 + bhp sports bikes and is a racer of some repute so I'm not surprised he found 113bhp a little underwhelming, and on a track too.
But on the roads I usually ride if you kept it in gear until the red line then you'd never get out of third or perhaps fourth. It's more about the balance of the bike and it sounds as though that's near perfect.
 

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Apparently you haven't done track days. Most every streetbike will feel under powered on race track straights - tracks devour horsepower. And if great top speed performance is what you want you need to be looking at Panigales, which are designed to excel in that attribute. The SS is designed to excel on the street, where mid-range torque is more important than maximum HP.
I was having a go at the 'journalist' not the bike. I say 'journalist' because so far all I've seen from these guys is a word for word 'cut and paste' from a Ducati sales brochure.
 

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I was having a go at the 'journalist' not the bike. I say 'journalist' because so far all I've seen from these guys is a word for word 'cut and paste' from a Ducati sales brochure.
not there ^^

I was expecting it to be a comfortable sports bike, as Ducati themselves say, but the reality is it’s actually very sporty. The riding position, pegs and handlebars are all pretty sporty and after three hours in the saddle I did ache a little bit, but not as much as I would have done on a sports bike. The seat’s comfortable.
 

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Wouldn't I just love if every time it was wet someone would change my tires to 100% wets like a MotoGP pit crew. Be fantastic. Unfortunately I'm just a miserable consumer and have to adapt and ride on the same tires regardless of the conditions.
To be fair, most people who do regular track days DO fit track specific tyres. Ducati fitted wet tyres only on the S versions used on the track. In the afternoon, when they rode the standard version on the road, they had normal street tyres.

However, there is another side to this argument whether REGULAR track users would go for a bike like this. In Ducati's own words, this is for people who take their bikes to the track OCCASIONALLY.

Unfortunately they have just one day where they bring journos from all over the world, and if it rains on the day, they have to do something to salvage the day. The last thing we want hear is all the journos saying " It was wet, and with street tyres on the track we couldn't push the bike anywhere near what it is capable of" Waste of everyone's time.

I'm sure more reviews would be forthcoming where the bike would be ridden in dry conditions with street tyres.
 

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HP is all relative. This new SS has tons of horsepower compared to my 1995 900SS (about 80 HP give or take). All bikes have gained HP numbers over the years. Does that mean my old SS is a dog? Heck no, that thing gets more smiles per mile than anything else I have ridden.

I don't really NEED more than 113 horsepower on the streets. I imagine very few real world riders do. But some people WANT more HP, and I suppose there is nothing wrong with that. I am more interested in a bike that balances horsepower with handling, comfort and style. I don't really want a 200HP machine when I get to the mountain roads I like to travel to in the summer. I can get myself in over my head with far less power than that. :)

As for the rainy test day, I ride in the rain too. I'd like to hear about how the bike handles the wet roads.

All things considered, I haven't seen anything yet that tells me I would be making a mistake to get a new 939SS when they hit the dealers.
 
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Apparently you haven't done track days. Most every streetbike will feel under powered on race track straights - tracks devour horsepower. And if great top speed performance is what you want you need to be looking at Panigales, which are designed to excel in that attribute. The SS is designed to excel on the street, where mid-range torque is more important than maximum HP.
Actually this isn't correct about HP. A Moto3 bike produces around 50 HP. Are you saying a Moto3 bike is unsuited to a race track because it doesn't have much HP? If not what is is suited to? It's primarily about gearing. I go to Phillip Island every year, it has a relative long straight at 900 meters. Certainly not the longest, Austin is the longest of the GP calendar at 1200 meters, but Phillip Island is toward the longer straights end of the bunch. Doesn't matter if its Moto3, 2 or GP, they all hit top gear just short of the finish line about half way down the straight because they are geared so highly. That's why they struggle to get of the line, that's why they use first and second gear in corners, highly geared.

A road bike will run out of puff down the straight of a race track primarily because of how it is geared, not because of peak HP.

P.S. And yes you are correct I don't do 'track days'. I have no desire to throw hundreds of dollars down the drain playing make believe racer. If I wanted to get into racing I would do it in a serious committed way.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
more up to date view with new photographs.

Ducati SuperSport: Your questions answered | MCN

What’s the wind protection like from such a small screen?
It is relatively small, but it’s adjustable and on the fast A-roads and motorways we tested the bike it was fine. There was no buffeting and no sore neck.
Who’s the competition? Honda VFR800? Kawasaki Z1000SX?
That’s a really interesting question. Both of those are competitors and perhaps the Suzuki GSX-S1000F as well. But really it hasn’t got any competition. This is a premium brand product between £11,000 and £13,000. It's much sportier than those bikes which are all sport tourers really. Although it doesn’t have the same amount of power it’s very easy to ride. In spirit it's closest to the old Honda CBR600FS from the early noughties.
With the 600cc supersport class dying could this potentially become the new supersport class?
That’s bang on. This is in spirit the same kind of bike as a supersport bike. It's got the same kind of power and weight, although obviously it's a twin instead of an inline four.
Is it just a Monster with a fairing?
The cynic in you could say that - it’s based on a Monster chassis but it’s a different engine, fairing and electronics.

Is it a fitting replacement for the original Supersport or ST series?
I think it is. The old Supersport was a milder version of the 851 and a Panigale has a lot more power and is a lot sharper than the new SuperSport. This isn’t a sports bike, it’s a sporty bike, like a roadster with a fairing, and I think it is a good replacement for those. It handles like a Ducati should, the handling is superb.
What does it deliver that other similar bikes do not to truly make it an everyday sport bike?
The fact you’ve got a good mixture of performance and decent comfort. It is definitely angled more towards a sports bike and there's still a lot of weight on your wrists - not as much as a sports bike, but you do feel it - but it's relatively comfortable.
Can the ABS be switched off?
Yep, all the electronics can be switched off if you want to pull skids and wheelies.
What is the difference between the SuperSport and Panigale models?
The Panigale is a race replica track bike, essentially. It's a very extreme, 200bhp homologation special. This is a lot milder and a lot more user friendly.
What niche is it trying to fill?
Well there’s nothing now that’s a comfy sports bike so I guess this is.
How is the suspension? Is it set up for comfort or sport?
The standard model has Showa forks and a Sachs rear shock, while the S comes with fully adjustable Ohlins. The set up on both models is very neutral and user friendly. It just floats along and it has nice damping for the road. On the track there was a noticeable step up in ride quality with the Ohlins suspension.
What do you think of the styling?
It’s not really a sexy bike is it? But when you’re with it all day you see the good sides of it. It’s not an ugly bike, but it’s certainly not in the same league as a Panigale?
Would you recommend it for track use?
As the launch proved it was really good on track. The brakes are superb, the handling and ground clearance are good and it gives you a lot of confidence. It’s a nice track day machine and I think if you're new to track days it would be a good choice. Somebody coming from a proper sports bike might find it a little lacking.
How’s the riding position?
Before we rode this bike I had no idea what to expect. It is relatively sporty, but there’s decent leg room while giving good ground clearance and the seat is pretty comfy. There's a little bit of a stretch to the bars so you end up riding with your arms quite straight which puts a lot of weight on the wrists.
It makes 113bp. Is that enough?
It’s enough for the road. When it's in sport mode it's really punchy, although it doesn’t have punch of the Hypermotard. It's been retuned for a wider spread of power, but when you’re zinging it through the gears you never feel like you need more. Maybe on a big track you would need a little more.
Should I trade my Z1000SX for one?
It depends what you use it for really. The Z1000SX is a fantastic bike and it's roomier and faster than the Ducati. With Ducati you’ve got more refinement, better handling, better brakes, better electronics, and great electronics. If you want something sportier go for the Ducati.
How does it compare to the 848 Streetfighter day to day?
There's something about super nakeds which make them so much fun - they’re cheeky, wheelie machines and the 848 Streetfighter is one of my al-time favourites. This is more serious and obviously has better wind protection. The Streetfighter is actually roomier with bigger bars and more leg room.
Does it have that classic Ducati hooligan character?
Yes, just whizzing up and down the mountains the sound is fantastic, it pops and bangs. The electronics spoil the fun a tiny bit but I still had a lot of fun, even though it was wet.
Can the electronics be turned off on the move?
As an owner you’d quickly figure out how to turn them off, but at a touch it's hard to switch everything off. On this you need to stop, go through the modes and select five or six options. You may as well leave them on, so you’ve got that safety in the background if you hit a slippy bit of road. Urban and Touring modes knock a lot of power off.
How does it compare to 899/959?
They’re in a different league, those supersport Ducatis are proper little race bikes with 140/150bhp, rigid frames, sharper suspension, sharper brakes - they're just more aggressive. This is much more laid back.
Could it keep up with a 1000cc superbike in the twisties?
Absolutely. The stability is fantastic and the suspension offers great control.
Are there any excessive vibes or heat from the engine?
There are no vibes at all, it's really smooth. It was too cold to notice any heat from the engine. I know a lot of readers mention how hot a Panigale gets, but its not something we really experience in the UK.
How would it compare to the Honda VFR800?
It's similar in spirit, but the VFR is much more focused on touring. This is a lot sharper but the power is probably about the same.
How does it compare to the Monster 796?
The Monster would certainly be easier around town, but the SuperSport would be better for longer distances. Performance-wise there's probably not much in it.
How do you think it would perform on longer trips?
It will certainly be comfier than proper sport bikes, but it's lacking heated grips and cruise control which perhaps indicates it's sport bias.
Do you think you could live with it?
I could easily live with it, but I’d probably want a little bit more power.
 

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I don't really NEED more than 113 horsepower on the streets. I imagine very few real world riders do. But some people WANT more HP, and I suppose there is nothing wrong with that. I am more interested in a bike that balances horsepower with handling, comfort and style. I don't really want a 200HP machine when I get to the mountain roads I like to travel to in the summer. I can get myself in over my head with far less power than that. :)
Patrick, I think you've "hit the nail on the head" with your comments. The thing I liked best about my '99 900SS was that no system stood out to me (or overwhelmed another) when riding - it had a holistic quality where the power, handling, shifting and braking all worked together seamlessly like no other bike I've owned. That, to me, is the magic of the SS concept. From what we've heard so far, it appears Ducati has replicated that feeling in the new SS.
 

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Should I trade my Z1000SX for one?
It depends what you use it for really. The Z1000SX is a fantastic bike and it's roomier and faster than the Ducati. With Ducati you’ve got more refinement, better handling, better brakes, better electronics, and great electronics. If you want something sportier go for the Ducati.

How would it compare to the Honda VFR800?
It's similar in spirit, but the VFR is much more focused on touring. This is a lot sharper but the power is probably about the same.

I could easily live with it, but I’d probably want a little bit more power.
Struggling to see how anyone can say the SS has better electronics than the 2017 Z1000SX. At roughly the same price point as the base SS model the 2017 model Z1000SX (sold here as the Ninja 1000) has all the same features PLUS lean angle ABS. As such surely the Z1000SX has the superior electronics.

About the same power as a VFR800, I honestly would have expected better. There is simply no contest between a VFR800 and a Z1000SX in terms of 'sportiness'.
 

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Actually this isn't correct about HP. A Moto3 bike produces around 50 HP. Are you saying a Moto3 bike is unsuited to a race track because it doesn't have much HP? If not what is is suited to? It's primarily about gearing. I go to Phillip Island every year, it has a relative long straight at 900 meters. Certainly not the longest, Austin is the longest of the GP calendar at 1200 meters, but Phillip Island is toward the longer straights end of the bunch. Doesn't matter if its Moto3, 2 or GP, they all hit top gear just short of the finish line about half way down the straight because they are geared so highly. That's why they struggle to get of the line, that's why they use first and second gear in corners, highly geared.

A road bike will run out of puff down the straight of a race track primarily because of how it is geared, not because of peak HP.

P.S. And yes you are correct I don't do 'track days'. I have no desire to throw hundreds of dollars down the drain playing make believe racer. If I wanted to get into racing I would do it in a serious committed way.
What I'm saying is that street bikes often feel down on power when you put them on a race track, which makes sense when you think a track has to be able to handle mega-HP race machines. What may feel great on the street may feel relatively powerless on a half-mile straightaway.

No, you don't gear race bikes to max out in top speed at the finish line; rather, you gear them to max out RPMs in top gear just before the rider starts to brake at the end of the straight. How would I know? I raced bikes all over the country in the mid-'80s in a series called "Battle of the Twins", on a Ducati Pantah.

OBTW, I understand your concerns about throwing your beautiful bike "down the road' on a track, but I can tell you that track days can make you a better street rider. How? By giving the rider confidence that the machine is more capable that he ever thought possible, things you can't safely do in the street environment.
 
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