As an owner of both of these bikes, I think I can speak to this a bit better than most. It's funny...when the Kawi first came out, it was reviewed heavily and most said that it was a sport tourer with a heavy lean towards the sport side. Now that the SS has come out, and comparing them side by side, I would say that it is more toward the touring side. The SS is just smaller and lighter. Period. Obviously, we are on a Ducati site, so the bias from this forum will be heavy toward our beloved SS. But putting aside by own personal bias, you cannot simply say that the Ducati is better and that there are intangibles that make it so. I'm here to tell you that the Kawi is a formidable bike. It does everything great. It has ALL the tools, too. Horsepower that is linear, ABS and traction that is lean sensitive, LED headlights, upright ergos, all day seat, adjustable windscreen...and bulletproof Japanese build quality. Seriously, the Kawi is arguably a better all around bike than our SS...or ANY bike for that matter, so lets not shoot it down too quickly. And personally, I really like the look of it...in black, not green.
Other than being lighter and more svelt, where the Ducati is best is in that sexy factor. That "make you look twice" as it goes by factor. Other than that, the Kawi beats it on just about every statistical category. Let's face it, we are here with our SS's because we love the look of a Ducati. We love the sound of a Ducati. We love the ownership experience of a Ducati. Finally, Ducati produced a great practical bike that wasn't a Multi. But, it's only a great bike for their line of bikes. When compared with all bikes across the spectrum, and no bias included, it's a mid pack bike. Just is. Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE MY DUCATI and as I've said before, it's quickly becoming my favorite bike ever...which includes my Ninja 1000 (Z1000SX). There is only one reason for that...it has that Italian it factor. It just feels great, sounds great, and handles great...Italians do it better...somehow.
Getting back to sound for a second...this will be a biased observation, too. I love how my Ducati's have sounded, BUT I will always love the sound of an inline four cranked up to about 13,000 RPM screaming down the road!!! Tell me you don't, too!?!
There. My unbiased opinion on these two. The Kawi wins on practically every statistical category, but ends up tied (or in second place for some) because the Italian it factor carries so much weight. That is what the reviewers were trying to say at the end of the video.