939 SuperSport

2017 Ducati Supersport and Supersport S

MSRP: base SuperSport $12,995, and the “S” at $14,795 red: $14,995 white.

The Ducati 939 SuperSport blends comfort with versatility thanks to solutions that make it perfect for everyday road riding – but without ever compromising its sporting spirit. Whichever road you take, the three Riding Modes, ABS brakes, and 8 level traction control, ensure optimized SuperSport control.

It has been four years in the making, but Ducati is finally releasing the revamped Supersport family for the 2017 model year. This range brings sportbikes handling and performance to the table with its race-inspired “Monster” frame and over 100 ponies on tap, but in a package meant to be less intimidating to prospective Ducatisti than some of their, shall we say, spicier models.

The factory touts this new line as “versatile and accessible,” and while the base SuperSport is meant to appeal to riders who want a sportbike that’s a little light on the “sportier aspects,” the “S” model takes on some of the trappings of a proper racebike for a decidedly more sport-tastic nature. Let’s check out what the bike builders in Bologna have in store for us with this newest effort.

SuperSport S

In terms of equipment, the S takes things to another level: even more sport, even more design and more technology to accentuate the sportiest side of the SuperSport. As standard:

  • Ducati Quick Shift up/down
  • Passenger seat cover
  • 48 mm Öhlins fork with TiN coated inner tubes, fully adjustable
  • Öhlins rear shock with integrated gas tank,  fully adjustable

Design

Ducati may have designed this ride to bridge the gap between the laid-back riders and the more spirited ones, but the look is all sport and distinctly Ducati. Head-on, the family sports the “angry alien” headlight arrangement set within the brow of the front fairing that continues down to a fairly typical engine cowl and radiator surround.

The vented fairing peters out midway to the rear offering a tantalizing view of the rear cylinder and just a glimpse of the frame, and the rear end tapers off to nothing with the taillight housing tucked away neatly beneath. Short standoffs mount the rear turn signals, a detail that could certainly be improved upon, but the front turn signals come stashed in the mirror housings and so are about as clean as it gets.

Foot-to-butt orientation places the leg in the sport-typical jockey position, but the handlebars allow for an upright body position which plays a large role in the “relaxed sport” attitude. Both rides come with passenger seating and footrests, but the “S” gets a “P”-pad cover that plays right into its race-tastic panache. Seat height is typical of the genre at 31.9-inches tall.

Chassis

 (SuperSport)

Weight was a front-burner topic during development and the factory used its tubular Trellis frame as the foundation. The stressed-engine arrangement substitutes the engine for a large portion of the frame, even going so far as to mount the rear shock and subframe on the mill.

Swingarm design is of the single-sided persuasion, and the die-cast aluminum construction does it’s part to keep weight down while leaving an unrestricted view of the rear wheel from the right side. Rake and trail are set up for nimble handling at 24-degrees and 3.6 inches with a 58.2-inch wheelbase.

The siblings differ a bit when we get to the factory’s choices in suspension components. On the base model, a Sachs monoshock works on a progressive link while the front end runs 43 mm Marzocchi usd forks, and both ends come with adjustable preload and rebound damping. The “S” model gets a bit of a suspension upgrade with fully adjustable, usd, 48 mm Ohlins forks and monoshock from same.

Brembo M4-32 Monobloc four-pot opposed-piston calipers bind the pair of 320 mm front discs, and a twin-pot caliper binds the 245 mm rear disc with the Bosch 9MP ABS included with the standard equipment package. Additionally, the ABS comes with three separate maps for varying levels of slip before the system intervenes. Light alloy wheels with triple, Y-shaped spokes mount Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso III tires with a nimble 120/70 up front and 180/55 in back.

Drivetrain

 (SuperSport)

Now for the beating heart: the 937 cc Testastretta 11-Degree L-Twin engine. This liquid-cooled mill runs in what most Americans would call a 90-degree “V”, and it sports Ducati’s signature Desmodromic valvetrain that actuates the four-valve heads with push-open and pull-closed cams that preclude the need for valve springs and eliminate valve float at high rpms. The 11-degrees refers to amount of crankshaft rotation that occurs during valve overlap, a feature that keeps emissions low and helps it meet Euro-4 requirements.

Decidedly oversquare, the engine runs a 94 mm bore and 67.5 mm stroke. A pair of 53mm throttle bodies meters the induction via ride-by-wire control that provides the rider with the option of using three separate engine mappings for varied conditions and riding styles. Set to the hottest profile, the mill delivers its full horsepower with a sporty throttle response. In the middle setting, full horsepower is still on tap, but with a progressive delivery that keeps things somewhat relaxed. At the bottom of the scale, power is limited to 75 ponies with a progressive power curve for urban environs and conditions with less-than-stellar traction.

The mill cranks out a maximum of 113 ponies at 9 grand, and 71.3 pounds of grunt at 6,500 rpm, plenty for its 463-pound curb weight, but the smokin’ hot, 12.6-to-1 compression ratio will put you at the premium pump every time. A six-speed transmission crunches the ratios with a slipper-clutch that limits back-torque to prevent wheel hop on aggressive downshifts and also has the happy side-effect of providing a softer pull at the lever.

Much like with the suspension components, the “S” model gets a little something extra in the gearbox with an up/down Quick Shift feature as part of the standard equipment package, but the base model SuperSport has it as an available option. Traditionally, Desmodromic engines are considered high-maintenance items because of the need for frequent valve-lash adjustment, but Duc set a 30,000 mile service interval on the valve-lash adjustment, so routine maintenance no longer eats your lunch.

Price

 (SuperSport S)

MSRP is reasonable with the base SuperSport fetching $12,995, and the “S” model falls just below the $15K mark at $14,795 red: $14,995 white.

Specifications

Engine:
Engine: Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cm³
Bore X stroke: 94 x 67.5 mm (3.7 x 2.66 in)
Compression ratio: 12.6± 0.5 :1
Power: 83.1 kW (113 hp) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque: 96.7 Nm (71.3 lb-ft) @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Continental electronic fuel injection system, 53 mm Mikuni throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire
Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Twin aluminium mufflers
Transmsission:
Gearbox: 6 speed
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43
Clutch: Wet multiplate clutch mechanically operated, self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the chylinders head
Front suspension:
SuperSport: Fully adjustable 43mm (1.7 in) usd Marzocchi forks
SuperSport S: Fully adjustable 48mm (1.9 in) usd Ohlins forks
Front wheel: Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 3.50″ x 17″
Front tyre: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear Suspension:
SuperSport: Progressive linkage with adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
SuperSport S: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Rear Wheel: Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 5.50″ x 17″
Rear tyre: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17
Wheel travel (front/rear): 130/144 mm (5.12/5.67 in)
Front brake: 2 x 320 mm (12.6 in) semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4-32 callipers, 4-piston, radial pump with ABS as standard
Rear brake: 245 mm (9.6 in) disc, 2-piston caliper, ABS as standard
Instrumentation: LCD display
Dimensions and Weight:
Dry weight: 184 kg (406 lb)
Kerb weight: 210 kg (463 lb)
Seat height: 810 mm (31.9 in)
Wheelbase: 1478 mm (58.2 in)
Rake: 24°
Front wheel trail: 91 mm (3.6 in)
Fuel tank capacity: 16 l (4.2 US gal)
Number of seats: 2
Standard Equipment:
SuperSport: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW. Ready for anti-theft system
SuperSport S: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW, DQS, seat cover. Ready for anti-theft system
Warranty (months): 24 months unlimited mileage
Maintenance (km/months): 15,000 km (9,000 mi) or 12 months
Valve clearance adjustment (km): 30,000 km (18,000 mi)
Emissions: Euro 4
Price:
SuperSport: $12,995 red
SuperSport S: $14,795 red  ;  $14,995 Artic Silk White