Say you’re fascinated by the prospect of Ducati sportbike ownership but don’t want to spend as much as a house or strafe a straightaway at 186 mph. We say, consider the Supersport. Delivering a relatively modest, claimed 110 hp from its 937cc, liquid-cooled, Testastretta 11º V-twin, the Supersport also boasts a valve-clearance adjustment interval of 18,000 miles—quite long by Ducati standards. High-line features include traction control, ABS, bright LCD instrumentation, and a sporty windshield that quickly hand-adjusts up to 2 inches.
Priced 18 percent higher, the Supersport S adds a quickshifter, a premium adjustable Öhlins fork and shock (replacing the base Supersport’s Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock), and a different color scheme. While both models have a red steel trellis frame, the Supersport has red bodywork and black tri-Y wheels and the Supersport S has white bodywork with red wheels. At a glance, the Supersport and Supersport S are simpler versions of the stunning performers that define the Ducati brand. But they’re still Ducatis, and thereby offer identical soul and inspiration.
Likes: The essential Ducati supersport experience, minus the exotica
Dislikes: Appearance is downright tame compared to up-level Ducatis
Verdict: If you just want a Ducati, and not the Ducati, here it is