Exclusive! Ducati SuperSport 950 S First Ride Review: Knight in White Satin

Exclusive! Ducati SuperSport 950 S First Ride Review: Knight in White Satin

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Right off the bat, it has to be said, the SuperSport 950 S is mighty pretty, don’t you think? And yes, I know there’s more to life than just good looks, but, sometimes one just needs to take a moment to soak in the sight. Now, most Ducatis are extremely good-looking, but there’s something different about this, you have to admit. So, what’s the SuperSport 950 all about? What’s it got to offer that the bigger Panigale V2 or V4 don’t? Let’s get the important facts out of the way first.

The biggest change comes in the form of design, starting with that new fairing and headlights upfront. Ducati has done a stellar job at making the SuperSport’s design more like its sibling – the Panigale, but without losing the overall essence and just copy-pasting. Moreover, the SuperSport’s design is more aerodynamic than before with those fresh new air intakes next to the LED headlamps. Then there are the added electronic aids, which include the latest version of the Bosch 6-axis IMU platform. This further facilitates cornering ABS, wheelie control and lean-sensitive traction control. Other than that, things remain pretty much the same as before. Those are the facts though, surely there’s more. And, there is!

Ducati SuperSport 950 S. (Image: Prashant Rai/News18.com)

For starters, this Artic White colour is specific only to the S model, along with that fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension at the front and rear. In fact, this paint job alone costs an extra Rs 20,000 and from where I’m standing, it’s easy to see why. All those design changes are subtle but they add so much more to the SuperSport’s character. It looks and feels simpler than some of the bigger sports bikes that Ducati has, and that’s in no way a bad thing. For example, you still get a conventional key, which I very much like. Then there’s that 4.3-inch TFT display which is quite crisp and clear. But, most important of all, is that 937cc, liquid-cooled, L-twin engine that produces 110hp and 93Nm of torque. But, let’s not just keep drooling over it, time to put it to the test!

Ducati SuperSport 950 S. (Image: Abhinav Jakhar/News18.com)

Although this is the same motor from the Multistrada and Hypermotard, it hasn’t got the bump in power that the Monster got just recently. Nevertheless, the engine feels almost alive thanks to that typical L-twin firing order. It doesn’t like staying below the 2,000 rpm mark, but beyond that, it progresses with a distinctive raw feel. The acceleration is rather brisk, with the riding modes (Sports, Urban & Touring) making a significant difference in the nature of the power delivery.

Ducati SuperSport 950 S. (Image: Abhinav Jakhar/News18.com)

The six-speed gearbox is also a breeze to operate, and the SuperSport even comes with a quickshifter, which makes things even smoother. The SuperSport glides into corners rather than attacking it, and the slightly relaxed riding position and seat really add to this whole experience. The SuperSport really genuinely feels like a very capable sports tourer, with even the ride comfort being pretty admirable for a bike set up in this way. However, the braking could’ve been a lot better, the bite just seems to come too late, especially at the rear. Other than though, the performance is energetic and satisfying, and this is an extremely fun motorcycle to ride!

Ducati SuperSport 950 S. (Image: Abhinav Jakhar/News18.com)

Before you go thinking that this will be a difficult motorcycle to ride, let me put your mind at ease. The clip-on handlebars and the footpegs are quite neutrally set, which is to say that they don’t feel that aggressive. In fact, the stance on the SuperSport 950 is quite comfortable for long periods on the saddle. To add to that, there’s a resigned one-step adjustable windscreen, too. There is one small little complaint, though. The rear-view mirrors tend to vibrate quite a bit at idle and certain points in the rev range, but that’s just me nitpicking, honestly. Overall, the SuperSport 950 S feels like a very able sports tourer.

Ducati SuperSport 950 S. (Image: Abhinav Jakhar/News18.com)

So first things, first. The standard model of the SuperSport 950 costs Rs 13.49 lakh (ex-showroom), while the S version costs Rs 15.49 lakh and Rs 15.69 lakh, depending on the colour you choose. That puts it up against the Aprilia RS 660 and Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX, but, let’s put all of that aside for a moment. Because I feel there’s more to the SuperSport 950.

Ducati SuperSport 950 S. (Image: Abhinav Jakhar/News18.com)

You see, some call the SuperSport 950 S a more accessible Panigale V2, while others call it a fancier version of the Monster but that’s not all it is. It has a soul of its own and isn’t particularly defined by these parameters. In fact, in my opinion, it feels like the White Knight of Ducati’s range in India, one that’s forgiving and virtuous.

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One that will stand by your side at hard times, and not be a burden. The SuperSport 950S, ladies and gentlemen, is an absolute gem. It puts the super back into sports touring and it does all of while looking simply stunning.

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