Almost a year since its global debut, the Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S have been launched India priced from ₹ 12.08 lakh (ex-showroom). The SuperSport has been developed as a versatile offering that can be used on a regular basis along with the occasional track visits. The Ducati SuperSport overlaps with the purpose of sports tourers that offer functionality with form. In that sense, we have two very capable tourers - the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 and Suzuki GSX-S1000F - in the market, which are brilliant on the highway and as well as the city but do not shy away from corners either. Does the SuperSport then come close to what the Ninja 1000 and S1000F have to offer? We do a quick comparison to find out.
Design and Ergonomics
Apart from the dual headlamp setup, the three motorcycles do not share any design elements as such. The Ducati and Kawasaki offerings are brand new, while the Suzuki GSX-S1000F has added some years to its name. The SuperSport turns out to be the most likeable here with its gracious lines. Inspirations come from the Panigale but the styling remains unique and premium on the SuperSport. Over its rivals, the Ducati motorcycle is every bit a head turner and the Japanese models do not come close in pure desirability. In contrast, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 is big yet stylish. The Ninja looks sharp taking inspiration from the ZX-10RR, and has massive presence on road. While the Ducati SuperSport chooses to be more compact with its dimensions, the Ninja 1000 feels more brutish instead. Joining its Japanese rival, the Suzuki GSX-S1000F looks equally big and has also aged gracefully over the years. The bulky fairing with the beak like front looks different, but not necessarily fresh.
Barring the Kawasaki that uses an analog-digital cluster, the SuperSport and GSX-S1000F use an all-digital console. The SuperSport's unit is the same as the new Monster series and packs in a host of information while being easy to read. With respect to riding ergonomics, the Kawasaki and Suzuki are the most comfortable sporting a proper upright riding stance. The SuperSport isn't far behind, however, and does get higher set foot pegs and repositioned foot pegs to aid a more comfortable ride.
Offered in two variants, the Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S use the 937 cc Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin engine shared with the Multistrada 950 and Hypermotard 939. On the SuperSport, the motor makes 110 bhp at 9000 rpm and 93 Nm of peak torque at 6500 rpm. Power delivery is said to be linear as the bike is intended to do have a wider appeal.
In comparison to the L-Twin setup on the Ducati, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 uses an in-line four-cylinder engine. The 1043 cc four-stroke motor makes 140 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 111 Nm of peak torque at 7300 rpm. The 2017 edition received a host of upgrades including a secondary balancer on the crankshaft to eliminate excessive vibrations. It also gets an updated ECU for enhanced power delivery. While being the most powerful offering here, the Ninja 1000 also turns out to be the heaviest with a kerb weight of 239 kg.
Like the Kawasaki, the Suzuki GSX-S1000F also uses an in-line four behind all that fairing. Derived from the GSX-R1000, it is a highly appreciated motor, known for its excellent refinement. The 999 cc liquid-cooled engine churns out 148 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 108 Nm of peak torque at 9500 rpm. With a kerb weight of 209 kg, the GSX-S1000F is the lightest motorcycle here.
The Ducati SuperSport is underpinned by a new tubular steel Trellis frame with suspension duties handled by the 43 mm Marzocchi front forks and adjustable Sachs monoshock. The SuperSport S gets an upgraded suspension setup with Ohlins sourced 48 mm fully adjustable USD front forks and a monoshock unit at the rear. Braking power comes from dual 320 mm semi-floating Brembo front discs and a 245 mm single rear disc.
The Kawasaki Ninja 1000 uses an aluminium twin-tube frame with 41 mm USD forks and a horizontal link back, gas charged monoshock unit. Braking power comes from 300 mm semi-floating front petal discs and a single 250 mm rear petal disc. The Suzuki GSX-S1000F derives its chassis from the older GSX-R1000 supersport and uses 43 mm KYB sourced adjustable suspension. Brembo brakes are used on the Suzuki sports tourer to keep things in control.
Ducati is known to put all kinds of tech wizardry on its motorcycles and the SuperSport is no exception. The entry-level Ducati sports bike comes with Ride-by-Wire and three modes - Sport, Touring and Urban. You also get the Ducati Safety Pack with 3-level Bosch ABS and 8-level Ducati Traction Control. The SuperSport S also comes with a quick shifter.
Offering much more over the Ducati, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 is equally new and a well-specced motorcycle at that with goodies like 3-mode Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), 2 power modes - Full and Low; assist and slipper clutch, as well as ABS. There is the Kawasaki Cornering Management Function as well as the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) available on the Ninja 1000. The Suzuki GSX-S1000F is the oldest bike in this space but does get the essentials including ABS and 3-mode traction control.
The Kawasaki Ninja 1000 was introduced earlier this year with an asking price of ₹ 9.98 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The pricing is clearly disruptive and extremely tempting when compared to its competition. Kawasaki managed to be aggressive thanks to SKD (Semi-Knocked Down) kit assembly, which significantly brought prices down on the model. CBUs do not enjoy this advantage and that's why the Suzuki GSX-S1000F is slightly more expensive at ₹ 12.70 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
Ducati bikes aren't exactly competitive on pricing and the case remains similar with the SuperSport. Prices for the SuperSport start at ₹ 12.08 lakh, which is in-line with the rivals, but the SuperSport S will cost you ₹ 13.39 lakh, which is a premium. However, if a do it all Ducati is what you seek, and it is not the Multistrada, then the SuperSport makes for a viable buy. We will be able to tell you more about it once we ride it. So make sure to keep watching this space for our review.