My testride on the new 939SS SuperSport - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2017, 10:12 pm Thread Starter
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My testride on the new 939SS SuperSport

Apr2017 Ė Ducati 939SS SuperSport

Seacoast Sport Cycle openhouse
==========
The event was the open house for Seacoast's move to a new and larger location. It's not far from the old place, but is much more roomy and open.

They had a red "S" model available for demo. Ohlins and quickshifter. No touring pack yet, though. I'll have to look at that another time. Here are my first impressions.

The engine. Surprisingly strong and capable. Iíve ridden quite a few bikes with more power than this that didnít feel as strong. Itís got a *really* meaty torque curve, and responds very well and smoothly to requests.

Clutch, Transmission, and Neutral are all very familiar and easy to operate. The clutch is a cable, which some people have complained about, but it is lighter than the typical Ducati hydraulic unit, and has a good feel. Especially given the quickshifter option, meaning the clutch will mostly be used on startup and very heavy traffic, a hydraulic clutch would be unnecessary expense and complication. Using the quickshifter is fun, and mostly smooth. Thereís a bit of jerkiness in the 1-2 and 2-1 shifts with it, but after that itís smooth sailing all the way. Others have complained about a hard-to-find neutral, but I had exactly zero trouble with it. Iím impressed.

Drivetrain otherwise is the normal chain and sprockets. Easy and efficient.

The brakes are the usual Ducati Brembo equipment, strong and predictable. ABS, of course, is provided, and is adjustable (including to ďoffĒ, if youíre so inclined).

Handling and suspension are precise and easy to place. The relaxed ergonomics help with this, making it comfortable to use the bike as needed and wanted. The clip-ons are high, well above the triple, and might as well be handlebars. They are plenty wide enough and have a comfortable placement; steering feel is light, but feedback is good. It has 3 riding modes. I just used ďsportĒ, as I have learned that suits me best on most bikes. It can be easily changed while moving, if thatís your bag.

The riding position is a tad sportier than a Monster, but not by much. Itís designed for regular use, which is the point of the whole machine Ė a sportbike you can use very day, for everything. It felt like real miles were possible on this thing; several hundred a day easily. I was remarkably impressed by the comfort of the seat. I canít speak to the passenger perch yet, but the rider had a very nice place to sit, in a natty suede.

Fit, finish, and quality felt high. The controls worked well and were easy to find and operate. Ducati is one of the best at this. Some changes were made to the start switches and the toggles for the electronics, but nothing difficult. The fairing bridges to the tank were a little odd, but didnít hurt anything. Just a weird aesthetic choice.

The fairing controlled the wind well, but not *too* well. I like the wind, and am used to a naked bike, so I just left the windshield on low, and it was great. Other people may want more wind protection, but Iím good with not having too much of that. The mirrors (another thing others have complained about) were OK. I did not experience the buzzing and blurring that others have reported. About a third of the mirrors were full of elbows, but thatís completely normal for a sportbike.

Aesthetically, itís a nice looking bike. Not outstandingly gorgeous like, say, a 998, but it will show up well at the Starbucks, if thatís your thing.

The electronics are modern. ABS, TC, riding modes, etc. Iím not a big fan of this overall; aside from the great safety advance of ABS, I could take or leave the rest of it. You can configure everything to match the riding modes automatically. Itís nice that the rider is trusted enough to be allowed to turn them off if he likes.

I think what I liked the most was that the whole bike felt familiar and user-friendly. I had very little need to acclimate, to adapt to the bike, to figure out how anything was going to act. I felt like I could get on it and put it to good use right away, which is a good testament to the attention to detail and development that went into it.

This goes right onto my short list of potential Monster replacements, if/when the time comes.

PhilB

1993 Ducati Monster M900, bought new, 260K miles (so far)

Last edited by PhilBoncer; Apr 18th, 2017 at 10:39 pm.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2017, 10:25 pm
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I tested the Supersport too. I liked it but it has its qualms......Oh also it is the Supersport not ever to be referred to as the SS. Ducati is a German owned company and majority of Germans in Germany are still sensitive about the whole Nazi thing. Understandably
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 4:30 am
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I Too Test Rode The "New " 2017 Supersport.

The Good: Power, torque, brakes, comfort, suspension, the stock exhaust sound, and the Quick-Shifter. My arthritic hands really appreciated the latter, as the normally Every-Ducati stiff clutch was eliminated from the equation via clutchless shifts (if desired).

The Not-So Good: The S model (Ohlins suspension, Quick-Shifter, Traction-Control) is $14,995 (my 2002 Supersport was $5500, by comparison). Also, I have yet to meet a Ride-By-Wire throttle that did not have lag, from the time you twisted the throttle, to the time the engine responded. Sketchy EFI also plagued this particular bike, and combined with the Ride-by-Wire system, it was not very reassuring. Another negative was gobs of engine heat on the lower legs, and today was only in the very low-70's. On a Summer day, this bike will kill with engine heat. Also, the bike just had an overall plastic, toy-like feeling. In essence, the bike did not really say much to me.

Overall Impression: The bike just looks like a Ducati in search of a name and a purpose. If I had never ridden an air-cooled Supersport this bike would be Tits. However, since I have ridden real Ducati Supersports (1993, 1996, 2002, 2005 models), I have to conclude this bike should be called the ST5 (continuing the lost Sport Tourer family of bikes), as it lacks any of the original qualities, and character, of all Ducati Supersports. All Supersports just have a way of talking to the rider that this bike completely lacked.

In regards to the group photo, with the help of Red Pato, we managed to gather together three-generations of Supersports (a Bevel-Drive would have completed the photo, nicely), which also provided me the chance to ride, and rank, the generations in order of desirability. And, based upon that experience, I would take the 1996 900SP, then my own 2002 750, and finally the 2017 Supersport.

Sorry, Ducati. I really tried to like the 2017 version, however, based upon riding all three bikes today, I have to say you really did get it right in 1996.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 6:42 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalDuc View Post
The Good: Power, torque, brakes, comfort, suspension, the stock exhaust sound, and the Quick-Shifter. My arthritic hands really appreciated the latter, as the normally Every-Ducati stiff clutch was eliminated from the equation via clutchless shifts (if desired).

The Not-So Good: The S model (Ohlins suspension, Quick-Shifter, Traction-Control) is $14,995 (my 2002 Supersport was $5500, by comparison). Also, I have yet to meet a Ride-By-Wire throttle that did not have lag, from the time you twisted the throttle, to the time the engine responded. Sketchy EFI also plagued this particular bike, and combined with the Ride-by-Wire system, it was not very reassuring. Another negative was gobs of engine heat on the lower legs, and today was only in the very low-70's. On a Summer day, this bike will kill with engine heat. Also, the bike just had an overall plastic, toy-like feeling. In essence, the bike did not really say much to me.

Overall Impression: The bike just looks like a Ducati in search of a name and a purpose. If I had never ridden an air-cooled Supersport this bike would be Tits. However, since I have ridden real Ducati Supersports (1993, 1996, 2002, 2005 models), I have to conclude this bike should be called the ST5 (continuing the lost Sport Tourer family of bikes), as it lacks any of the original qualities, and character, of all Ducati Supersports. All Supersports just have a way of talking to the rider that this bike completely lacked.

In regards to the group photo, with the help of Red Pato, we managed to gather together three-generations of Supersports (a Bevel-Drive would have completed the photo, nicely), which also provided me the chance to ride, and rank, the generations in order of desirability. And, based upon that experience, I would take the 1996 900SP, then my own 2002 750, and finally the 2017 Supersport.

Sorry, Ducati. I really tried to like the 2017 version, however, based upon riding all three bikes today, I have to say you really did get it right in 1996.
Well, each of us has their opinion. I come from a 1999 SS 900, which at that time cost me $10,500 new (not $5500), so $15,000 for the S model with Ohlins, a quickshifter and seat cowl in 2017 seems reasonable to me. I think Ducati "nailed it" on this bike - it really is the spiritial successor to the air-cooled Supersports, but updated and improved. Easy to ride, narrow, comfortable, torquey engine, very nimble, great brakes and looks like a Superbike - this is my next bike.
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 8:30 am
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Okay the $5500 is a bit unfair as that is clearly a used price, Give the new bike about 10 years and it too will be $5500. Riding them all back to back is great but the older bikes have been tweaked over the years and the new one has yet to be "fixed". Given time we will see how they all stack up.

We also get to see some long term real world results as people buy and live with these bikes to see how they fit what we have planned for them. I still vote for Phil to buy one and put it through his normal mileage so we get to see how it does in comparison
Reliability
owner costs
comfort (including heat from that 4-valve motor)
Most importantly does it capture you so that it becomes a bike you will keep for over 20 years and more than 100,000 miles.

Some of us cannot do that testing so we need the PhilBoncer evaluations for real un-biased reporting.
That said buying a first year bike may lead to more issues that a later bike it would be good to get the info sooner than later, nudge,nudge

Socalduc
I do agree with you on your ranking but that may change with time on these bikes, for now I am more of an air cooled fan for my street bikes as the only thing this new bike does for me at this point is NOT be a 10 year old bike. I am fine with older used bikes so that holds little sway at this point.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 8:52 am
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Thanks, Phil and SoCalDuc for the reviews. I'm highly interested in the Supersport. I don't think I'll give up my 996 for it, but if I traded in my YZF and my Falco, there would be extra room in the garage... (May be I shouldn't give the Falco up...). I dunno. Anyway, that's off track. Like I said, I'm highly interested in the Supersport as an everyday usable ride. And if it's as upright as I think it is, my wife might like it as well (she rides a 620 Monster and prefers it's ergos).

I've read mixed reviews on the Supersport, like "I wish it had more power" and then on the other side, "This thing has plenty of power". For me, if it's as quick as my 996 with +4 at the rear sprocket, it'll be plenty fast. And the ability to add luggage to the Supersport is a HUGE draw for me. Surely it will run cooler than my 996... (LOL)

Thanks again!
Micah
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2000 Yamaha YZF600R - 2001 Ducati 996 Monoposto - 2002 Aprilia Falco
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 9:27 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoncer View Post
Apr2017 Ė Ducati 939SS SuperSport

Seacoast Sport Cycle openhouse
==========


Clutch, Transmission, and Neutral are all very familiar and easy to operate. The clutch is a cable, which some people have complained about, but it is lighter than the typical Ducati hydraulic unit, and has a good feel. Especially given the quickshifter option, meaning the clutch will mostly be used on startup and very heavy traffic, a hydraulic clutch would be unnecessary expense and complication. Using the quickshifter is fun, and mostly smooth. Thereís a bit of jerkiness in the 1-2 and 2-1 shifts with it, but after that itís smooth sailing all the way. Others have complained about a hard-to-find neutral, but I had exactly zero trouble with it. Iím impressed.




PhilB
I was under the impression that quick shifters are for up shifts under full throttle conditions.

2005 ST3, 2006 SuperSport 800
It is original only once
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 9:35 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by saddleup View Post
I was under the impression that quick shifters are for up shifts under full throttle conditions.
There are different types. Aftermarket quickshifters are usually limited to upshifts, and work best at high throttle. But OEM units are integrated into the bike's electronics these days, and are more sophisticated. BMW quickshifters go up or down, without adjusting the throttle. It feels weird to shift without moving your hands at all. The quickshifter on this 939SS also shifts up or down; on upshifts you just hit the shift lever, on downshifts you close the throttle and hit the shifter, and it automatically blips to match the downshift. Pretty nifty.

PhilB

1993 Ducati Monster M900, bought new, 260K miles (so far)
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 9:46 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah.Berry View Post

I've read mixed reviews on the Supersport, like "I wish it had more power" and then on the other side, "This thing has plenty of power". For me, if it's as quick as my 996 with +4 at the rear sprocket, it'll be plenty fast. And the ability to add luggage to the Supersport is a HUGE draw for me. Surely it will run cooler than my 996... (LOL)

Thanks again!
Micah
People often confuse the usage of "power" with "torque." This is a "high torque" engine so I suspect it's going to pull like a freight train from 2500 RPM, but wheeze out at 8500 RPM, which is where your top speed limit will be. Most people prefer this for street/city/canyon riding, but won't get you down the Mulsanne Straight very fast.

The stock 996 made 122 HP and 68 ft-Lbs of torque, this new 939 one is reportedly pumping out 113 HP and 71 ft-lbs of torque. Put a matching final drive ratio on it and it's going to feel familiar.

1994 Ducati 900 SS/CR

It's Italian. If I can get it to start, it'll win.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2017, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by PhilBoncer View Post
This goes right onto my short list of potential Monster replacements, if/when the time comes.
I want to see that thing hit 400k.

EDIT: Keep the Monster, but I agree with Ducvet that you should get a Supersport to test out for the benefit of the rest of us.

95 900SS/SP #210

Last edited by thrasher_s; Apr 19th, 2017 at 11:56 am.
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