Panigale-inspired styling for the next-gen SuperSport 950

LISTEN 10:37

It’s been four years since the last update to Ducati’s SuperSport 950 platform, and now it’s on the receiving end of a fairly major rework ahead of MY2021. Tuned-up fairings enclose a more emission-compliant engine along with beefed-up electronics to complete the package. The SuperSport comes in the base 950 package, but if you’re a bona fide pegdragger, the 950 S version takes things up a notch or three.

  • 2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    L-Twin
  • Displacement:
    937 L
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    13495
  • Price:

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S Design

  • 4.3-inch color TFT display
  • Adjustable windshield
  • LED lighting
  • Panigale-inspired stying
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975137
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975128

Ducati’s SuperSport design team borrowed heavily from its very own Panigale V4 platform to draw inspiration for the new SuperSport fairings. Across the board, the SuperSport 950 and 950 S roll with foil-shaped front-fender uprights that steer the air around the exposed inner tube of the inverted front forks. The fender itself is asymmetrical fore and aft with not a single ounce wasted unnecessarily.

New angry-bird LED headlight projectors split the night and ensure effective two-way daytime visibility, and its here that we find something new. Vertical fins set just outboard of the headlight wells direct air to the rider’s legs to mitigate the heat from waste air coming out the vents when underway. The vents themselves were tweaked this year, as were the front fairing which now extends all the way down to a chin fairing closing off from view the exhaust headers and tidying up the front of the machine.

Along the bottom, the chin fairing extends into a belly pan ahead of upswept dual silencers that boost the SuperSport’s race-tastic looks. Back up top, a new Plexiglas windshield contributes to the rider’s wind pocket and comes adjustable between two preset positions allowing you to tune your personal protective bubble. The windshield also protects the 4.3-inch color TFT display that bundles all of the instrumentation and sub-system info into a single screen. Tall stalks mount the mirrors that come complete with LED front turn signals so they’re separated from the fairing and headlights for effective visibility.

In profile, the fairings quickly peter out to leave some of the underpinnings visible and are only as big as is absolutely necessary for efficient penetration. A two-up seat comes stock, but if you’re about the solo racebike life, you’ll be glad for the cover that effectively turns the pillion pad into a tail fairing.

To wrap up the gear in the rear, a narrow rear standoff fender mounts the license plate and blinkers while the taillight bar mounts directly to the terminus of the subframe. The factory doesn’t explicitly say so, but I reckon the mirrors and tailpiece can both be easily removed and their mounting holes plugged for trackdays. For the rest of us, the SuperSport comes stock with oodles of curb appeal and street-racing potential.

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S Chassis

  • Marzocchi and Öhlins suspensions
  • Fully adjustable, front and rear
  • Lean -sensitive cornering ABS
  • Lively handling and performance
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975158
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975135
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975117

As usual, the factory relies on a Trellis frame on the SuperSport 950 that uses the engine as a stressed member to reach its final rigidity and eliminate a large section of framing. Tubular-steel members are welded to form the frame sections, but lightweight aluminum is the material of choice for the single-side swingarm that finishes out the framing in elegant fashion.

Here in the suspension we find a difference between the base model and the “S” model. The base model rolls on 43 mm usd Marzocchi forks while the latter is buoyed by fatter 48 mm Öhlins stems, both of which come fully-adjustable. Öhlins also supplies the fully-adjustable rear shock for the “S” model, but the base model rocks an adjustable Sachs monoshock instead. No matter which you choose, you can count on being able to dial in the suspension for conditions and preference. Suspension travel is 5.1 inches up front and 5.7 inches out back across the board which is toward the top of the range for a non-offroad ride.

Fast bikes need fast rubber, so the factory chucked on a set of Z-rated Pirelli Diablo Rosso III hoops in a 120/70 ahead of a 180/55, both on 17-inch rims. Fast machines also need solid braking capabilities, and toward that end the factory chucked on a pair of Brembo M4-32 Monobloc calipers that bite 320 mm front discs with a twin-pot caliper and 245 mm disc out back.

This year, both ends of both models now come stock with Bosch ABS, and since the SuperSport now comes equipped with an inertial-measurement unit, the ABS is now of the lean-sensitive variety for extra protection when braking in the corners. A self-bleeding radial master cylinder actuates the front anchors and rocks an adjustable lever so you can dial it in for your hand size.

Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the cylinders head
Front suspension:
└ 950: Fully adjustable Æ 43 mm usd Marzocchi fork
└ 950 S: Fully adjustable Æ 48 mm usd Öhlins fork with TiN treatment fork
Rear Suspension:
└ 950: Progressive linkage with adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
└ 950 S: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Wheel travel: Front: 5.1 in (130 mm), Rear: 5.7 in (144 mm)
Rake: 24°
Front wheel: Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Rear Wheel: Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 5.50" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17
Front brake: Dual 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4-32 calipers, 4-piston, radial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS. Self bleeding master cylinder
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S Drivetrain

  • 937 cc Testastretta L-twin engine
  • 110 hp and 69 lb-ft of torque
  • Slip-assist clutch and quick shifter
  • Riding Modes, traction control, and wheelie control
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975149
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975114
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975115

The SuperSport family’s weapon of choice for the 950 and 950 S is the liquid-cooled Testastretta powerplant. It runs in an L-twin configuration (or a 90-degree V if you prefer) and advertises in its name that it sports 11 degrees of overlap in the valvetrain that aids in exhaust-gas scavenging while limiting free hydrocarbons in the exhaust stream. A 94 mm bore and 67.5 mm stroke gives the two-cylinder lump its 937 cc displacement and sizzlin’-hot 12.6-to-1 compression ratio. The signature Desmodromic valvetrain replaces the traditional valve springs for a pull-closed cam that provides positive poppet closure for the four-valve heads and utterly eliminates harmonic valve float during high-rpm operation.

Ride-by-wire throttle control feeds rider demand to the 53 mm throttle bodies with their electronic fuel injection system that manages the intake. Both versions roll with a veritable alphabet soup of subsystems that include the Ducati Traction Control system, Wheelie Control, and variable Power Modes. Overall control of the above comes bundled under the Riding Modes feature for quick and easy personality changes, even on the fly.

A slip-and-assist clutch couples engine power to the six-speed transmission and provides some backtorque mitigation for extra safety on hard downshifts and roll-offs. If you’d prefer to not have to use the clutch every shift, you’ll be glad to hear that both models come stock with the Ducati Quick Shift feature that lets you work both up and down the range sans clutch action or even bothering to roll off between shifts. This will let you safely come out of the hole like a scalded-ass dog, and it turns the SuperSport into a proper stoplight burner if you have the nerve for it.

The plant churns out 110 horsepower with 69 pound-feet of torque on tap, and the final drive ratio turns in a top speed of 186 mph. Racing exhaust components are available ex-sale if you want to get the max out of the mill with a boost up to 234 horsepower and 87.7 pounds o’ grunt.

Engine: Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 x 67.5 mm
Compression ratio: 12,6± 0.5 :1
Power: 110 hp (81 kW) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque: 69 lb-ft (93 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system, Æ 53 mm throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire
Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Twin aluminum mufflers
Gearbox: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO
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: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self bleeding master cylinder

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S Price

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975148
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975138
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975116

The base-model 2021 SuperSport 950 rolls in Ducati Red over black underpinnings for $13,495. If you want that “S” model, you can expect to shell out $15,795 and you have a choice between Duc Red and Arctic White Silk.

Instrumentation: Full-TFT color display
Safety equipment: Riding Modes, Bosch Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO
Standard equipment: Power Modes, Day Time Running Light (DRL), Full-TFT color display, Adjustable windscreen, Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO; 950 S with passenger seat cowl and Öhlins suspension
Ready for: Anti-theft system, Heated grips, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS)
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Color:
└ 950: Ducati Red
└ 950 S: Arctic White, Ducati Red
Price:
└ 950: $13,495
└ 950 S: $15,795

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S Competitors

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
- image 975140
2017 - 2019 Honda CBR1000RR
- image 773929

Ducati plays in the same sandbox as the Big Four with its reinvented SuperSport family, so it was straight to Honda for its CBR1000RR ABS “Fireblade” for my head to head.

Honda CBR1000RR

2017 - 2019 Honda CBR1000RR
- image 822699

While it’s true that form should always follow function, the Italians still manage to instill some sexiness in the overall design that really sets it apart from the rest of the world. With that in mind I won’t ding Honda for looks, and to be fair, the CBR line has come a long way from its boxy beginnings, so there’s that.

Honda relies on a 998 cc inline-four engine for power. It produces 189 horsepower with a top speed of 186 (est) to just about finish dead-even with the Duc in the performance numbers, so a race between these two will absolutely come down to skill since neither can rely on brute power.

Honda keeps pace in the brakes with corner-sensitive ABS protection, plus it rides on adjustable suspension front and back to more or less break even in the stems as well. The similarities continue into the electronics with the CBR boasting traction control, engine-braking control, and wheelie control along with a variable-output Engine Power Level system that lets you dial in the power delivery.

Both of these bikes are perfectly suited for life on the race track, but are intended mainly for road use by the real fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there. Honda comes off looking a bit proud at the checkout with its $16,499 sticker that’s even higher than the SuperSport S model, and that leaves some money on the table that may buy it some business.

Read our full review of the Honda CBR1000RR.

He Said

It’s hard to beat Ducati on looks, and the reimagined SuperSport is a perfect example. However, I don’t know how far the factory should go with the whole Panigale-style features thing they got going on now, I mean, if folks want a Panigale V4, they should buy a Panigale V4 and let’s leave the SuperSport to be the SuperSport and not a junior Panigale, m’kay?”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I kinda feel like my husband in that making it look more like a Panigale takes away from its SuperSport-ness. I dunno, maybe I’ll change my mind tomorrow, but I’m not in favor of having a Panigale and a Panigale Lite. That said, the suspension and chassis on the base model are pretty much a carryover from last year, but this year the “S” gets a nice tweak in that department. It’s one of those stupid-fast bikes that isn’t my cup of tea, but I have to respect it for what it is: a fiery pegdragger’s wet dream. Okay, maybe not that far, but the electronics are nice, suspension front and rear are fully adjustable, and overall, it’s a serious street machine on which I would never get the full experience. High-five to the pegdraggers out there. High-five, folks.”

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 x 67.5 mm
Compression ratio: 12,6± 0.5 :1
Power: 110 hp (81 kW) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque: 69 lb-ft (93 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system, Æ 53 mm throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire
Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Twin aluminum mufflers
Gearbox: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO
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: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self bleeding master cylinder
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame attached to the cylinders head
Front suspension:
└ 950: Fully adjustable Æ 43 mm usd Marzocchi fork
└ 950 S: Fully adjustable Æ 48 mm usd Öhlins fork with TiN treatment fork
Rear Suspension:
└ 950: Progressive linkage with adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
└ 950 S: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Wheel travel: Front: 5.1 in (130 mm), Rear: 5.7 in (144 mm)
Rake: 24°
Front wheel: Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Rear Wheel: Y shaped, 3-spoke in light alloy 5.50" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55 ZR17
Front brake: Dual 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo M4-32 calipers, 4-piston, radial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS. Self bleeding master cylinder
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS
Dimension & Capacities:
Dry weight: 405 lb (184 kg)
Curb weight: 463 lb (210 kg)
Seat height: 31.9 in (810 mm)
Wheelbase: 58.3 in (1,478 mm)
Fuel capacity: 4.2 gallon (16 l)
Fuel consumption: 5.6 l/100 km
Number of seats: 2
Details:
Instrumentation: Full-TFT color display
Safety equipment: Riding Modes, Bosch Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO
Standard equipment: Power Modes, Day Time Running Light (DRL), Full-TFT color display, Adjustable windscreen, Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down EVO; 950 S with passenger seat cowl and Öhlins suspension
Ready for: Anti-theft system, Heated grips, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS)
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Color:
└ 950: Ducati Red
└ 950 S: Arctic White, Ducati Red
Price:
└ 950: $13,495
└ 950 S: $15,795

Further Reading

Ducati

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TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, honda,com

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