I often feel like the Ducati SuperSport 950 is the forgotten model in the Italian brand’s lineup of machines. Maybe it’s the Panigale-esque styling, maybe it’s the diminutive 108hp (81 kW) rating, or maybe the crossover sport bike with touring bags thing.
Whatever the case may be, the handsome little motorcycle is an interesting niche in Ducati’s range of motorcycles, and for the 2021 model year, it gets a welcomed refresh.
With a bevy of photos coming from its European launch, I thought it worth some time to talk about this odd duck from Borgo Panigale.
The changes for 2021 are mostly skin deep, with a redesigned fairing being one of the more noticeable highlights. But, the brains at Ducati have also upped the electronics pacakge for the SuperSport 950, adding a six-axis IMU and a 4.3″ TFT dash.
Coloring aside, the big difference between the Ducati SuperSport 950 and Ducati SuperSport 950 S can be found on the bikes’ suspension, as the S model boasts Öhlins mechanical pieces, whereas the base model uses Marzocchi forks and a Sachs shock.
The SuperSport 950 S also sports a removable solo seat cowl, and a red tag on its cast aluminum wheels.
The base model 2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 comes with a price tag of $13,495 MSRP, but for an extra $2,300 for the 2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 S ($15,795 MSRP), you get all the tasty bits.
All-in-all, the Ducati SuperSport 950 is a fairly unique model in the motorcycle industry, especially from the premium brands. No one is really building a sport bike with bags, save for a few brands…but everyone has their own solution on this assignment.
I would peg Ducati’s closest competitor as the BMW R1250RS, which is perhaps a motorcycle that is different from the SuperSport 950 in just about every way possible, except its intended use by an owner.
Maybe the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT belongs in that category as well, though again, it differs from the other two machines in a myriad of ways. Maybe that’s what makes this segment to intriguing.
I found the previous generation of the bike too soft to be a competent track bike, though it certainly holds its own at B-group pace. For canyon-carving though, the SuperSport has always been up to the task, and maybe that’s the sweet spot for this bike.
Add on its bags, and the Ducati SuperSport 950 is downright practical, and overall the machine is by far the better street bike than anything that is coming from the Panigale lineup.
I do think I’d like to see Ducati’s 1260 Testastretta motor in it though…