Nice write up, thanks.
Apr2017 – 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. I’ve ridden quite a few bikes with more power than this that didn’t feel as strong. It’s 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. There’s a bit of jerkiness in the 1-2 and 2-1 shifts with it, but after that it’s smooth sailing all the way. Others have complained about a hard-to-find neutral, but I had exactly zero trouble with it. I’m 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 “off”, if you’re 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 “sport”, as I have learned that suits me best on most bikes. It can be easily changed while moving, if that’s your bag.
The riding position is a tad sportier than a Monster, but not by much. It’s designed for regular use, which is the point of the whole machine – a sportbike you can use every 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 can’t 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 didn’t 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 I’m 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 that’s completely normal for a sportbike.
Aesthetically, it’s a nice looking bike. Not outstandingly gorgeous like, say, a 998, but it will show up well at the Starbucks, if that’s your thing.
The electronics are modern. ABS, TC, riding modes, etc. I’m 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. It’s 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.
Last edited by PhilB; 04-19-17 at 10:51 AM.
"A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper." -- Ludwig von Mises
1993 Ducati Monster M900; 259,000 miles so far
Nice write up, thanks.
Thanks for the review - been thinking about this bike to split the gap between my D675 and Tiger.
2012 D675R / 2010 Tiger 1050
But how was the fueling and suspension? Two areas where traditionally it has been almost mandatory to sink another $2K into an already expensive bike? Fit and finish is something you need some miles to really quantify as rock chips, panel alignment and other nags lose the cloak of invisibility worn during the honeymoon phase.
I used to be a big fan but Ducati lost me...
Well, This new bike shares a lot of DNA with my 13 Hyper. two years in I'm still impressed with the bike. Fueling? Ducati has had this wired for years now. Best in the business IMO. The rider modes and TC work so well. Touring mode has buttery throttle response, sport hit's like a hammer. Fit and finish is a seemingly subjective, but I think the Hyper is gorgeous bone stock. There are like 2 small plastic panels that look cheaper than the Ducati's of old, but they are so minor, I haven't felt any need to farkle them with CF. Amazingly, the stock exhaust both looks good and sounds good.
One legit gripe is that my semi hard bags have faded in the sun. Another is that my clutch is so unpredictable that i look like a newb at a stop light occasionally. THey addressed the clutch in 15 though.