The Ducati SuperSport 950 and SuperSport 950 S are updated for 2021, but it’s not a ground-up overhaul. The electronics and bodywork are updated, and the riding position, but the bike is mostly the same going forward.
Ducati’s updated the 937cc Testastretta engine to Euro5 standards, but it’s still rated for 110 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 69 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. It gets an up/down quickshifter as standard now (previously only standard on the S model). The frame and suspension (Ohlins for the S model) are basically the same for 2021, and it doesn’t look like the Brembo brakes were tweaked much either. So where did Ducati make changes?
Visually, there’s a new fairing and headlight. The bodywork is designed to look more like the Panigale line, and to supposedly direct hot air away from the rider, but none of this is really game-changing stuff.
The new six-axis IMU is probably the biggest news here. This sensor array manages cornering-sensitive ABS and traction control, as well as a wheelie control system. It’s also integrated into the quickshifter’s control circuits.
All these electronics should make it easier to ride the SuperSport to its limits (where allowable by the law, of course!). Safety electronics are the new frontier of performance motorcycle design, not horsepower gains.
Ducati added a TFT gauge to the SuperSport this year, junking the old LCD clocks in favour of a modestly-sized 4.3-inch screen. Along with an interface with the bike’s safety electronics, the TFT also connects to mobile devices by Bluetooth, and you can use it to control various infotainment functions.
Ducati also re-worked the seat and raised the handlebars. That should make for a more sensible riding position, which in turn should make the bike more comfortable. Makes sense, as this is Ducati’s most practical sportbike in the lineup.
Canadian pricing is $15,394 if you want the SuperSport in Ducati Red. The Supersport 950 S is $17,894 in Ducati Red, $18,094 in Arctic White Silk.