Ducati have a habit of giving the hordes of Ducatisti who make the pilgrimage to Misano for World Ducati Week (WDW) a bit of an extra treat. The Italian firm had already revealed that they would use their 90th anniversary celebrations at last weekend’s festival to unveil two new models. While one was to be an anniversary edition of their flagship Panigale (Ducati Panigale S Anniversario), the other was shrouded in mystery, and Ducati insisted that the only people to see the new bike would be those in attendance at Misano – Ducati SuperSport 939 – which topped an impressive 81,000 attendees over the three days.
This game started in 2014 when the firm hid their worst kept secret, the Scrambler, in a private viewing area and allowed showgoers into the private enclave to feast their eyes on it well ahead of its official unveiling. Unfortunately for Ducati, someone always manages to sneak a camera in, unmasking the private treat to the whole world. It happened with the Scrambler, and it happened again at the weekend with the new SuperSport 939.
The new Supersport 939 engine is based on the Hypermotard 939’s Testastretta 11º liquid-cooled L-twin. Actually 937cc, the engine has been heavily modified – Ducati say 80% has changed – to make is suitable for the new SuperSport, and it will develop around 110bhp. There’s no word yet on any other engines being considered to form a range, but previous SuperSport families have included engines from 400cc to 1000cc.
Two useful images have emerged, and while no-one seems sure who took the photographs, they have now been shared on forums and websites all over the world. Project 1312, as the SuperSport is currently known (the thirteenth project bike started in 2012), is more likely to be called the 939 SuperSport and 939 SuperSport S when the two models arrive in UK Ducati dealers next year at price around £10,000.
There’s no hiding the SuperSport’s 939 visual referencing of the Panigale family – but Quattrino was keen to stress that this isn’t part of the Panigale range. This is nothing new – the similarities are redolent of the Supersport family of the late-80s/early-90s, when the SS range strongly mimicked the 851/888 superbikes, but offered a much cheaper, more relaxed and lower-powered riding experience.