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Ride Report: Ducati Hypermotard 1100
The Hypermotard is now well established in the Ducati range. Ahead of the release of the new Hypermotard EVO I sought out the current 1100 model to answer a simple question. Is it a cynical marketing exercise that involves dressing up a Multistrada in prettier clothes or a model with a distinct style of it’s own?
The styling of the Hypermotard is classic Ducati. The aggressive looking package shows off the pretty air-cooled powerplant, trellis frame and single sided swingarm to good effect and the prominent snout that doubles as a front mud guard reinforces the Supermoto look.
Climb aboard and the riding position is good with bars and pegs falling to hand and the seat comfy if narrow impressing upon the rider the minimalist appeal of the relatively light machine. At the brochure the Hypermotard and Multistrada are almost identical, sharing the same frame, rake, wheel travel and very nearly the same wheelbase and seat height.
So I am surprised that they feel so very different to ride. At 395lb (179kg), the Hyper is close to 40 lbs lighter than the Multi (the Monster 1100 is lighter still) and it shows. The bike responds to the throttle much more strongly off the bottom end to such an extent that it feels like it is 100cc larger in capacity!
This is much more like it, the 2-valve engine even sounding better through the stock exhaust. The robust bottom end swells to a decent midrange which make the Hyper feel punchy and plenty powerful enough.
Arriving at the first turn, the bike flicks in like a sportbike, turning rapidly and settling almost immediately so concentration can return to getting back on the throttle sooner. This is why this light and nimble bike with the punchy delivery blasts around the hills with such alacrity and gives full on Superbikes something to worry about in their mirrors.
Things are not so cheerful with the front end however, the chunky Marzocchi forks are simply too soft and bottom easily under hard braking spoiling the otherwise strong braking ability. The rear suspension is better, up to the task of bringing out the hooligan in any rider, since riding this bike is such a blast.
On the freeway, the engine is turning over at 4,000rpm at 70mph according to the hard to read at a glance digital bar tachometer. Wind blast is apparent but not unpleasant at this speed and the hand guards keep the worst of cold air off of sensitive pinkies. It is at this point that the comfy riding position becomes less so since the hard, narrow seat does seem borrowed from a real dirtbike.
It didn’t bother me to any extreme but let’s just say it doesn’t foreshadow all day plushness.
The Ducati Hypermotard 1100 is a lot of fun but not particularly practical. Like most Ducati’s it will be the first to peel off for a re-fuel since the tank holds only a meagre 3.3 gallons (12.5l). That is probably just as well as by then your backside will be crying out for a break too.
Wind protection is non existent and there is nowhere to even put your wallet.
All of this doesn’t matter however because the Hypermotard is such fun to ride. This means you will forgive its shortcomings and just enjoy it for the way it makes you feel and with just 90bhp, your elation doesn’t have to be license challenging. Sometimes less is truly more.
This bike is for you if:
You want a second bike with a different character to commute or scratch on
You want a sportbike alternative and the Monster or Streetfighter don’t spin your wheels
You want to keep looking if:
You are a speed freak (seek out a 4-valve Ducati)
You need the latest and greatest (the Hypermotard EVO is coming)
Ducati Hypermotard 1100 in a sentence: An impish, stylish and alternative commuting or corner carving tool.
Thanks to BMW Ducati Motorcycles of Atlanta who supplied The Ducati Hypermotard 1100 and fuel.
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