Let’s get straight down to it. The Hypermotard 1100 EVO has shed a shed-load of weight. The more compact engine is 5.2kg lighter and the chassis loses 1.2kg. Ducati has also upped the compression ratio from 10.5:1 to 11.3:1. The result? A net gain of 5bhp from the same 1078cc capacity as the previous model. Torque remains the same.
Styling wise, Ducati’s kept the silouhette almost exactly identical to the model they first previewed in 2005 and released in 2007. It’s a strong design no-one else has copied. No big surprise then that Ducati hasn’t felt the need to gamble on a new look. However, the switchgear and digital dash have been passed on directly from the Streetfighter and they’re a welcome improvement. The display is clean and clutter-free, with rising revs tracking left to right. Speed and temperature are the only other display distractions. Other manufacturers please take note.
Climb on a Hypermotard and you feel quite exposed. It’s just you, a narrow seat and some wide bars. You sit high up in an aggressive position, all elbows, no fairing in sight, giving a lithe Supermoto feel – all the better for it.
Heading out of pit-lane, the stomp from the motor starts the moment you let the clutch out. Despite a lighter flywheel from the 848, the Hypermotard retains its slightly slow and lazy build-up of revs – you expect it to rev far more freely. This makes a stark comparison to the more modern water-cooled engines, like the one in Ducati’s Streetfighter – snappier than a hungry croc.
But the Hypermotard doesn’t suffer too much from an air-cooled lump that plods rather than fizzes. Torque is available everywhere, from so low down the range. Once you build up confidence you don’t need to wring every last drop of power by holding onto the revs, you can short-shift and dig your way out of a corner making fast progress disguised by that lack of urgency from the engine.