Or maybe it's a Multistrada?
DUCATI'S forthcoming water-cooled Hypermotard-style machine, set to be powered by a version of the 848 Testastretta engine, has been spotted testing on roads near the factory.
The bike has variously been rumoured to be a lower-powered model in the Multistrada range or an up-engined replacement for the Hypermotard, but in fact it seems to be neither – instead it takes elements of both machines and a whole load of totally new parts to create something of a halfway-house between the raw, impractical Hypermotard and the supremely accomplished Multistrada. A Hyperstrada or Multimopard, perhaps?
In terms of styling, the front is pure Hypermotard while the rear – shorn of its under-seat pipes in favour of the more modern-looking belly-mounted exhaust – is perhaps closer to the Multistrada. The frame is totally new, different from both the existing bikes, as is the swingarm which features an off-set rear shock with some similarities to that on the Panigale, albeit not mounted quite so horizontally.
As usual, the rest of the running gear is the result of picking through the Brembo and Ohlins catalogues, and being a modern Ducati the chances of uber-complex electronics are high – think multiple settings for traction control, ABS, suspension, the lot. Just as on the Multistrada.
The engine is the smaller Testastretta, as used in the 848 and Streetfighter 848. That means you're looking at something between 130bhp and 140bhp unless it's been detuned for its new mount.
The bold swirly camouflage shouts “PROTOTYPE!” far louder than a simple matt-black or even plain red scheme ever could, suggesting that perhaps Ducati is courting publicity with the new machine. Without it, the bike probably would be able to test without being noticed and photographed.
Pics via www.ducati.ms
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