Motorbike

Ducati 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 & 950 SP - first ride

More power, less weight, added lunacy for Ducati’s wild child…

Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Supermoto
Price:
£ 14295
Overall
4.5
The Hypermotard has always been the ‘most likely to earn an ASBO’ member of the Ducati clan
Hilarious hooligan tool, with bleeding-edge rider aids and slick chassis
Pricey, very focussed

THE TRACK sessions over, we have a spot of lunch, change into something a bit more comfortable, and jump onto some base 950s for a quick road ride. We’ve been warned that the local police were watching for hoodlum antics, and the Ducati lead riders are pretty steady these days, so it was (obviously) a much lower-octane experience than the track riding.

The stock bike was impressive though – Ducati’s given it more than enough of the good stuff to keep it interesting. The power is the same (although we had stock exhausts rather than the £2k two-into-one Termignoni systems on the track SPs), as are the brakes and the rider aids. The Diablo Rosso III rubber is a fine option for sport road use, and will do the odd trackday in style too. The roads up to the mountain in the middle of Gran Canaria are awesome – smooth, fresh Tarmac, amazing views, and loads of mind-bending corners.

The Hypermotard lives for the bends of course, and it’s a proper laugh on the twistier sections. We drift onto some dual carriageway for a few miles at the end though, and it’s a bit of a chore. There’s zero wind protection, the seat is a big smooth long plank, and bizarrely, there’s no fuel gauge or range readout on the slick LCD dash – a real miss for a road bike. On the plus side, the handguards will keep some wind and weather off your digits, the mirrors work well, and there are optional factory-fit hot grips available. 

To be honest though, if you’re looking for a fuel gauge and heated grips on this bike, you’re maybe doing it wrong. Ducati admitted as such – it’s not offering any hard or semi-hard luggage options for this model, and the optional accessory listings are heavy on exhausts (there’s the two-into-one Termi system plus a pair of slip-on cans), carbon-fibre bodywork and other trick parts, rather than touring kit. Looking for something a bit duller for the 2019 season? You’d maybe be better picking something else…

ENGINE

Ducati suggested this is a new engine, but it’s virtually identical in spec-sheet terms to the 937cc ‘Testastretta 11°’ motor from the current Ducati Supersport. Compared with the previous Hypermotard 939, that means new higher-compression pistons, bigger 53mm ride-by-wire throttle bodies, a new exhaust cam profile, and magnesium cam covers. It makes 4bhp more power and weighs 1.5kg less than before.

EXHAUST

Twin underseat silencers, and the designers are very proud of the twin exhaust up-pipes behind the rider’s right heel – they designed them to look like the original 916 superbike pipes. There are various optional upgrades – a pair of slip-on homologated Termignoni cans, or a full race Termignoni two-into-one system, which is what we used on the track SP bikes. It’s loud, but not appallingly so…

FRAME

The steel tubes used in the trellis frame now have different thicknesses, to optimise weight and stiffness, which saves a kilo in weight. The profile is also narrower at the seat area, thus reducing the ‘arch’ your legs have to make to touch the ground. Ducati claims that knocks about 25mm off the ‘effective’ seat height compared with the older bike. The SP is still very tall though, and even the base 950 won’t suit the stumpy.

RIDER AIDS

A big step up here – you get a proper six-axis IMU-equipped set of ‘Evo’ aids, including wheelie control, traction control, cornering ABS, and a ‘slide by brake’ setting for the rear which lets you slide up to 10° on the back brake going into a corner. The up/down auto-blipping quickshifter is standard on the SP, and a £615 option on the base 950.

There’s also a Panigale-style full colour 4.3” LCD dash, which is nice, although it’s not got a fuel gauge or range readout, which is a bit of an omission these days. There are three riding modes – sport, touring, urban, which are fully customisable – so you can alter the power output and throttle response, and the wheelie/traction/ABS settings for each mode individually.

SUSPENSION

The base 950 has sweet Marzocchi front forks with a none-more-black DLC coating on the lightweight aluminium stanchions which save half a kilo. They’re fully adjustable, look ace, and worked really well on the road. That front end is matched with a cooking Sachs rear shock, also fully adjustable.

The 950 SP gets big boy springing – Öhlins 48mm forks and shock, both fully adjustable. These give the taller seat height as well as firmer damping and sweet, sweet looks.

WHEELS

'Y'-spoked cast ally on the 950, lightweight forged 'W'-spoked Marchesinis on the SP.

BRAKES

Same on both bikes – Brembo cast monobloc four-piston radial-mount calipers on 320mm discs, with aluminium carriers. Radial master cylinders for brake and clutch – which is obviously now hydraulic too.

TYRES

Pirellis all round: Diablo Rosso III on the 950, Supercorsa SP v3 on the 950 SP, aptly enough...

Ducati Hypermotard 950 & 950 SP (2019) specs

Price

 £10,995/£14,295 [SP]

Engine

 8v desmodromic 90° V-twin, DOHC, liquid cooled, 937cc

Bore x stroke

 94x67.5mm

Compression ratio

 13.3;1

Max power (claimed) 114bhp@9,000rpm

Max Torque (claimed) 71ft lb@7,250rpm

Transmission

 six speed gearbox, wet slipper assist clutch, chain drive

Frame

 steel tube trellis-type 

Front suspension

 45mm Marzocchi fully adjustable USD fork [SP - 48mm Öhlins fully-adjustable USD fork)

Rear suspension

 single-sided swingarm, fully-adjustable Sachs monoshock [SP - fully-adjustable Öhlins monoshock)

Brakes

 dual 320mm disc, four-piston radial Brembo calipers (front), 245mm disc, twin-piston caliper (rear), Bosch cornering ABS.

Wheels/tyres

 Cast aluminium/Pirelli Diablo Rosso III [SP- forged Marchesini aluminium/Pirelli Super Corsa SP v3] 120/70 17 front, 180/55 17 rear

Rake/trail

 25°/104mm

Wheelbase

 1,493mm [SP - 1,498mm]

Kerb weight (fully fueled)

 200kg [SP - 198kg]

Dry weight

 178kg [SP - 176kg]

Fuel capacity

 14.5 litres

Rider Aids

 six-axis IMU, Ducati wheelie control, traction control, cornering ABS, three customisable rider modes, USB power socket. SP comes with up/down quickshifter as stock.

Hilarious hooligan tool, with bleeding-edge rider aids and slick chassis
Pricey, very focussed

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