I have always believed and at least to me, there is just no bike that could match the fun factor of motorcycling like a motard. This breed if pure adrenaline, nimble and light, agile, easy to handle and the twists and turns come so easy. The European motorcycle firms have been pioneers in this and the likes of KTM and Aprilia basically started out with these kinds of bikes. DUCATI although more renowned for their sports bike seem to be making a strong resolution towards this breed. But DUCATI always does things differently and so they invented the Hypermotard category, a crossover hyper-sports bikes and supermotards which means you will get the high speed handling and smooth engine from a hyper-sport bike combined with the lightweight credentials and slow corner precision of a supermotard. Which also means this is going to be an easy to handle agile motorcycle for city traffic and the weekend spirited ride through the mountains.
The fun part is bought on by the ‘feel’ of the lightweight and taut chassis which makes it a better ‘chance taker’ than a sportsbike. No wonder most of the stunt records are seen along with this breed.So coming on to the Ducati Hypermotard, they had the big 1100 engine but how cool can a motard be even if you call it Hypermotard with such a big engine? So, Ducati went and launched the smaller 800cc version dubbed 796. Now this is more like it! The first thing that grabs you in the 796 or for the fact in most motards are the massive front forks that immediately builds your confidence. The 796 finishes off with the Ducati signature single-sided swingarm and underseat exhausts and typical of Ducati and while motards are definitely not the best of lookers, the same just doesn’t apply to the 796. Just the look and colour tells you it has got to be a Duc! And if it is Ducati, it has to be brands like Marzocchi and Ohlins and Sachs.
In 2005, Ducati entered this category with its prototype and since it is a Ducati and they had to bring in the Hypermotard segment, they had to introduce something new and thereby dumped the single engine usually found in motards with their legendary L-Twin engine. Although this would add to the weight but it had more advantages, like the lack of the harsh characteristics of a single cylinder engine and also it makes more power. Another thing is that while it won’t be very practical to ride a motard everywhere and everyday, the Hypermotard is just that. It infuses pure riding pleasure with a practical and versatile motorcycle that could be used every day. The Hypermotard’s main advantage is of its agility to accelerate at any range which sometimes gives you the impression that it actually it a 2 strokes of the 80s from the crazy Japs.
First came the 1100 and for this year, Ducati has launched the 1100 EVO which is even better than the 2009 model because it weighs 15 pounds lighter and at the same time delivers 5 more horses and so officially power output reads at 95bhp@7500 rpm and the bike weighs 175 kgs. The new torque curve peaks a little higher in the rpm range which has enabled Ducati to achieve a flatter and longer torque surge. There is also the EVO SP version which weighs 2 pounds less than the EVO and adds another 5 horsepower. Also the EVO SP seats higher by 1.2 inches than the EVO and to compliment the height, uses a handlebar which is 20mm higher than the EVO. But the 796 was actually built on the learning from the 1100 and so in many terms is a step ahead of its bigger brother with better air box design and better oil cooler. Actually the 796 gets an all new Euro 3 engine revamped on the Ducati Monster 800.
Engine - Siemens electronic fuel injected, air cooled, 803cc, L-Twin cylinder, 2 valve per cylinder Desmodromic,
Bore x Stroke - 88x66mm
Compression Ratio - 11:1
Maximum Power & Torque - 81hp (59.6kW) @ 8000rpm & 55.7lb-ft 7.7kgm @ 6250rpm
Gearbox - 6 speed
Wheelbase - 1455mm (57.3in)
Front & Rear Suspension - Marzocchi 43mm usd forks & Progressive linkage with adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Front & Rear Wheel - 5-spoke in light alloy 3.50 x 17 & 5-spoke light alloy 5.50x17
Front & Rear Tyre - Pirelli Diablo Rosso 120/70 ZR17 & Pirelli Diablo Rosso 180/55 ZR17
Front & Rear Brake - 2 x 305mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo callipers 4-piston, 2-pad & 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper
Fuel Tank Capacity - 12.4 liters (3.3 US gallon)
Dry Weight - 167kg (366lbs)
Seat Height - 825mm (32.5in)