The 2013 Ducati Hypermotard and Hypermotard SP models are finally here, and one day spent riding each bike in myriad environments has got us itching for more time in the saddle.
Last week I weaseled my way out of the office and found a spot aboard Ducati’s 2013 Hypermotard and Hypermotard SP, two all-new models that look to keep the Italian manufacturer atop the entertaining, albeit small, supermoto segment – a spot it’s filled for the last six years, says one Ducati official.
If you’ve read a review of the previous-generation Hypermotard or were lucky enough to ride one yourself, then you’re likely aware that most miles spent atop its perch are accompanied by wheelies and/or rear-wheel slides. Conditions during the 2013 models’ launch in Ronda, Spain, were less than ideal however, meaning I'd have to keep my hyper-active personality in check this time around (For reference, it was just 34 degrees when the kickstands went north in the morning and a balmy 45 degrees when my group returned from the street portion of the test around noon. Naturally, I wore my warmest ventilated one-piece leather suit and relatively zero cold weather apparel underneath it.). The cold weather couldn’t thwart my day though, and by the end of the test I walked away with nothing more than an ear-to-ear grin on my face and a few goosebumps down my extremities – the 2013 Hypermotards are that entertaining.
The heart of the new Hypermotard models – and the reason for my grin in particular – is the bikes’ all-new 821cc Testastretta 11° engine, which uses a reduced valve overlap for increased versatility at lower rpm. Bigger news is that this second-generation engine is equipped with a secondary air system similar to what you’d find on the Ducati Panigale. Said system “increases engine smoothness,” says Ducati engineers. A Ride-by-Wire throttle, traction control, riding modes and ABS add to the overall package.
The Hypermotard SP benefits from the same 821cc engine and electronic platform as the standard Hyper, but its package has been sweetened by fully adjustable suspension, more performance-oriented front brakes, different riding modes and a special livery. The Hypermotard SP was tested exclusively at the Ascari Race Resort, highlighting Ducati's belief that this model in particular is willing and able to be pushed to its limits on a closed course.
A first ride report covering the Hypermotard models’ many changes and overall performance will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine. I’ll say now, however, that I was extremely happy with both Hypers, and felt that they performed admirably both on the street and at the track. The engine is superb, with plenty of midrange power for tighter sections of road; a clutch that makes around-town riding less a chore than you’d expect from a bike wearing Ducati badges; and a transmission that’s absolutely seamless no matter which direction you’re attacking the lever from. Suspension and electronics are equally as capable, and while the bikes’ supermoto design may discourage 100-plus mile tours, both are undoubtedly capable of keeping you satisfied in all other scenarios.
For a more detailed look at the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard models, be sure to grab a copy of the June 2013 issue of Sport Rider Magazine, which goes on sale April 30, 2013. And in the meantime, feel free to download some Ducati Hypermotard wallpaper images for your desktop computer here: