Hold the presses. This bike deserves your attention! Bikes come in several shapes and styles. You know the cruisers, the sport bikes, the touring bikes, my beloved enduro bikes (or adventure touring, dual sport bikes), the dirt bikes and possibly others. The motard style is the result of riders modifying their dirt bikes and turning them into street bikes. Mostly driven by the results of changing the front wheel from a 21 inch to a 17 inch.
Eventually, manufacturers caught on with the movement and started making their own modified versions. As I was photographing the bike in my office’s parking lot, someone walked by and mentioned: “I didn’t know Ducati made dirt bikes.” Well, in the case of Ducati, this bike was born as a motard, by-passing any dirt orientation. But it makes me think what it would be like to reverse this bike, in this case, turn it into a dirt bike. But I digress. Or I dream.
Once again the European Motorcycles of Western Oregon gave me a chance to test one of their Ducatis, and this time it was this wonderful Hypermotard.
And this version is the good version. The top of the line 1100 evo SP.
I did not get to bring my helmet-cam for this ride. But using my regular camera’s video, here you get to sample the sweet sound of the motor. This bike has an air cooled L-twin motor, the Desmodue Evoluzione. It is a light motor, plenty of torque at the low end. Plenty of power for such a light weight bike (377 lbs dry). This is what this motor sounds.
Doesn’t it sound great? Well, it sounds so much better when you ride it, and rev it appropriately. The shape, the sounds, the power, the motor dynamics, and the ergonomics make this bike a total hooligan machine.
The dashboard shows only basic information. And what has become typical of the current Ducati vintage, all you get are digital displays.
Work obligations did not allow me the time to take this bike on the open roads and stretch its legs. My ride was short, from the Ducati dealer to my office and back. So how to describe the riding experience? When sitting on it, and you really sit ON it, you realize the looks match the ergos. It has ergos similar to that of a dirt bike. It is tall, you sit somewhat upright. I felt at home on this bike. It reminded me of my WR250R. Except when you press the start and the sweet L-twin motor comes to live. And if that is not enough, a gradual roll of the the throttle and this bike shows you what it is made off. The Ducati heritage is there. As you put it in motion it quickly shows you that it is more than ready for action. Like I’ve gotten to know about Ducatis, it always asks for more.
This motor has a deeper tone than the other two Ducatis I tested (the Multistrada 1200 and the Monster 696). And it shows its low end power very clearly. The bike has that flickable attitude that is exacerbated on tall and light bikes. It was such a pleasure to ride those few miles! I would like to test it out on the open road and see how this torque and lightness, suspension travel and tallness would translate into handling.
Meanwhile, I have to admit I was surprised by what this bike could deliver. The super motard style had never called my attention before. But the opportunity to ride this bike has opened my perspective on the possibilities this type of bike can deliver. It is not a practical motorcycle by any stretch of imagination. But it certainly is fun. And I’m yet to discover how much more fun it can be.
After delivering the bike back to the Ducati dealer and I picked my Dakar to go home, I was in shock by how anemic my bike’s 650 motor felt. Instead of riding a bike, I should had driven to the test ride, so I did not feel that disappointing experience when climbing back on my F650GS Dakar.
Go test it. You won’t be disappointed. The question you will have at the end of the ride will be perhaps similar to mine: what do I do with such a bike? How can I find excuses to justify such a purchase?
Thanks for reading.
Specifications for the bike tested:
Model: Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Evo SP
Category: Super motard
Engine type: V2, four-stroke
Power: 95.00 HP (69.3 kW)) @ 7500 RPMTorque:10.50 Nm (1.1 kgf-m or 7.7 ft.lbs) @ 10500 RPMCompression:11.3:1Bore x stroke:98.0 x 71.5 mm (3.9 x 2.8 inches)
Fuel system: Injection. Siemens electronic fuel injection, 45mm throttle body
Fuel control: Desmodromic valve control
Cooling system: Air
Final drive: Chain
Clutch: Dry multiplate with hydraulic control
Driveline: Front sprocket 15, Rear sprocket 41
Exhaust system: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter with twin lambda probes.
Frame type: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Weight: 377 lbs. (dry)
Rake (fork angle): 24.0°
Front suspension: Marzocchi 50mm fully adjustable usd forks with DLC
Front suspension travel: 165 mm (6.5 inches)
Rear suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Rear suspension travel: 141 mm (5.6 inches)
Front tire dimensions: 120/70-17
Rear tire dimensions: 180/55-17
Front brakes: Double disc
Front brakes diameter: 305 mm (12.0 inches)
Rear brakes: Single disc
Rear brakes diameter: 245 mm (9.6 inches)Physical measures and capacities
Seat height: 875 mm (34.4 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.
Wheelbase: 1,465 mm (57.7 inches)
Fuel capacity: 12.40 litres (3.28 gallons)Other specifications
Instruments: Digital unit with displays for
Factory warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Color options: Corse red (red/black), Corse white (red/black)