First Ride Review
Nearly two-and-a-half years since I tested the very first Ducati Hypermotard motorcycle at Mores in Sardinia, I’m at it again. I clearly remember that I wished for a little more horsepower down the short 550-yard straight and that’s exactly what Ducati has delivered. The new 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO and EVO SP feature a 95 horsepower version and with the replacement single can race exhaust produces nearly 100 horsepower.On location in Sardinia in late November, it’s a cold and crisp morning. But, by lunchtime we’ve already got a pleasant 68-degrees F. I’m having another one of those dream days away from the office where I have the two all-new Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO versions to my disposal on an easy-to-learn racetrack.I’m spending my first two sessions on the blood red Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO. The 2010 EVO is 15 pounds lighter than its predecessor, and 5 horsepower stronger. The new core figures now land at a 379-pound claimed dry weight and 95 horsepower @ 7500 rpm. The new torque curve peaks a little higher in the rpm range, which has enabled Ducati to achieve a flatter and longer torque surge with around 74 ft/lbs @ 5750 rpm.Apart from the dry weight, where the SP is about two pounds lighter, the Ducati EVO SP shares these exact figures. The SP we tested had the Termignoni race exhaust fitted, which saves even more weight and adds nearly another 5 horsepower to the show. The new, and more efficient, air box design along with extensive engine modifications first seen on the Hypermotard 796 enables more power and less weight. In fact 11.5 of the 15.5 pounds saved is a result of the improvements to the Ducati EVO power plant. A larger, more efficient oil cooler is now in place to safeguard the new more powerful Desmodue engine.Out on the Mores racetrack, the throttle response is direct. I can use all available power, making the Ducati Hypermotard EVO a very entertaining ride. The new engine revs up a little quicker than the old one, and I race through the 6-speed gearbox down the straight. The Hypermotard’s main advantage is its ability to carry lots of corner speed and accelerate out of tight corners like a bat out of hell.The EVO SP has nearly two additional inches of ground clearance and supreme suspension from Marzocchi and Öhlins, whilst the EVO must settle for a shorter Marzocchi fork and a Sachs mono shock. The Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO still rides like a dream around Mores, but the EVO SP is something else altogether. The 50mm Marzocchi fork on the SP is derived directly from Supermoto racing, and with 7.7 inches (6.5 inches on the EVO) of wheel travel, it’s truly the business. The fork tubes are also covered with an anti-friction material–DLC (Diamond like coating)–normally only found on exotic superbikes. The SP rear suspension is an Öhlins shock as we are familiar with on Ducati’s S models. All suspension on both bikes is fully adjustable.The Ducati Hypermotard EVO gets Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires whilst the EVO SP gets the super grippy Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa SP tires usually also found on superbikes rather than naked streetfighting supermoto lookalikes. The tires are also in supersport dimensions in a 120/70-ZR17 front and a 180/55-ZR17 rear. There is one more change to the EVO SP that differs it from the standard model and that’s the 0.8-inch extra height on the handlebar. Because the seat height is 1.2 inches higher on the SP (34.4 inches), you do need a higher handlebar for the aggressive cornering abilities.Braking on the two Hypermotards is just as exciting as accelerating, and even more so on the Ducati Hypermotard EVO SP that features once again full superbike exotic Brembo Monoblock 4-pot radial calipers. These brakes surpass the performance of many 1000cc superbikes out there and on the SP they are only required to stop 377 pounds of motorcycles, so you can probably start to imagine how good they are. With massive amounts of front wheel travel available from the magnum Marzocchi fork, the brakes on the Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP are so good that my eyes threatened to leave their sockets acting as internal goggle glass wipers at one point. I didn’t quite get the same experience on the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO, but I must say that the lesser spec Brembo calipers are still extremely good.Both Ducati Hypermotards make you look like a wheelie God, and on the EVO SP you can land them pretty hard without an extra thought to the front suspension. First and second gear wheelies doesn’t come much easier than this and at very low speed which in a town center would turn you into Dennis the Menace instantly and always.I choose again to ride the Hypermotard supermoto style and I would like to preach that this is the best way if you want to go fast. The lean angle in the corners increase as there’s no knee in the way and you can climb up on the seat sides making the lean angles insane supermoto style. If you worry about a front tire that moves a little, you probably should stick to the conventional riding style, but it’s much more fun to ride Ducati Hypermotard like a supermoto. When my legs started to tire a bit after 50 or so laps around Mores I defected back to both boots on the pegs for a while. I thank the French for the supermoto style, which is one of the most exciting riding styles in motorcycling. Back it in, lean until the crash mushrooms are grinding and fire it out with black rubber particles bombarding whoever is behind you. That’s the one and only way.The double underseat 2-1-2 mufflers are very much a design feature on the Ducati Hypermotard but to free up lost horsepower and save even more weight the Termignoni 2-1 is the best accessory available. I got to try it on the Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP, and despite the fact that I didn’t think enough extra Desmo noise was released, it provided more top-end power and an even freer-revving engine. The difference isn’t huge, but enough to leave the standard EVO little by little down the straight. The double lambda set up from the 796 has also been implemented on the 1100 enabling it to breeze through EURO 3 and prepare it for future emission requirements. And last but not least the 2010 Hypermotard 1100 EVO and EVO SP gets the same long service intervals as the 796.I really want my name on a contract for a 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP. I don’t know what it is exactly, but this motorcycle appeals to me a little more than many other more conventional motorcycles. It’s true I do like a crazy ride, and the Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP facilitates this better than most. The slightly less hardcore option in the 1100 EVO would also do me fine, but since the SP is out there with all its fantastic bits, it’s SP all the way for me. Brakes, suspension, chassis and a responsive new Desmodue make the 2010 Ducati Hypermotard a very strong package.