The Ducati Hypermotard796 is designed to be more approachable than the 1100 for many riders and features an 81 bhp engine that has 27lbs (12kg) less weight to haul around and puts the rider 20mm closer to the ground.
Roland Brown (Visordown), Michael Neeves (MCN), Basem Wasef (About.com) and Tor Sagen (Motorcycle.com) have been riding the bike in the rain and share some of their first impressions which appear positive. The punchy engine and lighter weight seem to be well appreciated whilst the meagre fuel range and slightly notchy gear shift (possibly due to low miles on the demo bikes) are the biggest complaints.
Engine’s great, much punchier than the 696 which is a bit gutless, this motor has a lot more midrange, hit the torque at 5,000rpm and off she goes. Ducati claim it’s not just a bored-out engine, as it’s got higher compression, smaller crankcase, lighter internals. The chassis is pretty much the same as the 1100, although forks are thinner, the shock is different, and although chassis is specced-down from the 1100 model, at just 167kg dry for the whole bike it does feel very light.
And the new model appears to be delivering on the goal of being easier to ride than the 1100 version.
“This Hypermotard is easier to ride than it’s bigger brother and is just as much fun. “One of the highlights of this package for me is the slipper clutch, which comes as standard, this smoothes corner entries when shifting down through the gears. I think all Ducatis should have one.”
Thrust produced by twisting the right grip is considerable; it may not summon the absolute torque of the Hypermotard 1100, but the 796’s combination of a broad powerband, light weight, and shorter gears makes it feel exceedingly fleet. Upshift early and you get none of the driveline chatter of the 1100, and all is forgotten with a slight slip of the clutch, which encourages the L-twin to accumulate momentum. The engine pulls strongly and the fuel mapping and power delivery are completely devoid of surprises– except when rev limiter cuts in abruptly at 8,500 rpm.
I always had a soft spot for the Hypermotard since the concept bike of 2005. I can’t imagine many bikes more suitable for thrill seekers and urban hell raisers, apart from perhaps the 1100 version. But the fact is that I always thought that the Hypermotard would suit a smaller engine just fine, too, and with the 796 Ducati has done just that.
Ducati has now posted an official video complete with lame music circa 1985!!
The Ducati Hypermotard 796 will be in showrooms in December in the USA priced at $9,995.
What do you think? Would you consider a Hypermotard 796? Chime in with your views in the comments section below.