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Testride/First impression - 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950


650F Alumnus
Thread starter #1
Last Saturday most dealers around here had their annual 'Start of the Season event'. This event is usally conncected with loads of people, food and free testrides on large parts of the current lineup.

So I used my chance to look at 3 different models. First review is about the Hypermotard 950 (standard version), the other two will follow - once I mentally processed my experience with those.

I´ll just build this up similar to the Fireblade "review". Again, this is more of a first personal impression than a review. Last saturday I also got the bikes just for something between 20 and 30 minutes.

Quick summary:

+ mad
+ torquey
+ fun
+ convenient

- pricey
- "pointless"
- somewhat lumpy down low

More details:

Ergonomics: I was really curious how I will feel on it as it´s a bit higher and has a pretty flat "enduro/super moto style" seat.
I actually really liked it. Seat height is 870mm and 890mm for the SP version. For comparision the 650F´s seathight is 810mm. I am a bit over 180cm so around 5foot-11 and could comfortably get both feet flat on the ground. Guess the SP also should not be a problem.
While I feared you would slide back and forth on a flat seat, there was a groove that is a bit softer and grips you well. You can however move for- or backwards if you want.
All in all it was very comfortable, width of the handlebar was about perfect.

Gearbox: Again quite more lever travel than I am used to but the gearbox seemed alright. It doesn´t like up-shifting into second too much but I got used to that pretty quickly. As the standard version doesn´t come with a quick shifter from factory I also had the joy of blipping the throttle on downshifts myself. While it´s also ride-by-wire and it was in sport mode, decent downshitfs were possible. You also got rewarded with a little backfire at that occasion. Still, at "only" 200€ for the quickshifter with auto blip that extra is a no brainer decision in my opionion.

Gearing: Pretty short - it fits to the bike as a whole. You can somewhat go through a few gears without ending directly in jail. (You will still end up there due to it´s characteristics. First and second gear can take away some weight off the front tire. I felt the power cut a few times as the bike was on the strongest anti-wheelie setting).

Engine: First V2 I have ridden. Loads of torque (96 nm) and enough power for sure (114hp). It feels like it has about the same torque over the whole rev-range. While Ducati claims it has 70% of it´s peak torque at 3.000 rpm (and I believe that) the engine does not like anything under 3.500 rpm. It starts to shake like crazy under 3k and it will make you realise that it feels "uncomfortable". That´s why I wrote lumpy. 60 km/h in 4th gear and you don´t see all that much in your mirrors. That came as a little surprise to me. While I don´t really mind that might be a problem for someone.

Handling and brakes: It handles great and it´s fun to ride. As the Ducati dealership had quite a few twisty corners near it I could test the handling a little bit. Even in those few cautious and slow minutes I realised it´s a joy and there most likely is a lot more to experience once you call it your own or sat on it for a while. The brakes do their job pretty well.

Styling: A really subjective topic. I like how it looks, especially in SP livery. Put on some bar end mirrors and a few bits and you have yourself a looker.
What I hate about the styling: The rear section. As soon as the seat ends it looks very weird in my opinion.

Summary: A really great fun rocket. Small, nimble but still comfortable and more a naked bike than anything else. The stock exhaust sounds decent for the current Euro 4 restrictions and also looks great. Seems like the perfect second bike or fun tools for the weekend. Then comes the big bummer. The price. Yes, it´s a 9xx cc bike from Ducati but 12.500€ is a lot of money for the fun toy it is supposed to be. And the SP is 16.400€ here in Germany - around 100€ less than a Yamaha MT-10 SP.

On the initial release Alastair Fagan from 44Teeth described the Hypermotard better in a sentence than I ever could with a whole book so I will just try and quote him here:
"Basically there is nothing nice about the naughty Hypermotard at all, it is just pure filth. And that`s what is so great about it".

IMG_20190406_152823921.jpg IMG_20190406_152817526.jpg IMG_20190406_152839648_HDR.jpg

That rear just looks so strange and off.....:


The Earle

A great write up... A mate of mine had the old one and said it was a hoot to ride.
It was brilliant fun on twisty country lanes.