I’ve just come back from Barcelona and now I’m pissed off with Ducati. I’ve been trying my damned hardest to save up my cash this year for sensible things, and then they go and release a bike like the Hypermotard 939. A bike that has me written all over it. A bike that’s likely to convince me that paying off my mortgage is less important than pulling wheelies on a big Italian supermoto.
I spent a couple of days out there, on the road, with a few track sessions at Parc Motor circuit thrown in. Wheelies were had, tyres were skidded and throttles were blipped. But most importantly, an absolute tonne of fun was had - and that is what the Hypermotard is all about.
With its 16-litre tank and the option to fit a touring screen to the front, the Hyper is now capable of doing a good 150 miles between fill-ups in relative comfort. But comfort and range are clearly not what the bike was designed for; the Hypermotard is the Caterham of the motorcycle world: lightweight, stripped back and above all, raw.
There’s a £2,600 difference between the base model and the SP version and that money gets you the expected goodies like: an upgraded master cylinder for stronger brakes, fully adjustable Ohlins suspension, different riding modes, lightweight wheels, track-biased tyres, that SP colour scheme and a few bits of carbon fibre thrown in too. Is the standard bike lacking in performance on the road? No. Can you feel the upgrades of the SP? Certainly. Would I sell my sweet tush for cash to afford the SP? I’m considering it.
There aren’t really any bad motorcycles these days, just boring ones. Some of the new models I’ve ridden - particularly Hondas (save the Crossrunner and Africa Twin) - do the job of being a motorcycle in nothing more than an acceptable manner and totally lack flare. The Hypermotard is the cure to that. It’s a line of Columbian’s finest, to the Honda’s Night Nurse.
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