2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796 Review
Monday, October 12, 2009
Entry-level Ducati? I don’t think so. Although it only costs $9995, this motorcycle serves up some serious performance.
Buon Giorno! I’m here in Borgo Panigale, otherwise known as Bologna, Italy for us English speakers—home of Ducati
motorcycles. We have just wrapped up an afternoon racing through the hills south of the city aboard the newest addition to Ducati’s 2010 model line-up, the Ducati Hypermotard 796. Before riding the bike today, I presumed that this bike would be nothing more than an entry-level Ducati machine more adept at posing in the parking lot than ripping around the streets…how wrong I was.
In terms of performance the two things that most stand out in my mind are its all-new 803cc L-Twin engine. Flat out the engine rips. Power comes almost right off idle and keeps on throughout its 8000-plus rpm range. Short shift it at 5000 rpm or ring it all the way out to redline—you decide. Either way it keeps you moving forward fast. In fact at one point I saw 180 kilometers an hour today and it was still pulling.
The other feature I noticed was its more compact feel. Although the chassis dimensions are exactly the same as the Hypermotard 1100, the seat height has been reduced by 0.8 inches. You wouldn’t think such a small change would make such a difference but it does. Not only is it much easier to control the bike in ultra slow-speed situations, but the handlebar which I always felt was way too low suddenly feels like it’s positioned at an acceptable height. Another plus is just how well its less expensive suspension components function. In fact, we actually might prefer the damping settings of its 43mm non-adjustable fork to the adjustable one on the bigger bike. Hard to believe, huh? That’s it from Bologna. Check back for the full review in the next few days.
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