My review of the Hypermotard
Okay finally I have some time to discuss the bike:
As all of you surely know there has been quite a bit of hype (no pun intended) surrounding this motorcycle, and a lot of Ducati enthusiasts have been saying it was more anticipiated than the 1098. So needless to say I was quite excited to be able to take this bike for a spin, and I completely expected to have a permanant smile plastered to my face for the duration of the ride. But perhaps my my expectations were a little too high, because honestly I was slightly disapointed.
The first thing you notice when you throw your leg over is how tall this bike is. My Speed Triple is a tall bike (taller than a GSXR 1000 or the like) and the Hypermotard made my S3 feel short and squaty in comparison. I can't really say this is a complaint as it is a motard, but then again how many Ducati owners are actually going to be getting this thing air born? Once in gear, this bike is very easy to dart around on in tight, slow situations despite it's high center of gravity.
Out on the open road: "Be careful, this thing has a lot of torque." Words of the salesman before I took the bike out. Torquey yes, is it the insane wheelie-beast that everyone makes it out to be? No. WFO in 2nd and 3rd provided virtually no front wheel lift at all (although it did completely unload the long traveling suspension.) The throttle is extremely sensitive, but the bike pulls very smoothly from low RPMs right up until redline. The bike handles bumps well, and feels very stable and smooth underneath you.
Hitting the twisties: Okay, it was just a short demo ride, so I didn't have the time to bring it through a canyon run or anything (Are there canyons in NH? ) But I did manage to find a couple nice corners to rip it through. Turn in seems to be a little slow (maybe due to the height? ) but again the bike feels extremely stable underneath you. I couldn't imagine putting a knee down on this thing, it seems like you would have to go soooooooo far. The brakes were crisp (perhaps a bit too sharp) and the front end seemed a little stiff (obviously needs to just be set up properly)
The controls: I like the hand guards on the levers. I like the folding mirrors. The digital display was nice. There was a control on the left bar that said "mode" and had an up and down toggle switch. Moving the switch did nothing. Maybe it was broken. I'm not sure. I didn't see any menu changes or anything like that on the digital screen.
Overall I think it is a cool bike. It looks unique, it sounds good, it has a smooth motor. I took the bike up to 80 and it was comfortable there. Everyone says "you can't do any highway riding with this bike." This isn't a normal motard, it's got the motor of any other bike out there, maybe it's the wind that bothers people, but i'm used to riding an upright naked bike anyway. The bike just didn't wow me like I thought it would. I guess overall it's the power to weight ratio, it's just not what it should be for a motard.
Final verdict: If you are looking for a motard to terrorize the town with stick with the KTM, Aprilla, Suzuki, or Honda etc... If you are a Ducati nut trying to fill the empty space in your garage....this is the bike for you!
FYI I rode the "S" model.