Du­cati Hypermotard 939

‘Fun, more prac­ti­cal and cheaper’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes -

While the SP com­mands the show­room at­ten­tion, the ma­jor­ity of UK sales will be the lower-spec stan­dard model. Al­though call­ing it lower-spec is some­what un­fair.

The 939 comes with the same en­gine as the SP, but where the sportier model is track­fo­cused, the base one is more road tar­geted. What this means is a non-ad­justable fork, a 20mm lower seat height and slightly less ag­gres­sive brakes. Does it de­tract from the fun? Not at all, it makes it more prac­ti­cal and you get to keep nearly £2500 in your pocket com­pared to the SP.

On the road the fork strikes at a bal­ance be­tween firm and com­pli­ant, tak­ing the bounce out of su­per­moto-style long-travel sus­pen­sion and giv­ing a more se­cure ride. When you roll into bends the Hypermotard gives much the same feed­back as a naked bike, and it’s only when you hit a bump mid-cor­ner that you feel the ex­tra travel. It’s not as plush as the SP’S Öh­lins, but that’s ex­actly what you would ex­pect.

The fuel maps are also slightly softer, a sub­tle change that makes the throt­tle a touch less ag­gres­sive. Se­lect Sport mode and it still leaps for­ward, but Tour­ing mode (which has the same power but a gen­tler throt­tle) is a nice bal­ance be­tween the abrupt­ness you ex­pect, and the re­fine­ment you se­cretly hope for. Ur­ban mode cuts power to 75bhp and is best saved for the wet.

Look­ing at the Hypermotard, you’d as­sume it will be lack­ing in road niceties, but this isn’t the case. While the mir­rors are de­signed for aes­thet­ics rather than vi­sion, they don’t vi­brate, so you can clearly see the small win­dow of what’s be­hind. The seat and rid­ing po­si­tion are com­fort­able for medium jour­neys (the pil­lion peg hangers in­ter­fere slightly with the rider’s feet) and with a 16-litre tank it should be good for over 150 miles be­tween fill-ups. But if you want to cover dis­tance, the new Hyper­strada could be the one for you.

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