Du­cati Hyper­strada 821

The for­got­ten sports tourer gives a mem­o­rable ride

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - By Tony Hoare MCN CON­SUMER ED­I­TOR

What we said then

“Few sports tour­ers will let you slide and wheelie one minute, then be docile enough to eat mo­tor­way miles, or pop down the shops for a pint of milk, the next. The Hyper­strada is fast, fun, prac­ti­cal, smooth, punchy, sub­limely screwed to­gether and char­ac­ter­ful.” MCN launch re­port, May 8, 2013.

But what is it like now?

The Hyper­strada re­mains a strange, won­der­ful mis­fit of a mo­tor­cy­cle. Three years and 10,000 miles haven’t changed its at­ti­tude as a short, squat, play­ful ter­rier that just wants to get your trouser leg be­tween its teeth and shake its head at a ferocious rate.

The Hy­per has al­ways been my bike that got away – great fun on the back roads and ca­pa­ble of in­ject­ing life into the morn­ing com­mute like spend­ing 20 min­utes knock­ing back a chain of high­strength ex­pres­sos. Yet it also has the hint of prac­ti­cal­ity needed to cart its rider long dis­tances to where the roads are much more suited to its adren­a­line-in­jec­tion ten­den­cies.

Within sec­onds of leav­ing the dealer sell­ing this 2013 model, I’m all over the place. Hav­ing jumped off the lat­est men­tal­ist ad­ven­ture bike, BMW’S S1000XR, the Hyper­strada feels like a nim­ble power­boat run­ning rings around the big Beemer’s cruise liner.

Re­lease the clutch lever and the power clips in sharply as I lurch to­wards a busy round­about. Jump­ing on the rear brake lever does lit­tle to al­le­vi­ate the sit­u­a­tion – rear brakes on sev­eral Du­catis of this era seem like an af­ter­thought. It takes a hasty squeeze on the hard-bit­ing front brakes to bring mat­ters un­der con­trol.

Squirt­ing off through town to­wards the coun­try­side, the Hy­per’s man­ners im­prove as I adapt to its at­ti­tude. There’s a hes­i­ta­tion in the fu­elling at small throt­tle open­ings, which makes low-speed ma­noeu­vres jerkier than nec­es­sary, but it’s only slight.

The Hyper­strada is rip­ping good fun. Open roads in­vite an open throt­tle and as the rev counter nudges 4500rpm the Hy­per hits its real fun zone. The 821cc liq­uid-cooled V-twin will mer­rily charge into triple fig­ures, but that’s not re­ally what this bike is all about. Stomp­ing around, flick­ing through round­abouts and fir­ing out as you try to stop the screen get­ting caught be­tween your teeth. It’s ad­dic­tive stuff.

Any ob­vi­ous faults?

This one is only three years old and 10,000 miles is hardly glo­be­trot­ter ter­ri­tory, but it’s the av­er­age mileage for five years rather than three. Still, con­di­tion is good and ride qual­ity re­mains ex­cel­lent, feel­ing as-new. The price has just dropped to £6995 – a hefty chunk off the £10,650 price when it was new.

Worth­while ex­tras?

When new, the Hyper­strada came on heav­ily treaded dual-sport tyres to give the ap­pear­ance of off-road ca­pa­bil­ity. The pre­vi­ous owner has fit­ted Bridge­stone T30 sports-tour­ing rub­ber, which is much more suited to the Hy­per’s ac­tual pur­pose. Of­fi­cial Du­cati heated grips add prac­ti­cal­ity with­out in­creas­ing bulk to an an­noy­ing level.

Con­clu­sion

The Hy­per is a for­got­ten Du­cati in some cir­cles and it doesn’t de­serve that. They’re still a bit too new for my bud­get, but I could see my­self buy­ing one of these in a few years’ time.

Thanks…

To Balder­ston BMW in Pe­ter­bor­ough for the loan of the bike. It’s for sale for £6995. www.balder­ston.net

The Hyper­strada takes the bor­ing out of tour­ing

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