Ducati Hyperstrada 821
The forgotten sports tourer gives a memorable ride
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.
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.
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.
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