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Staff Blog: Roll on summer

By Michael Neeves -

General news

 07 May 2013 09:40

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If someone told me a few years ago, I’d want a bike with panniers and a centre stand, I’d have thought they were mad.

But here I am, about to spend the summer with the 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada – a bike with panniers, a centre stand and even 12v power sockets, for god’s sake.

Of course, the Hyperstrada is about as far away from a conventional sports tourer as you can get. I’ve just ridden it on a road test and it’s one of the craziest bikes you could hope to ride and I love it.

Based on the new Hypermotard, it has certifiable supermoto tendencies, so once you turn the ABS and traction control off it wheelies, stoppies and skids. And it might only have a 110bhp, 821cc water-cooled V-twin engine, but in the real world, it’s properly fast and will keep up with anything. That centre stand drags on the tarmac a bit easily, though.

But it’s smooth, very comfortable and the screen gives you excellent protection from a cold wind. It does 47mpg, too, so 16-litre fuel tank should give a theoretical range of over 160-miles. I even went out to buy some milk on it last night and didn’t need a rucksack, thanks to those soft zip-up panniers. It’s the little things…

It’s a physically small bike and you’re sat right over the front, supermoto-style and almost biting the screen. It feels claustrophobic at first, but you soon get used to it.

The Hyperstrada is right up my street, though – it gives you the thrills of a sportsbike, without killing your back, knees, wrists and neck.

I doubt I’ll change much over the coming months, except try all the latest new tyres available for it. I’m not a fan of the dual purpose rubber fitted as standard – I’m never going to go off-road, so first on order are Michelin’s new Pilot Power 3s.

I’ve got a trip to Portugal planned in June, Ibiza in September, but before that In a few weeks I’m going to head off to Angelsey to do a trackday and support my brother who’s riding for Team Traction Control, in the Hottrax ACU National Endurance championship. In the middle of May I’m also doing a Ducati event, where we get to ride Hyperstradas around Tuscany, which will be nice.

Roll on the summer…

Neevesy

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