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Ducati HYPERMOTARD 796 Supermoto Motorbike Review

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Ducati Hypermotard 796
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Ducati’s entry-level 803cc Hypermotard 796 is a stormer of a machine. It’s 12kg lighter and its seat is 20mm lower than the Hypermotard 1100, which makes it easier to ride and in the real world, and every bit as fast from A to B. It’s a deal cheaper too and Ducati says it will return 58.9mph, which makes it the most frugal Ducati you can buy. Best of all its still massive fun and looks the part too.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The fuel-injected, twin-valve air/oil-cooled 90°, Desmodromic, V-twin 803cc engine is based on the Monster 696 lump, but is a massive 1.9kg lighter. It shares the same 88mm bore but has longer 66mm stroke (the Monster 696 has a 57.2mm stroke). It has a new crankshaft, crankcases, pistons and a lighter Ducati 848 style flywheel. Like all new-generation Ducatis, service intervals have been stretched and now come every 7500-miles. Power: 81bhp@8000rpm. Torque: 55.7ftlb@6250rpm. The throttle response is very smooth and there’s a nice spread of power right the way through the revs. The Hypermotard 796 scores over its bigger brother by having an APTC (Alder Power Torque Clutch) slipper clutch as standard, although it’s wet clutch not dry. Most Ducatis don’t have slipper clutches, but we think they should as it smoothes out corner entries beautifully when changing down through the gears. The lighter clutch action and the lack of big V-twin engine braking make the 796 easier to use for the less experienced, and for the brave lets you play at ‘backing it in’.   

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Town riding is a thoroughly pleasant experience thanks to the 20mm lower seat, which lets you get feet flat on the floor when stopped at traffic lights. The wide bars and the upright riding position lets you zip your way through the urban sprawl devilishly easy too. The light action of the clutch, throttle and gearbox makes the Hypermotard next to no effort to ride and the seat is super-comfy too. The Hypermotard 796 is a great town bike, light, agile and simple to ride but it loves scratching on B-roads even more. There’s far less front-to-rear weight transfer on and off the throttle than the Hypermotard 1100, so the whole riding experience in and out of the bends is far smoother than its bigger brother. As part of the 796’s weight saving exercise it has non-adjustable 43mm upside forks Marzocchi forks, not fully adjustable 50mm items, but we haven’t found the suspension (the rear Sachs shock only has preload and rebound damping adjustment) to be wanting or the slightly lower spec Brembo radial brakes to lack power. Standard-issue Bridgestone BT-015 tyres are superb too.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

You still get the distinctive Hypermotard features on the 796 like the twin underseat pipes, a single-sided swingarm and snazzy flip-out bar-end mirrors. It also has new Streetfighter-style switchgear and multi-function LCD dash. The display also doubles as a control panel for the Ducati Data Analyser datalogger, which is available from the Ducati Performance catalogue. 17” lightweight aluminium wheels are the same size as the Hypermotard 1100 and are shod with 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) Bridgestone BT-015 tyres. 43mm upside Marzocchi forks are non-adjustable and the single Sachs rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound damping (the 1100 has fully adjustable suspension all-round). Twin 305mm front discs are gripped by radially mounted four-piston Brembo calipers. Compare and buy parts for the Hypermotard in the MCN Shop.

Ducati Hypermotard 796 (2009-2012)

Detail Value
New price £7,395
Dealer used prices
£5,480 (2010) - £6,870 (2012)
Private used prices
£4,930 (2010) - £6,180 (2012)
  View full used price info
Engine size 803 cc
Power 81 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

Build quality on the Hypermotard 796 is top-draw and the bad old days of dodgy Ducati reliability are long gone. 


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

Costing £7195 the Hypermotard 796 is a relatively affordable way to get your foot on the first rung of the Ducati family ladder (the Hypermotard 1100 is another £1555 and the 1100S £2800 more expensive). The £6995 matt black version is even better value. You get a lot of fun, performance, style and practicability for your money. Find a Ducati Hypermotard 796 for sale.


Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2009 – Model introduced

Other Versions

Ducati Hypermotard 1100
Ducati Hypermotard 1100S


Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 81 bhp
Max torque 55 ft-lb
Weight 167 kg
Seat height 825 mm
Fuel capacity 12.4 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 803 cc
Engine specification Four-stroke, V-twin
Frame Steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Non-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Preload and rebound damping only.
Front brakes 2 x 305mm disc
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/50 17 in

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(2 reviews)

  • excellent and different


    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    22500 miles used daily as an instructor bike never missed a beat nothing gone wrong and 55mpg also.Who said ducati s arnt reliable? ??

    18 September 2013

  • My first Ducati and what a bike!


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    I just bought my 796 Hypermotard and currently running it in. I have to say overall it is very very good. For a start i think it looks fabulous. The overall quality is excellent. The ride and handling is excellent and only starts to get "flappy" when you are being very silly on rough roads. The brakes are good but do cause some front end dive when used heavily, but not so it upsets corner entry. The engine has enough for a fun ride and but can feel lacking until you look at the speedo! It is very smooth, good fuelling down to around 2000rpm, and has enough sound to not justify the silly price of after market pipes. Fuel economy is over 50mpg even ride briskly so is good for around 100 miles before the reserve light comes on. The dash is good and has enough info to get me happy, but i did notice the lack of gear indicator. Not really an issue but i have got used to it and now not to have it seems odd. The Pirelli tyre are excellent, i have been out in rain leaf ridden roads the last few days and no issues at all. It washes up nicely and looks the business sat in the garage with a beer! If you are thinking of getting one, do it! you won't regret it.

    02 November 2011


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Similar to Monster

I realize that the Monster 696 and 796 are somewhat different than the Hypermotard 796 but not tremendously different when you put the specs side by side and . The engine or HP is very similar (80 HP and 81 HP). Probably what may separate the two bikes is that the Hypermotard has more utility albeit less than the Multistrada 1200 but at a much lower price. This is a very interesting machine and would be a blast with the lousy roads here in Louisiana and the crazy Cajuns on the road.

30 May 2010 19:25


User's Badge


I would have thought it was in direct competition with the Aprilia Dosoduro ! If you were thinking of buying a hypo you must try the Dosoduro as well, it's better looking,fantastic to ride and cheaper. Oh and if you think Aprilias are unreliable i've done 10,000 miles in 15 months without a hitch.

24 October 2009 19:59


User's Badge


Hypo vs Street Triple

I got the impression that this was comparable to the Street triple? I see that the Triple is not in the also consider section... So are we now saying this beauty is not? I think this bike is lovely don't get me wrong... Just how would it compare to The street triple (r)?

19 October 2009 19:20

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