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