On standard suspension settings you can easily tie the Hyperstrada up in knots in the corners and run out of ground clearance. But wind on more rear preload and rebound damping (forks are non-adjustable) and the Ducati is transformed - the steering is crisp and there’s enough poise and ground clearance for trackdays. New Brembo monobloc cast aluminium front calipers are strong and there’s the added security of ABS, which can be switched-off, if you want to play.
The Hyperstrada offers lots of legroom, a comfy seat and a natural reach to the bars. A tall screen shields you from the elements, but there’s no enough wind-protection for your knees – at high speed they get splayed apart. It’s physically small, so the Ducati will only suit smaller riders and taking a pillion is a squeeze.
The 821cc, 8v, liquid-cooled engine (a ‘stroked’ 796 unit) is the same as you’ll find in the ’13 Hypermotard, with the same claimed 110bhp. It’s smooth, powerful, grunty and comes with a slipper clutch as standard. You also get a choice of three riding modes: Urban, Touring and Sport. Each mode gives you differing levels of power, throttle response, traction control and ABS. Throttle response is flawless in the two lower modes, but is very direct in Sport mode.
Valve-clearance service intervals are 18,000-miles. The new motor is sips fuel and you can easily get 120-miles from the 16-litre fuel tank before the reserve light comes on.
Build-quality and attention to detail is superb. MCN ran a Hyperstrada long term test bike over the summer of 2013, racking up over 11,000-miles - touring, trackdays and commuting - and it never missed a beat.
Here’s a machine that can handle everything from touring, to commuting, Sunday blasts and trackdays. It’s a great all-rounder and excellent value, but it doesn’t quite have the power to give you the thrills of a sportsbike or super naked and it’s too small for larger riders and pillions.
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Traction control, ABS and variable riding modes all come as standard. You also get a comfy touring seat, which is 20mm lower than the Hypermotord’s, two 12v power sockets and panniers. There’s a host of Ducati official accessories available, including heated grips, a top box and a sat nav.