When Ducati decides to create a new segment they do it right. The Hyperstrada was one of three new Ducatis with "Strada" in the name for 2013. It's the Italian word for road and that's all the implication one needs to determine it's designed to be a road warrior. If you're not familiar with this family of road bikes, here's everything you need to know about the Ducati Hyperstrada.
Ducati's Hypermotard supermoto variant
The Ducati Hyperstrada joined the Multistrada 1200 adventure tourer, along with the muscle cruiser called the Diavel Strada in 2013. Rider Magazine explains that the Hyperstrada was a version of the Hypermotard supermoto designed for touring. The intention and style of the Hyperstrada were set apart from the Hypermotard, but it does bear the same attractive features including ABS and traction control, riding modes, and exceptional acceleration. The Hyperstrada featured touring seats, upright seating positions, windscreens, a center stand, heated grips, and semi-rigid saddlebags as standard equipment. Compared to the Hypermotard, the seat is wider and thicker, the handlebar is taller and it comes with dual 12-volt outlets. Although the seat is wider, the bike still has a narrow profile with a compact build. The total weight of the bike is 450 pounds. This bike is an interesting and versatile blend of an adventure bike, sport tourer, and supermoto which offered riders the best of three worlds in one lean and smart-looking machine.
Ducati Hyperstrada Specs
To complete your formal introduction to the Hyperstrada, Rev Zilla revealed the specifications of the tri-purpose bike along with a tidy review of its advantages and shortcomings. Although there was some reference comparing the Hyperstrada to Frankenstein, it's one beautiful Ducati. The engine was intentionally restrained. The Hyperstrada came equipped with the same 821cc V-twin, liquid-cooled engine used in the Monster 821 and the Hypermotard. The 11-degree second-generation Testastretta engine cranked 110 horsepower with a generous 65.8 lb-ft of torque. Did we mention that it has a torquey engine? The frame is a steel trellis melded with a sub-frame of die-cast in the rear with a single-sided swingarm. The wider seat provides more support for riders on longer journeys thanks to the upward sloping section at the back, easing road fatigue. Ducati added more padding to the flatter and lower design to compensate for the size difference for a tall 33.5-inch height.
The suspension of the Hyperstrada
The Hyperstrada features a Kayaba 43 mm inverted front fork with a single Sachs shock in the rear, preloaded with a damping adjustment for rides that include gear or a passenger. The front wheel travel for the 2015 model of the Hyperstrada got smaller from 6.7 inches to 5.9 inches. This tweak reduced brake dive. It also shortened the wheelbase by 0.4 inches. The ABS we mentioned earlier was a Bosch ABS 9 unit. Upfront, the Hyperstrada is outfitted with twin 320 mm radial-mount disc brakes, four-piston Brembo Monobloc calipers. The rear featured a single Brembo caliper grab.
Superior traction control
The Hyperstrada was also equipped with eight-level traction control with a three-level ABS braking system referred to as the Ducati Safety Pack. Riders loved the choice of three different riding modes to match the conditions and type of riding. The options were a sport, touring, or urban mode. The urban was great for city and town driving. The sport gave it a nice boost of torque, and the touring and sport accessed the full maximum horsepower without limitations.
Ducati Hyperstrada models
There have been four generations of the Hyperstrada. The first bike rolled off production lines in 2012. This variant of the Supermotard became one of Ducati's more popular models for naked bike lovers. Auto Evolution gives us a look at how the Hyperstrada evolved during its four-generation run. The last model year of the versatile touring bike was the Hyperstrada 939 for 2015 through 2016. The 2016 Hyperstrada 93, praised for its ease of use, agile handling, and visual attractiveness. The Hyperstrada 939 came equipped with a new liquid-cooled four-stroke Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin desmodromic engine with four valves per cylinder. The compression ratio of the engine was 13.1:1, with a maximum of 113 horsepower and a maximum torque output of 98 Nm.
The engine matched with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The clutch was a slipper type wet, multiplate. The primary drive featured straight cut gears with a chain-type final drive. The chassis consisted of a tubular steel trellis frame with a 43 mm upside-down telescopic fork in the front suspension. The rear suspension included a Sachs adjustable monoshock with progressive linkage.
The Hyperstrada 939 featured dual 320 mm discs in the front, with 4-piston calipers, ABS, and a Brembo monoblock. The rear brakes featured a single 245 mm disc with a 2-piston caliper and ABS. The overall width of the 2016 Hyperstrada 939 was 35.2 inches. The length of 83.5 inches with a 58.8-inch wheelbase made for a compact bike. The height of the seat claimed 34.3 inches. Ducati equipped this bike with cast alloy wheels and 120/70 ZR17 tires in front and 180/55 ZR17 tires in the rear. The weight of this bike was an impressive 412 pounds. The lightweight construction was a factor in the incredible agility in the handling of the Hyperstrada 939. The fuel tank design held 4.2 gallons for fewer stops in between stretches on the road.
The Ducati Hyperstrada in review
It's one thing to understand how a motorcycle is put together and to marvel at descriptions of the design features, but quite another to take the bike out for a ride and give it a thorough critique based on performance. Cycle World is worth exploring for a bit more insight into the plusses and minuses of the Hyperstrada when it's taken out and put to the test. Ducati claimed the Hyperstrada as an innovative and unique motorbike that stands as Ducati's intention to cross over the Motard universe with the touring world. The Hyperstrada, designed with purpose and pure intentions to fill the gap between touring and supermoto bike genres, was a brilliant notion. It delivered these in a hybridized bike that would perform to high standards in any situation.
A closer look at the specifications
On the plus side, Ducati's choice of the second-generation Testastretta 11-degree engine with three riding modes and its eight-level DTC, along with adjustable ABS and other chassis parts are taken directly from the Hypermotard without alteration. The majority of changes infused in the design of the Hyperstrada versus the Hypermotard focused on touring accessories and ergonomics to convert a Hypermotard into a fantastical touring bike that loses none of the Hypermotard's supermoto capabilities.
The devil is in the details of the Hyperstrada
The engineers and designers at Ducati paid close attention to the details that mattered when it came to tweaking a Hypermotard to make it suitable for touring. They raised the tubular handlebar by 20 mm and made the seat flatter along with added supportive aids to make it more comfortable on long road trips. The seat remains a bit high at 33.5 inches. This height is because the foam is thicker. They added two semi-rigid saddlebacks to the rear subframe that hold up to 50-liters for storing your necessities for multi-day trips. If you're taking a passenger along, the wide grab rails are an added comfort feature. Creature comforts were enhanced by the two 12-volt outlets to plug in your accessories. Instead of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires featured on the Hypermotard, the Hyperstrada received Scorpion Trail rubber with the addition of a center stand as stock. Front end dive was reduced with a Showa fork, reducing wheel travel. These are all features that add versatility to the bike without taking away from its racing capabilities.
Other plusses of the Hyperstrada
Ducati designers addressed another comfort issue by adding a tall fly screen to divert the windblast at highway speeds. The fuel tank at a 4.2-gallon capacity provides riders with a range of approximately 140 miles on a full tank, which means that you need to gauge your trips for refueling before you reach the max limit on fuel efficiency. The engine shined in full glory when the Hyperstrada hit its midrange. The 821 cc twin pleasantly surprises riders with torque at the range. It provides a smooth response with a torquey nature when you rev the engine. The soft rev limiter kicks in at 10,500 rpm. In short, the bike is more fun to ride in the mid-range rather than the low or the high.
Minor annoyances associated with the Hyperstrada
Getting back to the issue of comfort, although the seat is arguably heavily geared towards a touring bike, the forward slope doesn't allow for a great deal of aft movement positioning. It's wider, the slope of the seat forces you into a position that isn't easy to change once you're underway, but it's not a deal-breaker. The additional padding helps ease the potential of rub. Another minus for the Hyperstrada is its lackluster performance at the low end. The torque isn't as available until the bike hits the midrange. Again, it's a minor complaint, but one that is worth mentioning in an honest and scathing review. The throttle response is a bit abrupt, but when you switch it into touring mode, the response of the throttle gets a lot smoother. It's in this mode that the revvy nature of the engine can be better used.
Complaints about the clutch
Cycle World continues its review with a hit on the clutch. Even when the Hyperstrada warmed, clutch action went into a grabby mode to the extreme. Sudden slips and harsh grabs when engaging from a complete stop sometimes stalled the engine. You could end up in an unplanned wheelie, which under certain conditions, could prove embarrassing. This problem happened the least amount in touring mode, but it was an ongoing problem with the Hyperstrada, and not just on one bike, but rather, all of them. The clutch design takes a big hit under scrutiny.
Let's continue going down the list. The saddlebags created a bit of a dilemma that gave riders a real learning curve for mounting and dismounting with sophistication. The placement of the semi-rigid saddlebags offered the potential for catching your foot on the outer portion. It took a bit of practice to avoid getting your foot hooked. It also takes a little effort and mindfulness to learn how to attach and detach the bags to the bike, but once you figure it out, it goes a lot faster. Finally, the lack of peg feelers and low ground clearance created a few issues with the center stand getting ground into the tarmac. Again, not a deal-breaker, but something riders had to keep in mind.
Summary of the Hyperstrada review
To sum it up, there were some issues with the Hyperstrada, but there were also a lot of positives. There is no doubt that the bike made good on its promise to deliver a crossover between the supermoto bike and the tourer. Ducati designed its Hyperstrada with the necessary elements for qualification in both classes as a supermoto and a touring bike.
The braking system delivered a crisp response without grabbiness for smoother slow-downs and stops. That's a plus. The ABS didn't interfere when you wanted to burn them off, but once it engaged, the system did its job with precision. The Hyperstrada received high marks for its agile handling in tight corners and twists and turns, and navigating these road conditions can be a lot of fun if you're on a responsive bike. The wide handlebar was the ideal combination for the nimble steering chassis. The Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires were a good idea for enhancing traction off-road, but the grip could have been a little better. The conclusion is that the Ducati Hyperstrada was a fun bike to ride for touring. The Hyperstrada was as comfortable on the track as it was on the road. There were some limitations to the bike. The main reason for its discontinuation was the narrow niche market.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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