2010 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO & EVO SP Review
Evolution of the Hypermotard
On location in Sardinia, Italy in late November it’s a cold and crisp morning but by lunchtime we’ve already got a pleasant 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). I’m having another one of those dream days away from the office where I have the two all new Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO motorcycles at my disposal on a very easy to learn racetrack.
I’m spending my first two sessions on the blood red 2010 Hypermotard 1100 EVO. There’s very little in terms of telltale signs that set the 2010 EVO apart from the 2009 version aesthetically - just a discreet little "EVO." But the 2010 EVO is in fact 15 pounds lighter than its predecessor and five horsepower stronger. The new core figures now land at 380-pound claimed dry weight and 95 horsepower @ 7500 rpm. The new torque curve peaks a little higher in the rpm range which has enabled Ducati to achieve a flatter and longer torque surge.
The EVO SP share these exact figures apart from the dry weight where the SP is about two pounds lighter. The SP we tested had the Termignoni race exhaust fitted which saves even more weight and adds nearly another five horsepower to the show. The new and more efficient air box design along with extensive engine modifications first seen on the Hypermotard 796 enables more power and less weight. In fact 11.5 of the 15 pounds saved is a result of the improvements to the EVO powerplant. A larger more efficient oil cooler (85 percent more efficient) is now in place to safeguard the new more powerful Desmodue engine.
Out on the Mores racetrack the throttle response is direct but I can still use all available power often which makes the Hypermotard EVO a very entertaining ride. The new engine revs up a little quicker than the old one and I race through the six speed gear box down the straight. The Hypermotard’s main advantage is its ability to carry lots of corner speed and accelerate out of tight corners like a bat out of hell. The EVO SP even more so as it’s got a full 30mm more ground clearance and supreme suspension from Marzocchi and Ohlins while the EVO must settle for a shorter Marzocchi fork and a Sachs mono shock. The 1100 EVO still rides like a dream around Mores but the EVO SP is something else altogether.
The 50mm Marzocchi fork on the SP is derived directly from Supermoto racing and with 195mm (165mm on the EVO) of wheel travel it’s truly the business. The fork stanchions are also covered with the anti friction material DLC (Diamond like coating) normally only found on exotic superbikes. The SP rear suspension is an Ohlins shock as we are familiar with on Ducati’s S models. All suspension on both bikes is fully adjustable.
As for tires, the EVO gets Pirelli Diablo Rosso rubber, while the EVO SP gets the super grippy Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires usually also found on superbikes rather than naked streetfighting supermotard lookalikes. The tires are also in supersport dimensions in a 120/70-ZR17 front and a 180/55-ZR17 rear. One thing I’d like to test at some point is a 160 rear tire to see if it’d make the Hypermotard even quicker through the hairpins. There is one more change to the EVO SP that differs it from the standard model and that’s the 20mm extra height on the handlebar. Since also the seat height is 1.2 inches higher on the SP (34.5 in.) you do need a higher handlebar for the aggressive cornering abilities.
Braking on the two Hypermotards is just as exciting as accelerating and even more so again on the EVO SP that features once again full superbike exotic Brembo Monoblock 4-pot radial calipers. These brakes surpass the performance of many 1000cc superbikes out there and on the SP they are only required to stop 377 pounds so you can probably start to imagine how good they are. With massive amounts of front wheel travel available from the magnum Marzocchi fork I could brake so hard that at one point I really could see Elvis in one of the corners. The brakes on the Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP are so good that my eyes threatened to leave their sockets – acting as internal goggle glass wipers at one point. I didn’t quite get the same experience on the 1100 EVO but I must say that the lesser spec Brembo calipers are still extremely good.
Both Hypermotards make you look like a wheelie God and on the EVO SP you can land them pretty hard without an extra thought to the front suspension. First and second gear wheelies doesn’t come much easier than this and at very low speed which in a town center would turn you into Dennis the Menace instantly and always.
I prefer to ride the Hypermotard supermoto style and I would like to preach that this is the best way if you want to go fast. The lean angle in the corners increase as there’s no knee in the way and you can climb up on the seat sides making the lean angles insane supermoto style. If you worry about a front tire that moves a little you probably should stick to the conventional riding style but it’s much more fun to ride Hypermotard like a supermotard. When my legs started to tire a bit after 50 or so laps around Mores I defected back to both boots on the pegs for a while, but I honestly didn’t fancy that too much at all around the circuit. With long legs you look like a freaky spiderman too as the Hypermotard is just as narrow as a single cylinder bike.
The double underseat 2-1-2 muffler is very much a design feature on the Ducati Hypermotard but to free up lost horsepower and save even more weight the Termignoni 2-1 is the best accessory available. I got to try it on the Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP and despite the fact that I didn’t think enough extra Desmo noise was released it provided more top end power and an even freer revving engine. The difference isn’t huge but enough to leave the standard EVO little by little down the straight. The double lambda set up from the 796 has also been implemented on the 1100 enabling it to breeze through EURO 3 and prepare it for future emission requirements. And last but not least the 2010 Hypermotard 1100 EVO and EVO SP gets the same long 12,000 km (7,456 miles) service intervals as the 796.
I really want my name on a contract for a 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP. I don’t know what it is exactly, but this motorcycle appeals to me a little more than many other more conventional motorcycles. It’s true I do like a crazy ride and the Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP facilitates this better than most. The slightly less hardcore option in the 1100 EVO would also do me fine, but since the SP is out there with all its fantastic bits it’s SP all the way for me. Brakes, suspension, chassis and a responsive new Desmodue make the Hypermotard 2010 a very strong package.