After having ridden the revised 2010 EVO edition Ė with more power and less weight Ė Lucifer proves to be more insistent than ever.
The new Hypermotardís EVO moniker is earned by the highly revised air-cooled V-Twin lump dubbed Evoluzione Desmodue (evolution, two-valve-per-cylinder engine). The same bore and stroke yield the same 1078cc displacement, but thatís where most of the similarities end.
Fuel and air are directed via a Siemens ECU and throttle body (that replace the previous Marelli components) before entering a completely new cylinder head. Altered intake ports feed a combustion chamber that uses a single spark plug per cylinder rather than the old DS (dual spark) head. The compression ratio is up from 10.7 to 11.3:1, and Ducati claims improved cooling and lubrication.
New, too, are the Hyperís smaller engine cases. Together with Vacural vacuum-die-cast technology, Ducati has shaved about 7 lbs from the engine. Further weight reduction comes in the form of a lighter ď848-styleĒ flywheel, a magnesium alternator cover and lightweight rare-earth alternator magnets.
A slightly larger airbox enables freer breathing, and the exhaust of each cylinder now has its own lambda sensor on their way to the twin undertail mufflers. A new oil cooler offers 85% more radiating area.
The boys from Bologna claim 95 crankshaft horsepower at 7500 rpm, up five from the previous 90 hp at 7750. Peak torque of 76.7 ft-lbs arrives at 5750 rpm, a surprising 1000 revs later than the old DS mill. Ducati likes to note that the service intervals of its bikes have recently gone up to 7500 miles and that its bikes come with a two-year warranty.
Further enhancing the power-to-weight ratio is a lighter chassis. The rear part of the frame has small machined pieces for the suspensionís pick-up points replacing the previous large and heavy forged steel section. The Hypermotardís total weight loss is said to be a considerable 15 lbs, resulting in a claimed dry weight of just 379 lbs.
The Hyper EVO benefits functionally by switchgear borrowed from Ducatiís Streetfighter stable-mate, as is the compact (but fully featured) gauge pack. The LCD display functions well enough, but its bar-graph tach isnít easily readable. Fortunately, there are easily seen red shift lights if you somehow lose track of revs.
Stylistically, the EVO is a near match for the original HM. Trainspotter types will recognize the 2010 Hypers by their black fork tubes, as requested by potential and past customers.
"The LCD display functions well enough, but its bar-graph tach isnít easily readable."
As before, Hypermotard EVOs come in two flavors. The base model retails for the same $11,995. Instead of the previous upmarket S model, the EVO is joined by the higher-spec SP version. Premium suspension, brakes and wheels and a smattering of carbon fiber force the MSRP to $14,495.
Saddling Up to Tortilla Flats
The host city for the EVOís press launch was Scottsdale, Arizona, giving us some city-street surfing and freeway slogging before we hit the twisty road on our way to the cowboy-esque tourist trap of Tortilla Flats.
Swinging a leg over a Hypermotard 1100 might be the greatest impediment to ownership, especially for shorter riders. The base Hyperís seat height of 33.3 inches is much more manageable than the SPís 34.4 inches when feet need easy contact with the ground. Hands large and small are accommodated by easily adjustable clutch and front brake levers.
A wide dirtbike-like handlebar dictates the open and malleable riding position. Footpegs are placed forward and far from the seat, making the Hyper a good choice for NBA athletes. The one-piece seat was tolerable for the sub-60-minute sessions we rode, but we still arenít keen on its upward slope from the low section at its forward end.
Although the dry-type clutch engages at the end of its travel, smooth launches are simple thanks to the responsive and torquey V-Twin. The Evoluzione Desmodue pulls strongly and cleanly from as low as 2000 rpm before really hitting its stride around 4500 revs when mechanical music erupts by the not-too-stifled exhaust. A gain of 5 hp up top is nice (5.5%), but we suspect the increase through the midrange is, percentage-wise, even bigger.
The EVOís off-roadish ergos supply a commanding feeling to the rider, as does the tall perch. The HM retains its unique flip-out mirrors which are reasonably effective but are very wide. Hand guards supply a bit of wind protection while serving double duty as the mounts for the LED turnsignals. Footpegs have serrated edges for max grip in slippery situations; removable rubber inserts keep vibration transmission to a minimum.
Relatively low gearing and a broad powerband supply plenty of squirt. Gears 1 to 3 are closely spaced for potent off-the-line acceleration, then a bit of a gap to 4th. Out of town, cruising speeds of 70-75 mph are quite tolerable despite the lack of wind protection. Bump compliance is admirable thanks to 6.5 inches of travel in 50mm Marzocchi fork and 5.6 inches in the Sachs shock, both three-way adjustable.
The lighter flywheel makes the Desmodue quicker to rev and snappier in its responses. The redline seems to come more hastily, giving us the chance to run into the pleasingly soft rev limiter. Its throttle has a fairly short range, perhaps about one-third of a twist to its stop, so itís just a flick of the wrist to achieve maximum acceleration.
Ducati claims 41 mpg for the Hypermotard, giving it a theoretical 135-mile range from its acutely small 3.3-gallon tank.
The Hypermotard really excels when pointed down a twisty road (even if itís one filled with elderly snowbirds and asphalt-colored gravel). The odd Duc knifes into corners at the urging of its wide handlebar, although steering effort isnít exactly light.
Both versions of the EVO utilize Brembo calipers and 305mm front discs, but there is a big difference in response. The base model uses two-piece front brake calipers that supply much less initial bite and longer lever travel than the wicked monoblocks on the SP. Replacing the pads with a more aggressive material would help.
|Hypermotard EVO SP Ė Super Pimp?|
The SPís engine has an identical-spec engine, but important upgrades were made in the form of brakes, wheels, tires and suspension, plus the addition of carbon-fiber bits and the Ducati Data Analyzer that add an extra $2500 to the MSRP.
Most significant is the suspension swap to longer-travel, higher-quality dampers. Up front is another 50mm Marzocchi fork, but this one has low-friction DLC (diamond-like carbon) on its slider tubes and 1.2 inches extra travel. Out back is an Ohlins shock with the same amount of travel as the non-SPís shock.
These mods stretch the wheelbase by 10mm, increase ground clearance by 30mm (1.2 inches), and extend the steering trail by 7mm to 108mm.
The SP also receives forged-aluminum Marchesini wheels, recognizable for their red pinstriping, to replace the slightly heavier cast-aluminum wheels. Tires, too, are upgraded, from Pirelliís fine Diablo Rosso to its excellent Supercorsa SP radials. Teflon footpeg sliders are indicative of the kind of rider the EVO SP will appeal to.
Feathery and dressy carbon fiber is used on the fork protectors, camshaft-belt covers, rear hugger fender, part of the front fender and the tailsectionís side covers. The SP weighs 2 lbs less overall.
The SP is fitted with risers that raise the handlebar 20mm compared to the base EVO, a setup preferred by Marzocchi test riders in this application. This results in a more upright riding position and greater leverage on the handlebar Ė its only negative is greater air resistance at higher speeds.
On the road, the SP exhibits significantly lighter steering manners, a combination of the lighter wheels and taller bars. The Marzocchi fork and Ohlins shock supply excellent compliance over all sorts of bumps. The non-SP suspension is quite well balanced but less compliant than the SPís, yet it has an advantage with less chassis pitching.
The SPís braking system may be overkill for the street. Its one-piece front calipers (same as on the 1198 superbike) and their pad material can be too harsh for the oft-dicey conditions on the street. Bite is immediate and fierce, exacerbated by several inches of front-end dive from the SPís long-travel suspension.
All SPs at the event were fitted with a single-canister Termignoni exhaust system and a high-flow air filter. The pipe makes the EVO feel more powerful, affirming the extra 5 hp the factory suggests to expect from its addition. However, we werenít pleased with the abrupt throttle response and surging at steady partial throttle. Ducati is in the midst of checking to confirm the ECUs were remapped to match the non-stock intake and exhaust.
Overall, the EVO SP is a more desirable machine for hardcore enthusiasts, especially for tall ones who can appreciate quicker steering and the DDAís ability to download data from their days at the track.
Although the 1100 EVO Hypermotard is visually unchanged, the 2010 updates have created a better machine. And to do it while keeping the price unchanged is laudable. The debut last year of the Hypermotard 796 gave riders a new entry into the HM family, allowing the 1100 to go further upmarket.
Despite Americaís general reluctance to naked sportbikes, the inimitable allure of Ducatiís supermoto-styled Hypermotard has made the U.S. its second-largest market
"The debut last year of the Hypermotard 796 gave riders a new entry into the HM family, allowing the 1100 to go further upmarket."
After getting reacquainted with the 1100 Hyper this week, we find plenty of appeal in this concept. The Desmodue V-Twin has ample, soulful power, the chassis is rock solid, and the styling is precocious yet almost universally fascinating.
The Hypermotard 1100 EVO isnít for everyone, and thatís a major part of its charm. It tantalizes like few other motorcycles.
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