2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796 First Ride [video]

Pete Brissette
by Pete Brissette

Hyper fun in Italian!


So much for predictions.

Weather during the month of October in Bologna,Italy, can typically be cold and wet. Indeed, that was exactly the weather we were dealt on the first ride day of the world press launch of the 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796. Funny thing, though, weather forecasts for the day were boasting of mostly sunny skies and warm, mid-to-upper 70s temps.

The other missed prediction of the day was my anticipating the new Hypermotard to be nothing more than a breathed on Monster 696 mill in Hypermotard 1100 clothing.

Out of seemingly no where a nasty, half-day long storm appeared. Wrath of God kind of stuff. Cold winds drove sheets of rain and littered the tight, winding roads surrounding greater Bologna with soaking wet leaves, pine needles and who knows what else, making for a challenging ride. Eventually, though, skies cleared, temps rose and the roads dried enough to continue taste testing the Hyper 796.

The 796’s air-cooled L-Twin engine employs new, smaller and lighter cases than those used on the Monster 696 accounting for 2.6 lbs weight savings The 796 engine is 4.2 lbs lighter than the littlest Monster’s mill. Also, the new engine employs an 848-style flywheel, and compresses fuel mixture at a ratio of 11.1:1. These and other changes add up for a claimed 81 hp at 8,000 rpm.

The Hypermotard 796 could just be the perfect way to enter the Ducati world for those often dreaming and drooling but never willing to take the leap.

With a tractable powerband, open and upright riding position (a seat 20mm lower than the Hypermotard 1100) and great dual 4-piston radial-mount Brembo brakes, the 796 offers heaps of performance for less than $10,000.

And with the hot-off-the-presses news straight from Ducati of a claimed 51 mpg, this newest Duc might just be the perfect Italian urban assault vehicle.

Look for a fuller review soon.

Grazie, Ducati!

Pete Brissette
Pete Brissette

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