KTM, consider yourself on watch because Ducati is coming for you, and it’s coming for you with this: the 2024 Hypermotard 698 Mono. One look and you can tell the Hyper Mono is aimed squarely at the KTM 690 SMC R, the supermoto inspiration is obvious to all, and now there’s suddenly an arms race in a category that’s been one-sided for years. Sure, the street-legal supermoto scene may be a small niche, but we all know it’s a recipe for getting your license taken away in no time – all with a giant smile on your face.
I’ve long maintained that riding a supermoto is one of my favorite forms of motorcycling. I’ve also maintained that I have no desire in owning one with headlights and a license plate. The reason is simple: they are one-way tickets to jail. The idea of a dirtbike – a small, nimble, light, and relatively powerful motorcycle made to jump over things – on road tires is batty. It’s an absolute riot, but it’s also batty and crazy. All this is a way to say I wouldn’t be able to control myself if one ended up in my hands. Which is why I relegate myself to riding supermoto on tracks, or when the occasional press bike comes my way.
Last week you read all about the new 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 and 950 SP and saw the photos in living color. Today, it’s time to watch the stunning, action-packed 3:35-minute video, filmed on location in beautiful Gran Canaria and starring yours truly in a performance the Academy will have to stand up and notice. Sorry there’s no onboard footage, as I hit the Still Photo option on the GoPro instead of Video, but it’s the thought that counts. There is plenty of beautiful footage courtesy of Ducati‘s crew, though, and there’s even a wardrobe malfunction. Roll film!
I’m pretty sure I could’ve ridden the new Hypermotard 950 SP like Ruben Xaus rides it, if only the Ducati press people had coughed up the technical info in the press kit a little sooner than right before our first track session. Ahh, now I’m reading about it on the airplane on the way home:
If you’re in the market for a brand new, 100-horsepower, street-legal dirtbike, Ducati’s Hypermotard 939 and Hypermotard 939 SP are pretty much the only game in town (at least, until the updated Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 arrives). Upgraded for 2016 with the 937cc Testastretta 11° L-Twin, compared to last year’s 821cc model, the Hypermotard gains a wee bit more, completely unnecessary, intensity. Like, as if, the outgoing model wasn’t fun enough.
Around the MO offices, we’re filled with excitement and restraint whenever a motorcycle with “motard” in its name enters our graces. This is especially true when we took delivery of the $14,995 Ducati Hypermotard SP. With its high ground clearance, light weight, abundance of power, and dirtbike-like agility, we were anxious to rip around the city and the canyons, knowing there would be very little on the roads that could keep up. Of course, motards, more than any other kind of motorcycle, compel us with a childlike enthusiasm to act like even bigger MOrons than we are, much to the chagrin of the local constabulary.