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Ridden: Ducati Hypermotard 939

This one has been a long time coming. We’ve been chasing after the Hypermotard 939 for a while now. But somehow, the planets never aligned and we never got to ride the damn thing. Until now. We’ve just come back from some saddle time with the Hyper and, we must say, it was worth the wait. Read on…

The looks
Supermotos are not very difficult at style. You take a dirt bike and slap some road rubber on them and voila – Supermoto. However, making them something that you can possibly lust after is a tricky business. Because, let’s be honest, a dirtbike on slicks doesn’t really have enough oomph to make you go aaaaah! But with the Hypermotard, things are different. The design is definitely bedroom-poster worthy and quite honestly, it has adorned a lot of TGs walls for a long time. It’s unmistakable too. Ducati’s interpretation of the supermoto hasn’t changed in design since it first came out, but it remains as relevant as ever. The flared nostrils the minimal tail, the high fenders, the flats seat, the hand guards, all come together to create a design that is very, very drool-worthy. Only complaint we got is that’s the console still remains old school. The instrumentation should have been full-tft by now or at least a more modern feeling LCD. Sadly, it remains very first-decade-2000s.

The spec
The Hypermotard uses a 937cc Testastretta 11 engine that makes 110bhp and 95Nm of torque. The power is at the command of your right hand through a ride-by-wire systems that allows the motorcycle to have two power modes and three riding modes. The power modes vary maximum output between 110bhp and 75bhp while the riding modes choose various combinations of ABS and traction control. The chassis is a trellis frame with an adjustable upside down fork at the front and a Sachs mono shock with a single sided swing arm at the rear. It gets radially mounted Brembo M4.32 brakes at the front and a single disc at the rear.

The feel
The big question here is how the motorcycle feels to ride. And in a nutshell, it feels bloody brilliant. First the riding position – which is out only concern on the Hyper. If you’re expecting an out and out supermoto then you will be a little disappointed. Despite the flat-ish seat, riding the Hypermotard feels a bit too much bum-forward for our liking. The Rego’s make it feel like your knees are almost about to hit the handlebars. It’s only a feeling, but one that gives you a slight fear of flying over the bars. It’s all a bit too far forward and up too high for our liking.

But aside from the ergos, it is an incredibly capable motorcycle. The engine still retains a bit of the Ducati-V-Twin unhappiness at slow speeds, but its is a nice, violent little humber that brings massive amounts of velocity your way in very little time. The motorcycle is rumoured to hit 100kph in just over 3 seconds, which is ridiculously quick. It remains usable in the city with a nice even torque spread that is available from quite low-down. It also heats up very little compared to another Italian supermoto we tested recently.

What we like a lot is the way it handles. Once you get used to the ergos, you will not ice that one thing the forward biased seating does is put more weight at the front and give you more feel from the front suspension and tyres. And with that, you can push the motorcycle harder and faster into corners. And when you do, the chassis on the Hyper responds really well. It rewards your bravery with traction and a calculated precision that lets you explore the very limits of your hooligan behaviour. We won’t lie to to you, it is a stiff riding motorcycle. But the flip side of that is that the Hypermotard is a very rewarding motorcycle to go fast on – one that will hold it’s own even around a racetrack. It will allow you to ride knee-out-MotoGP style or go full hooligan and get sideways around corners.

The verdict
The Hypermotard 939 is an incredibly lovable motorcycle. It isn’t for everyone though. Experience says that it takes a certain kind of mindset to like the supermoto format. But, as a supermoto, the Hypermotard ticks all the right boxes. Our only concern so far has been the ergos. But considering how good it looks and how well it works, we’re willing to look past that. And at Rs 11.12 lakh (ex-Mumbai) it isn’t overpriced either. We like it a lot. So much that we think a comparison with the other Italian supermoto is in order. Stay tuned for that… *wink wink*

Thank you to Samarth Harish for loaning us his Hypermotard.

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