Project Ducati Hypermotard Part 1

 Project Ducati Hypermotard under construction at AMS

Project Ducati Hypermotard Part 1

By Jeff Naeyaert

Although most of you readers probably equate MotoIQ to performance machines from the 4 wheel world, a lot of us on the staff are also into 2 wheel action, Karting, off road and other forms of motorized fun.  We figure that many of you readers are as well so we will occasionally add some other types of projects and reviews from other forms of motorized pursuits of speed.

Thus we would like to introduce our first motorcycle project, Project Ducati Hypermotard.  What is a Ducati Hypermotard?  Well, first we probably have to explain a bit as it is not your usual bike.  An interesting sub segment of the motorcycle world is the Super Motard scene.  A Super Motard is a road racing Motocross bike.  The Motocross bike is prepared for road racing by fitting it with smaller diameter 17″ slicks and much bigger brakes.  The suspension is usually revalved with more low speed damping and sometimes the suspension is lowered a little.  The final drive gearing is revamped for higher speed riding.

Ducati Hypermotard S ohlins shock
The Hypermotard S comes with a trick Ohlins shock as standard equipment.

Supermotos as they are called are usually raced on tight courses, sometimes even really tight venues like go kart tracks.  Although the concept of a road racing dirt bikes might seem weird, Supermotos are potent weapons on the pavement where their light weight, power dense engines and nimble handing can give Sport Bikes fits in all but the highest speed corners.  They are also very fun and rewarding to ride.  The drawback to a true Supermoto is that Motocross bikes are high strung race machines with highly tuned small engines.  They were not designed to spend long amounts of time at wide open throttle and long duration riding.  Hence they are too highly strung and high maintenance for daily riding on the street.

This is where the Ducati Hypermotard comes in.  The Hypermotard is the opposite of a Supermoto bike.  Where the Supermoto bike is a Motocross bike modified for the pavement, the Hypermotard is more like an ultra high performance street-touring bike modified for dirt use with some full on road racing technology thrown in.  Its like the parts from a Honda CRF 450, a Ducati Monster naked street performance bike, a Ducati Multistrada sports touring bike and a Ducati 1098 sports bike were thrown in a pot to create a very unique bike that doesn’t really fit into any category other than its own.

The Hypermotard has a spec sheet like no other motorcycle made.  Its heart is Ducati's tried and true, 1100cc air cooled L-twin (which means cylinder banks at 90 degrees)with a huge 98mm bore and a 71.5mm stroke.  The engine has a mild, pump gas friendly 10.5:1 compression ratio.  Sure Ducati has a lot of other higher performance engines in their parts bin but the Hypermotard isn’t about ultimate speed, its more like ultimate riding fun.  The big air cooled motor was chosen for its simplicity, light weight and broad full of torque powerband.  The engine features Ducati's unique desmodromic valve control where one cam lobe opens the valves and the other one closes the valves.  This direct action allows a pretty aggressive cam profile without danger of float.  CDI ignition fires two spark plugs per cylinder, needed due to the huge bore diameter.

The engine is Marelli fuel injected breathing through a 45mm throttle body and puts out a rated 95 hp @ 7750 rpm and 76 lb/ft of torque @ a stump pulling low of 4750 rpm at the flywheel which usually specs out to 77-80 whp and 64-66 lb/ft of torque on a Dynojet wheel dynamometer.  Although this isn’t Superbike power levels, this engine isn’t designed for the ultimate in power, more like a tractable all situation powerband.  The engine makes over 55 lb/ft of torque at the wheels from 3000-8200 rpm, that's an over 5000 rpm wide powerband with the stump pulling power coming right off of idle!  The engine makes over 50 WHP from 4000 to 8500 rpm.  This makes the Hypermotard one of the most tractable performance bikes we have thrown a leg over.  When coupled with the light 386 lb weight, the engine makes the Hypermotard a wheelie machine.

Ducati Hypermotard DLC forks
The Hypermotard S has DLC coated stanchion tubes to reduce friction. The Marzocchi forks are a beefy 50mm  in diameter to reduce flex.  The S model also replaces the plastic fork protectors for these carbon parts.

The most interesting part of the Hypermotard is its chassis.  The backbone is a trellis tubular steel frame that uses a lot of triangulation for a good combination of stiffness and light weight.  An alloy single sided swingarm is attached to a monoshock through a progressive rising rate linkage with 5.6″ of travel.  The fork is an inverted cartridge unit by Marzocchi with 6.5″ of travel, independent adjustment of compression and rebound damping as well as spring preload.  The Marzocchi fork also has beefy 50mm stanchion tubes for flex free accurate tracking.

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