Ducati Hypermotard 1100 Evo

Kevin Ash

Pictures: Milagro (click on images)

Ducati_Hypermotard_Evo11_27

Just two years after the mad Hypermotard 1100 wheelied down its first high street, Ducati has given it an all-new engine and jettisoned an amazing 7kg!

Now generally I'm not especially comfortable charging around race tracks on bikes with long travel suspension. They tend to get unstable on the entry as the suspension compresses, run wide on the exits and offer less feedback at the same time as being overly sensitive to handlebar inputs. This will be why MotoGP bikes don`t look like motocrossers then...
So while Sardinia, sunshine, the tight Mores circuit and a pair of Ducati Hypermotards is hardly the stuff of nightmares, I wasn`t expecting to enjoy myself as much as if something more obviously track suited had been resting nonchalantly on its sidestand in the pitlane.
It was surprising to see the Hypermotard there at all. Well, not in the sense that I thought there`d be a row of Harleys outside, more that the Hypermotard was only introduced two and a half years ago, and while the Japanese are pulling back from their traditional bi-annual upgrades of their short shelf-life sports machines and drawing in the horns, Ducati is lining up the new models and busy upgrading the older ones, even though you`d expect something like the Hypermotard to be relatively unchanged for maybe four years.
It`s not merely cosmetic either. In total the bike has lost 15.3lb (7kg), with 3.9lb (1.8kg) of that coming from the chassis. The frame looks the familiar Ducati steel trellis but it`s been redesigned at the rear with the old version`s forged components replaced with more tubular steel. Some additional weight has been lost through a redesign of the wiring loom, so they`re clearly taking this seriously. Other chassis changes including the fitment of Streetfighter switchgear and dash.
But it`s the engine where the bigger stuff has happened, with almost 5kg being shed in a rework that`s big enough for Ducati to call this an all new engine. The crankcases are now cast using a Vacural technique which allows for thinner walls without introducing weaknesses. But the cases are completely redesigned anyway and are substantially more compact then before, while magnesium engine covers and the alternator uses compact and lighter rare earth magnets.
The cylinder heads are new and feature deeper oil baths to keep the valve gear cool and reshaped inlet and exhaust ports for better gas flow, and in fact the heads` oil cooling is so much more effective, Ducati has fitted an oil cooler which has 85 per cent more cooling area than before. There are revised cam profiles and a new piston crown shape which makes combustion more efficient by increasing the compression ratio from 10.7:1 to 11.3:1, to the point where Ducati has been able to return to a single spark plug per cylinder, where the old model had two. Further weight has been lost by using a lightweight, 848-style flywheel. The result is a 5bhp increase in power to 95bhp (69.9kW), with a little more torque.
There are two models, the Hypermotard 1100 Evo and the SP version, which has an Öhlins rear shock, higher spec 50mm Marzocchi forks, Monobloc Brembo front callipers and detailing such as carbon fibre cambelt covers. The SP sits 30mm higher than the Evo and has more wheel travel front and rear, as well as 20mm higher bars, Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres and Ducati`s datalogging system, otherwise it`s the same as the Evo, although for our test Ducati fitted the optional Termignoni exhaust, releasing another 5bhp.The Evo remained stock though.
The changes over the old model have made a substantial difference, and to exactly the areas I was concerned about as I lined up for the track ride. I took the SP out first (that`s the white one in the images) and for the first time on a bike of this type immediately felt at home and comfortable on it. The steering is more precise and now the bike goes exactly where you point it both under braking and with the power on, and while it still responds eagerly to bar pressure it no longer feels flighty. The suspension works brilliantly, coping with on-off power changes, rapid left-right flips and severe braking without feeling like it`s going to give up and tip you off. That`s especially impressive considering the huge power of the brakes, which are capable of hauling up this bike as effectively as just about anything I`ve ridden.
The Evo lacks the fine precision of the SP and does tend to push wider on corner exits but it`s still a handy tool on the track. It`s a little softer and will make a better road bike, but for once I think this is less important as few riders who choose a Hypermotard will want easier manners if that means sacrificing sharpness and track ability. It`s hardly a sensible option to start with, is it? In fact it was the introduction of the less intimidating Hypermotard 796 which allowed Ducati to sharpen the focus of the 1100 - the 796 is for those who like the look but not the edginess, while the 1100 is for the performance cognoscenti.
The engine meanwhile is absolutely seductive. It`s dripping with torque in the low and mid ranges, and despite being air-cooled still loves being revved. It doesn`t mind if you get your gears wrong and in fact often helped at Mores where I found shifting up early and relying on the torque was just as quick as red-lining it everywhere.
It`s not a sensible bike though. If this was your only motorcycle you`d not be the sort to go touring or even very far from home at all, as the 2.73 gallon (12.4 litres, 3.3 gallon US) tank will mean you`re refilling every 80 miles or so. And it`s not cheap either, with the Evo priced at around £9,100 and the SP at a jaw-dropping £10,300.
But if this is the sort of bike you want, then this is just your sort of bike. Bonkers.

Additional Images: 

redisbest
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Joined: 08/09/2009

Kevin, thank you for this fine write up. My first post here and I'd like to say it is a privilege to be able to comment on some top notch journalism. This is one of my favourite websites period!

As a prospective buyer of an Italian streetbike that appeals to both visual and aural senses, I feel the motorbike world is spoiling me rotten!

There seems to have been so many new models/updates recently that it is becoming difficult to choose between them, even after taking demo rides. In particular the new Ducati range leaves me changing my mind on a daily basis: M1100S vs Hyper1100Evo vs StreetFighter. Into that three way tussle, I would also throw in the "old" Monster S4RS, particularly for its style and mad engine.

In addition to the above there is the updated MV Brutale and the Griso1200 which is a bike that I have had my eye on for a while (I won't even mention the Tuono and Corsaro.....)

My question to you and others on the this site with considerable riding/owning experience is whether you would base your choice of a charasmatic Italian streetbike on:

1) technical ability (in which case its StreetFighter v Brutale.)

Or

2) would you say that since most modern bikes are excellent dynamically and surpass the riding ability of most riders to wring anything more than 75% of the bikes capabilities, the buying decision should be swayed by emotions - ie looks, sound, "feel"?

If the latter then I must admit that the "old" Monster S4RS or Griso1200 look the most tempting.

On the other hand........

PS when comparing the M1100S to the Hyper Evo are the sole differences: (1) M1100S has a large range, (2) the Hyper has more chuckable handling and a more upright position? Otherwise are they the same bike??

Cheers!

hyperbob
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Joined: 03/12/2009

redisbest,
The main reason I chose a hypermotard over a monster was riding position.For a gangly 6ft 3in rider like myself,there isn't enough leg room on the monster.Also,I prefer to sit more upright and the hyper leaves your back straighter.
The hyper positions the rider much closer to the front wheel which,for me, gives more cornering confidence.

kevash
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Joined: 05/10/2008

I think it's important to distinguish between technical ability and how a bike feels. The MV F4 for example is technically brilliant in that it's breathtakingly fast around a track, but it feels horrible to ride (the new model should address that though). I'd much rather ride and own a slower GSX-R1000 because it feels good, and not get beguiled by the performance differences as these are irrelevant anyway in all of my riding. But performance does matter where the differences are larger, the Brutale for example is far quicker than the Griso so you'll get a kick from the MV - literally - that the Griso can't supply. Depends how much that matters to you.

Personally once performance is at a level I like, then I go for feel and looks, and twins do better in feel than fours. I love the look of the Griso too, though I'm interested you mention the S4RS, as the previous model, the S4R in blue with the white stripe is one of my all time favourite bikes! (Cue excuse to add pic...)

And you're right, we're completely spoiled in this sector, but I'd go for your option 2, they all perform fine so let my emotions do the choosing. Owning a bike is about getting a buzz just from seeing it parked on your driveway and talking nonsense about it in the pub as well as all the riding stuff.

The Tuono's style is too bitty for me, the Corsaro I'd worry about with reliability and the factory's future, dealer numbers etc, the Griso I'd happily have, I like riding it as well as looking at it, the Hyper I couldn't because of the fuel range, and the Streetfighter's range is about the same I think. Yup, the Monster's range is better and I think they still look fabulous, though it feels a bit gentler than the Hyper. I'd have one.

That's a good question about the M1100 and Evo being essentially the same... I'm not sure. We were told the Evo has an entirely new engine and I don't think they meant just to the Evo, but for Ducati generally. But the M1100 shed a lot of weight from the old model with major engine changes too, as well as a new frame, which could be like the Evo's. In practice even if they are different, they won't be very different, not enough to matter - both produce 95bhp and weights are very similar too.

And thanks for the website comments!

kevash
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Joined: 05/10/2008

I've just checked and I don't have a Griso test on here yet, I'll put one up soon.

hyperbob
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Joined: 03/12/2009

Kevin,
Regarding the tiny fuel capacity of the hypermotard,California Cycleworks can supply a tank with twice the capacity without altering the external appearance of the bike.
The extra room comes from doing away with the large airbox and fitting much smaller air filters.Pricey though.

shuggiemac
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Joined: 23/11/2008

Redisbest - life sucks doesn't it? What Italian bike to buy, the dilema of it all! Well I can relate as I am also well and truly smitten by the offerings of Italia, though not solely confined to that country but it is my preference.

I have had three Ducati's bought from new and still own two of them. I have said all along and to anyone who asks that I bought them more with the heart than the head. The simple explanation being that, if I had technically and practically evaluated the competition available for the bikes that I was buying, then I would have bought something else, most likely from the big four. Hoewever the difference was that I absolutely WANTED the 600SS, ST2 and 999 when they were new. I saw them and it just about ached. This was especially true for the 600SS as it was my first new bike ever and a Ducati to boot. I saw and it just plucked the heart strings. There is no question that at the time a CBR600 would have technically been a better bike but I could walk past those every day and raise no reaction. I saw the SS and that was it; hook, line and sinker. I was lucky with that bike in that it never let me down and I enjoyed every single ride on it, so I was a Ducati devotee and still am. The ST2 was bought on spec having just seen it arrive as a new model in dealers, my only regret now is that I traded the 600 in to get it, as I would love to have kept them both. I still have the ST twelve years later on, it has never let me down and I have never regretted the purchase. The 999 was the pinnacle for me in that all my life I had wanted to get a pure sports bike of the era. It started out with wanting a JPS Norton Replica and from then in the desire changed over the years. Three years ago I got to the stage where I at last had the money to do it and I went looking. I tested the 999 and the Monster S4RS (plus the Mutleystrada of the day, which I dismissed quickly). It was a close run thing between the two bikes but I new that I had always wanted a super sports bike so the 999 it was. I can't ride it anywhere near to its potential and it is not very practical, as I have been posting in here recently regarding the mirrors BUT I still love it and it is here to stay. Three years later on, at times I wish I had bought the Monster as it would have been a bit more user friendly but then again I would not have fulfilled that dream and I am thinking about smashing the piggy bank next year for the new Multistrada anyway.

So basically what I am saying - in other words you can skip the previous waffle - is that option two is the way to go. Buying a bike for me has never been a clinical analysis, buying Italian bikes has been a pure emotive experience and it has never yet proven to be a bad basis for decision making.

shuggiemac
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Joined: 23/11/2008

Hypermotard already updated, the 1098 had a very short shelf life before the 1198 came out. Maybe I'll hold off on the Multistrada next year in case it gets updated in the one after !!!