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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i spotted in MCN this week that there was an 'open weekend' at my local Ducati centre this weekend so i decided to go and test ride a couple of bikes. now the temptation was to go and take out a 1198S or a Streetfighter S but my sensible head took over and i decided to take out the sort of bike that i might actually consider to replace the STR in a year or twos time. i decided to test ride the Hypermotard 796 and the 848 Superbike and i thought you guys might like to read my opinions on them.

firstly the Hypermotard

as soon as i sat on it the riding position reminded me of a big downhill mountain bike, you are sat up and over the big wide bars and the seat gives you loads of options for moving around.
pulling off the dealers forecourt it felt very easy to ride at slow speeds, the wide bars give great maneauverability and although tall the bike felt very light and balanced. riding in town it behaved itself impeccably, loads of easily accessible torque and a suprisingly smooth power delivery. the box was a little lumpy although the bike had only done 150 miles, im sure that would free up in time.
on dual carriageways it did start to run out of puff quite quickly, there is absolutely zero wind protection and although the lump is torquey it struggles to push the bike on as the speeds rise.
however its not designed for motorway riding and as soon as i got onto some twisties it really came alive, i found myself attacking country lanes, throwing the bike over in tight corners with my inside foot out in classic supermoto style and hunting out lumps and bumps to flick the front wheel into the air. on those type of roads its an absolute riot!
if i was after a bike purely for chucking around on country lanes or welsh mountain roads i would seriously consider one, if i had to cover any distance though it would get uncomfortable very quickly.

i then swapped to the 848

things didn't get off to a good start ith the 848, the mirrors are utterly useless and, quite embarrasingly, i stalled it trying to pull off in front of a big group of onlookers. it needs a bit more revving and more finesse with the clutch than either the hypermotard or the STR to pull away smoothly, once i had that sorted though it all started to click.
once rolling the bike is a doddle to ride, the beautiful v twin lump has the classic low down stomp but revs a lot higher than i was expecting (13k rpm iirc), the noise it makes is absolutely epic, loud and booming but still tunefull. its a very flexible engine too, crack the throttle open at any revs and the bike will leap forward.
its town manners were very good and it was comfortable on dual carriageways, it fit me well and i could see myself riding it all day without any problems at all.
get it onto some fun roads though and it becomes a guided missile, the speed builds much faster than i am used to without being scary and the bike feels incredibly planted and confidence inspiring, the feedback it gives is incredible you really know exactly how much grip you have all the time. the suspension is superb too stiff yet plush and compliant.
by the end of the test ride i felt completely comfortable with it, happy in the knowledge that it would do exactly what i wanted, when i wanted it to.

im not planning to swap my STR in for another year or 2 but when i do come to change the 848 will be a very serious contender!

the one thing that really suprised me was the cost of the servicing on the 2 bikes, the older ducatis were expensive to look after, both the 848 and the Hypermotard cost ?120 for a minor service and ?230 for a major one, the service intervals are 7500 miles! that is much cheaper than i was expecting.
 

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Nice, thanks for posting up your thoughts. When I read the title I instanty thought of the Hypermotard. When you say "ran out of puff on the dual carriageway" what sort of speeds would it be running out of puff at on a private racetrack?
Are we talking 100mph plus or 70ish?

I'm thinking about a change. I want something a bit more upright than my SV650S, was out for a ride yesterday, really enjoyed it but am thinking I might have more fun on something supermoto'ey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well the book says the HM tops out at 120ish i reckon you would need a loooong straight and arms like tractors to get there, over 80ish my street triple r would leave one for dead. that said it only had 150 miles on it and it may well free up as it runs in.

if you are considering a bike with a more upright riding position why not have a look at a street triple? i absolutely love mine and would recommend it to anyone
 

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What kinda power/weight is the HM?

My 690 duke will do 110 (granted you will be holding on but the bike doesnt struggle) and keep going till 120 and it's only 65bhp and 50ish lb-ft torque.

If you want a pretty sportsbike get a Ducati, if you want a SM get a KTM
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the HM is 81bhp and weighs 167kg dry (my street triple is around 105bhp and the same weight)
 

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if you are considering a bike with a more upright riding position why not have a look at a street triple? i absolutely love mine and would recommend it to anyone
No reason why not! Actually my ride yesterday took me past a Triumph dealer near guildford, so might drop in next time
 

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Great write up
 
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