Partner in crime - Test Ride - Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE

Submitted by Jo on Tue, 08/31/2021 - 15:58
No votes yet

Predictable power, a torque curve to die for and perhaps most importantly: wheelies.
I'm not a master at it myself and I'm actually not a fan of high-legged mega-motards.
But I have to admit, cutting into the corner sideways, and then accelerating out of it on one wheel, who doesn't get a little warm inside?

The first Hypermotard was introduced to the public in 2005. At the time an 1100cc bike in a very popular sector where it stood alongside KTM and Husqvarna.
As only Ducati can, they have released many special models, even a Leggera, which weighed 30kg lighter and was 40hp stronger than the normal version.

In 2009, Ducati released the Hypermotard 796 with an 800cc Testastretta engine, a derivative of the engine used for the Ducati Monster of the time.

In 2013, a totally redesigned Hypermotard saw the light, available in 3 different versions.

In 2016, Ducati introduced the 939 and it is not that different from the 950 version, except for the redeveloped tubular frame.
Together with the more aggressive styling with more forward looking lines, the dual exhausts that are back under the seat, a wide handlebar, narrow taye, all results in a more supermotard oriented bike.
You immediately recognize the "beak" nose, it's more pointed and dips more downwards but looks fresher somehow, the whole feels more modern and aggressive, as if the bike itself has become a bit more hooligan.
That attitude is further enhanced by the sleek headlight unit with Daytime Running Light directly above it.
With a top of 114 horses, the power would have increased by 4 horsepower compared to the previous version, but more important is the flatter torque curve with 82% of peak torque already available at 3000rpm.
Rigorous was also played with different tube thicknesses from the frame to the exhaust, this to achieve the weight of 178kg dry.

There are 3 versions of the 950:

  • The basic Hypermotard 950 can be recognized by the smooth red color
  • the Hypermotard 950 RVE, with the two-tone red/black wheels, other graphics and Ducati's quickshifter
  • and the top of the range lighter SP version, with 3-tone bodywork, carbon goodies and Ohlins springs.

However, there is no difference between the three engines.

What struck us when riding this Hypermotard is the high saddle and wider handlebars. This gives a very playful steering behaviour.
There is plenty of room to move and my knees are at a relaxed angle.
The ABS has its hands full restricting the power, as with every twist of the throttle the front wheel wants to kiss the clouds.
Unbelievable, but there is also a 35kW version for those who only have an A2 driving license.

More electronics is the norm and the Hypermotard cannot escape it either, so it gets all the electronic gadgets of the V4 superbike.
The biggest change is the 6 axis computer along with cornering ABS and anti-wheelie control.
But the impossibility of disabling the ABS on the rear wheel seems like a fun spoiler to us. This bike asks to be ridden playfully, thank you EURO5 rules.
The quickshifter works perfectly, even at low revs you don't miss a single gear.

At the end of a sweltering day, I enjoyed myself, even though I used to be rather reluctant towards such high-legged two-wheelers.
It is more user-friendly than its predecessor, but still not very versatile.
For a weekend touring with a pillion it is simply too spartan.
But that's not what it's meant for. It is made for types who want to spread their hooliganism on the motorcycle and who don't care about comfort, cruise control or lugged cases.
And with the Hypermotard 950 they buy a razor-sharp steering, fully electronically adjustable, eager to wheelie, brutal sounding and above all, a lot of motorcycle fun, a true partner in crime.

Thanks to Ducati Gent & Antwerp for trusting in lending us their Hypermotard RVE to 2manybikes!