The Hooligan Bike You Always Wanted

Ducati updated its Hypermotard for the 2016 model year and carried that forward to 2018. Fairly fresh off a revamp in ’13, the new Hypermotard variant brings Ducati’s EURO 4-emissions compliant Testastretta to the range along with its increased, 937 cc displacement and 113-pony output. The factory also padded the range with a MotoGP-liveried, 939 SP that sports top-shelf racing suspension and is generally skewed toward track work, or riders who wish they were doing track work. Both rides benefit from Ducati’s rider-safety technology with onboard traction control, ABS and the like. Good thing too, since this is exactly the kind of bike that will allow you to get in trouble all three ways: quick, fast, and in-a-hurry.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Hypermotard 939 and 939 SP.

  • 2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    L-Twin
  • Displacement:
    937 cc
  • Price:
    12995
  • Price:

Design

2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939
- image 729909
A jockey-style rider's triangle puts the rider in position to throw around some serious body English for racing and trick riding.

I realize I’m probably in the minority, but I never have liked the bird’s beak fairings and this newest Duc is no exception. At the end of the day, it is what it is, and what it is is necessary because the front fender is cut down to a minimum in back, and cut away entirely up front leaving nothing to control the up-and-forward fling from the front wheel. The headlight housing grows out the top of the beak with a form that flows right into the tiny flyscreen. Handguards provide protection for the rider’s hands and control levers in the event of a laydown and provide a handy and clean location to mount the front turn signals.

Moving aft, the flyline plays across the gentle swell of the fuel-tank bump down to a shallow-scoop rider’s seat and slightly offset pillion pad over the ascending subframe. Duc finishes the 939 with the typical hangy-downy mudguard/plateholder/turn signal assembly (that I loathe) and a hugger to complete the rear-wheel coverage. A jockey-style rider’s triangle puts the rider in position to throw around some serious body English for racing and trick riding.

This is, without a doubt, a purpose-driven machine, and it shows. The exposed frame, sparse body panels and cut-down fenders all speak to the weight-saving efforts made by the engineers to turn this into more of a tool for the road/track than something to be used as curb dressing. (That’s what ’Busas are for.)

Chassis

2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939
- image 729904
While the base model carries a beefy set of 43 mm usd forks with fixed performance values, its race-tastic sibling rocks a set of inverted 50 mm forks with the full spectrum of adjustments.

The factory started out with Trellis frame made up of 34 mm-diameter, welded-steel members for the foundation of the rolling chassis with a die-cast subframe and “techno-polymer” midsection. Handling is made sharp by virtue of the 25.5-degree rake, 4.1-inch trail and 58.8-inch (59-inch on the SP) wheelbase. Curb weight comes in at 450 pounds (442 pound SP), so the Hypermotard is definitely a bit over-braked with a pair of 320 mm discs up front and four-pot anchors to bind them. The rear end sports a 245 mm disc and dual-pot caliper with a BOSCH ABS along to protect you from yourself not if, but when you grab too big of a fistful. Speaking of fists; the brake lever comes with a four-position adjustment (five on the SP) on the axial handpump, so whether you’ve got dainty little claws or big ol’ hamburger shovels, Ducati has you covered.

You may have noticed that so far, there are a few little differences between the base model and the SP variant, but now we are going to get into some less-subtle distinctions. While the base model carries a beefy set of 43 mm usd forks with fixed performance values, its race-tastic sibling rocks a set of inverted 50 mm forks with the full spectrum of adjustments so you can dial in for race day. Out back, a Sachs monoshock brings adjustable preload and rebound to the base 939, but again, the SP brings the top-shelf swag with an Öhlins monoshock and full-spectrum adjustability.

The hoops see some difference as well. Not in size— both run 17-inchers front and rear— but where the base 939 rolls on 10-spoke alloy wheels and Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso II tires, the SP runs three-spoke, forged Marchesini rims and Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber.

Model:Hypermotard 939Hypermotard 939 SP
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame Tubular steel Trellis frame
Front suspension: 43mm usd forks Öhlins fully adjustable 50mm usd forks
Front wheel : 10-spoke in light alloy 3.50" x 17" 3-spoke forged light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP, 120/70 ZR17
Rear suspension: Progressive linkage with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping Sachs monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Rear wheel: 10-spoke in light alloy 5.50" x 17" 3-spoke forged light alloy 5.50" x 17"
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, 180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP, 180/55 ZR17
Wheel travel (front/rear): 170 mm (6.7 in) - 150 mm (5.9 in) 185 mm (7.3 in) - 175 mm (6.9 in)
Front brake: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc callipers, 4-piston 2-pad, axial pump with adjustable lever, with Bosch ABS as standard 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc callipers, 4-piston 2-pad, radial pump with adjustable lever, with Bosch ABS as standard
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper, with Bosch ABS as standard 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper, with Bosch ABS as standard

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939
- image 729911
Ducati's Desmodromic valvetrain uses pull-open/pull-closed cams instead of a cam-and-spring arrangement to eliminate the valve-float you can get at high rpm with return-spring systems.

As expected, the new engine is a mechanical and electronic marvel. Let’s start with the hard parts, shall we? The “Testastretta 11°” gets its name from the eleven-degrees of valve overlap that occurs on the exhaust stroke. This short overlap duration strikes a balance between exhaust-gas scavenging and the release of free hydrocarbons, and helps the mill meet stringent EURO 4 emissions standards.

The four-valve heads open up the combustion chamber through the genius that is Ducati’s Desmodromic valvetrain that uses pull-open/pull-closed cams instead of a cam-and-spring arrangement. Yeah, this makes for extra maintenance, but the system also eliminates the valve-float you can get at high rpm with return-spring systems. A 94 mm bore and short, 67.5 mm stroke adds up to a total displacement of 937 cc, up from 821 cc with the previous gen. Waste heat from the sizzling-hot, 13.1-to-1 compression ratio is handled by the engine coolant jacket and radiator, plus an oil cooler for extra thermal protection.

Magneti Marelli provides the throttle bodies, and this is where we cross into the electronic wizardry. A ride-by-wire throttle control manages induction and enables the variable throttle response that comes bundled with Ducati’s Riding Modes feature. The Riding Modes allow the pilot to quickly switch between preset combinations of power delivery, ABS, rear end lift mitigation, and traction control intervention. Each model comes with its own values plugged into each of the three settings, with the SP understandably running the more race-tastic profiles of the two.

Both models produce the 113-horsepower max in two of the presets with a 75-pony limiter attached to the Urban/Wet profiles. Regardless of setting, the full 72.2 pound-feet of torque comes on at 7,500 rpm. A slipper clutch provides yet another layer of traction insurance, and a six-speed gearbox crunches the ratios before sending power to the rear wheel via chain drive.

Model:Hypermotard 939Hypermotard 939 SP
Engine: Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled, magnesium valve covers
Displacement: 937 cc 937 cc
Power: 83.1 kW (113 hp) @ 9000 rpm 83.1 kW (113 hp) @ 9000 rpm
Torque: 97.9 Nm (72.2 lb-ft) @ 7500 rpm 97.9 Nm (72.2 lb-ft) @ 7500 rpm

Pricing

2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939
- image 729913
For 2018, Ducati adds Star White Silk to the 939 palette.

The base-model Hypermotard 939 rolls for $12,995 while the upgraded SP version commands a $15,995 MSRP. Ducati added a new color to the 939 palette for 2018 in the form of Star White Silk available along with the Ducati Red. The 939 SP is available in the Red Corse Stripe livery.

Competitor

2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939
- image 729902
2017 - 2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900
- image 729423
Looks-wise, the two look almost as though they were popped from the same mold, unsurprising given the rather niche purposes for these sleds.

While there’s a double fistful of bikes on the market with similar looks and purposes, nothing compares with the Ducati ride quite like the Dorsoduro 900 by its domestic foe, Aprilia. Looks-wise, the two look almost as though they were popped from the same mold, unsurprising given the rather niche purposes for these sleds.

Bird’s beaks abound with chopped back front fenders, flyscreens and handguards for protection. A gentle fuel-tank hump gives way to bench-like seat and narrow waist, but the Ducati saddle comes with a shoulder that will interfere with efforts to slide back for the trickier stuff. The good news there is that only stunt riders will have a problem with it, and all others will be glad for the extra butt-retention capabilities.

Aprilia gets a leg up in the chassis with adjustable front forks against the straight vanilla stems on the Duc, but both enjoy a bit more adjustability out back. Brakes and ABS protection are likewise close enough for government work with little to choose between the two. Aprilia leaves a few cubes on the table with an 896 cc displacement up against the 937 cc Duc mill, and it also surrenders some power, too, with only 93-horsepower and 66 pounds o’ grunt versus 110/72 from the Duc.

Electronic gadgetry is eerily similar, and this is the area where the Italians really pull apart from most of the rest of the world and make it hard to find a non-Eye-Tie competitor. Ducati takes a beating at the checkout, though; Aprilia lets loose of the Dorsoduro 900 for $10,999, a couple grand less than the Hypermotard, and that’s liable to grab some buyers that may have been tempted to join the ranks of the Ducatisti.

He Said

“These are some funny-looking bikes, but form follows function and the Hypermotard seems to have that in spades. Really, the electronics suite gives this bike features and options that make it suitable for a wide range of activities including just plain riding, and should not be discounted by folks who are looking for a street ride but aren’t necessarily into stunts and racing.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "This kinda brings the hooligan-ness of the old 1100, don’t you think? It’s tall with a very upright seating position, so you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s surprisingly comfortable. No, I don’t mean touring-comfortable, but looking at that seat, I thought it would be worse than it is. It’s a little pricey, but for a purpose-built machine, I don’t consider it out of reach."

Specifications

Model:Hypermotard 939Hypermotard 939 SP
Engine: Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled, magnesium valve covers
Displacement: 937 cc 937 cc
Bore X stroke: 94 x 67.5 mm 94 x 67.5 mm
Compression ratio: 13.1:1 13.1:1
Power: 83.1 kW (113 hp) @ 9000 rpm 83.1 kW (113 hp) @ 9000 rpm
Torque: 97.9 Nm (72.2 lb-ft) @ 7500 rpm 97.9 Nm (72.2 lb-ft) @ 7500 rpm
Fuel injection : Magneti Marelli electronic fuel injection system. Throttle bodies with full Ride by Wire system Magneti Marelli electronic fuel injection system. Throttle bodies with full Ride by Wire system
Exhaust: Single stainleess steel muffler with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Single stainleess steel muffler with catalytic converter and two lambda probes.
Gearbox: 6 speed 6 speed
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1 Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43 Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43
Clutch: Wet multiplate clutch mechanically operated, self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run Wet multiplate clutch mechanically operated, self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame Tubular steel Trellis frame
Front suspension: 43mm usd forks Öhlins fully adjustable 50mm usd forks
Front wheel : 10-spoke in light alloy 3.50" x 17" 3-spoke forged light alloy 3.50" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP, 120/70 ZR17
Rear suspension: Progressive linkage with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Rear wheel: 10-spoke in light alloy 5.50" x 17" 3-spoke forged light alloy 5.50" x 17"
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, 180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP, 180/55 ZR17
Wheel travel (front/rear): 170 mm (6.7 in) - 150 mm (5.9 in) 185 mm (7.3 in) - 175 mm (6.9 in)
Front brake: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc callipers, 4-piston 2-pad, axial pump with adjustable lever, with Bosch ABS as standard 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc callipers, 4-piston 2-pad, radial pump with adjustable lever, with Bosch ABS as standard
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper, with Bosch ABS as standard 245 mm disc, 2-piston calliper, with Bosch ABS as standard
Instrumentation: LCD display with Dot Matrix area LCD display with Dot Matrix area
Dimensions and weights:
Dry weight: 181 kg (399 lb) 178 kg (392 lb)
Kerb weight : 204 kg (450 lb) 201 kg (443 lb)
Seat height: 870 mm (34.2 in) 890 mm (35.0 in)
Wheelbase: 1,493 mm (58.8 in) 1,498 mm (59 in)
Rake: 25.5° 25,5°
Front wheel trail: 104 mm (4.1 in) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Fuel tank capacity: 16 l - 4.2 gallon (US) 16 l - 4.2 gallon (US)
Number of seats: Dual seat Dual seat
Standard equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW. Ready for anti-theft system, heated grips, sat-nav. Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW. Marchesini forged rims, tapered aluminium handlebars, carbon fibre components: front mudguard, cam belt covers. Ready for anti-theft system, heated grips, sat-nav
Warranty (months): 24 months unlimited mileage 24 months unlimited mileage
Emissions: Standard Euro 4, Emission CO2 = 123 g/km,Consumptions 5.2 l/100 km Standard Euro 4, Emission CO2 = 123 g/km, Consumptions 5.2 l/100 km

References

2017 - 2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900
- image 729423

See our review of the Aprilia Dorsorduro 900.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, apriliausa.com

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