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Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE: First Ride Review

02 June 2022, 05:24 PM Neil Nair


Ducati Hypermotard 950 Right Front Three Quarter

Why to buy it?

- Raw and unapologetic performance 

- Comfortable ergonomics

- Eye-catching looks

Why to avoid it? 

- Is expensive

- Lacks everyday usability 

What do you do with a platform that already has an adventure tourer, a sports tourer, and a city-friendly naked? Well, you come up with something out-worldly, uncalled for and with a singular purpose - to deliver raw, trouser-soiling amusement with each twist of the wrist. 

It’s precisely that thought with which the Ducati Hypermotard came into existence in 2008. The 2021 Hypermotard 950 we have here, though, has four more horses, has shed weight and is focused on being more practical than its predecessors. 

But why should you shell out the Rs 3 lakh premium it demands over the Monster, which is already being marketed as ‘Just Fun’? What more does the Hypermotard have to offer? Aiming to answer these questions, we hooned around on the Hypermotard 950 for a couple of days, and here is what we came back with… 

The Visuals


Ducati Hypermotard 950 Left Side View

A glance at the Hypermotard wouldn’t be enough. You’d want to stop and stare at the pleasant oddity in front of you. The Hypermotard is unlike anything you’d see on the road, and its niche customer base makes it an even rarer sight. It is meant to look like a mix between an MX motorcycle and a street bike- with a tall stance, minimal bodywork, and frame that is almost completely exposed in true supermoto style. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Front View

As tempted as I am to make an Angry Birds reference, the front end does bear a striking resemblance with an aggressive-looking headlamp and LED DRL, a short ‘beak’ that doubles up as a fender and knuckle guards with turn indicators fitted in them. And since this one is the limited RVE edition, it comes in red and black paint adorned in white graffiti-style graphics splashed across its fuel tank. It also gets red and black painted alloys that are a cherry on the special edition’s loud, look-at-me colour scheme. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950

Ducati Hypermotard 950

  • Displacement937 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)112.4 bhp
  • Kerb Weight200 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 14,75,000

Ducati Hypermotard 950 exhausts

Although, at the rear is where the party is at. The Hypermotard sports two, Coke-sized exhaust canisters under the seat that hint at it being a big bike, even though it might not look it. Overall, the Ducati Hypermotard 950 looks slick, and its build quality is top-notch too. Everything on the motorcycle feels sturdy and well put together. While a closer look did reveal minor panel gaps, it was nothing to loathe about. What concerned me more was the exposed underside that could surely make do with some protection. 

The Package

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Left Side View

Its styling might be minimal, but Ducati has equipped the Hypermotard 950 with everything you’d need. Well, almost. It gets LED lighting for the tail lamp, LED turn signals and an LED DRL. While it missed out on LED for the headlamp and makes do with conventional lighting there, the throw and spread from the unit are decent. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 TFT / Instrument Cluster

You also get a 4.3-inch Panigale-inspired TFT screen that can be operated via an up/down toggle on the switchgear, displaying a ton of information. So the last thing you’d expect it to miss out on is a fuel gauge. Yep, you read that right. While there is a low-fuel indicator, setting the trip each time you fuel up could have been an easily avoidable task. And the argument that a supermoto not having a fuel gauge is okay isn’t valid either. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 TFT / Instrument Cluster

That said, Ducati hasn’t held back while loading the Hypermotard 950 with various electronic rider aids. You get a traction control system, wheelie control, engine brake control, cornering ABS and three riding modes- Urban, Touring and Sport. And for a more personalised experience, you can tweak all of the electronic rider aids to your heart’s content or turn them off completely (except ABS). 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 TFT / Instrument Cluster

Even the up and down quickshifter it comes with can be switched off. And for added convenience, the Hypermotard gets removable pillion footpegs and a USB power socket. 

The Ride

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Left Front Three Quarter

As you walk toward the Hypermotard, you’d realise that it is not only compact but tall too. The brochure reads a seat height of 870mm, but that number seems daunting only until you swing a leg across the flat, MX-style seat that tapers onto the tank. Then, the Hypermotard feels welcoming. The newly revised frame brings a 53mm narrower seat, enabling shorter individuals to have at least one foot on the ground comfortably. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Bike Seat

Adding to that, the handlebar is wide, and the pegs are placed slightly rearward, making for a very upright and commanding riding posture. And since there isn’t much going on at the front, the cockpit view is open and free. As for the seat, it might look deceptively wooden and cramped but offers comfy cushioning and space to move around as well. So, on the whole, Ducati has nailed the ergonomics on this one. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Right Rear Three Quarter

Now, the Hypermotard’s electronics might seem like a party, but the 937cc, V-twin lurking between the trellis frame as a stressed member, is a complete firecracker. It is the same unit as the one on the Monster and Multistrada V2, but unlike these, the Hypermotard doesn’t sound muted. As you thumb down the starter, it wakes up angrily with burbles and crackles, warning you about what’s to unfold. 

And it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest on the move. Even a seemingly light whip of the throttle will have the tiny orange light blink furiously, with the front wheel already afloat in the air. While the peak torque hits at 7,250rpm, you have access to 80 per cent of the engine’s chunky 96Nm from as low as 3000rpm, with the same eagerness up to 9500rpm.

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Left Side View

As you accelerate hard and rip through the gears with the seamless two-way quick shifter, the Hypermotard bares its teeth. It feels like an absolute maniac as it tries to fight the leash of the wheelie and traction control system, wanting its front wheel in the air and the rear in a slide, almost simultaneously. 

The throttle feels snappy in the stock setting, too, which can be quite a handful in the city. But the infinitely customizable electronics package gives you the ability to create the perfect throttle response and ride experience. As a cure to the snappiness, switching the traction control to the max in the Rain setting quietens down the Hypermotard’s throttle response a bit, making it slightly more useable. The Hypermotard’s engine is also surprisingly refined for a Ducati L-twin, with only a slight buzz at the edge of the seat as it nears its redline.

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Right Side View

Navigating through slow-speed traffic is easy, too, since its handling is nearly picture-perfect. The motorcycle offers a short turning radius and feels decently flickable despite its 200kg kerb weight. Although being a supermoto, I expected it to be more intuitive. The SP variant kitted with the fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension probably is, but the standard Hypermotard needs a little bit of coaxing while switching sides. Speaking of suspension, the setup on the motorcycle is delightfully pliant. It gobbles up everything you throw at it- road joints, potholes, bumps or undulations- and the Hypermotard remains unfazed.

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Right Rear Three Quarter

While things look bright for the Hypermotard in the city, it is only half as good out on the highway. The upright and tall-riding stance and lack of a windscreen will have you fighting windblasts from 110kmph itself. The flat seat only makes the chances of hanging on to the bike as speeds increase slimmer. Well, Ducati does have a solution in its accessory list in the form of a medium-sized windscreen that’ll cost you a jaw-dropping Rs 21,500. 

Should you buy it?

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Right Side View

There is no denying that the Ducati Hypermotard 950 is one of a kind. And it makes no false claims other than being a mechanised dose of adrenaline with a character that would only want you to keep pushing; if you have the right skill to tame it, that is. Because the Hypermotard 950 isn’t something we’d recommend for a new rider, even though it offers an array of electronic bungee cords. It demands respect and focuses on fully exploiting what it brings to the table with its performance. 

However, the motorcycle is somewhat of a mixed bag. It has impressive handling and riding ergonomics and an unexpected fuel efficiency range of 16-17kmpl. However, the explosive manner in which it puts down its power and the immense heat it generates makes it a task riding it in India’s traffic conditions. Having said that, the lack of wind protection makes it a fairly useless long-distance touring bike too. 

Ducati Hypermotard 950 Left Rear Three Quarter

This brings me to the question: Why pay Rs 15.63 lakh when you can get the Monster for Rs 2.4 lakh lesser? Well, because the Hypermotard is one of those bikes that serve no real purpose than have you laughing your butt off each time you ride it and deliver on that promise a hundred per cent. It might be chaotic, it mostly is. But, in a world filled with electronically numbed down motorcycles, a seasoned rider who wouldn't mind the price tag could use something raw and unapologetic like the Hypermotard 950.

Photography by Kapil Angane