French site Moto-Station is reporting, and multiple other sites are confirming, that Ducati is about to debut a Hypermotard 796. Just as the current Hypermotard 1100 borrows on the basic design of the Monster 1100, the 796 will center around the same 696cc, air-cooled, two-valve, motor found in the Monster 696.
We’re not sure where the 796 nomenclature is coming from, as the Hypermotard 796 is supposedly keeping the 696cc displacement from the Monster 696. With the HM 1100 making 90hp and 76lbs•ft of torque, and the Monster 696 making 80hp and 50.6lbs•ft of torque, it seems logical for the Hypermotard 796 to fit in-between those two power ranges if Ducati plans on justifying the 796 badge.
Another possibility is that the 796 will actually feature a 796cc displacement, with the Monster powerplant stroked out for more toque, but we haven’t seen anything to support that hypothesis yet.
Replacing some of the higher class kit on the 1100, the HM 796 will likely feature standard Brembo brakes (the HM 1100 has Brembo monobloc’s), and likely non-adjustable forks, as found on the Monster 696. There is even talk of the bar-end mirrors giving way to a more conventional design, but we find this rumor to be unlikely as the handguard/mirror assembly is an integral part of the Hypermotard design.
Sources seem to disagree on when the bike will be released. Some state early this coming October, while others suggest EICMA, in November. More as we get it.