Tag

supermoto

Browsing

When it comes to attractive motorbikes, we have devoted some critical pixels towards the folks at Zero Motorcycles. Let’s be frank, the design side of the equation hasn’t historically been the brand’s strong suit. The company is making progress, however.

Now, when it comes to custom motorcycles, there has been a quiet resistance to using electric models as starting points for creation, though occasionally we see an electron-powered machine at a bike show that captures our attention.

Today though, we see the happy merger of those two thoughts, with this Zero FX custom supermoto by Huge Design, which debuted this weekend at the The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, Oregon, and was easily our favorite bike at the show. 

It was 12 years ago that Ruben Xaus became internet-famous for a photo that depicted him sliding a Ducati Hypermotard 1100 into a turn, thumb up in the air triumphantly…like a boss. It was an unbelievable sight, both figuratively and literally.

Back in the day, I would often see comments on the photo that speculated what the next shot looked like. Bike tumbling through the gravel, a yard sale of parts? The rider in a stretcher on the way to the hospital, after it all went horribly wrong?

The Ducati Hypermotard 950 is the third generation of this street-sized supermoto, and in its design, Ducati borrowed heavily from the previous iterations.

As you can see, the mechanics of the 950 machine don’t wander far from the 939 that came before it, and the styling is a modern homage to the lines found on the original 1100 model.

As such, consider the 950 like a greatest hits album from the Hypermotard lineup.

Since 2008, there has been a unique motorcycle nestled into Ducati’s lineup, and it is called the Hypermotard.

Too big and heavy to be considered a proper supermoto, too tall to be considered a true sport bike, and too on-road focused to be considered a capable adventure-tourer, the Ducati Hypermotard has resided in its own category, with few direct competitors.

Instead, the Hypermotard gets compared to a large range of motorcycle models, likely because the Italians have positioned this maxi-moto to have attributes from a large cross-section of two-wheeled fun….and having fun is what the Hypermotard is all about.

The Hypermotard is a two-wheeled hooligan machine that was born to wheelie, jump, and slide, and throughout the model’s history, one maxim has remained true: if you are not having fun a Hypermotard, then you are probably doing it wrong.

And now, 2019 sees Ducati bringing a new iteration to the lineup, the Hypermotard 950. A clean-slate machine, virtually every part of the new Hypermotard has been changed from the pervious 939 model, making this the third generation of the Hypermotard line.

That being said though, the ethos of the Hypermotard 950 is an evolution, not a revolution over the outgoing Hypermotard 939. This is because Borgo Panigale has listened to its customer base while designing the Ducati Hypermotard 950, but also wisely kept the bike close to its roots.

The design is a modern riff on the original Terblanche design for the Hypermotard 1100; the package shares many attributes first seen on the 821/939 generation; and the overall fit and feel has been brought inline with the rest of the Ducati lineup.

All-in-all, when it comes to big liquid-cooled supermotos for the road, the Ducati Hypermotard 950 is at the top of the heap. In fact, it might just be the most fun you can have on the street with two wheels. Let me explain.

Hello from from the Canary Islands, where we have the curious reality of being in both Europe and Africa at the exact same time (the islands are politically part of Spain, and thus the European Union, but sit on the African continental shelf).

A winter retreat for Europeans, the archipelago provides a temperate climate for the elderly, and year-round riding for motorcyclists. As such, we are here to shred some tires, and we will be doing that the press launch for the new Ducati Hypermotard 950.

Ducati has for us a two-part program: a street ride and a half-day of riding on the track, which should help us to evaluate both the base model Hypermotard 950, as well as the up-spec Hypermotard 950 SP.

A motorcycle that is near and dear to this author’s heart, as the two previous models ended up in my garage as personal bikes, bought with my hard-earned blogging dollars, we will be especially keen to see if Ducati has retained the unique character of this plus-sized supermoto, while also refining some of its gremlins.

I would hate to work in KTM’s press department back in Austria, mostly because KTM CEO Stefan Pierer seems to be quite difficult to corral – he always seems to be spilling company secrets.

This reality is great for us, however, as there is never a shortage of juicy gossip to report from the “Ready to Race” brand, and this week has been no exception.

We already reported on Pierer’s vocalization about his desires to own the Ducati brand, which certainly caused a stir in the motorcycle industry these past few days.

Now we have more news from Pierer’s interview with Germany’s Speedweek magazine, with the CEO dishing details on the company’s plans in the middleweight categories.

Slovenian house Rotobox is known better for its carbon fiber wheels (if you’ve never seen a pair, they are very, very nice), but now it seems that Rotobox is looking to sell you more than just some round bling.

Starting the Rotobox Moto brand, the company has released its first project: the Splice supermoto.

Based off the Yamaha WR250 and WR450 platforms, Rotobox has cranked things up to 11 for these street-shredding machines, with some help from the good folks at the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART).

The machines aren’t cheap, however. Pricing is set at €29,830 not including VAT.

Make supermotos great again! That should be the election day mantra, and if that was the case, then KTM would be our candidate. It has been a long time since we saw an SMC model in the lineup, but the KTM 690 SMC R is coming back onto the scene for the 2019 model year.

Helping fuel this revival is obviously the fresh that came to the KTM 690 Enduro R, as the SMC variant basically switches out the 21″/18″ wheel combo for a set of 17″ hoops.

One of our favorite machines in the Ducati lineup is about to get a big upgrade for the 2019 model year. As such, say hello to the Ducati Hypermotard 950. We have seen a teasing of photos and details on the new Hypermotard already, and now today at EICMA we finally get to see this new supermoto for the street.

It is evolution, not revolution, for the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950, with the bike getting a modest 4hp increase (now 112hp / 84 kW), thanks to its renewed 937 cm³ Testastretta 11° engine, along with a 6.6 lbs weight reduction. Ducati has also blessed the Hypermotard 950 with more features, which include a large TFT dash and robust electronics suite.

It is by pure happenstance that the featured story at the top of the Asphalt & Rubber homepage is about the new Ducati Hypermotard, which also coincides with today’s story that highlights more info about the 2019 model. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

With that said, more information about the new Ducati Hypermotard has leaked, though it will depend on who you ask what those specifics are when it comes to this new machine. This is because we have conflicting reports from the British site BikeSocial and Italy’s GPone.

Both sites have proven themselves to be reliable in the past, which makes it difficult to decipher their differing opinions on the new power and weight figures of the Ducati Hypermotard. So, let’s dive into what we know, and what we don’t know.

Perhaps the longest tooth in Bologna’s motorcycle lineup, the Ducati Hypermotard 939 is set to get a sizable update for the 2019 model year, spy phots have revealed.

Taking a page from the original Hypermotard 1100 model by Pierre Terblanche, the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard gets a steel trellis subframe, along with an underseat exhaust system with dual cans.

The rest of the Hypermotard looks largely unchanged for the upcoming model year, though we can hope for a substantial electronics package revision.