2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP: an extraordinary sports bike

19 June 2019

Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP 2019 - Ducati Montreal Anjou

For 2019, the Ducati Hypermotard, the unbridled Monster designed for the superbike enthusiast, boasts a range of electronic driving assist systems and longer suspension travel engineered by the geniuses at Öhlins. It also loses a little weight (1 kilo) and pushes the “hypermotard” concept to new heights. Although KTM has abandoned the 990 SMR project, the Italians still believe in it by introducing this big revamped and improved SM.

While the range of products in this segment keeps shrinking year after year, only the Aprilia 900 Dorsoduro remains on the sidelines. I say sidelines, because there’s not much that the Aprilia can do to keep up with the Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP. Of course, it’s much cheaper, but equipped with uncertain performance standards in terms of the cycle aspect (frame, suspension and brakes), which cannot compete with the high-performance Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP.

SM style and ergonomics

While the price of the Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP might make more than a few people notice, once in the presence of the machine and acquainted with the technical data sheet, most riders will be won over again. In this standardized and overprotected world like ours, owning and operating a machine as casual and exhilarating as this Hypermotard is good for anyone who doesn’t like to follow the pack.

Already an eye-catcher from the initial design stages, this bike matures as it ages: LED headlights with vertical DRL strips, nicely sculpted seat, short dual exhaust mounted under the rear mudguard, exhaust pipes that meet above the clutch cover in the 916 style, forged aluminum wheels, Brembo M4 calipers and top-of-the-line suspension. Of course, there is still some unsightly piping, the inclination of the superbike philosophy that tends to minimize frame components.   

Ergonomics is refined in the direction of the SM concept, so that the rider has better control over the front end. This is the result of more open handlebars and a thinner rear sub-frame, where the tank and saddle meet. The seat also trims 5 centimeters in width. The result: the rider is more connected to his bike, and it will also be easier to place their feet on the ground when stopped, despite a saddle height of 890 mm. Comfort? A word to the wise, this thought was not included in the design specifications of the engineers in charge of the project. Of course, the Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP is not just an exercise in style, but a machine that follows the rules of the sport. With a forward riding position, knees resting on the frame, seated on a thinly padded seat and no fairing, if it’s comfort you’re seeking, you’ll be better off choosing the Multistrada instead.

Sportier and more incisive

The mechanics that lend more character retain the same displacement as the outgoing model stamped number 939. However, a complete redesign made it possible to squeeze out 4 additional horses and reduce the weight by 1.5 kilograms. Like any good Testastretta, this 937 cc version spits out 80% of its torque at 3000 rpm, climbing to a total of 70.8 lb-ft of torque at 7200 rpm. As for power, the DOHC engine and reciprocating desmodromic valve system produce 114 horsepower at 9000 rpm. Standard on the Ducati Hypermotard is a Bosch multi-axis inertial power unit, ABS Evo with angle control sensor, traction and rear wheel drift control, wheelie control system and 3 mapping modes. This state-of-the-art electronics package provides a new level of technical uniformity within the Ducati range.

The new 2019 Hypermotard 950 SP revisits the big superbike frame concept in a graceful way, thanks to a philosophy and equipment that is downright sporty. The engineers believe that it is more agile and incisive to please the rebel in you.

By Pascal Bastien