Hypermotard 950 / 950 SP

The hype is real!

Ducati announced the all new Hypermotard 950 and 950 SP at the EICMA in Milano in November 2018. Now, about 3 months later I was able to testride these bikes at the International Press Launch in Gran Canaria (29.01. – 31.01.2019):

  • 130km on beautiful roads around Gran Canaria with the 950
  • 3x 15min on the Circuito de Maspalomas with the 950 SP

950 vs 950 SP

As I have never ridden the older model of the Hypermotard nor any similar bike before, I will therefore only compare the two 2019 Hypermotard 950 models.

950 and 950 SP – what’s the difference? Well, besides some optical things like the livery and some carbon parts on the 950 SP there are quite a few other nice add-ons on the 950 SP:

  • Öhlins fully adjustable fork
  • Öhlins rear mono block
  • Marchesini aluminium forged wheels
  • Ducati Quick Shift Up/Down
  • Weight: -2 kg (SP: 198 kg)
  • 3° more lean angle as a result of the lifted seat height by 20 mm (total of 47° lean angle / Seat height 950: 870 mm, 950 SP: 890 mm)

Let’s talk engine

The refined 937 ccm engine delivers 114 hp and 96 Nm while more than 82% of torque is already available at around 3’000 rpms.

Having a look into electronics

Both models come with the same electronics kit:

  • ABS Cornering Bosch with Ducati Slide by brake (adjustable in 3 steps)
  • Ducati Traction Control EVO (adjustable in 8 steps)
  • Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (adjustable in 8 steps)

Three riding modes are available:

  • Sport (Full power, DTC 3, DWC 3, ABS 2)
  • Touring (Full power, DTC 4, DWC 5, ABS 3)
  • Urban (75 hp, DTC 6, DWC 6, ABS 3)

My impression

I was super excited to ride the new Hypermotard as I’ve never been on such a bike before. When I was in the plane from Zurich to Las Palmas I asked myself what could I expect from these bikes. As the flight lastet more than 4 hours I had enough time to attune myself for the new Hypermotard and so I came up with the following expectations:
I expected the bikes to be nimble, very easy to handle, fun and last but not least to sound good!

Wednesday, 30.01.2019 – Testday – Circuito des Maspalomas

After the official morning briefing our group started the day with the standard Hypermotard 950 on a beautiful 130km trip going inland starting at the Circuito des Maspalomas. Right away the bike and I got along really well and I was able to fully enjoy the twisty roads and the stunning scenery on the second most populous Islands of the Canary Islands. During the ride I switched back and forth between the three riding modes. I figured the touring mode would suit best for my riding style and the tour route. In my opinion the throttle response in the sport mode was just a bit to sharp. Also as far as I am concerned the change of the riding mode was quite arduous compared to my GSX-R. But for everyday riding this won’t be an issue as usually you don’t change the riding mode as much as I did when Testing it. Or do you?
The suspension on the standard Hypermotard model offered smooth running and turning of the bike, no matter if in slow or fast corners. The brakes did a great job too as you would expect from these Brembo-components. To conclude my experience with the Ducati Hypermotard 950: I had a lot of fun with that bike and was very curious what the 950 SP could do even better?! Also I pictured that this bike would be amazing to ride in the Swiss alps where you got tons of hairpins and other astonishing curves.

Later that day: It’s 2:30pm – time to start the SP-engines and go for some laps around the Circuito las Maspalomas! Standing there and hearing the Hypermotard 950 SP with the Termignoni racing exhaust already gave me goose bumps. I was so excited to finally ride on a race track again. It has been a few months since my last trackday and I was even more thrilled because of the superb performance of the standard Hypermotard in the morning. They modified the track layout so that it got even more twisting – for our pleasure. In the first of the three 15min session I focused on learning the track and getting to know the bike. The first thing I greatly appreciated was the quickshifter and blipper. Downshifting became so effortless and also upshifting combined with the racing exhaust was just pure pleasure. The Öhlins suspension did a brilliant job and was properly adjusted as far I can tell. Further I hoped to notice a difference between the wheels on the standard model and the Marchesini forged wheels on the SP. Honestly I must admit that I didn’t quite feel the difference I was hoping for. Doubtless it would have been easier if we were able to ride the two bikes on the track. Unfortunately this wasn’t planned for the press launch. Either way I was delighted with the performance of the new Hypermotard 950 SP. I used the time between the turns to adjust the riding modes even more. On the track I only rode in the sport mode but I changed a few things in the engine settings to improve the throttle response for my needs.

950 or 950 SP?

If money isn’t an issue then I would say go for the SP. Also if you plan to do a lot of trackdays I highly recommend the 950 SP. The Öhlins suspension and the Marchesini wheels for example are superb add-ons.

On the other hand if you intend to ride the bike on the street for most of the time, the standard model might be the one you should get. Additionally I suggest to upgrade to the Ducati Quick Shift Up/Down as it is available as an option.

No matter if slow or fast corners, the Hypermotard always does a fantastic job when it comes to agility and corner stability. This is also why this bike is the perfect Hoonigan-bike! So, when and where are you going to hoon‘ around? 

Watch my RAW Onboard video on YouTube:
ONTOURAPTIK | Hypermotard 950 SP (RAW Onboard)

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