Ducati goes into hyperspace

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Ducati is rolling out a shiny new line of Italian stallions, of the Hypermotard variety, in advance of the upcoming EICMA motorcycle gala in Milan. This generation of the stylish street fighter is a little more polished, a little more grown-up and a little more genteel.

The new addition to the family of Hypermotard and Hypermotard SP is the Hyperstrada, being described by the manufacturer as a “stylish and accessible mid-range tourer with everyday practicality.” What that means? It’s half Hypermotard, and half Multistrada -- a mellowed-out version of the former mixed with a souped-up version of the latter.

The new machine, and its returning siblings, features a freshly conceived 110hp 821cc Testastretta 11 Degrees engine slung into a new Trellis frame. All three coming with a three-setting “riding mode” selection, and ABS braking and traction control.


Photos: Ducati 2013 lineup: Hypermotard gone wild

Tellingly, all three come with a “touring” windscreen, standard on the Hyperstrada, optional on the other two. The Hyperstrada also comes with side bags.

That’s the model to watch. Ducati, which sells far more of its Monsters than any other model, is very eager to penetrate further into the deluxe adventure market so dominated by BMW and KTM. (So is Aprilia. Watch for their new Caponard coming soon, too.) So the designers of these elegant and innovative Italian race machines are buffing out some of their race track angles and softening them up for weekend riders who want a little more comfort.

Ducati is also unveiling a new addition to its sport-cruiser Diavel line. This one’s got some Italian “street” in it too, and is called Diavel Strada. It joins the Diavel Carbon and Diavel Chrome -- which I rode last weekend and enjoyed tremendously.

Also out from under wraps this week is the company’s last word in road and track -- a Panigale R, set up for racing, with a race kit that makes this Ducati sleeker, lighter, more powerful and faster, really, than anyone could possibly want.



Video: 2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796

Video: 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale

Video: Ducati Diavel is Devilish Fun