Riding The Water Buffalo
My romance with motorcycles borders on obsession. The first time I eased out on a clutch lever I was hooked forever. Thirty five years, countless motorcycles, and one award winning dealership later, I still love to throw my leg over almost anything with two wheels.
In my riding career I have had the opportunity to own and experience more motorcycles than I can keep track of. In some ways, like a junkie, I always chase the motorcycle high. So imagine my surprise when I find myself more enamored of my current bike than any other ever. How the heck is this possible?
The Ducati Hypermotard is a fabulous bike. The riding position is high and commanding. The bike handles like a razor blade and requires very little steering input. The brakes are strong Brembo units and the beefy suspension soaks up the bumps at low speeds and keeps you on track at high ones. The 17” front and rear wheels give you sport bike agility and cornering. The bike is simply one of the best packages ever assembled by Ducati.
A dream come true
I believe everyone should try this bike. The Ducati Hypermotard will make you a better rider. You can see in traffic, easily looking over and around cars. The bikes performance envelope is so vast that you can operate the machine with huge amounts of reserve capability.
The 1100 c.c. motor is divine. Not super powerful, but easy to use and darn quick if you ask it to be. Add one of the requisite Ducati performance exhaust options and the bike sounds like it should, a Ducati twin. In my very biased opinion, a sound better than any other motorcycle engine, period.
A few seasons ago we had a Hypermotard S demo unit. I rode it every day that I could and basically forgot about the rest of the fleet here. Then, at the Ducati dealer meeting in California, I had the distinct pleasure of riding through the cork screw at Laguna Seca on a Hypermotard S equipped with, among other things, the full Titanium Ducati Performance exhaust system. Wow. It was literally a dream come true; simply an awesome experience.
A kind of longing
We sold our Hypermotard S demo and I quickly found myself longing for the bike. So, a couple of days later I ordered myself a new Hypermotard. That bike became a great and trusted friend. It received a set of Termignoni slip ons, an ECU, and a new air filter from the Ducati performance catalog. Plus, I added the carbon rear hugger, Speedy moto open clutch cover, high performance spring kit and pressure plate. The bike sounded and looked awesome.
It wasn’t long before that bike was sold to another happy customer. So, I ordered up another one, a red S model with the exact same setup. I ran that bike through the season and removed the accessories when it found a new home. In 2010 I set up a white Hypermotard with a red frame, my son chose the color scheme one day at the shop. He was tired of always seeing me on red bikes and thought the white looked awesome. I am now into my second year on that bike, and I absolutely love it.
When I have to travel I always try to go by bike. On weekends, I send the family ahead in the station wagon, work most of the day Saturday, and then meet up with them later on the bike. To accommodate my luggage I ordered up Ducati’s tank cover, tank bag kit, and the optional front side panniers.
Equipped with this super-stylish luggage set, I dubbed my beloved Hyper “the water buffalo.” The bags become part of the “fairing” and while cruising at 90 mph the bike is truly comfortable, the tank bag blocking and rerouting most of the wind blast. The capacity of the bags is more than enough for a long weekend away and that includes carrying a substantial rain suit. I do advise leaving the XD style dirt bike helmet at home for highway or high speed travel. It is fabulous for around town on the Hyper, but a bit hard on the neck at speed.
Fond memories of dirt
Speaking of dirt bikes, if you have ever ridden them in the past or love them to this day, jumping on the Hypermotard is like putting on a broken-in pair of boots or gloves. It just feels so right once you are in the saddle. Plus, the big flat saddle allows you to move into the perfect position for your individual comfort and riding style. The Hypermotard has one of the best passenger seats and passenger seating positions in the Ducati line up. I know a very discriminating and experienced passenger and she gives the Hypermotard very high marks.
Now, I know that those of you with a passion for American Twins or Teutonic tanks will be biased against this bike. You probably won’t like the tall stature, lack of a full fairing, nimble handling, and smaller fuel capacity. That is okay, because this bike was not created for you. But this bike was created for everyone with a motorcyclist’s soul. This bike was created for people who enjoy FUN, who use their heads and their hearts when riding. This bike was created for people passionate about the actual act of riding a motorcycle.
Ducati’s get under your skin and create a motorcycle lust unlike any other bike. I know this to be true, I have the affliction. The Hypermotard inspires excitement unlike any other bike that I know. Am I excited about the Hypermotard? Yes, and I know I’m kind of off the charts about the whole thing. With all of my deep involvement in motorcycling, the Hypermotard has truly made me even happier to love bikes and love Ducati. The Hypermotard truly rocks!
Come test ride a Hypermotard at Great Bay Motorcycles. We would love to blow your mind too!