The Hypermotard 796 features a lower seat height and a smooth and flexible engine to make it the perfect urban assault vehicle. Whether it’s working the daily commute or attacking the open roads, the 796 rides the common ground between manners and madness by mixing Ducati’s unrivalled twin-cylinder power and sportbike heredity with the lightweight and minimalist supermotard concept.
The 796 has a dry weight of just 167kg (368lb), partly achieved by a lightweight engine, but also by continued chassis development that included fork clamps, and radial fork bottoms. An improved frame layout eliminated almost all of the forged elements used on the original Hypermotard. The lightweight is agile and easy to handle, while 17″ wheels are produced in lightweight aluminium to keep the unsprung weight low and handling, braking and acceleration performances high. The 796 uses exactly the same 3.50
front and 5.50 rear rim sizes and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tyres as its 1100EVO big brother.
Suspension duties up front are taken care of by a pair of very capable 43mm Marzocchi forks, while the rear is managed by a Sachs suspension unit featuring adjustable spring pre-load and return damping, allowing adjustments for riding style or load. The rear operates through a similar progressive link to the 1100EVO and uses the signature Hypermotard single-sided swingarm.
Twin 305mm semi-floating discs gripped by radially mounted 4-piston Brembo callipers provide powerful and progressive front-end braking with that all-important rider-friendly ‘feeling’, while the rear is equipped with a 245mm disc and 2-piston calliper, also by Brembo.
The 796 Desmodue power unit promises to deliver an exhilarating ride with the same smooth tractability found in Ducati’s other L-Twin engines. The 66mm stroke crankshaft uses a lightweight 848-type flywheel, to maximise power to an impressive 81hp (59.6kW) @ 8000rpm and torque to 55.7lb-ft (75.5Nm) @ 6250rpm.
To protect power delivery and maintain optimum efficiency, an oil cooler similar to the 1100EVO is used, adding even more family resemblance to its bigger brother. Breathing through an enlarged airbox intake duct and fed through 45mm throttle bodies, the 803cc swept volume is compressed to a ratio of 11:1 before being injected and ignited with Siemens controlled electronics. The 2-1-2 catalytic exhaust system uses an efficient pre-silencer configuration with twin lambda probes providing finer fuel mapping and Euro3 conformity. The system’s lightweight and compact design is achieved by using 1mm thick tubing and terminates in Ducati’s trademark twin under-seat, black exhaust mufflers, stylishly contrasted with great looking aluminium end caps.
2012 Ducati Hypermotard 796 – US MSRP Price: $10,295 USD, UK MSRP Price: £7,395*