Author Topic: Hypermotard & 1098 Test Rides - Initial Impressions  (Read 1704 times)

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Offline Brett

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Re: Hypermotard & 1098 Test Rides - Initial Impressions
« Reply #2 on: 11 Sep 2007, 04:12 PM »
G'day Vince,

I got to ride the 1098 at Fraser Newcastle's Ride Day, and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

I live not far from there, and as you may recall the weather was a little iffy on the day, but I rode down for a look.  Watching the the entire Ducati model range leave as a single fleet for laps of the hills around western Newcastle, even on a largely overcast day / drizzly day, is the stuff that insurance underwriters can only dream about.  The first wake up for me was watching the fleet return from the previous ride, so that I could take my place on the next round.  One of the Hypermotard pilots ( yep, there were two ) for reasons best known to himself, decided to give it fistfull between the shop next door and Fraser's driveway.  It sounded great and would have looked pretty cool too, if the rest of the fleet hadn't been parked in the left lane trying to turn into the driveway.  He somehow managed to lock the rear up, and with more arse than class missed the SportClassic range in front.

The Fraser guys were great.  They quickly turned the fleet around and had them ready for the next run.  My number was called for the 1098 and I was in lust.  Great fit and I actually feel like I'm sitting lower on it than my SS, as well as the fact that there's not as much weight on my hands when they're on the bars ( if that makes sense ).  I hit the go button, and filed out last, with the rest of the troops now disappearing around the corner. 

Superbike riders are probably used to this, but it was an experience as a SuperSport rider, to be without exaggeration, effortlessly lofting the frontwheel slightly on every gear change under acceleration.  That was the start of anxiety, because I was actually having trouble not doing it.  When I got to the corner and a guy on a Monster decided to lock up for a pedestrian crossing with no one on it.  That was when the chest pain began.  As we headed down towards Garden City, and I could see the various brake lights come on at different and inappropriate times, I realised that if my inexperience with a new motorcycle didn't hurt me, someone else's could probably do it.

The bike itself was great, although I did have a question that was not answered on the day, and that was why it kept stalling on throttle roll offs, when you down shift to a set of lights etc ?  The mirrors were / are useless, as you pointed out, and the brakes were / are what I'd describe as savage for the novice ( me ), but probably just right for slowing from 250K+.

The fun didn't end there though.  It started raining on the way back.  And not just a couple of drops, more like the stuff Stu organised for Wiseman's Ferry.  So that, combined with a fleet of nervous punters on unfamiliar rides, a potent bike with savage brakes even in the dry, all had me searching for a change of trousers for more reason than one.  But being the focused individual I am, I managed to block that all out at the next set of lights, when I found a big black toggle button on the LHS switch block.  What a great toy that was ?  It changes the dash into a few different modes, all of which are clearly visible, even for the partially sighted ( didn't I mention that ? ) like myself.  I was mesmerised until the sound of tooting cars made me look up to find no one for thirty metres in front of me, and the light ahead changing from orange to red, as the impatient tin tops behind moved their symphony up an octave.  The rain was belting down by this stage.

So what do you do ?  You dawdle at your own pace when you're on a $27K motorcycle built for sin, paddling your way through the rivers on the road. to hopefull y rutrun something that you already signed up to replace if you accidentally binned it  I was in the middle of an experience that I'll not soon forget, regardless of the fear.  And that was it.

For me, the 1098 brings awe, awe brings adrenalin and adrenalin lights me up. I want one in 'S' form, but apparently have to wait until February for the privilege, which probably gives me half the amount of time I need to talk the Minister for Housing and Finance into the purchase.
Mvlti svnt vocati, pavci vero electi

Offline VinceS

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Hypermotard & 1098 Test Rides - Initial Impressions
« Reply #1 on: 28 Aug 2007, 11:46 PM »
Since I have had the delight of test rides on both these fine machines over the last couple of days while the test fleet was in town I figured I should scratch down a couple of thoughts:

http://www.ducati.com/en/bikes/my2007/ModelPage.jhtml?family=Hypermotard&model=HM1100-08
The Hypermotard test ride was Sat 9am, out with the demo fleet pack to Kotara, up to Lookout Rd and back via Blackbutt to Frasers with the road somewhere between greasy and dry on the more trafficked sections. Bit of a nuisance not having sure footing but soon found out the Hyper is very easy to ride quickly and comfortably, or just potter around on as the mood takes you. Often higher bikes like this are somewhat unbalanced and tend to swoop at corners, this one doesn't!

Ducati has maxed out the marketing hyper-speak on this release, and with good cause (apart from simply making sure don't forget to realise that you are now entering the untamed / potent / hungry / thrilling / whatever adverb does it for you! zone). The machine is ridiculously well balanced and easy to throw around, much more so than a Multi. Probably this is due to the 20kg weight saving. Throttle monos in first are easy - it just lifts gently so there isn't that sense the back wheel might go snapping out from under you. Second gear monos needed a quick tap on the clutch and either she lifts briskly in the air or the back wheel spins up, strangely without the slightest bit of a kick (something I had to try 3 times down Blackbutt just to check I hadn't been imagining it / jagged a lucky spot!).

All round the hyper has been very much designed and set up to be an easy bike to ride, and have as much fun as you want without scaring the bejeezus out of yourself. It would be very easy to live with and jump on without much thought (except for checking the fuel range!) for an enjoyable bit of riding whenever you felt like it. A real go anywhere, do anything, pretty much however you want - and do it on the coolest machine around! So I went looking at luggage options (soft top box), checked out some of the slick features (lap counter etc), and had a sticky beak at the S pack kit! Plus Warren Lee put on a bit of a slide show to impress us further with the various bits 'n pieces of this fine moto-sickle.

By the way, Darren Lewis, the new manager of Frasers Newcastle, was also there and Brett, Frances and I got to meet him. Darren is really serious about doing big things with Ducati in Newcastle, it all sounds extremely promising. He is just in the process of getting his family settled in the area etc and then we can expect to see and hear a lot more from this direction.

http://www.ducati.com/en/bikes/my2007/ModelPage.jhtml?family=Superbike&model=SBK1098-07
For the 1098 I found my way back at midday on the beautiful sunny Monday and got to ride solo down to Kotara, Mt Hutton, back of Charlestown and return via Blackbutt - which of course took me on the top section of the bypass twice plus a few decent corners in between (ahem, also twice!). This is one serious motorcycle! (translated, this means it operates at/beyond the limit of the talent envelope!). But it is so well mannered it would soon train it's new pilot, given that an appropriate amount of respect was shown. However it is certainly not to be trifled with - and I set off with tales of those who have already been spurned by this super new red princess ringing in my ears.

If there is an issue riding away on the 1098 it is how well the brakes sp, sorry stop (yes, they are that quick, twice whatever you may have tried before). It takes a bit of concentration to get used to the initial lever travel then a sudden rapid transition zone to strong (yet effortless) deceleration.

But, once that was sufficiently sorted the next question is, so how does she go? Rather well it turns out - no surprises there! I was initially struck with how smooth it is down low, soon discovering it pulls without shudder from 2,500 RPM, it may be lower but I just didn't try! So the tall gearing is not a drama, but there is no kidding yourself, this is not a bike to ride around town! Mostly because it spills a lot of hot air, something that was quickly and strongly brought to my attention by getting every single light red to the other side of Kotara - and most of them at that cherry red orange stage where there was just no jumping through them but lot's of waiting to do.

The mirrors were pretty useless but that was because they were loose. If they were set up to stay still they give a better view of those left behind than you would expect, otherwise they gave a fairly vibration free view of the ground / passing trees. I also found that I wasn't hitting the foot controls properly sometimes so I would want have a closer look at lever lengths / study my technique a bit to see what the issues were.

Finally the road opened up and the traffic melted away and it soon became clear why these bikes are sold out to next February! It fits so well to the body and blends superbly with the soul as it becomes blindingly obvious this is not some high strung race pony, but an extremely competent, supple powerhouse explosion of self that longs to caress you to new places of thrilling desire. Whoops, lookout - those adverbs are thickening up again; my fault this time!

As any test ride jockey will tell you, we just wanna see "what she does" - which is of course a very important part of the business! But it is how she behaves when showing you that matters most - and that is a respectful "very well indeed". She moves off nice 'n quick of course, and laying on the tank is not going to stop the front wheel lofting in first (the throttle grip is used to set the angle of inclination), or second (floats up around mid range then set angle with the grip) or third ( lifts ever so sweetly as she goes through the "extra burst" zone in the last couple of thousand revs, actually more evident while laying on the tank as the wheel becomes suspended just above the road which starts tapping back to let you know you ain't on the deck!). Reportedly the bike lifts in fourth too, I suspect one needs to be upright for that - or maybe have ponied up for a few performance extras in the show room. Anyway, I believe the test road is only rated for 90k's and I must have just about used all of them winding third out before trickling into the higher gears....?

OK, somewhat scary, but nice. Really needs to live on a race track! But what about comfort, this is a test ride after all. Seating position is obviously a bit forward but doesn't seem like it will become a problem with wrist weight, particularly with some larger diameter heated grips fitted to give the finger muscles a bit of a break (5mm extra on diam surprisingly makes a big difference to muscle fatigue I find, Oxford grips are best). The seat is bound to be a problem after a while, but nothing an Air Hawk couldn't completely eliminate as an issue. And I do remember chirping the front wheel somewhere along the line so there is a bit of work to do there

I forgot to check the steering lock range (the hypermotard has heaps), I guess it just didn't seem that important. Funnily enough, I also forgot to check out luggage options on my return as I was still a bit taken by the experience - anyway what's the point, on a machine like this home is never more than 5 minutes away!

So which bike? Easy - a red one please!

How about some of the other test jockies that took advantage of the test fleet coming to town? Please add your own impressions of your ride.......
Vince Sunter  ( I'm ready, how about you? ); Check out these Riding Tips: http://tinyurl.com/4x3fk43 ;   Pillioning Tips: http://tinyurl.com/3r5dbz4

 

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