Motorcyclist Comparo: Sumo Supermoto

Large, Powerful And Not Exactly What They Seem

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Kevin Wing

Forget what the brochures say. These aren't supermoto bikes. Not supermoto as in supermotard, as in the French fusion of roadracing and motocross run on go-kart tracks with some dirt and a jump thrown in to keep things interesting. For the most part, they're crafty exercises in niche marketing. Naked twins dressed up to emulate the sort of thing Benny Carlson and Mark Burkhart back into corners for a living.

With the notable exception of Aprilia's SXV550 (see page 101 for more on that angry little animal), our lightest big-bore twin is nearly 200 pounds heavier than a proper supermoto racebike, and infinitely more civilized. This is a good thing, since something like Mr. Carlson's '07 AMA Supermoto Unlimited Championship-winning 550 has all the warmth and charm of a 12,000-rpm, 78-horsepower Insinkerator. Slideways fantasies notwithstanding, let's just say a real supermoto bike with lights is a bit too focused for 99.44 percent of the street-riding populace.

Meanwhile, our quartet of big twins serves up supermoto for the rest of us. More biased toward city streets and twisty back roads than the average broadband standard, they offer a sit-up alternative to the ubiquitous plastic-wrapped supersport. But BMW's HP2 Megamoto, Buell's XB12STT Super TT, Ducati's Hypermotard 1100 and KTM's 950 Supermoto R use decidedly different trajectories to hit that target. To figure out who comes the closest, we ran all four through a post-modern urban decathlon of surface streets, freeways, diabolically twisty backroads along with some fast bits, then capped it all off with a day at the racetrack. What happened? There's only one way to find out...

4th
Buell XB12STT Super TT

As with just about any Buell built over the past quarter-century, the Super TT diverges from the center of its chosen niche. Building on the basic Ulysses/Lightning Long foundation of a twin-spar frame/fuel tank carrying a 1203cc air/oil-cooled 45-degree V-twin, it's what the factory calls a blend of streetfighter agility and supermoto style. The riding position combines wide, flat, motocross-style bars with a soft, relatively broad seat and the highest footpegs of the group; legroom is tight if you're tall. We're not exactly sure what to call it, though long-legged testers came up with some intriguing definitions after an hour on the freeway. The Milwaukee pushrod twin has a personality all its own as well.

Named after an early iteration of American supermoto racing, the SuperTT trundles through the urban landscape happily enough. At least until traffic congeals and the engine gets hot enough to roast a chicken, loses interest in internal combustion and stalls at maddeningly regular intervals unless you keep the revs up. And limited steering lock enforced by the broad-shouldered frame complicates the simple U-turn-allow plenty of real estate there. The Thunderstorm mill is more like a stiff breeze below 4500 rpm anyway, which means more trips to the shifter than you might expect with 73.4 cubic inches under the hood. At 478 lbs. soaking wet, Buell's Super TT is the heftiest of the foursome, carrying 28 lbs. more than BMW's longer, taller Megamoto. Though it's never really bothersome on the street, that extra mass is more noticeable than you might expect, given the most extreme steering geometry and compact chassis dimensions of the bunch.

Put some fast, sweeping corners ahead of it and the 'TT is capable of surprising velocity if you play by its rules. No pointing your boot at the apex. Cornering is knee-down, roadrace-style. Hard braking pitches everything forward, overwhelming soft fork springs, so don't. Nothing but smooth control inputs here, people, plus plenty of cornering speed, rpm and did we mention smoothness? That compact aluminum chassis is stiff where it needs to be, but the bike feels top-heavy despite what the brochure copy says. Assisted by competent (if somewhat flaccid) Showa suspension bits at either end, the Buell rails through corners with the sort of bolted-down feel that inspired even the card-carrying supermoto racers in our midst. Acceleration is somewhat less inspiring, especially when it's compressed into a relatively narrow band between 5000 and 6750 rpm. With an abundance of flywheel mass and some big gaps between cogs in the notchy five-speed gearbox, painstaking smoothness is the only way to go fast. That's considerably easier at the track where corners are the same every lap than on less predictable public pavement.

Pirelli Scorpion Sync radials do an excellent job of holding on to any sort of road. Clean, dirty, wet or dry, it really doesn't matter. And they generate a good deal more grip at the track than that omni-surface tread pattern might suggest. Brakes turned out to be the biggest impediment to speed on our bike. Grabby and short on feel from the beginning, the heat of a half-day at Willow Springs' Horse Thief Mile turned the 375mm inside-out front disc a lovely shade of blue. It also incinerated whatever feel remained from our street testing, making it difficult to slow things down from speed without locking the front wheel and pulling in for fresh Jockey shorts. Fresh pads and fluid helped, but we really expected the Zero Torsional Load disc to deal with the heat better than it did.

Total all the columns and the Super TT ends up being more Buell and considerably less supermoto than its peers. If you're after a sporting big-bore twin that doesn't care how they do it in Munich or Bologna-or anywhere else, for that matter-this is it. But for those who prefer a bit more bandwidth in a pseudo-moto twin, this one comes up a bit short.





Off The Record
J. "Stuntah" Neric

It's surprising to me that supermoto bikes don't sell well in the U.S., because they're so much fun to ride. My friends always ask me, "Which bike would you buy with your own money?" That's not easy to say. I'd have a hard time deciding between the Ducati and the KTM-they're as dear as the BMW's asking price. But I enjoyed the Buell best. It's easy to ride and quick getting through tight spots in traffic. I do wonder, however, why I'm the only one who liked it best. Maybe it has something to do with how slowly I ride. No matter, I like the ole 'TT. It's not as sexy as the Ducati or as ballsy as the KTM, but it's not bad for a hair over 10 grand.

Age: 33
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 245 lbs
Inseam: 30 in.

3rd
Ducati Hypermotard 1100

Pierre Terblanche had an idea that begat a swoopy little concept for Ducati's display at the '05 Milan Show, which begat sufficient buzz to ink production plans in '06 and stacks of deposits before the bikes materialized in dealer showrooms in '07. As it turns out, spinning the Captain Sensible Multistrada into a post-modern supermoto was a good one. And if the stylized supermotard lines don't convince you, one ride will.

Finally, a Ducati that looks and acts like one in the city. Cut short like a sawed-off Benelli shotgun, the 'Motard carries you close to its tapered-aluminum handlebar and Desmosedici-derived dash. The result is like a tight pair of Diesel jeans: A lot of cool makes up for a little discomfort. Mirrors integrated into stylized bark busters-SUV mirror busters where we live-deliver a fine rear view, but make an otherwise stiletto-thin motorcycle way too wide for L.A. traffic. Style, you see, enforces certain concessions.

The 3.3-gallon fuel tank-smallest of the bunch-feels nice and skinny between your knees. It also runs dry every 110 miles or so, which makes ferreting out arcane curves any distance from outposts of civilization such as the gas station a bit dicey. On the plus side, tall gearing factors vibration out of the equation all the way up to an indicated 80 mph, and the seat is comfortable enough to let most of us sit through 100 freeway miles.

Power comes from an air-cooled, 90-degree idea that has been evolving since Dr. T decided to spin Desmodue cams with Uniroyal Powergrip belts nearly three decades ago. Though it inhales though a smaller, more restrictive airbox than the Multistrada, paring rear-wheel output to 78 bhp at 7600 rpm, the 1078cc dual-plug twin dispenses every pony in the sort of strict, linear fashion that delivers a steady stream of thrust. Euro 3-compliant emissions make for an overly abrupt off-idle transition that gets worse when heated rush-hour traffic pushes the oil temp to 230 degrees. New friction material and lighter springs make the dry clutch easier to deal with, but it still squeals and grabs after 20-30 minutes of urban stop-and-go. We'd gladly shelve our "Loud clutches save lives" T-shirts for the Multistrada 1100's better-behaved wet clutch.

Though it comes up short against the stronger Germanic twins, the 440-lb. Ducati is lighter and lower than either one, and that exemplary chassis keeps things close in the twisty bits with more momentum and cornering speed. With most of that weight biased toward a front wheel that feels like it's right under your chin, the 'Motard lets you use cornering trajectories that bigger bikes can't. That wide bar provides enough leverage to transition from dead vertical to peg-down lean angles in a heartbeat, but watch it: The brake pedal and/or shift lever are next, which means it's time to ease up before the Bridgestone radials lose interest. The front BT014's relatively blunt profile makes steering slightly slower and less accurate than it could be. And we'd swap the stock brake pads for something with more bite. Either that or swallow hard and part with $14,495 for the up-market S-model, complete with stronger Brembo Monobloc front calipers, lighter forged Marchesini wheels, stickier Pirelli radials, nifty ride-height adjuster and strategically placed flashes of carbon fiber that help shave 7 lbs. and justify that stiffer bottom line.

If you can live without the racy bits and flashy designer labels, the standard model is anything but for $11,995. If your devotion to Adriano, Marcello and Bruno is expressed by a Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati 1926 tattoo where only certain medical professionals will ever see it, slip into stickier rubber and more aggressive brake pads-and maybe some suspension work if you're feeling flush-and you've got an exceedingly capable, visually stunning, fairly practical Italian in the garage. For the more open minded in the audience, BMW and KTM have some persuasive alternatives you might want to look at.

Off The Record
Brent "Beavis" Avis

These bikes couldn't be more different, yet none of them could be classified as anything else. The BMW and Buell are effectively throwaways, even though I had my moments of passion on both. The HP2 is too pricey and hard-core for me while the XB12STT is too large for my garbage can. Meanwhile, KTM's more comfortable, all-around capable 990 Adventure slays twisty roads as well as the 950 SMR. That leaves the Ducati, which I'd take if only because it says what it is on its fuel tank. It's pretty, it works as well as anything else here and for just a few bucks can be made into an absolute hooner of whatever I think a supermoto should be.

Age: 31
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Inseam: 34 in.

2nd
BMW HP2 Megamoto

Megamoto? Like the bad-tempered lummox that trashes Tokyo and then has a go at Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Megalon, BMW's most unlikely sportbike is a little intimidating at first. But don't be afraid: Unlike the 44,000-ton napalm-spitting guardian of Seatopia, Megamoto's considerable powers are used only for good. Still, for anyone who was shocked by BMW's original HP2 Enduro, the best way to approach $20,520 is confidently, and downwind.

There's about 40 percent less suspension travel at either end, with a conventional hlins shock in place of the strange Enduro's weird-Alice Continental air spring. For those tall enough to straddle a seat 35 inches above pavement-about an inch lower than the Enduro version-the Mega feels like a gigantic mutant dirtbike: wide bars, firm, skinny seat and sawtooth steel footpegs. Most of what happens from there is-shall we say?-un-expected. The 1170cc boxer-twin gains 8 bhp in the translation to pavement duty, mostly from the addition of a dual-chamber Akrapovic muffler and bumping compression to 12.0:1. The 104-bhp result flattens everything else here in a straight line, pushing the 450-lb. aberration through the quarter-mile in 11.26 seconds at 122.6 mph.

The mega-boxer is more impressive pottering around town. Throttle response is essentially flawless, and so is the six-speed gearbox. But with upward of 70 lb.-ft. of torque online from 3500 rpm, shifting is mostly optional. Wide bars and a low center of mass make the BMW more agile than its monstrous dimensions might suggest. Suspension is decidedly taut right out of the box; dialing down stock compression-damping settings-especially up front-serves up a more compliant ride on rough pavement. But if plush is what you seek, buy an R1200RT. The Megamoto, in case you haven't guessed already, is a decidedly less practical beast.

Hung out in the wind on a broad, flat handlebar, relatively short gearing factors in enough buzz beyond 75 mph to make extended freeway travel a necessary evil. The 3.4-gallon tank carries a half-gallon more than an HP2 Enduro; enough to fuel stops about 140 miles apart if you're careful or 120 if you're not. But with the sort of back-road demeanor that encourages a less prudent right wrist, that last number is usually closer to reality. The boxer's 101mm pistons and hefty crankshaft can't spin up as quickly as the KTM's lighter bits. But persuade the tach needle to the right of 6500 rpm and the Bavarian afterburner kicks in enthusiastically enough to leave the Austrian interloper for dead.

Just in case the cylinders didn't do it, abundant engine braking tends to discourage authentic boot-out cornering. Still, genuinely stupid lean angles become standard operating procedure once you're accustomed to sitting nearly a yard from the tarmac. Relaxed steering geometry and a 63.3-inch wheelbase add up to a disturbing amount of front-end chatter entering tight corners at the track. But most such complaints disappear on the street.

Stiff suspension is allergic to nasty pavement, and the limo-esque wheelbase favors premeditated cornering trajectory over indecision at the apex. Still, a little steering input goes a long way. It's easy to turn inside the appointed line below 60 mph until your neural circuits recalibrate. An exasperating tendency to stand up under the slightest trail-braking maneuvers takes some getting used to as well. Otherwise, the BMW's Brembo four-piston front calipers and 320mm rotors serve up more power and better feel than the others. Michelin Pilot Power radials lay down the most tenacious grip as well. With effectively unlimited cornering clearance, the sound of metal on pavement means you've just crashed-extremely ill advised where physical dimensions are exceeded only by exclusivity. In the end, BMW's ultimate stripped-down sporting tool is too expensive, too long, too tall, too narrowly focused or just too openly weird. And that's why we're not answering the door right away when they come to take it back.

1st
KTM 950 SuperMoto R

It's not the coolest or the lightest or the strongest or even the least expensive. So how does KTM's 950 come out on top in this little exercise? It acts more like a real-deal supermoto bike if you insist on backing into the occasional corner. At the same time, the orange-and-black Austrian bike is always a little better at being a do-it-all motorcycle. The most glaring bit of irony in all that is that you may have a hard time finding one. More on that later.

A more handsome fuel tank-pirated off the 950 Super Enduro, aka KTM's answer to BMW's HP2 Enduro-makes the '07 version easier to look at, but styling requires a taste American buyers haven't acquired quite yet. What is this thing? A stripped-down KTM Adventure twin? A dressed-up Super Duke? Actually, it's a little of both. The 34.4-inch seat height makes it more accessible than anybody's adventure-sport bike. It's also easier for regular-sized humans to throw a boot over than the towering BMW. On the down side, the saddle foam is too soft, and it's upholstered with a diabolically slippery material that makes staying put tough unless you're wearing leather. Or gaffer's tape. The nicely balanced ergonomic equation is theoretically capable of packing double. But considering the gluteal proximity to those high-mount mufflers, passengers will require a high pain threshold and/or heat-resistant skivvies.

A pair of 43mm Keihin anachronisms called carburetors-complete with quaint bar-mounted choke lever-give the 942cc version of KTM's 75-degree V-twin the sort of smooth, snappy, willing response that makes fuel injection look bad to everybody but the EPA. The 950 is smoother than its peers. Less flywheel weight lets it rev noticeably quicker as well-all the way to an 88-horse peak at 8000 rpm that trumps all but the BMW. A tach would make it easier to stay in the upper-midrange happy place, but we managed without one. An 11.56-second dragstrip run at 118.3 mph makes the Austrian second quickest as well. But the KTM doesn't move to the front of this pack until you file all the printouts and live with it for a week.

With a ready flow of cooperative power behind the most agile chassis of our foursome, the R slips through nightmarish urban traffic with minimal effort. Clutch pull gets stiff after extended bouts of stop-and-go, but the gearbox shifts as smoothly as the BMW's through six rations that are more effectively spaced to run the Monday-through-Friday gauntlet as readily as the inevitable Saturday-morning scrape. Tall gearing means fifth works better under 80 mph, but freeway travel is relatively painless until butt and seat develop irreconcilable differences after 90 minutes or so. Hopefully the route takes a turn for the better before the burn sets in.

The KTM gives up less ground to the BMW in any corner-to-corner skirmish than its 16-horse shortfall might suggest. The Buell and Ducati work a whole lot harder to hold on once the pace heats up. The WP fork and shock offer the broadest range of adjustment. Brakes are plenty strong, if a big grabby up front. And though finding that perfect combination of spring preload, compression and rebound damping takes some time, the results will be worth it. Once dialed in, the 950 can generate serious velocity through the kind of tight, bumpy dirty corners that make most sportbike pilots U-turn for home. It's nice to have the road to yourself on a Saturday morning.

Still, U.S. buyers don't quite know what to make of a sit-up sportbike dressed in motocross plastic. And since more of them wrote checks for KTM's 990 Adventure or the sportier Super Duke in '07, the 950 SMR has been dropped from the '08 lineup. Europeans get the spanky new fuel-injected 990cc version while we watch from the wrong side of the Atlantic. But there's good news if you know where to look. The 990 Adventure and Super Duke took their time getting here too, and with a little luck we'll see the 990 Super Moto in '09. Meanwhile, there are miles of bumpy, dirty, unpatrolled pavement waiting weekend after weekend for somebody on the right motorcycle to lay down some fresh rubber. What are you waiting for?

Off The Record
Brian "Doggerson" Catterson

These four superhypermotomotards occupy the same ground but took very different paths to get there. The BMW and KTM are streetified super-enduros, while the Buell and Ducati are stripped-down adventure-tourers. The former hew closer to the formula of bolting street tires onto a dirtbike, and the KTM feels most like a proper supermoto. But for my money, the latter work better in the real world. I enjoyed the Buell, finding it supremely surefooted, if a tad slow. But I'd pick the Ducati. It does everything well and nothing badly, looks and sounds great, and in my shallow estimation is simply the coolest bike here. That's why I'm gonna have one for my next long-termer.

Age: 45
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Inseam: 34 in.

2008 BMW HP2 Megamoto
Price: $20,520

Frame
The Megamoto's aggressive mission statement mandates a more substantial frame structure aft of the cylinders and some stout gusset work around the single-sided swingarm pivot. Nixing the trademark Telelever front end puts more structure above the stressed-member engine as well.

Suspension
Adapted from the HP2 Enduro, the 45mm Marzocchi fork loses 4.3 inches of travel for fast pavement work and gains stiffer internals. A top-shelf hlins shock replaces the Enduro's Continental unit, which used air to handle spring and damping duties.

Engine
That's HP as in High Performance, and 2 means two cylinders. BMW claims 8 more horses here than the Enduro version, thanks to 12:1 compression and a new exhaust system complete with dual-chamber Akrapovic muffler that lets the 1170cc boxer exhale more efficiently.

Brakes
The four-pot Brembo front calipers may not look as racy as those on the KTM and Ducati, but they deliver just as much stopping power and better feel. Note 320mm rotors bolted directly to the front wheel, sans carriers.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c opposed-twin
Valve train: SIHC, 8v
Displacement: 1170cc
Bore x stroke: 101.0 x 73.0mm
Compression: 12.0:1
Fuel system: Bosch EFI
Clutch: Dry, single-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Tubular-steel trellis
Front suspension: 45mm Marzocchi inverted fork, adjustable for compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single hlins shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake: Single Brembo four-piston caliper, 265mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Michelin Pilot Power
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Michelin Pilot Power
Rake/trail: 28.6/3.7 in.
Seat height: 35.0 in.
Wheelbase: 63.6 in.
Fuel capacity: 3.4 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 450/429 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 103.7 bhp @ 7250 rpm
Measured torque: 81.5 lb.-ft. @ 6250 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.26 sec. @ 122.56 mph
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 43/37/41 mpg
Colors: White
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.

Contact:
BMW North America300 Chestnut Ridge
Rd.Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07675800
831.1117
www.bmwmotorcycles.com

Ergos
The Megamoto's riding position is more Baja 1000 than Daytona 200. Bars are a bit wide, and far enough away to enforce the most upright position here. Tall types will revel in all that room. Everybody else will need a stepladder.

Dyno
Those peaks and valleys in the boxer's torque curve are more obvious to the dyno than they are to the seat of your pants. But beyond 5500 rpm output gets serious by any measure until both curves nose over again at 7000.

2008 Buell XB12STT Super TT
Price: $10,295

Frame
The 'TT's twin aluminum frame spars also provide a home for 4.4 gallons of super unleaded. The dry-sump twin's 2.5 quarts of oil live inside the stubby swingarm. Buell's Uniplanar engine-mounting system keeps engine vibration from getting to you.

Suspension
The 43mm inverted-slider fork and single rear shock offer all the customary adjustments. There's slightly more travel at both ends than on a Lightning XB12S, and less than you'll find under the more adventurous Ulysses.

Engine
Buell's 1203cc Thunderstorm V-twin has evolved well beyond Harley's Sportster. The '08 version gets a bigger crankpin, more efficient lubrication and fresh DDFI-III fuel injection. Changes allow a 7100-rpm redline, 300 revs higher than last year.

Brakes
Taking the place of two conventional rotors and calipers, Buell's single 375mm ZTL front disc bolts up just inside the rim. Paired with one six-piston caliper, this arrangement adds up to about 7 lbs. less unsprung weight than the typical dual-disc arrangement.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c 45? V-twin
Valve train: OHV, 4v
Displacement: 1203cc
Bore x stroke: 88.9 x 96.8mm
Compression: 10.0:1
Fuel system: DDFI-III EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 5-speed
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 43mm Showa inverted fork, adjustable for compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single Showa shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Single six-piston caliper, 375mm perimeter disc
Rear brake: Single-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Sync
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Sync
Rake/trail: 23.1?/4.7 in.
Seat height: 30.5 in.
Wheelbase: 54.0 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.4 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 478/453 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 85.6 bhp @ 6750 rpm
Measured torque: 72.3 lb.-ft. @ 5750 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 12.06 sec. @ 113.12 mph
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg): 45/29/39 mpg
Colors: White, orange
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.

Contact:
Buell Motorcycle Co.
2815 Buell Dr.East Troy, WI 53120
262.642.2030
www.buell.com

Ergos
With its odd combination of low bars, high pegs and relatively little real estate in between, the 'TT is something short of roomy. It's an unorthodox combination by supermoto standards that should feel more familiar to sportbike pilots.

Dyno
Torque towers over horsepower for more of the Thunderstorm twin's rev range until the party ends altogether at 7000 rpm. Though it makes 65 lb.-ft. of torque at 2500 rpm, maximum thrust lives in a slot between 5500 and 6750 rpm.

2008 Ducati Hypermotard 1100
Price: $11,999

Frame
The Hypermotard uses the same steel-trellis underpinnings as Ducati's more utilitarian Multistrada. Both use a 24-degree rake, but the 'Motard's wheelbase is .3-inch shorter to help with quick-flick maneuvers. It's an amazingly nimble piece.

Suspension
The Ducati's pair of 50mm Marzocchi tubes trump any other sumo fork in this bunch. The Sachs rear shock is less impressive when measured against the BMW's Ohlins or KTM's WP, but it gets the job done.

Engine
Ducati's air-cooled lump hasn't changed too much since Dr. T. traded towershafts and bevel gears for toothed rubber belts. The 1078cc dual-plug mill is a solid contender, but runs out of steam a bit early in this crowd.

Brakes
Standard radial Brembos are a giant step behind the S-model's Monoblocs, laying down less power than the BMW's or KTM's front binders. They make up for some of that with lots of feedback. The rear disc is a bit too touchy for us.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c 90?V-twin
Valve train: SOHC, 4v
Displacement: 1078cc
Bore x stroke: 98.0 x 71.5mm
Compression: 10.5:1
Fuel system: Marelli EFI
Clutch: Dry, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Tubular-steel trellis
Front suspension: 48mm Marzocchi inverted fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single Sachs shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 305mm discs
Rear brake: Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 245mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Bridgestone BT014
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Bridgestone BT014
Rake/trail: 24.0?/3.9 in.
Wheelbase: 57.3 in.
Fuel capacity: 3.3 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 440/420 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 77.8 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Measured torque: 64.2 lb.-ft. @ 4750 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.77 sec. @ 113.4 mph
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg): 38/28/33 mpg
Colors: Red
Available: Now
Warranty: 2 yrs., unlimited mi.

Contact:
Ducati North America
10443 Bandley Dr.Cupertino, CA 95014
408.253.0499
www.ducati.com

Ergos
You don't sit on a Hypermotard. You wear it like an Armani tracksuit. Sliding forward puts plenty of weight on the front wheel when you're cranked over and carving. Low pegs accommodate long legs, but drag sooner than the others.

Dyno
Though power and torque numbers are underwhelming compared to our other contestants, the Ducati delivers every pony and pound-foot in linear, practical fashion. You want more? The House of Termignoni will be happy to help.

2007 KTM Supermoto 950 R
Price: $12,998

Frame
Though drawn-out by sporty-bike standards, the 59.5-inch wheelbase beneath KTM's steel pipe-rack skeleton is 4 inches shorter than BMW's mammoth Megamoto. Though derived from the 950 Adventure chassis, the SMR's swingarm is shorter and steering geometry is tightened up for the pavement.

Suspension
The 48mm WP fork and remote-reservoir shock are fully adjustable top-drawer pieces, but the perfect setup can be elusive, especially if you're anywhere near 200 pounds. Once dialed in, they strike an effective balance between compliance and chassis control.

Engine
While the Adventure and Super Duke get the latest 999cc fuel-injected 75? V-twin, the old carbureted 942cc version holds its own. It's the only one here with a radiator. Dry-sump lubrication wraps an oil tank around the forward exhaust header.

Brakes
Dual radial-mount four-pot Brembo calipers grab a pair of 305mm floating rotors up front, followed by a 240mm rear rotor and twin-piston Brembo caliper. It's a potent combination. And with more power than feel available at the front lever, sometimes too potent.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 75? V-twin
Valve train: DOHC, 8v
Displacement: 1170cc
Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 60.0mm
Compression: 11.5:1
Fuel system: (2) 43mm Keihin carbs
Clutch: Wet, multi-platevTransmission: 6-speed
Frame: Tubular-steel trellis
Front suspension: 48mm WP inverted fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single WP shock, adjustable for spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 305mm discs
Rear brake: Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Sync
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Sync
Rake/trail: 25.4?/4.3 in.
Seat height: 34.3 in.
Wheelbase: 59.5 in.
Fuel capacity: 3.8 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 449/426 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 87.6 bhp @ 8000 rpm
Measured torque: 58.9 lb.-ft. @ 6500 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.56 sec. @ 118.29 mph
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg): 39/29/34 mpg
Colors: Black, orange
Available: Now
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 mi.

Contact:
KTM North America Inc.
1119 Milan Ave.
Amherst, OH 44001
440.985.3553
www.ktmusa.com

Ergos
You sit closer to the pavement than on BMW's Megamoto, and the bar is closer as well, but the refreshingly neutral layout leaves plenty of room for tall types. The 950 is still something of a stretch for anyone under 5-foot-8.

Dyno
Based on the 950 Adventure twin, the SMR spins up quicker than its all-surface cousin. Thanks to more efficient intake and exhaust plumbing, it lays down better power and more of it. Delivery is dead linear with no significant jumps or dips.

2008 BMW HP2 Megamoto
Price: $20,520

Frame
The Megamoto's aggressive mission statement mandates a more substantial frame structure aft of the cylinders and some stout gusset work around the single-sided swingarm pivot. Nixing the trademark Telelever front end puts more structure above the stressed-member engine as well.

Suspension
Adapted from the HP2 Enduro, the 45mm Marzocchi fork loses 4.3 inches of travel for fast pavement work and gains stiffer internals. A top-shelf hlins shock replaces the Enduro's Continental unit, which used air to handle spring and damping duties.

Engine
That's HP as in High Performance, and 2 means two cylinders. BMW claims 8 more horses here than the Enduro version, thanks to 12:1 compression and a new exhaust system complete with dual-chamber Akrapovic muffler that lets the 1170cc boxer exhale more efficiently.

Brakes
The four-pot Brembo front calipers may not look as racy as those on the KTM and Ducati, but they deliver just as much stopping power and better feel. Note 320mm rotors bolted directly to the front wheel, sans carriers.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c opposed-twin
Valve train: SIHC, 8v
Displacement: 1170cc
Bore x stroke: 101.0 x 73.0mm
Compression: 12.0:1
Fuel system: Bosch EFI
Clutch: Dry, single-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Tubular-steel trellis
Front suspension: 45mm Marzocchi inverted fork, adjustable for compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Single hlins shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake: Single Brembo four-piston caliper, 265mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Michelin Pilot Power
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Michelin Pilot Power
Rake/trail: 28.6/3.7 in.
Seat height: 35.0 in.
Wheelbase: 63.6 in.
Fuel capacity: 3.4 gal.
Weight (tank full/empty): 450/429 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 103.7 bhp @ 7250 rpm
Measured torque: 81.5 lb.-ft. @ 6250 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.26 sec. @ 122.56 mph
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 43/37/41 mpg
Colors: White
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.

Contact:
BMW North America300 Chestnut Ridge
Rd.Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07675800
831.1117
www.bmwmotorcycles.com

Ergos
The Megamoto's riding position is more Baja 1000 than Daytona 200. Bars are a bit wide, and far enough away to enforce the most upright position here. Tall types will revel in all that room. Everybody else will need a stepladder.

Dyno
Those peaks and valleys in the boxer's torque curve are more obvious to the dyno than they are to the seat of your pants. But beyond 5500 rpm output gets serious by any measure until both curves nose over again at 7000.

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