2010 Ducati Hypermotard 796

A lighter, whiter version of Ducati's trend-setting street supermoto

As the legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer is wont to do, Ducati has finally followed up on the 2007 release of the 1078cc Hypermotard with a smaller, 796cc sibling. Featuring the same sexed-up supermoto styling of the big bike but with 10 pounds less weight (386 pounds, dry), an inch less standover height (at 32.5 inches) and a retail price ($9995) that's $2K lower, the new 796 version makes the Hypermotard platform more accessible than ever before.

Power comes courtesy of an upsized version of the same two-valve, air-cooled Desmodue V-twin found in the Monster 696, good here for 81 horsepower and 56 lb.-ft. torque. Ducati's light-action APTC slipper clutch assists with gear changes-a definite bonus at the under-$10K price point. The signature steel-trellis chassis is very similar to the bigger bike, though without any forged components. The single-sided swingarm remains, and the upper and lower triple clamps have been redesigned to maintain agile handling response. Available color options include Ducati red, matte black and matte white. Ducati's complete press release is reproduced below:

The newest member of the Hypermotard family arrives with an all-new engine and a lightweight chassis.

Cupertino, Calif. (23 September 2009) - Ducati North America is delighted to introduce the newest model in its successful Hypermotard family; the Hypermotard 796. A brand new model for 2010, the Hypermotard 796 incorporates many new features requested by Ducatisti worldwide; striking color selections, lighter weight, lower price point, lower seat height, and the inclusion of a super-light action APTC clutch.

Whether it's dicing through the daily commute or attacking the open roads, the 796 perfectly balances Ducati's unrivalled twin-cylinder power and sportbike heredity with the lightweight and minimalist Supermotard concept.

The Hypermotard 796's engine is a brand new powerplant; air-cooled with 2 valves per cylinder as per Ducati tradition. Rated at 81hp and 56 lb/ft of torque, the engine promises to deliver an exhilarating ride without compromising the smooth tractability found in Ducati's other L-Twin engines.

Continued chassis development to the Hypermotard includes redesigned top and bottom fork clamps, and an improved frame layout which eliminates almost all of the forged elements used previously on the 1100. This adds up to an agile, lightweight, 368 pound package that is guaranteed to attack corners.

The Hypermotard 796 will be available at authorized Ducati showrooms beginning in December 2009. Color selections will include Ducati red, matte black, and matte white. MSRP for the Hypermotard 796 will be $9,995, joining the Monster 696 in Ducati's sub- $10,000 price bracket; a bargain for the handmade Italian motorcycle.

The first public showing of the Hypermotard 796 will be at Milan's EICMA international motorcycle show. Full information on the entire range of Ducati motorcycles can be found atwww.ducatiusa.com