Urban roads make the Hyper feel agile and ready, with the Öhlins suspension soaking up potholes nicely. With 7.3 inches of front travel and 6.9 at the rear (a 0.6- and 1.0-inch increase over the standard Hyper), there’s far more compliance on tap than you’ll find in a sportbike or a standard. But crack the 950 open on a wide stretch of highway and a surprising amount of stability unfolds, especially in light of its antsy, turn-happy predecessors. The freeways that feed Angeles Crest Highway’s 66 blissful miles of twists and turns are about as thanklessly dull as any superslab, but the Hyper commands them with easy aplomb. Maneuver the gradually tightening stretch of Angeles Crest as it becomes more rhythmically twisting and turning, and the Hyper rolls with the punches, requiring what feels like a bit of leaning to negotiate the corners because it sits so high up. Peak horsepower doesn’t hit until 9,000 rpm, but the engine feels torquey enough to make the climb to redline a fruitful journey. Cornering ABS raises confidence enough to grab the right lever deeper into corner entry, and the traction control does the same for exit, encouraging generous throttle twists while laying down power through the 180mm rear tire. A new hydraulic clutch replaces the old cable linkage, offering an easier grab that’s a bit of an irony since Ducati’s Quick Shift system works so well, particularly on upshifts: Just jam the left foot lever up into each gear after first, and the straight-cut gears swap quickly and effortlessly. The system rewards aggression, as a gentle tap of the shifter doesn’t maximize the momentum of the engine’s flywheel. Downshifts work nearly as well, though they require rather strong stomps on the pedal in order to instigate the gear change. The only questionable experience aboard the Hyper came when unexpected stalls occurred during our loan, at low speeds between first and second gears (and occasionally while coasting to a stop in neutral). Ducati could not replicate the issue; we suspect it might have had to do with bad fuel, though the ultimate reason remains unknown.