(Ducati Hypermotard SP Strada ) My idea of sport touring is a little different than most. I’m not interested in sitting on freeways for very long, carrying tons and tons of gear, or protecting myself from all of the elements. My idea of sport touring involves putting on some leathers, packing a change of clothes or two, and seeing the country with my knee near the deck.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the first thing I wanted to do once I’d taken delivery of the Ducati Hypermotard SP was try and get it prepped for the ride to Laguna Seca for the World Superbike race. Fortunately for me, Ducati already basically makes this bike (known as the Hyperstrada), and the touring pieces bolt directly on.
While the windscreen doesn’t look like much, it’s actually my favorite of any motorcycle ever. It keeps the wind off of your chest, while allowing clean air to the helmet. This means it doesn’t buffet or create extra helmet noise and it doesn’t prevent airflow from reaching the rider to help you cool down, but it does keep you from fatiguing after long, fast hours in the saddle. The only downside to it is that it angles back slightly towards the rider and, when you’re riding aggressively, you’ll hit your helmet on it…a lot.
The bags and top case are nicely sized and lock to the bike using fairly low-profile mounts. They were plenty of room for a few days clothes, my camera equipment, and a laptop. The only downside to them is that they don’t lock unless you run a small combination lock through the two zippers on each, which is slightly annoying and time consuming when you stop (and requires you to not lose the locks).
They didn’t have the touring seat in time for my trip, so they sent me the racing seat. While not as comfortable as the touring seat, it was a nice upgrade from the stock seat, and is great on the track.
The route between Los Angeles and Monterey is normally about 320 miles but, with some clever route selection, we managed to turn it into closer to 460 miles and only about 40 of it freeway. And, while I might be a little biased, I can’t think of a better bike for this version of sport touring.
The Hypermotard SP Strada handled every corner, wheelie, hairpin, animal in the road, and open strecth of highway like a champ, with its only downside really being top speed stability and lack of creature comforts like cruise control or heated grips (not that I needed them this trip). It might not be ideal for crossing the country or spending week-long-plus trips on but, for weekend trips where you can stay in hotels—it doesn’t get much better.
2016 Ducati Hypermotard SP Strada (Update)