The first 2000 miles on the Ducati Hyperstrada 939 have rolled under it’s Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires and I figure that’s enough to at least give my initial thoughts on what I’ve gotten myself into. The miles have been a good variety of riding and roads, including the 500 mile day getting the bike home, several weeks of commuting to work and riding the long way home as often as I could.
Of course there is a lot of “rose colored new bike glasses” shading this so I reserve the right to change my mind later.
My first impressions are good. Confidence inspiring in the corners, crazy power from a flexible engine, and decent comfort on a long days ride. The power is in fact a bit on the ridiculous side, several times I found myself going faster than I was expecting. I’m adjusting to it though, and have been enjoying the safety net of ABS and the DTC. Thankfully I haven’t needed the ABS, though I have been a little more aggressive with the throttle causing the the TC to cut in a couple of times.
The riding position is very upright, way more than any other motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. It has taken a bit to get used to, demanding a different riding style than I’m used to. I stay on the bike a bit more but the real joy is the confidence it gives in the corners. I have good feeling on what the bike is doing, better than anything else I’ve ridden. I suspect that’s mostly because motorcycle technology has moved forward in the last 11 years and I haven’t ridden anything built after 2005. The seat itself is pretty comfortable, though it does lock you into one position with not a lot of room to move around. However that position is pretty good and despite some slight soreness I was fine the whole ride home from LA.
The saddle bags aren’t all that great. They are a good size and will hold a reasonable amount of stuff at 25L each. However, they aren’t waterproof without the (included) dry bags and they make the bike four inches wider, making it harder to get though traffic. They also don’t come off the bike easily, the right one takes a huge amount of effort, this won’t be a huge deal since I won’t have them on the bike that often.
The only other downside is the gas mileage and tank size. Ducati says it has a 4.2 gallon tank. I ran out of gas and only put 3.7 gallons in, and at 42 mpg that I’ve been averaging that means a pretty crap range. Add in the pessimistic fuel light that comes on when I still have at least a gallon left in the tank and I’m bummed about how often I’ll have to stop to get gas on my trips. My only hope is that my gas mileage will improve some when I stop twisting the throttle so hard because it’s so damn fun. Realistically though I have to realize that day may never come.
Despite those problems I’m very happy with the Hyperstrada. Its fast, stable, confidence inspiring and tons of fun. I can’t wait to get it out for another road trip.