For some motorcycle aficionados, owning a European machine from the likes of Ducati is considered the pinnacle of the two-wheeled experience. I’m certain that for those of you who’ve been riding for quite some time now, that the Ducati Monster is a bike you’ve owned, ridden, or at least, hope to ride in the near future. Indeed, you could say that the Ducati Monster is to blame for the entire naked motorcycle segment we see today.
Back in the early 90s, Ducati took its sportbike and stripped it of its fairings. With that, the Monster was born, and unbeknownst to Ducati at the time, would go on to serve as the foundation for the naked motorcycles we know and love today. Unsurprisingly, the Monster raked in quite a lot of sales for Ducati, and has become the best-selling model range Ducati has released to date.
The Ducati Monster is better than ever before
That being said, the Ducati Monster has evolved, and become sharper, lighter, and more potent than ever before. Ducati itself has streamlined the Monster lineup, and now, it’s offered in just one model, the 937, but in two trim options—standard and SP. In its current form, the Ducati Monster is powered by a 937cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, Testastretta L-twin with Desmodromic valve actuation. It produces 111 horsepower, and is the lightest Monster to date, tipping the scales at just 410 pounds with a full tank of gas. Needless to say, it’s quite a potent machine, and is by no means for beginners. It does, however, serve as a solid, streetable platform for folks looking for a bike that can pretty much do it all.
Ducati Hypermotard: Hooligan Energy
When Ducati first introduced the Hypermotard back in 2007, a lot of people didn’t really know what to make of it. First introduced in 1100 trim, the bike had a reputation for being extremely powerful and unwieldy, especially for newer, inexperienced riders. The iterations that followed thereafter consisted of a 796 model in 2009, an 821 version in 2013, and the current setup in 950 trim. That said, in its current guise, the Hypermotard 950 shares the same engine as that of the Ducati Monster, with a 937cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, Testastretta L-twin with Desmodromic valve actuation. In contrast with the Ducati Monster, the Hypermotard churns out 114 horsepower—a tad more than its naked stablemate. While the Ducati Monster takes on a more conventional naked bike configuration, the Hypermotard looks entirely different with a unique aesthetic inspired from supermotos. This means it has long suspension travel, tall ground clearance, and unfortunately for height-challenged riders, a much taller seat height.
Which one should you get?
There’s a reason why the Ducati Monster has become as popular as it has, and it’s mostly because of accessibility. As mentioned earlier, the Monster sports a more conventional, naked sportbike configuration, meaning it’s relatively low-slung and can be tweaked to accommodate riders who aren’t as advanced in terms of skill, either by way of a lowering kit, or keeping it in its lowest power setting. As such, if you’re looking for a versatile machine you can take to the track, go touring with, and commute to work on a daily basis, it’s hard to go wrong with the Ducati Monster.
Conversely, it goes without saying that the Hypermotard is for the rider who knows exactly what they want. Indeed, the Hypermotard is an uncompromising machine that puts performance and a rowdy riding attitude first, and everything else second. Don’t expect anything in terms of comfort, practicality, and versatility from this bike. Instead, expect a thrilling adrenaline rush every time you open the throttle.