Comparison test: Ducati Hypermotard 796 against Aprilia Dorsoduro

Ducati Hypermotard 796 versus Aprilia Dorsoduro

Italian mid-range supermotos

Singles are too rough, two-cylinder supermotos too expensive? Quite possible. The mid-range fun bikes from Aprilia and Ducati could lift some doubters into the supermoto saddle.

Comparative test of Supermoto part 1

With a high-pitched whistle, the front wheel resets D.ucati on, two jagged steering movements through the machine, bring it back into balance on two wheels in tenths of a second. Just early enough to aim at the ideal line for the next bend, bend it and – maybe – accelerate out again in a wheelie. Racetrack? Alpine pass? Could be. But the home route is enough. Where the streets lurch through the landscape, hardly anyone gets lost and the asphalt bears the scars of many years, there is supermoto terrain.

Ducati Hypermotard 796 versus Aprilia Dorsoduro

Italian mid-range supermotos

Aprilia landed a direct hit with the SMV 750 Dorsoduro for the 2008 season. 90-degree V2 engine, 88 hp and a price that, at 8,600 euros, was on par with the most popular single-cylinder. Well, two years later, the Italians go one better. For an additional 700 euros, the Dorsoduro can even be ordered with ABS.


As you like it: strolling or racing, the Dorsoduro is definitely one of the most versatile fun bikes.

High time for the competition to hold out. That’s why they exist, the baby Hypermotard from Ducati. At first glance, only the lettering on the silencer cover distinguishes it from the 1100. The rest takes place in secret. Bore-stroke ratio of the old 800 monsters (803 cm³), cylinder heads of the current 696 monsters, a lightweight flywheel from the 848 superbike, a lighter motor housing, a 43 fork (1100: 50), and you’re done is the little one. At 190 kilograms six kilos lighter, with measured 82 hp only six hp weaker – but at 9150 euros at least two and a half thousand cheaper than the 1100.

And what these key data already suggest, the Minimotard confirms in the real world. Especially the approach from tight turns is astonishing. As soft as butter, high-torque and very easy to control the two-cylinder pushes from the lower speed range, that is fun – and strikingly reminds of its big brother. So striking that some Supermoto fans could get into trouble without a direct comparison during the blind tasting. And don’t even have to be embarrassed for a wrong tip. Because the numbers confirm: With 6.7 seconds, the 796 takes only half a second longer than the 1100 when sprinting from a standstill to 140 km / h. Only a look at the rev counter reveals that the bottom remains relative. It takes 4,000 turns on the clock for the short-stroke engine to prepare for the sprint out of the corners. It feels like half of it. Because what the smaller displacement may be lacking in pressure in this situation, it makes up for with said lower centrifugal mass. Especially since he behaves nicer. Vibrations can only be felt in the upper third of the speed, the gear shifts smoothly and thanks to APTC technology, the clutch can be operated with a snap of the finger.


You should recognize it by the incline: A Hypermotard doesn’t like it half-heartedly, never at all.

One could get into euphoria if the load change shock at the apex of the bend didn’t occasionally ruin the line – and on top of that, the Aprilia driver, who was pushing again and again, didn’t remember the corner of his eye . As if he wanted to ask provocatively: air cooling, two-valve head, what does archaic technology have to do with supermoto? Because the Piaggio Group prefers to leave tradition to Moto Guzzi or Vespa scooters. Aprilia, that’s modern. Water cooling, two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and electronically operated throttle valves (ride-by-wire) virtually define a technical contrast to the classic Ducati unit.

So much in advance: The SMV propellant cannot offer the emotions that the ride on the torque shaft of the Duc drive conveys. But the pure facts speak in favor of the Aprilia engine. Whether it’s the start of tight turns or the subsequent sprint to the next bend, the Aprilia is usually a hair’s breadth ahead of the Ducati thanks to its gear ratio, which is not only shorter in the last gear (see torque values ​​on page 42). If the straights get longer, the noticeably greater ease of revving – and the six horsepower higher peak output – give the 750 an additional head start. Especially since the Dorsoduro propellant shows itself well behaved in these speed regions and vibrates noticeably less than the Ducati.

A downer: the gruff load change in the middle of the curve is not held back by the modern drive either. On the contrary. The V2 accelerates even more harshly than in the normal touring mode in the livelier sport mapping – without increasing torque or peak performance. In rain mode, the reactions are more subdued, but the torque loss (see measurements on page 5) fundamentally prohibits this setting.

Ultimately, Supermoto is corner sharpening, inclination, curve wagging. Is not reason, but first of all fun. And this is conveyed by the chassis design of the two Italians. Just the seating position. Sitting upright, wide handlebars, relaxed ergonomics, that creates an overview and sympathy straight away – even if the philosophies differ noticeably.

Off-road (towering handlebars, deep seat recess) the Aprilia places its master, more racing-oriented (flat handlebars, relatively high seat) it sits enthroned on the Ducati. With consequences. If the Dorsoduro can be bent around the bends in a completely neutral and stress-free, but still agile way with an excellent balance, the Hypermotard gets into racing fever in the meandering. The deep front falls greedily in an inclined position, but then has to be prevented from collapsing with permanent counter pressure on the handlebars.

Comparative test of Supermoto part 2


Along mountains, over bumpy country roads. But no problem for the supermotos.

A phenomenon that spoils the good mood – and the clean line – tremendously. Hypermotard enthusiasts already know this from the 1100s. The people in charge at Ducati meanwhile too. It is no coincidence that the designers raised the front of the Hypermotard 1100 Evo SP, which was also new for 2010, with a fork that was five centimeters longer. Which is of no use to the 796. Even with the Bridgestone BT 016 tires, which are actually neutral in this regard, the Babymotard is penetratingly bitchy.

As a consolation, the coordination of the spring elements for the country road tango is pleasantly comfortable and smoothly smooths even bad slopes. On which the Aprilia driver has to rely on his well-padded seat. Because both the fork and the new shock absorber equipped with a reservoir are not very sensitive to hard edges.

But the Dorsoduro strikes back when it comes to braking. To make it short: Your Brembo combo sets the class standard in terms of controllability and effectiveness. It is sensitive that the system is now one step further with ABS and raises the Aprilia even further above normal in the Supermoto area. However, the extreme brakes must not indulge in deceptive security. Like the Shiver (see ABS test in MOTORRAD 14/2009), the Dorsoduro lifts the rear of the car when it brakes on a non-slip surface and cannot rule out a rollover under these conditions. Nevertheless, especially in critical road conditions, the safety gain far outweighs this weakness.


Although the Duc has characteristics that are second to none, the Aprilia can clearly do more in terms of performance.

But the Aprilia’s ABS in particular proves that supermotos are good for more than just a few minutes of happiness after work. The Dorsoduro is once again predestined for this more. Its well-balanced base, which is almost suitable for touring, lets the retrofittable soft case (467 euros) or the gel seat (203 euros) appear in a new light. Even if the wind protection is typically limited and the range of 250 kilometers is only of a theoretical nature. Instead of the proclaimed 13 liters, the Dorsoduro tank only holds 11.8 liters, as measured by MOTORRAD.

The Ducati is much closer to its original orientation. Luggage can only be stowed in two saddlebags stretched over the tank, the windshield is a bit weaker, the folding rear-view mirrors are a smart idea, but are unfavorably out of view. After all: the consumption remains moderate at 4.7 liters (Aprilia: 5.2 liters), and the pillion feels extremely comfortable on the well-padded bench.

Which changes little in the unexpected differences between the two Italians. While the Aprilia succeeds in combining a fun bike feeling and everyday qualities in a wide arc, the Ducati carries the supermoto concept without compromise. And can do it almost as well as the 1100 Hypermotard – only for 2500 euros less.

Aprilia Dorsoduro Homogeneous chassis, powerful engine and a dash of common sense. That fits. The SMV 750 is not a racer and yet a great supermoto bike.

Ducati Hypermotard 796 If you like the Hypermotard 1100, you will love the 796 too. The same driving fun for 2500 euros less, that not only gives die-hard Ducatisti to think about.

Technical data Ducati Hypermotard 796


Simply Ducati: single-sided swing arm or air-cooled L-engine, the 796 Hypermotard also carries on the Ducati tradition.

Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, crankshaft lying transversely, one overhead, toothed belt-driven camshaft, two valves per cylinder, desmodromic control, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 45 mm, regulated catalytic converter , 480 W alternator, battery 12 V / 10 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 41:15.
Bore x stroke 88.0 x 66.0 mm
Displacement: 803 cm3
Compression ratio 11: 1
Rated capacity: 57.0 kW (78 hp) at 8000 rpm
Max. Torque: 77 Nm at 6250 rpm

Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 305 mm, four-piston Fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 245 mm, two-piston fixed caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Bridgestone BT 016 tires tested

Mass and weight:
Wheelbase 1455 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 100 mm, suspension travel f / h 165/141 mm, seat height * 860 mm, weight with a full tank * 190 kg, payload * 200 kg, tank capacity 12.4 liters.
guarantee two years
Mobility guarantee two years
Service intervals 12,000 km
Colors Black, black / white, red (300 euros extra charge)
price 8,895 euros
Additional costs around 255 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurement

Technical data Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro


Aprilia means modern: three mappings, ride-by-wire and ABS. Aprilia sets the tone with Supermoto’s.

Water-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Ø 52 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 450 W alternator , 12 V / 10 Ah battery, Hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 46:16.
Bore x stroke 92.0 x 56.4 mm
Displacement: 750 cm3
Compression ratio 10.9: 1
Rated capacity: 67.0 kW (91 hp) at 8750 rpm
Max. Torque: 82 Nm at 4500 rpm

Steel tubular frame with bolted cast aluminum parts, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, front disc brake , Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires tested: Pirelli Supercorsa Pro

Mass and weight:
Wheelbase 1505 mm, steering head angle 66.1 degrees, caster 108 mm, suspension travel f / r 160/160 mm, seat height * 880 mm, weight with a full tank * 218 kg, payload * 182 kg, tank capacity 13.0 liters.
Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 10,000 km
Colors: Black, red, silver, white
Price: 8,999 euros
Additional costs: around 286 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurement



Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation +/- 5%.

The formative driving experience on the Ducati, the ride on the torque shaft, is also impressively manifested in the performance diagram. The characteristics of the air-cooled Hypermotard drive are impressive – even if the pure facts speak for the Aprilia-V2. But be careful: The Dorsoduro still achieves the better draft values. Above all, thanks to its shorter, practical translation. On the other hand, Ducati is much more cautious about its petrol consumption.

Top speed:

 Manufacturer information  km / h  Aprilia  200
 Ducati  205


 Manufacturer information  0-100 km / h
 0-140 km / h
 Aprilia  3.9  7.1
 Ducati  3.9  7.2


 Manufacturer information  60-100 km / h
 100-140 km / h
 140-180 km / h
 Aprilia  4.5  5.0  7.1
 Ducati  5.0  5.5  7.9

Fuel consumption (country road):

 Manufacturer information  Liters / 100km  Aprilia  5.2
 Ducati  4.7

Theoretical range (country road):

 Manufacturer information  kilometer  Aprilia  250
 Ducati  264



The Ducati is cheaper to run, but the Aprilia can score more often.

1st place: Aprilia Dorsoduro
Homogeneous chassis, powerful engine and a dash of common sense. That fits. The SMV 750 is not a racer and yet a great supermoto bike.

2nd place: Ducati Hypermotard 796
Those who like the Hypermotard 1100 will love the 796 too. The same driving fun for 2500 euros less, that not only gives die-hard Ducatisti to think about.


Comparison test of supermoto bikes

Supermoto bikes on the march of conquest

read more

Drawing: archive

Rating engine

Once again convinced the V2 concept with punch from the lower speed range. The bottom line is that the Aprilia two-cylinder wins, despite the displacement disadvantage. Six horsepower more peak power, greater revving, lower vibrations and better pulling power lift the water-cooled engine forward. Not good: the too long gear ratio of the 796, which is typical for Ducati.

Winner engine: Aprilia

Drawing: archive

Rating chassis

Handiness is the strength the Ducati – and at the same time its weakness. The front wheel, which tends to fold when cornering, is the Achilles’ heel of almost all Hypermotard models. The comfortably selected suspension setup reconciles this. In complete contrast to the Aprilia’s rather stiff suspension. Their great strength: the absolutely neutral, confidence-inspiring driving behavior.

Winner chassis: Aprilia

Drawing: archive

Evaluation of everyday life

Supermoto styling demands sacrifices. The overhead exhaust systems forbid luggage rolls, the contents of the slim tanks tend to have a minimum volume, the lights (especially that of the Ducati) could be brighter, the wind protection better. But the pleasant ergonomics on the Aprilia make up for it. Both bikes also offer a surprisingly comfortable pillion seat.

Winner everyday: Aprilia

Drawing: archive

Security rating

For orientation: Even without ABS, the Aprilia would have the edge here. The brakes, which can be controlled excellently, are particularly impressive. Dangerous: the tendency to rollover in the event of emergency braking – despite ABS. Unpleasant: the Ducati’s tendency to pitch when braking in an inclined position.

Safety winner: Aprilia

Drawing: archive

Valuation costs

An economical fuel consumption, moderate inspection costs and an extensive guarantee make the Hypermotard a savings master.

Winner cost: Ducati

   Max points
 Aprilia  Ducati
 Overall rating  1000  624  602
 placement    1.  2.
 Price-performance note  Top grade 1.0  1.8  2.1

Price-performance winner: Aprilia
Fun mobiles also offer something for the money: Grade 1.8 for a supermoto bike, few would have expected that.


Related articles

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *