Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono Is the First to Use the New Superquadro Single-Cylinder Engine

Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono 12 photos
Photo: Ducati
In the last days of October, Italian bike maker Ducati pulled the wraps off the Superquadro Mono engine. It is the company's first such layout in three decades, and it is supposed to form the basis for an entirely new range of motorcycles. And the first to get it is the Hypermotard 698 Mono.
The bike was unveiled by Ducati this week as the "first Ducati single-cylinder Supermotard" and a machine that's not only supposed to draw in new customers, but also open the doors for the brand to expand into segments that it traditionally didn't play in.

A quick look at the thing might have you thinking this is a machine only the experienced can ride. It appears very short and light, with the engine floating seemingly in an independent fashion between the rather small wheels. The bodywork, small as it is, floats high above the wheels, and the color scheme it comes in seems to scream "competition bike."

But the reality is that the Hypermotard 698 Mono was designed to be handled by the less experienced as well, and the amount of technology that went into it makes that more than clear.

But let's start at the beginning, and for us that would be the frame the ride was built around. The 698 is held together by a steel trellis frame with differentiated sections. This solution was chosen because Ducati targeted a low weight, and the frame is a major contributor to achieving that goal: it only weighs 7.2 kg (16 kg).

The frame is held upright on the ground by 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels in a Y design. They are half a kilo (one pound) lighter than what Ducati similar spoked wheels weigh over at Ducati, and wear Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV tires for a proper contact with the ground.

Then, the suspension system contributes to keeping the weight down as well. For instance, the entire Marzocchi fork assembly at the front adds an extra 8.1 kg (18 pounds) to the whole thing. We don't have the weight specification for the double-sided swingarm installed at the rear.

All in all, the Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono doesn't weigh more than 151 kg empty (333 kg). and a large chunk of that comes from the single-cylinder engine I've already mentioned.

The powerplant has a displacement of 659cc and it is based on the one fitted on the Panigale 1299. It has been designed with an extreme ratio between bore and stroke (1.86), the "most extreme value ever seen on a road single-cylinder engine," according to Ducati.

On the new Hypermotard the powerplant comes with the same power levels announced for the baseline engine. That means top horsepower at 77.5 hp in standard configuration, and a redline reached at 10,250 rpm.

Power levels can however be taken even higher, but only when special equipment such as the Termignoni racing exhaust system is fitted. True, the system is not street legal, but when it does get installed, power levels increase to a total of 84.5 hp, a value "never achieved before by a road single-cylinder" engine.

All that power in such a small package may seem a bit tricky to handle, so Ducati deployed what it says is a most comprehensive electronic package to allow "the less expert to learn to ride like a Supermotard rider."

The list of aid systems included on the bike is huge, but the most impressive Ducati technologies immediately stand out: ABS cornering (as per Ducati, the Mono is the first bike made by the Italians to use four levels of ABS), traction control, wheelie control (also four levels, only for use on the track), engine brake control, power launch, and quick shift.

The bike can be configured in one of four riding modes (Sport, Road, Urban and Wet) and features 3.8-inch LCD instrumentation (white characters over black background) to get a sense of important parameters when riding. There's even a gear change indicator, just like on the Panigale V4, and stopping power is handled by hardware Brembo developed specifically for this ride.

Ducati will start selling the Hypermotard 698 Mono in January 2024, and it will make the bike available in two trim levels, standard (Ducati Red with powder-coated frame) and RVE (dedicated graphics, black frame and DQS quick-shifter).

For holders of an A2 license the Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono will also come as a detuned version. In this configuration the engine will be prevented from developing more than 43.5 hp.

Pricing for any of the versions above was not announced yet. To make sure the bike makes a proper splash, the Italians have also created a dedicated apparel line, which includes a Spidi Sport jacket, a sweatshirt, protectors for joints, a helmet,, boots, and shoes. All of these items will be sold as optional equipment, and they’ll likely add quite the sum to the total cost of the motorcycle.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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